A trip down Toy Memory Lane

LOS ANGELES (CIRCA) - Since its debut in 1963, the Easy-Bake Oven has been one of the hottest-selling holiday toys of all time. But despite the toy's unprecedented success, it was far from the first of its kind.


For about as long as there have been ovens, there have been children's versions of them. Back in the late 1800s, when the cast-iron stove was used, there was even a supposedly kid-friendly version of that.

Sounds safe, right? Well, that's where Kenner Products comes in.

Kenner is perhaps best known for creating the original line of "Star Wars" action figures in the 1970s -- some of the most valuable in the world today. But before that, Kenner designer Ronald Howes came up with the idea for a safe children's oven after spotting a street vendor keeping pretzels warm with just a light bulb.

The original design featured two 100-watt incandescent bulbs capable of reaching high enough temperatures to bake virtually anything. By utilizing a simple household product like a light bulb -- together with a design that kept the heat source inaccessible to the user -- Kenner created a product that could be easily marketed to parents as safe. In fact, Kenner originally tried to call the invention the "Safety Bake Oven."

Got to be honest with you.  Although i always looked at this as a girl's toy, I really wanted one.  Just for the food!  Luckily my sister got one and I reaped the benefits!

Bill Black

Bill Black

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