A toaster does one thing and does it well: it cooks bread. So if there’s one appliance you would never think to change, it would probably be the toaster. If it ain’t broke, after all, why fix it?

Because we can, and because the results can be very, very cool.

Side-Order Toasters

The newest iteration of toaster is one that has been ‘bred’ with another appliance. You’ve heard of ‘convergence’ entertainment devices, well these are convergence home appliances.

Breville started the trend with the Ikon Kettle and Toaster ($150), a kind of two-in-one breakfast solution that joins the toaster and the jug at the hip. There’s no special technology at work here, simply a two-slice toaster and kettle that compact together for smaller spaces.

While tea and toast might be your perfect way to greet the morning, more substantial appetites will find satisfaction in Tefal’s offering, which combines a toaster with an egg cooker. In four minutes, the Toast n Egg 2-slice Toaster ($80) will toast two slices of bread AND poach or boil eggs to serve atop them.

Tefal's Toast n Egg 2-slice Toaster

Transparent Toasters

Whether it’s psychology, biology or merely gazing at fish in an aquarium, we seem to be fascinated with the internal ‘life’ of almost everything. How else could you account for the Vision Toaster (Currently only available in the UK at £160, approx. $280 AUD) from Magimix, a see-through toaster that allows you to achieve the kitchen equivalent of watching paint dry – seeing bread go brown.

The Magimix Vision Toaster

Sci-Fi Toasters

If you’re a science fiction buff, you’ll love either Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica – possibly both. What better way to start your day, then, than with a slice of Turkish emblazoned with the helmet of Darth Vader, or a chunk of grain mix embossed with the singed outlines of a Cylon ready to blow you to hell. The Star Wars Darth Vader toaster will set you back $US55 while the Battlestar Galactica Cylon Toaster was originally made for the San Diego’s massive comic book convention Comic-Con and can now be found by scouring eBay.

Toast the dark side: The Star Wars Darth Vader toaster

Printable Toaster

The next stage of toaster evolution may be the printable toaster, a concept spawned via a design contest and currently in development by home appliance giant, Electrolux. The Scan Toaster prints news, weather, and even images onto your toast using a USB connection from your home computer. Once a file has been “printed,” the toaster uses small rotating hot wires to burn information directly into the bread. When developed, this innovation could allow you to read the news on your breakfast as you eat!

Electrolux's Scan Toaster, a concept toaster that can print news, weather, and images onto your toast.