Thursday, August 15, 2013

Our Generation "Jenny and Her Gourmet Kitchen" Set

I am absolutely crazy about kitchen sets, as you know if you've read my Muppet kitchen review, my Li'l Woodzeez bakery review or my Monster High Coffin Bean comparison review.  Oh--and also my Kurhn kitchen set review and my Sylvanian Family bakery review.  Hm.  I didn't realize I had quite so many food-related play sets.  Anyway, I am also on a bit of a 18" play doll kick thanks to my recent introduction to American Girls.  So, my current obsessions certainly make this play set very timely, but I think it is an unequivocally neat kitchen set that might also be the best doll purchase bargain of the year.  If I had younger kids, this set would already be stashed away and ready for a big, wonderful surprise on Christmas morning.  It packs a huge amount of fun into a surprisingly small (yet still impressive) box.  In fact, there are so many pieces with this set, my usual review approach got a little ridiculous.  There are a ton of pictures in this post.  I have tried to make some of them small to save space, but as always, you can click on pictures to make them larger if you want to see more detail.  If you don't want to see pictures that ruin the surprise of what's in the box, just read the first few paragraphs after the jump.  There's a weird marketing thing going on and I don't want anyone to mistakenly buy the wrong set.

There's a lot to see here, so without any more delay, let's look at Our Generation Jenny and her Gourmet Kitchen Set.  Fasten your seat belts.

Our Generation Jenny and her Gourmet Kitchen.
So, I actually first saw this set on the Target website.   I was searching the supply of Our Generation articulated horses, and my kitchen radar went off.  The set sells for $61.99 and comes in grey and red. While I might have slightly preferred the red kitchen in the pictures, that color was temporarily sold out, and I thought the grey was more realistic.

I ordered the grey set and eagerly awaited its arrival.  Here it is:

Our Generation kitchen set
WOW!
It looks amazing.  Everything is tantalizingly displayed in an enormous cardboard window box.  You can see all of the accessories clearly, and they look great.  I was delighted with this purchase, and couldn't wait to rip it open and start my review.

However, before I had a chance to de-box this set, I was at one of my local Target stores and noticed that they were carrying a similar-looking product, "Jenny and her Gourmet Kitchen Set."  This set comes in a less-flashy cardboard box with no window.  It has all of the exact same kitchen items, but also includes Jenny herself and some extra outfit pieces.  It costs exactly $61.99--the same as the other set.  So...which one would you pick?  The over-packaged kitchen on its own, or the economy-packed kitchen with a free $20 doll and outfit?  Not a hard decision, at least for me.  I returned my mail-order kitchen and bought the Jenny set from my local store.  Interestingly, the other Target store nearby carries the kitchen set I ordered in the mail--and not the Jenny-plus-kitchen set.  

I hope I'm not the only one who thinks this is really strange.  Are they doing some market research on us over a Battat?  Are they trying to test whether we think a fancy display box is more important than the actual the contents of the box?  If so, I think it's a risky experiment.  If I had opened that large window box and wasn't able to return it, I'd feel pretty cheated when I realized that if I had simply gone to a different store, I could have gotten a much better set for the exact same price.

Our Generation kitchen set
Same price, very different products.
Before I launch into opening up this set, I want to show you another new product I saw at one of my Target stores: the Our Generation "R.V. Seeing You" camper ($59.99):

R.V. having fun yet?
The outside of the camper is made out of grey plastic.  The plastic is a bit flimsy, but the size is very impressive.  Inside the camper, there's a kitchen and a little sitting area.  The kitchen is quite detailed and seems to have a good number of accessories.  


The Our Generation dolls would be very cramped inside of this R.V.  A doll couldn't lie down on that little couch (it's too narrow), but I think a bed pulls out from the area underneath the couch.  That's pretty cool.



The R.V. set is neat, but for two dollars more, I think Jenny's Gourmet Kitchen is a better deal--especially because you essentially get a free doll.


The kitchen set comes in a very plain cardboard box.  There is no plastic on the box and no way to confirm the contents.  It seems a little hard to believe that they've packed an entire kitchen set and a doll into this box.  It's a big box, but it's not enormous.


This set also seems to include a book--which I did not see in the other set.


There's a huge list of contents on the back of the box.  I scanned this pretty thoroughly before I returned the other set, and everything that I could see in the other set is included here--plus the addition of a doll, her outfit, her cooking clothes, an extra pair of shoes, and a book...and maybe more.


With one end of the box open, you can see how everything fits like puzzle pieces into the small space:


I left the two big kitchen pieces in the box at first.  Here is everything else that is in this set:


The first thing I noticed is that Jenny is an Our Generation poseable doll.  This is fantastic because ever since my review of Charlotte (who is not poseable), I have been wanting to see what this other style of Our Generation doll is like.  The poseable dolls cost around $23 on their own, which makes this kitchen set an even better deal.

