Newest Review: ... regular use. This cooker does switch itself off - or enter 'sleep mode'- when not in use which helps here. Since Baby CrazyEgg was belo... more
If only my kids could really cook for me
Casdon 477 Toy Hotpoint Electronic Cooker
Member Name: historywitch
Casdon 477 Toy Hotpoint Electronic Cooker
Advantages: Small, easy to store, reasonably priced, lots of noises, lights and extras.
Disadvantages: Small, flimsy oven doors
Both of my children love imaginary play, especially when they are mimicking something that I or their dad do. We have a large plastic kitchen but due to its size it lives outside in the playhouse, which means its inaccessible during the winter behind bikes and slides and balls. My 2 year old son in particular loves to pretend to cook so for last Christmas I suggested that my brother buy him this little cooker - which firmly cemented him as BEST UNCLE EVER. It retails at £25 but it is currently £14.99 on Amazon and is part of a range from Casdon that includes a sink unit and a washing machine of the same size and a similar price.
The first thing I noticed about it was its size. At 30 centimetres high and 25 centimetres wide and deep it is not very big at all and I had visions of my children getting fed up of crouching on the floor to use it. In design it does look very similar to our current cooker, with buttons instead of knobs and halogen hobs rather than gas but generally very realistic rather than an obvious toy. There is a small amount of assembly to do before playing can commence- the cooker requires three C batteries (the big round cylinders) in the compartment in the back, which of course needs a screwdriver to undo. Stickers come with the toy too, but of course the children took charge of these so they are on the side of the toy rather than in their correct places on the front.
At 2.5 kg the toy is quite light, my two year old manages to carry it around easily, but the quality feels good at first. However the two doors are flimsy, not just the plastic doors themselves but also the way they are fixed onto the oven. We have already had to slot the doors back on four or five times since Christmas, luckily they go in fairly easily. The instructions say that they are designed to come off easily so they don't get broken irretrievably, but the plastic is so flimsy that every time I have to put them on I am terrified that I will snap off a crucial piece.
The seven buttons on the top are better quality and I have just taken the opportunity to have a play and work out their function (review writing is a hard old job). Four buttons on the left work the hobs on top, each button corresponding to a hob. When you press a button the hob lights up for about ten seconds and a static noise is heard, which I assume is supposed to sound like cooking. You can only have one hob lit at a time which is a shame, although you don't have to wait for one hob to finish before pressing another, you can just press another button.
The middle button is a mystery button. I pressed it and it made a tiny static noise and stopped. I assume it is either broken.......mystery solved, whilst I was typing the cooker went ding ding ding randomly, so I'm guessing it's a pretend food timer. The final two buttons make LED lights in either the top or bottom oven light up with more of the static scary cooking noise.
Also the cooker comes with two oven shelves (when there are three spaces for shelves inside), pans with lids (four pans, three lids), a grill pan, a baking tray and a selection of plastic play food . All of these are mediocre quality, they wouldn't stand up for regularly being stood on and dropped but they aren't flimsy enough to fall apart instantly.
When my son opened this on Christmas day he wouldn't open any more of his presents until he had played with this for at least an hour. The thrill of having a cooker like the grown-ups has faded slightly but this is still a toy that he will play with every day for at least twenty minutes. It is also a lovely toy for him to play with his older sister with, she is much more willing to play cooking than do puzzles or read him stories. They play very nicely with this together. I can't see why this is a toy recommended for 3+ as my two year old gets so much pleasure out of it and there is nothing to hurt him or to be swallowed. I can see his interest in it growing even bigger as he gets older and into even more imaginative games. I like this cooker as it is not particularly loud, the noises do not last very long and it is very easy to store, so it is a toy that can live in my son's small bedroom or be brought down to the lounge very easily. If you only have a small house then this is an ideal toy as it allows a child to play imaginative games without taking up huge amounts of space.
The size doesn't seem to faze either of my children either, the six year old crouches and the two year old kneels and sometimes they put it on a chair or table to allow them more access. The only negative with this oven is the flimsy plastic doors but it wouldn't prevent me from buying it again, especially at its current £14.99 price on Amazon which makes it a bargain.
Summary: Nice petite cooker toy
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