Kenner was known to manufacture toys that allowed kids to do the same things they saw their parents or other adults doing (Hix, 2014). The Easy-Bake Oven did just that by allowing children to cook real food on a smaller version of an oven that they had in their home. The first designs were for both boys and girls but then quickly began marketing towards primarily girls. Advertisements including commercials, newspaper ads, and the packaging showed young girls baking with it. A couple even showed a girl serving a boy the food she made, which portrayed that women cook for men while the men worked. Since the new gender neutral model was released, it kept the same idea and purpose for boys to feel comfortable and allow them to do the same exact thing as the girls.
The Easy Bake Oven has changed society’s view on who is allowed to bake. It was always marketed towards young girls so they can bake just like their mothers. Once there was a lot of discussion and petitions about Hasbro not including boys in the advertising and not having a gender neutral product, Hasbro redesigned the oven. The new gender neutral oven now includes neutral coloring and design that has helped change gender roles across the country. Now instead of having the stereotypical image associated with the product that women were only good to be housewives, including boys in the images and allowing them to feel comfortable using the oven has helped society (Roberts, 2014). It doesn’t just stop at the Easy-Bake Oven, more and more discussion of the importance of having gender neutral toys and aisles has become very important for American parents. Toy manufactures and big-box retailers have been trying to eliminate gendered toy marketing (Shaw, 2015).
The Easy-Bake Ovens always had the same stigma that it was for girls only through the years, even through the 60s it was clear that, (cooking + baking= femininity) (Breselor, 2010). In the early years they tried to make it look like a less traditional way of baking by creating a popcorn maker, candy maker, and chocolate maker that did not resemble an oven. This was a way they wanted to include boys. In the 60s women in America were just beginning to enter the work force and were allowed more choices and freedom, but it was always shown that women belong in the house to clean and cook while men went out and worked. There are many stories of men who look back at old versions of the Easy-Bake Ovens and remember how badly they wanted one as a child but thought it was too girly. Yet, as of 2011, women only accounted for 20 percent of chefs (Decker, 2012). As for other countries, Sweden made their Toys R Us Christmas catalog gender neutral with boys playing with dolls and girls playing with guns. While neighboring countries, Norway, Denmark and Germany, has very specific gender stereotypes in their same catalogs (Goodenough, 2012). Canada and Australia are also trying to end gender stereotypes when it comes to toys, by advertising pink Nerf guns, but not going as far as Sweden (Braw, 2014).
In 2012 Hasbro reported a net revenue of $4.09 billion which is a 2% from 2011 net revenue of $4.29 (Hasbro Investor, 2013). In the girl’s category they reported higher net revenues from My Little Pony products, and the Easy-Bake Oven and mixes. Over the years the price of the oven has increased a lot. In 1963 it cost $15.95, 1972 it cost $10.99, and in 2006 it cost $25.99 for the oven. When they switched from incandescent light bulb to the new heating element, Hasbro was able to raise the price from $28.99 in 2007 up to $49.99 in 2014 (Hasbro, 2015). Now the Ultimate Oven will cost $ 54.99. The price of the product relates to the time period and can affect the parents or adults who buy the Easy-Bake Oven for their children.
The Easy-Bake Ovens relied on incandescent light bulbs as their heating source until 2007. In 2007 George W. Bush signed the law that banned incandescent light bulbs as part of the energy act that required efficient upgrades in light bulbs (Clabough, 2011). It was harder to find incandescent light bulbs and many people thought the Easy-Bake Oven would stop being manufactured. However, Hasbro redesigned the ovens with a new heating element that was able to cook the mixes at 375 Fahrenheit instead of the 350 Fahrenheit. With this new heating source came a large price increase.
The Easy-bake Oven is not used for specific educational reasons, or used in the classroom. However, when children use the oven they are practicing their reading skills by following the directions as well as their measuring skills. For many of the recipes the children need to measure out a specific amount of water for example 1 cup or ½ cup and mix the batter. When they put the batter in the oven they need to set the timer and wait for the food to be done to take it out.