Hasbro embraces gender neutrality for popular toy

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By Chris Huqueriza

A gender-neutral Easy-Bake oven in black and silver will make its debut as Hasbro reveals their new toy line in 2013. 

New Jersey resident McKenna Pope, 13, campaigned – asking Hasbro to make the toy for all kids regardless of gender. Pope was inspired to do so after trying to shop for her 4-year-old brother, Gavyn. He wanted an Easy-Bake oven, but Hasbro only produced the popular toy in the “traditional girl” colors of pink and purple. 

After launching the petition on change.org, Pope received over 45,000 signatures, including the personal support of TV Personality Chef Bobby Flay.

“I’m thrilled that they not only recognize the importance of a gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven, but also, they’ve committed to launching one in 2013,” Pope said in a statement. “Now, boys and girls can choose any color oven they want!” 

For almost 18 months, Hasbro worked on the new design and the new color features. And for the first time since the oven’s inception in 1962, boys will be included in the product’s advertisements.  

The toy maker’s Chief Marketing Officer, John Fracotti, later invited Pope to check out the new product and see if it fit her criteria. 

“It’s actually a product that’s played with by both boys and girls,” Frascotti said. “We will continue to offer the existing product too because it’s so popular.”

The new Easy-Bake oven won’t be on store shelves until next summer, but the toy company hopes to introduce the new model in February during New York’s industry-wide Toy Fair.

“I think that they really met most or even all of what I wanted them to do,” said Pope.

After previewing the new oven model, Pope’s younger brother called the new product, “Awesome.”

 

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