By Andrew Liszewski
The Easy-Bake Oven will probably go down in history not for its role in enforcing gender roles in children (why was it always pink? boys like baked goods too!) but as a testament to how horribly inefficient incandescent light bulbs were. All it took was the intense heat from a single 100 watt bulb to bake up miniature cakes and cookies, but starting in 2012, in the U.S. at least, aspiring pastry chefs won’t be able to get a replacement should theirs burn out.
It’s the result of a 2007 law that requires lighting to be more energy-efficient, something incandescent bulbs were never designed to be. But the ban hasn’t put the last nail in the Easy-Bake Oven’s coffin just yet. Definitely not. In the fall of this year Hasbro will be releasing the Easy Bake Ultimate Oven which comes with a dedicated heating element instead of a light bulb. Besides being more eco-friendly, the new version of the Easy-Bake will function more like its real-life and full-size oven counterparts, expanding a tiny chef’s repertoire to include dishes like pretzels and pizzas. A fine example of turning lemons into lemonade!