Sunbeam Mixmaster Professional

Made by Sunbeam Corporation Limited in China, Asia, 2003-2004.

The Sunbeam Mixmaster Professional represents a modern interpretation of a classic consumer product. Introduced into the Australian market in 1948, the Mixmaster became famous in Australia and around the world.

The Mixmaster Professional was developed in response to a market opportunity identified by Sunbeam - the appeal of ‘retro inspired’ products such as the Volkswagon Beetle (1998) and the Mini Cooper (1997). The intial product concept brief from September 2000 called for ‘a heavy duty mix...


Object No.


Physical Description

Sunbeam 'Mixmaster Professional' Model MX8800 electric food mixer with accessories, packaging and instruction booklet, metal / plastic / paper / cardboard, designed by Sunbeam Corporation Ltd, Botany, New South Wales, Australia, maker unknown, China, 2003-2004

The Sunbeam Mixmaster Professional (model number MX8800) is a full diecast stand mixer used for the mixing of wet and dry ingredients to an even consistency. It is primarily used to mix flour and water or milk to make cakes, bread or biscuits. It is supplied with large and small stainless steel mixing bowls and three types of beaters designed specifically for their tasks: standard 'V-groove' beaters for general purpose mixing; whisks for aerating ingredients like cream and eggs; and dough hooks for heavy mixing and kneading of dough.

The form of the Mixmaster Professional was inspired by the Mixmasters from the 1940s and 1950s. The red exterior is the traditional 'Sunbeam red' advertising colour. The open handle and rear mounted controls reflect the styling of the 1940s and 1950s Mixmasters. The beaters are offset from the centre of the bowl to move ingredients away from the bowl wall and beat all of the mix. The offset head allows users to gain access to the bowl for easy addition of ingredients. The head tilts and locks into up and down positions allowing the user to eject bowls and beaters once mixing is complete.

The Mixmaster uses a patent-pending drive system comprising twin fixed beaters and a motor driven bowl. The twin motor design enables one motor to drive the beaters, each turning in opposite directions. The second motor drives the bowl, which in combination with the beaters results in a '3-way' beating action. The 650 Watt motor is cooled by air flowing from the inlet at the front of the body through to the outlet at the rear of the body.

The packaging consists of a colour printed cardboard box, instruction booklet, guarantee, brochure and swing tag.



The Sunbeam Mixmaster Professional was designed by Sunbeam Corporation Ltd, also called Sunbeam Australia, in Botany, NSW, Australia, in 2000-2001. The initial idea for the product came from Richard Hoare, who at the time was the leader of the Sunbeam design group and later became Design Director for Breville Design. Ian Allen was the senior designer who developed the form and made the intial foam and wood design models. Nick Edmonds integrated the engineering requirements into the predetermined form of the product. This project was unusual because the external form was developed prior to the engineering and technical aspects.

The Mixmaster Professional was developed in response to a market opportunity identified by Sunbeam, the appeal of 'retro inspired' products. The intial product concept brief dated 23 September 2000 and written by the Sunbeam marketing department called for 'a heavy duty mixer'... 'reminiscent of our famous models from the 40s and 50s'. It 'should have a retrospective and classic look which will enable it to remain timeless'. The brief required it to have a die cast body, a price target of $300 and be of long-lasting commercial quality.

The main challenges in developing the Mixmaster Professional were related to implementing the dual drive motor system into the external form of the product. Traditionally the drive system for the bowl has been operated by a belt. In this product the belt system was found to be inadequate so the designers used a worm gear drive system. The bowl is driven by a motor that is independent to the drive of the beaters and the speed of each motor is independently controlled to ensure the optimum mixing speed. The motors use a feedback sensor to ensure the best motor speed is maintained as more ingredients are added and the load increases.

The Mixmaster Professional was first manufactured in China in 2002 and launched into the Australian market in November 2002. It was also sold in blue, yellow and white powder coated finishes and brushed or polished chrome as part of the 'Cafe Series' range.

Australian Design Registration Number 144866


Sunbeam Corporation Limited 2003-2004


Sunbeam Corporation Limited 2000-2001



This Mixmaster Professional was lent to the Museum by Sunbeam Australia for display in the exhibition 'Sydney designers unplugged: people, process, product' from 6 August to 9 October 2005. It has not been used.

Founded in America, the Australian history of Sunbeam dates back to 1904 when a small branch of the American-based Chigaco Flexible Shaft Company opened in Sydney. The company later became Cooper Engineering Company (CEC) and in 1946 its name changed to Sunbeam as its focus shifted to small appliances. Sunbeam in Australia remained part of the American parent company until it became Australian-owned in 1987. In 2005 Sunbeam Australia was part of the Australasian manufacturing and marketing company GUD Holdings Ltd along with Victa, Davey, Oates and Ryco companies.

The first Sunbeam appliance to be made in Australia was the Mixmaster 9B in 1948. This product was an American design that became famous in Australia and around the world. It wasn't until the late 1970s - early 1980s that Sunbeam first began designing appliances in Australia and employed its first industrial designers. The first products developed in the 1970s were a vertical grill, a horizontal grill, toasters and steam irons. Prior to this product designs were imported from the US and manufactured here, with little alteration which would be done by engineers. The first major change to the Mixmaster design occurred in 1981 when local Sunbeam designers created the Mixmaster MX001. In this case the aim was to reduce the cost of manufacture, but the designer also gave the Mixmaster a completely new look.

In 2002-2003 Sunbeam Australia and Wilson Product Development developed an improved three-way mixing technology that used a twin motor system. This technology was first used in the Mixmaster Compact, a plastic moulded stand mixer with a removable handmixer. The new mixing technology was then combined with styling of the 1940s and 1950s to create the Mixmaster Professional for the premium market.

Sunbeam's Campsie factory closed in July 2002 and the company was substantially restructured and all manufacturing moved off-shore. In 2005 the company was designing about 25 new products a year in its Botany studio. These designs were made by Chinese manufacturers and sold by Sunbeam and other companies around the world.


Credit Line

Gift of Sunbeam Corporation Ltd, 2005

Acquisition Date

7 December 2005

Cite this Object


Sunbeam Mixmaster Professional 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 October 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Sunbeam Mixmaster Professional |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 October 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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