A word of advice for the parents of pink boa-wearing, Hannah Montana-listening, brownie mix-stirring homemakers-in-training: if your child uses an Easy-Bake Oven
on a regular basis (and won’t be graduating to the real deal in the near future) you better start stocking up on those soon-to-be-extinct 100-watt incandescent light bulbs.
Hasbro, the manufacturer of the iconic toy/fake appliance/finger amputater
first introduced by Kenner Toys in 1963, announced that it will discontinue the Easy-Bake Oven as we know it due to new energy-efficiency standards for lighting that are taking full effect in 2012.
Okay, so I totally admit that I had no idea that the heat source in an Easy-Bake Oven was a sold-separately incandescent light bulb. I suppose that it does make perfect sense given that about 90 percent of the energy emitted by an incandescent bulb is heat rather than actual light but I was clueless to the fact that one could bake moist, delicious brownies with a 100-watter.
Learn something new everyday, eh?
So what’s an aspiring cupcake empire-builder (or Michele Bachmann on lasagna night) to do without wasteful incandescent light bulbs? Although the classic Easy-Bake model is going bye-bye, Hasbro isn’t abandoning the concept altogether. Starting this fall, the brand will live on with the introduction of the Easy Bake Ultimate Oven, a new, energy-efficient spin on the toy that doesn’t require the use of an incandescent bulb.
We are aware that the 100-watt incandescent light bulb will no longer be available beginning in 2012. In Fall 2011, Hasbro will launch the Easy Bake Ultimate Oven, introducing a new way to bake for the next generation of chefs. This new oven features a heating element that does not use a light bulb and offers an extensive assortment of mixes reflective of the hottest baking trends for today.
Horray. Everybody wins. However, the mention of an “extensive assortment of mixes reflective of the hottest baking trends for today” does give me pause. Is Betty Crocker going gluten-free? Will Easy-Bake sugar cookies be topped with flax seeds instead of sprinkles? Will an 8-year-old even be interested in baking (or eating) a vegan red velvet cake?