The Easy-Bake Oven gets a makeover

Piper Weiss, Shine Staff
Now: The new 2011 model
Now: The new 2011 model
Then: The first Easy Bake Oven circa 1963
Then: The first Easy Bake Oven circa 1963

Introducing the kitchen of the future, for kids. The Easy-Bake Oven, the original cooking coach, has gotten a 21st century facelift. The new model is sleek, compact, purple and eco-friendly. Remember that hot yellow bulb responsible for making those brownies rock hard? It's no more. The new internal heating mechanism works more like an actual oven than a lamp. Snazzier recipes for "checkerboard" cakes and whoopie pies, as well as larger portion sizes, are also part of the update on the classic.

The kids' kitchenette, which first debuted in 1963, has surfed the wave of adult kitchen trends through the decades. It turned avocado green in the' 70s and microwave-friendly in the '80s. More recently it weathered a recall after kids complained of burns and pinched fingers.

This new proto-type, two years in the making, offers a kindler, gentler approach to cooking. While it can heat up to 375 degrees, the outside of the oven stays warm to the touch, and the light-bulb free design means an even temperature internally.

Technologically, it's a testament to today's toy innovation. Socially, it's still behind the times. Boys cook now too. If the design was a little less Miley Cyrus and little more gender neutral, it'd really be up to date. Maybe next year.

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