When Garfield, N.J. eighth grader McKenna Pope noticed that Easy-Bake Ovens were marketed solely to little girls, she was bummed. You see, Pope's four-year-old brother is a budding chef and she wanted to get him the oven so he can bake her some damn cookies. She was (rightfully) miffed, and so she penned a petition to ask Hasbro to change its sexist-ass ways.
The petition now has close to 45,000 signatures and even better, the ears of Hasbro execs. Earlier today, the toy company announced it would be releasing a gender neutral version of the oven in February 2013.
Hasbro invited McKenna and her family to its Pawtucket, R.I., headquarters to meet with its Easy-Bake team, and on Monday, they drove to Rhode Island from New Jersey. During the meeting, Hasbro executives showed off a prototype of their newest Easy-Bake: one that's black, silver and blue.
Hasbro has been working on the new color scheme and design for about 18 months, and decided to invite McKenna to see it and offer her thoughts, said John Frascotti, Hasbro's chief marketing officer.
McKenna said the company is doing everything she asked, including putting boys in the ads.
"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 Gavyn thought the new design was "awesome."
Evidence that one tenacious girl can make a difference. High five, McKenna!
The oven will hit store shelves next summer, but look for some
advertising on the airwaves before. Now, let's just hope the ads don't show the boys baking miniature steaks while the girls shake virgin martinis in the background. Or, let's really hope for that. Either way.
APNewsBreak: Unisex Easy-Bake oven on the way [Miami Herald]