Just because it's cheap, doesn't make it good
Barbie Mini Kitchen
Member Name: Autarkis
Barbie Mini Kitchen
Date: 07/11/12, updated on 02/06/13 (87 review reads)
Advantages: Might hold the attention of an avid Barbie fan
Disadvantages: Cheaply made
I had considered buying my son a play kitchen; however, I wasn't sure if this would be a wise buy, as I was unsure if it would be a toy that he would enjoy. Considering many play kitchens are fairly expensive, I decided against buying one for the time being. That was until I was having a mad moment whilst in Debenhams. They had a few toys on sale, after picking up a few bits, I then went back to peruse the shelves once more when I happened on the Barbie mini kitchen. (Yes, I thought the same). However, seeing as though it was reduced down to £10 I thought it seemed like a bargain.
I would associate Barbie products as good quality. My daughter collected the Barbie dolls when she was little, and they always seemed well made (even if boring, to me.) I don't like the idea of gender specific toys as I think children should have free choice.
Walking home with a large box under my arm, I thought to myself, it has to be worth £10, and he might like it. I would hate to spend five times that amount and discover that I had wasted my money. So I thought buying a play kitchen in the sale would be a good opportunity to see if this would be a toy that he may like.
Upon opening the box, I was surprised to see four pieces of thin plastic that are to be mounted together to assemble the kitchen. The base of the kitchen unit pulls into shape, as it has two folds in the plastic. The top fits over this to hold it in place, and the hood goes on top of that. The pieces are just slotted together, and it takes literally a minute to be assembled by one person. The finished product will make you gasp in surprise at just how tacky the finished product looks.
If you wish you can decorate the kitchen with the pretty Barbie stickers that are provided. I decided against this, as it already looked garish enough. Whilst I like pink, the cheap plastic and combination of yellow, purple and far too much pink with a touch of orange is all a bit too sickly sweet. In a word, the Barbie kitchen looks, cheap.
I would imagine anyone that had paid full price for the kitchen might be a bit miffed, as it leaves a lot to be desired. As well as being unsightly, it is small measuring 65 x 25 x 42 cm, and it is incredibly flimsy. It doesn't take much effort to knock it over, as it is lightweight and incredibly feeble.
A few accessories are provided with the kitchen, namely some tiny cups that look more like thimbles, plates, a dish rack, kettle, and an oven dish complete with a lid. Yes, all in bright garish colours. The kitchen comprises of what I assume is an oven, or maybe in could be a cupboard. I'm sure the child can decide on this. The flimsy purple door opens to reveal a small space inside, which doesn't fit much in. On each side of the kitchen there are two shelves which can be used to place the cups on. The kitchen top is a little uninspiring with a tiny sink which isn't deep enough to fit anything in, so not much make believe play can be had here. Next to this is the hob, which features one gas ring, and confusingly the sink drainer is on the other side. Not a very well thought out design, then. There are a couple of hooks either side of the kitchen hood to hand the utensils.
Turning the kitchen around is rather disappointing, too, as there is nothing there, not even a panel for neatness or sturdiness.
My son was curious with the kitchen, and he enjoyed mainly playing with the oven. He had fun creating dinosaur stew, and he enjoys stacking the dishes into the rack. Unfortunately, the kitchen doesn't hold his attention for long, and after the first 15 minutes the novelty wears off. He often takes the hood off to sit on it, and he can then also perch himself on the top of the kitchen. In the last few months that we have had the kitchen it has hardly been played with, as it is an uninspiring toy that just doesn't capture his imagination. I think the poorly designed and built kitchen leaves a lot to be desired, and it was most certainly a dud choice. I obviously wasn't thinking on that day, and have no idea why I purchased it.
This toy will be sent off to the charity shop, and I cannot wait to see the back of it. The bright and garish cheap piece of plastic really is a poor toy.
Summary: Garish and not a lot of fun