Jenny is really cute, with bright olive eyes and very long blonde hair.  She comes wearing a ruffled white collared blouse, a pink corduroy skirt, underwear, socks and yellow shoes.



My doll's face is warped, which makes one of her eyes glance off to the side a little bit.  Also, she has the same purple lips that my Charlotte has.  I don't think this is a great color choice for lips.


The eyes are neat, though.  While Charlotte had an almost floral pattern to her irises, Jenny has notched edges on her irises that remind me of gears:



The posing is a pretty big disappointment.  Rather than actual joints, Jenny has a wire armature inside arms and legs that are made out of flexible vinyl.  Her limbs can bend, but they look really funny when they're bent:


I would say that these limbs fold rather than bend.


What's worse is that if the limbs are left in a bent position for a while, the vinyl doesn't immediately go back to it's rounded shape when the limb is straightened.  Here's Jenny after her left leg was left in a bent position for a few hours (both leg wires are completely straight):


Jenny's hair is long and wavy.  It is very easy to brush and feels great.  I am curious to see how well this hair stands up to play because it seems wonderful right out of the box.  Even though the hair looks thick and full from a distance, it is a little thinly rooted toward the back of her head.



The vinyl in Jenny's limbs is softer than the vinyl in Charlotte's limbs, but other than that, it is difficult to tell which body is which from a distance:




Jenny seems to have wire armature in her torso, too, allowing her to do some pretty impressive back bends:



So, the posing doesn't improve these dolls at all, but I can't say that it makes them worse.  I don't really like the look of the bent limbs, so I just won't bend them.  

Jenny comes with a hardcover chapter book, The Sweet Shoppe Mystery:


The cover art is really nice, but the pictures inside the book have a different style and are in black and white:


I started reading this book, but it didn't really pull me in.  The writing style is very casual, using Jenny's voice in the first person.  

So, I had a hard time figuring out where to start with this review.  There's so much to look at, it's a little hard to focus.  I decided to open up the plastic bags of accessories one at a time and save the larger kitchen appliances for last.  

This first bag, from what I can tell, contains items that are only found in the kitchen set that includes Jenny.


There is a cardboard bookmark and a small catalogue displaying some of the Our Generation outfits :


There is an amazingly cute plastic and cloth pastry decorator:




There's an extra pair of mint green sneakers:


These shoes are fairly plain, and the fit is a little big on Jenny, which is odd.


There's also a cloth tote bag that says "Li'L Chef" on one side:

Ugh.  Weird capitalization.

And an apron:



The apron has a bib and ties that are made out of a translucent pink material that feels almost like plastic.  The bib has a slightly messy applied design that says, "i Baking," with a heart behind it.  I'm trying hard to ignore the grammar on this decal.

i Blogging.

The bottom of the apron is made out of a soft checkered pink fabric and has a ruffled hem.


Jenny also comes with a chef's shirt and hat:



The construction here is nice.  All of the little pink plastic buttons are anchored through the shirt--not glued to one side.



The last thing in the bag were these little checkered oven mitts.  They fit Jenny nicely and have ruffled edges and a loop of fabric that could be used to hang them on a hook:



Already, Jenny with her cooking outfit makes a pretty nice toy set.  Many of the accessories fit into the cute tote bag, and the chef's outfit, in particular, looks great on Jenny. 


The next bag I opened contained a bunch of accessories for the kitchen:



My favorite item from this group is a mini set of pink measuring spoons:



I also love this liquid measuring cup:


I holds real liquid:


There are six small shakers with differently-colored removable lids:



There are two plastic potted plants, and while the green in these pieces adds some nice color contrast to all of the grey and pink, the plants themselves are clunky and a little odd.  One of them is a cactus, and the other looks like broccoli, but might be something like parsley:



These two items look like mugs:

Or megaphones?
...but that's a pretty unstable design for a coffee mug!


There are three pink plastic canisters that really open:



There's a piece of swiss cheese:


And this:


What on Earth is this?  There are three attached oval shapes that kind-of look like eggs, but they're all different sizes, and they're much too big to be chicken eggs.  Ostrich eggs, maybe?  Huge mozzarella balls?  Alien pods?

                                   Take me to your leader...

There's a large oval sponge:


A spatula:


And a pink plastic phone:



I like these two little cans:
  

They don't open or anything, but the picture on the tuna fish can is adorable.  The designers even got the anatomy correct on the tuna, with two dorsal (top) fins and two ventral (bottom) fins:


Last, there were three baking trays in this bag: a muffin tin, a flat baking sheet, and a bread pan.  They're all made out of the same grey plastic:



The second bag I opened had another random collection of kitchen items:



My favorite thing in this bag is the pitcher and cup set.  These are made out of translucent red plastic and look very realistic:


I took the pitcher and a cup outside and filled them with real juice:


The pitcher is not water-tight.  It has a seam in the middle that is loose, and so all of the juice leaked out.  In fact, this pitcher runs the risk of splitting right down its seam.  

