Take this as a sign of government-mandated efficient lighting times. The Easy-Bake Oven, the child's toy that has been cranking out cookies and cakes for nearly 50 years, has lost its 100-watt incandescent light bulb.
The latest design -- the eleventh since 1963 -- is called the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven and features a new heating element similar to a traditional oven, the AP reported. The decal-adorned plastic facade and the fake stove top (the photo lower right) have been replaced with a slick, modern and very purple design. And at $49.99, it's nearly 67 percent more expensive than the previous version.
Government-mandated lighting standards have ushered in compact fluorescents that are far more energy efficient than the traditional incandescent bulbs. The efficiency is so great that there's no longer enough wasted heat to bake a brownie.
Hasbro actually introduced an oven sans light bulb back in 2003, but switched back to the traditional "heating source" in the next redesign. Now that traditional inefficient incandescents are being phased out, Hasbro has turned once again to the light bulb-less oven.
Easy Bake lovers, take heart. Getting rid of the light bulb has solved hot spot problems and improves the overall baking results, Joe Cacciola, president of Fuzion Design the firm that worked on the redesign, told the AP.
On a side note: Maybe this new version won't cause any partial finger amputations.
Photo: Hasbro; Consumer Product Safety Division