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Girl's campaign for gender-neutral Easy-Bake Ovens succeeds

December 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Hasbro announced it would offer gender-neutral Easy-Bake Ovens after a New Jersey girl asked the company to make the product for both boys and girls.

McKenna Pope, 13, gathered more than 40,000 signatures on an online petition to call for the unisex oven and include boys in the toy's ads. She had shopped for her 4-year-old brother seeking one of the toy ovens and only found purple and pink ovens marketed to girls.

Hasbro met with Pope and her family to display a prototype of the new oven, which is black, silver and blue. Hasbro said it's been working on the new design and color scheme for 18 months.

Hasbro said the classic toy has had about a dozen different color schemes, from yellow to green to teal to silver, since being introduced in 1963. The most recent oven, introduced in 2011, is mostly purple with pink accents.

Hasbro said it's sold well since then, and that prompted the company to look for a way to update it and to broaden the consumer base by doing it in different colors.

Hasbro plans to introduce the new color scheme at the industry's Toy Fair in New York in February. Shoppers will likely see it on store shelves next summer.

"I think that they really met most or even all of what I wanted them to do, and they really amazed me," she said, adding that her brother thought the new design was "awesome."

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay supported Pope's petition.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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