The cups are great, and hold liquid very well:


This bag also has some colorful heart-shaped and star-shaped baking pans, two cookie cutters, and four polka-dotted pink plates.  



There's also another muffin tin, but this one is made out of a shiny silver plastic and is square-shaped:


Here are the two muffin tins together so you can see the differences:


So, at this point in my de-boxing, all I had left to open were the refrigerator and the main kitchen piece.  I was getting a little worried, because several of the cool accessories that I had seen in the other kitchen set hadn't shown up in my set, despite being included in the long list on the back of the box.

Still, I forged ahead to look at the refrigerator.  The fridge is large and heavy.  It has a solid white plastic back and is a substantial 5.5 inches deep.  It is made out of shimmery grey plastic and has pink handles and a purple pretend water dispenser:



The edges of all the handles are shaped like flowers:


The doors open in a satisfying way--you have to put a little effort into pulling them open--almost as if they seal closed like the doors on a real fridge.  When I opened the doors, I was delighted to find two more bags of accessories.  De-boxing this set is like opening about ten different presents.  It's really, really fun.




I put the bags aside and took a closer look at the interior of the fridge.  There are three main shelves, two with drawers that open and close.  The drawers can be moved around to sit under different shelves, and the shelves themselves look like they can be removed and repositioned:




Actually, the shelves don't slide out of the fridge very easily.  I had to bend and twist this one to get it past the doors.  I won't do this again for fear of breaking the shelf.


One of the refrigerator doors has four stationary shelves, the other door has two covered shelves with lids that open and close.  All of the shelves are decorated with pink flowers and pink trim:


At the bottom of one refrigerator door is this funny unit with a hole at the bottom.  I have no idea what this is for.  It looks like a dispenser of some kind:


The back of the fridge is decorated with a sticker that has pictures of food.  The food is not aligned with the shelves, so it looks like it is floating:




This is a wonderful refrigerator.  It is heavy and realistic with several moving parts.  It does not seem the slightest bit flimsy to me.  The only notable flaws are that the shelves don't slide out easily and I think the decorative sticker is unnecessary.  


The bag that was stored in the freezer compartment holds a lot of items that are individually wrapped in tissue paper:

Secrets!
FOOD!
This bag has several food items in it, and a few kitchen utensils as well, like this delicate serving spoon:


There's a wonderful beater unit:




Two pink bowls with flower decals:


A spray bottle:



A soap dispenser:




A pink-handled whisk:




And a rolling pin with red handles:



Now, for the food!  There are three chocolate chip cookies:



Two plastic triangles that are painted to look like they have layers--maybe these are sandwiches or pieces of cake?



There's a nice collection of detailed plastic fruit, including a banana, an orange, a red pepper and a tomato:




The banana is my favorite piece of fruit.  It has some strange molded marks on one side, and a Battat stamp, but it is really nicely painted and has a great shape:



Somewhat out of place in this group of food is an enormous, yummy-looking banana split sundae:

The bananas are very realistic.  It makes me hungry.
The sundae is permanently attached to a clear plastic dish:

A dish with a handle.
There are three scoops of ice cream, each decorated with different toppings.  The strawberry scoop is supposed to have strawberry syrup on it, but the mold here is a little funny and the strawberry sauce looks like two tongues.  Also, I am not sure what the yellow pointed piece is on the opposite end.  Is that part of the banana peel?  I'll need to eat some banana splits to investigate further.

                       Fresh tongues on strawberry ice cream                     Marshmallow on chocolate ice cream

                          Fudge sauce on vanilla ice cream                                                        ???

This bag also had six colorfully frosted cupcakes:



And two nondescript (chocolate chip?) muffins:



The muffins are way too big for the long muffin tin.  Actually, the cupcakes don't fit perfectly into this tin, either:


They fit well enough, though.  If they jammed any further down into the cups, they might get stuck:


The muffins fit into the smaller muffin tin...sort-of.  They stick up out of the cups a fair bit, and they also bang into each other when they're placed side-by-side:



The muffins and cupcakes are fun and detailed and I doubt there will be many complaints from kids, but I wish that there were four muffins (to fill the pan) and that these baked goods fit into their respective pans a little bit better.


The other bag that was hidden inside the fridge is filled with paper goods:



There's a bright yellow sign advertising the Sweet Shoppe and a certificate acknowledging that Jenny graduated from Queen Bea's cake decorating school.  These are both in reference to the story that is included in this set.


