I think it was released in around 2003 because my kids were tiny. I got it for them, along with the less-amazing "Pigs in Space" set (which, incidentally, you can get EASILY and for its original retail or less). Now, having survived being played with, moved around, and stashed in the garage for the last nearly decade, the kitchen is a display piece in our living room.
This set has so much detail, it is incredible. I cleared out all of the accessories so that you can see the bare kitchen:
|Palisades Swedish Kitchen Playset|
Everything is beautifully painted, from the wooden handles on the cast iron stove to the red tiles on the floor. Look around the amazingly detailed stove--notice that there is stone on the walls and floor around it! I love the fake glass cabinet fronts near the refrigerator and the old-fashioned telephone.
You can zoom in with a camera and I think it feels a little bit like you are looking at a real kitchen:
Almost every little drawer and cupboard opens. The exceptions are the cupboards over the fridge, the cupboards under the sink and the ones just to the right of the sink. Everything on the stove opens, and the refrigerator opens and is awesome inside.
Look at all of the cute shelves and doors inside the fridge! The doors inside the fridge don't open, which is too bad, but that would have been kinda of extraordinary.
I can totally picture standing at that sink, looking out the window and washing dishes or something, admiring my clean blue counter tops. I wish I had those in real life...
Any Muppet fans out there are familiar with the Swedish Chef. He has always been one of my favorite characters. The action figure of the Chef is pretty great, with Palisade's typical attention to detail:
He has a great outfit with a flexible (but not removable) plastic apron. It's a little weird that under his apron (yes, I peeked...) his pant front is just grey, not the neat plaid that it is in the legs and on the back. Oh, well. He has (looong) arms articulated at the elbow and shoulder. He can move his arms back and forth and also up and down, and his hands are sculpted to hold several of the tools that come with the set, including this cleaver:
My Chef's hat never went on his head right. It is supposed to attach with a magnet, but I think the magnet was put in backwards, or somehow its polarity got reversed, because it actually gets repelled from the head. This was a huge frustration when I first got the set, but now I don't really mind. It would not be an easy thing to fix.
Ok, so what about the accessories? Well, it's the Swedish Chef, so some of the accessories are...a little odd. Some of the things are normal, like these pots and pans and a lovely little tea kettle:
The radio is great and I love the silver mixer. There are also nested plastic mixing bowls and a fire extinguisher. We know the Chef needs that!
There's a meat tenderizer, a spatula, a wooden spoon and a wrench--which all seem fine and normal...
...but then there's also a tennis racket, some jumper cables (???) and a saw! Look at all of the paint details on these tools, though. Even the little metal screws in the saw handle are painted.
There's a ton of food, including a "talking" cake, pancakes (with butter!) on sausages, assorted veggies, flour, sugar (both in nicely printed cloth sacks) and all kinds of preserved meats:
The painted details on these foods are very well done, with only a few brush strokes gone wrong here and there.
So, here are some shots of it all put back together. It is so fun to arrange all of the accessories. There is a place for everything, and many different ways to arrange things:
Look at all of those tiny hooks on the brick wall for holding sausages and tools and anything you want! By the way, the set came with 4 plates...we have lost two of them, which is too bad. We also seem to be missing the salt shaker, but everything else has stuck with us through the years.
It is very fun to photograph this set!
Can be played with by 3 and up, but because of its collectable value, probably 10+
Amazing value. At the original retail price ($34.99) this was a steal. For the serious Muppet enthusiast, $100 mint in box on eBay might still be an ok deal.
Excellent quality. The set is all plastic, but the mechanical details (many of the doors open) and the painted details are really exceptional.
It comes in a window box, but I can’t remember much else! Sorry.
Absolutely. The proof is in the dramatic price increase. These are selling for $150-$250 on eBay now.
The toy offers a lot of creative play opportunities and also looks great on display. Great conversation piece. Many of the accessories are a bit odd. I have not found any other toy line figures that are scaled to this kitchen yet.