Thread Number: 42388  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Sunbeam Contemporary Classics Toaster?
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Post# 445905   9/11/2021 at 13:55 (390 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Saw this on eBay. Not in the greatest shape, but I've never seen one with this style graphics on the shade adjustment: "Sunbeam Contemporary Classics". Nor does it show up on the Sunbeam automatic toaster site. Was this possibly the last model made?

Doing a search for Sunbeam Contemporary Classics, I found they also made a matching chrome/black Mixmaster stand mixer. The plastic one with push button ejector, no power takeoff port, a bowl light, and stainless steel bowls.

I wonder if there were other appliances in this series?


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Post# 445934 , Reply# 1   9/12/2021 at 10:54 (390 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Did a little more digging - apparently the Contemporary Classics was a lineup that Sunbeam-Oster offered with some of their classic models in chrome finish. Meant to be a retro line, but in this case, the models are more or less identical to the older ones, hence "Contemporary Classics".

I have a 1994 JCPenney catalog that has these in it I had forgotten. The lineup consisted of:

-The Sunbeam Automatic Toaster
-The Sunbeam 12 Speed Electronic Mixmaster
-Osterizer 2 Speed Blender
-Sunbeam Percolator (Can't find examples of this one online)
-Milkshake Mixer (Can't find any examples of this one online either)
-Sunbeam Electric Kettle

Of those, only the first four were in the JCPenney catalog. They were also quite pricey, the toaster's price was $89, which is expensive today, let alone in 1994.

So this was likely one of the last models of Sunbeam automatic toaster. Apparently it's number is the same as ones that have different graphics on the toasting scale, but I believe the scale graphics are the only difference. The catalog lists all four except the percolator as being made in US, the percolator was imported from Korea.


Post# 445935 , Reply# 2   9/12/2021 at 15:25 (389 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I think I saw one of the mixers at Goodwill yesterday. It was mostly white with a chrome top and black control knob, handle and beater eject button. It was very similar to a 90th anniversary model I'd had at one time and gave to a then-girlfriend (haven't missed either of them).

The price was tempting at $10 but it was missing its turntable and had a small stainless steel bowl with it that was obviously not for that mixer. I don't really need it but if I'm lacking sanity tomorrow afternoon, I can get it for $9 (10% off) on senior day. Of course, I'd then be spending at least that for a turntable. Probably not worth it.


Post# 445936 , Reply# 3   9/12/2021 at 16:48 (389 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I think I know the one you're talking about, chrome top with bowl light, correct? Stainless bowls would be correct for that one actually. The Contemporary Classic version was like that but all chrome.

There were two others during that period, that were all white with a gold stripe on the motor and no bowl light. They were the 60th Anniversary model from 1990 and the 65th from 1995. They had clear glass bowls. I kind of like those because they were what I remember as a kid in the 90s, and even then I knew their design was iconic. Even though I didn't know anything about Mixmasters then.

I have a 1-7A from the 70s with metal motor and power takeoff port so I haven't had any reason to get one of the later ones. But I do like their simple black and white look.


Post# 445941 , Reply# 4   9/12/2021 at 17:40 (389 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Yeah, the white one I had was one of those with the gold stripe on either side. When I gave it to my then girlfriend, she promptly tore the stripes and the anniversary sticker off because she thought they made it look gaudy.

The reason I said the bowl with the one I saw yesterday was obviously not for a Mixmaster is it was flat on the bottom, lacking the lip that seats it properly on the turntable. Just for fun, I looked on eBay and the cheapest I could find a turntable for it is about $15, almost twice the price of the mixer itself.

I've got two '70s vintage Mixmasters, a chrome and brown Mixmaster Vista with the work light underneath the motor and an all chrome one with brown accents and no work light so the one I saw yesterday would be quite superfluous for me, even if it were complete. But then again, I do own about 30 vacuum cleaners...


Post# 445947 , Reply# 5   9/12/2021 at 21:03 (389 days old) by mjhoshaw (Western PA)        
They're milking the old designs for all they're wort

I'm shocked but not surprised at the price that the Sunbeam T-20 toaster and its progeny command nowadays. Back in the early 2000s I bought a like-new T-20B that was made on the day I was born. It still works perfectly, and I use it with some regularity. When I struck out on my own in the early 80s I bought Sunbeam's then-current iteration of this model. The radiant control never worked as well as the one in my 1956 model. Sunbeam reached perfection decades ago.

Post# 445949 , Reply# 6   9/12/2021 at 21:33 (389 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        
Were

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The Sunbeam T-20 toaster ended production in 1997. I believe it was revived for one year in Australia in 2001, but other than that the Automatic Toaster is long ago discontinued.

I really do wonder why such a design isn't being produced today. I'm aware of some actual motorized auto lower/raise models being made, Cuisinart, Breville, KitchenAid, Kenmore, maybe others have sold some, but none with the simple Sunbeam resistance wire design.

I would think whatever patent Sunbeam held for the resistance lift design would have long expired. So why has nobody else seemingly tried this? Or at least Sunbeam themselves could come up with something similar to bring back. They do still make a few "retro" made in China Mixmaster models after all, why not a retro Automatic Toaster? I wouldn't think it would cost much more to make than a simple lever model.



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