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I love a good bargain and when it comes to Christmas I start buying for my daughter in January and buy presents when I see them on offer throughout the year and put them away for either her birthday or Christmas. This Winnie the Pooh kitchen was purchased in January 2011 to give to her Christmas last year.
The kitchen isn't that widely available to purchase at the moment, but when I purchased it I knew it was being sold by a few places like Tesco, Boots and play.com. I think I paid £11 for this when it was in the sale.
The kitchen comes in a lovely Winnie the Pooh branded box, it also comes in pieces so it needs to be set up. Patiently Christmas Eve morning I set up setting the kitchen up and realised why it was so cheap. Putting it together wasn't too much of a problem with it being in three main parts, the bottom, the sink middle part and the top back part, these simply clicked into place without any trouble. The main Winnie the Pooh back part of the kitchen is just a piece of cardboard that slots into the back. The hob for the kitchen required 2 x AA batteries, this makes it light up and make boiling noises when the three knobs are turned.
After I had built the kitchen I wrapped it up ready for Christmas morning, everything was set up and I sat down to watch rubbish Christmas television when the hob started making random noises. Beneath the wrapping paper the hob carried on making its boiling noises despite me turning the knobs off before wrapping. It's safe to say I had an early night to get away from the annoying sound.
My daughter was pleased with the kitchen as soon as she opened it. Although it is quite flimsy, it still features all of the normal pieces on a toy kitchen with a washing machine, oven that opens up, knobs and dials and of course the kitchen sink. Another good thing about the kitchen is that it came with some accessories so you don't have to go out and buy this that and the other to be able to play with it. Most of the accessories were cutlery but a few cups, salt and pepper shakes and a saucepan were included. These were also made from a flimsy type of plastic.
The dials on the hob were quite difficult for my two year old daughter to turn at first as they were quite stiff, however after a couple of months she did manage to loosen them up and could do them herself. A few months after Christmas the kitchen was put up in her bedroom along with some of her other toys, this was a good idea to start with as it meant I got some of my lounge back. It didn't last long though as the hob started randomly making the boiling noises out of the blue like it did on Christmas Eve. I have no idea why this happened as there were a few months where it didn't make any noises on its own, it still baffles me today. I've taken the batteries out of it now as that way I don't have to worry about it waking her up in the night.
The flimsy nature of the kitchen doesn't make it the best thing to purchase for a heavy handed toddler. The oven door has fallen off quite a few times and the slots that the cardboard back piece was slotted into have all bent and the cardboard doesn't stay in place anymore. Half of the cutlery included has had to be thrown away as my daughter chewed them so much they didn't just have teeth marks in them, they were bent and just generally ruined. It's almost been a year since my daughter received the kitchen and it's been ready for toy heaven for a long time.
At only £11 I don't think I got a bad deal, however I would have rather spent a little more money and got a half decent kitchen that would last for a good few years. I've actually bought a wooden kitchen for Christmas this year so that it lasts! The Winnie the Pooh design of this one is nice, however the build quality is bad and for that reason I wouldn't recommend it.