BEST. GIFTS. EVER. Advent Calendar Day 12: Bake Off!

Best Gifts Ever

We’re right in the middle of our BEST. GIFTS. EVER. advent calendar, so I hope your appetites are ready for another BATTLE POST!


When you’re older, a few years age difference might not be a big deal, but as a kid it’s major. Generational differences can seem to set in with siblings even only a few years older or younger than you, and when you factor in an actual decade of changing tastes you begin to feel like everyone not the same age as you are either babies or cavemen. “Up your nose with a rubber hose,” you scream at them as they stare back blankly, occasionally referring to you as “gnarly.” People are warned not to “mess with bulls unless they want the horns,” and in utter confusion, those same people wonder aloud, “did I do that?”

With our Battle Posts we hope to capitalize on that generational strife.

Two similar toy-lines from two different periods. Generation vs. GenerationOriginality vs. RefinementGooey Garbage vs. Rubbery Crap – Which shall prevail?

Easy-Bake Oven (1963) by Kenner/Hasbro


Micro-Bake Oven (1994) by JusToys

Baking Toys

  1. A staple since the sixties!
  2. “Cooked” your pastry-mixes via a warming light bulb
  3. Directed at girls for years, but eventually went “semi” gender-neutral

  1. A modern twist on an old-fashioned idea!
  2. “Cooked” your pastry-mixes by using the family microwave. Huh.
  3. Launched in the 90s, yet still needed to specify that mom managed the microwave

It may not seem like a challenge today, but in the mid-90s the Micro-Bake Oven threatened to topple industry giant Easy-Bake for several reasons. 1. For years people have grown accustomed to being disappointed by the uncooked mess that came out of their light bulb ovens. 2. Microwaves were finally determined to be safe for the entire nuclear family. 3. It had a far catchier theme song in its commercials. I think the worst thing the Micro-Bake had going for it was that the company that put it out was called JusToys, which is both hard to capitalize and somewhat of a downer. Hasbro still makes Easy-Bakes, of course, but now they have a dedicated heating element, and are thus less fun to give to little kids you plan on disappointing. Kid ovens have always had this sense of sadness surrounding them, whether because they didn’t work well or because they always lead to such dated gender stereotypes, but one question above all has haunted this variety of “toy” – and here is an answer taken from the current Easy-Bake instruction manual:

Question: Why wouldn’t I just use a real oven?
Answer: The EASY-BAKE brand is a fashionable fun food brand that inspired tween girls to bake, share and show their creativity and expertise through an immersive brand experience.


If you have any actual fond (or aggravating) stories to tell about this toy, please share it in the comments. My experience here is limited, but I can sure tell you that my sister loved her’s (at the ripe-old age of 21).

Got a fond gift memory you’d like to share? Simply email and ask us about writing a guest post!

We’re always interested in hearing from fans and sharing their stories. And if you are a toy maker or seller interested in sponsoring a post, we can make that happen too!


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