Light Bulb Baking: A History of the Easy-Bake Oven

Sonderho Press

SKU: 0991748417

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Author: Coopee, Todd

Brand: Sonderho Press

Binding: Paperback

Number Of Pages: 176

Release Date: 15-11-2013

Details: Product Description This first definitive retrospective of the Easy-Bake Oven celebrates its journey from children's toy to pop culture icon. The book explores the innovation, history, economics, commerce, advertising, and marketing behind the toy's 50 year history. From the Author How has a plastic toy oven powered by a standard incandescent light bulb become a cultural icon? Pop-culture pundits often say that trends fade quickly and ultimately make a comeback every 20 years or so. The Easy-Bake Oven belies this notion. Its staying power has been consistent for 50 years, with more than 30 million ovens sold. Nearly anyone born since 1955 has some memory of baking with an Easy-Bake. The oven allowed children to experience the delight of serving up miniature culinary concoctions while indulging in eating raw batter. For generations, the Easy-Bake Oven has taken and continues to take "playing house" to a level of realism that is nearly impossible for a child to hope for. The ability to bake and serve real food from a working oven without the supervision of a parent or the fear of fire is one of the most wonderful gifts a toy company (in this case, Kenner Products) has given to youth. I was the youngest in a family of five children and did not have an Easy-Bake Oven to call my own. That honor fell to my three older sisters who, in 1971, were given reign over an avocado-green model (which made for quite a contrast with our harvest gold-themed kitchen). Despite ruling the Easy-Bake roost (and continually telling me that I was adopted-a story for another time), my sisters often let me participate in their baking sessions. I vividly recall peering through the watch-it-bake window, waiting impatiently as the light bulb worked its magic on the just-add-water mixes we had prepared. The results never looked like the pictures on the box, but they were delicious, and they were ours! As I started to pay homage to those memories, this book rather unexpectedly became something more. It became an exploration of innovation, history, economics, commerce, advertising, and marketing. The story of the Easy-Bake Oven is a microcosm of post-war America. It demonstrates how the energies of technical innovation shifted after the war effort toward consumers. It traces the birth and evolution of a new popular culture that celebrated American invention and playfulness while reinforcing family-oriented values and traditional gender roles. On a more personal note, this book also became a collage of many things that I enjoy: nostalgia, an affinity for vintage toys, a heavy dose of baking, and a love of dessert. My hope is that you will enjoy this retrospective as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to life. About the Author Todd Coopee is an award-winning author, toy historian, and entrepreneur. He is founder and editor-in-chief of, an online publication that covers toys and games past and present. His research and writing centers on "toy nostalgia" -- the objects that inspired curiosity, thought, and experimentation during the formative years of popular culture in North America, through to the present day.

Package Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches

Languages: English