I was interested to see that this bag contained a cardboard egg carton:


Not eggs, apparently. 
There's also a school cookbook (the pages turn, but they are blank):


And a loose recipe for making strawberry cupcakes.  I thought about testing this recipe with real ingredients...until I came to the part about baking the cupcakes in sunshine.

Hello, Salmonella food poisoning!
There's a blank sketch book that seems a little out-of-place, but is still really cute:


There's a cardboard ice cream cone box:


And a cardboard hamburger box


A paper bag for pastry flour:


A cardboard butter box:


And two cartons of milk--a larger (half gallon) 1% carton and a smaller (quart) 2% carton:



There's also a carton of organic fruit juice:



For the freezer, there's a colorful box of fruit pops:



And there are two boxes of cereal: one is a honey crunch variety that my son might eat:


The other is a strange sugar-free, high-fiber, whole grain, raisin flax cereal that seems to be sending some unsubtle messages about healthy eating.


My favorite piece in this bag is the tiny box of hot chocolate mix.


The box advertises "6 sachets" of cocoa:


And six tiny envelopes are actually included:


And they all fit into the box:

Super-cute.
I tried putting away some groceries in this refrigerator.  I have to say that this step was a bit of a let-down.  It's hard to make the fridge look full, and there are a few areas that won't hold many different items.


The red plastic cups fit in the water dispenser, but they teeter on the edge and fall out easily:


The butter won't fit in the compartment that looks like a butter drawer:


The eggs fit nicely, though:


The small milk and the juice fit in the door:


The fruit fits nicely in the big drawers, but the whole bottom shelf tips forward when you pull the full drawer out:


There are only two items that seem to be appropriate for the freezer, so it looks a little empty.  I could have included the hamburger, I guess, but I needed that box to make the upper part of the fridge look full.


I hope there are a few inexpensive food add-on sets in the future.  That would really add to the fun of this kitchen.

At last, I was ready to take a look at the rest of the kitchen. This piece is really large and includes a stovetop, an oven, a microwave, a sink and a dishwasher.  Like the fridge, this unit is heavy and solidly constructed.  Many doll kitchen sets have plain cardboard backings on them, but this set is made completely out of thick plastic--including the fake tile wall over the stove.



The left side of the kitchen has the microwave and the oven:


The microwave is not as amazing as the one on the American Girl Campus Snack Cart, but it has some pretend controls and a door that opens:



The stovetop has raised pink plastic burners:



The oven has five tiny knobs that actually turn, a storage drawer that opens (with a pot already inside!):




Here's the pot that was under the oven:


The main oven door also opens, and inside are more surprises!


Inside the oven, I found a pink dish drainer:


And a tissue-wrapped stack of bowls:




Between the oven area and the sink, there's a tiny amount of counter space and a few very narrow storage areas:





On the right side of the kitchen, there is a sink, a window, two shelves and a dishwasher.  I was especially excited to see the dishwasher.


The faucet and the handles on the sink move:


The dishwasher opens to reveal more stuff!


Inside the dishwasher, I found a mat for the dish drainer, a cake display stand, and a pink plastic basin that looks like a baby bath.


The basin fits across the sink, and the dish drainer and mat can squeeze in to the counter space next to the sink:





The cake stand doesn't hold the cupcakes and muffins very well.  I had to jam the muffins into the lower tiers and the cupcakes won't fit on that bottom shelf at all:


The dishwasher has a sticker with some direction icons on it:


Inside the dishwasher, there are three baskets for storing dishes.  These slide in and out:


The kitchen has the opposite problem of the refrigerator: it can't hold enough accessories.  If I fill all of the available spaces, I still have things left over:

Like my real kitchen.
To be fair, I didn't cram things in as much as I could have.  I tried to arrange the shelves neatly, leaving a few gaps:


I could store all of the baking pans in the space below the oven:


And could fit the cereal and the flour into this narrow little cupboard:


The dish drainer is really cute, but it doesn't hold the plates.  They just perch on top of the slots that look like they're designed to hold plates: 


The dish drainer can hold the bowls nicely, though, and two of the four cups:


The dishwasher acts as great storage for any of the plates and utensils that won't fit elsewhere:


The storage down the middle of the kitchen is awkward.  That circular cabinet can't hold much, and the tiny molded shelves can only hold only one or two small things:



A few plastic hooks would have added some nice storage options, especially because the cloth hoops on the oven mitts and the plastic ring on the measuring spoons both seem designed for hanging:



Here's Jenny in her kitchen.  


The scale isn't great.  Most kids are significantly shorter than their refrigerators (this was the best real picture I could find for reference).  Making accessories that are accurately-scaled to 18" play dolls is a bit unrealistic, though.  To be accurate, this kitchen would have to be huge, and that would make it expensive and difficult to store.

My American Girl, Keira, fits into the kitchen exactly as well as Jenny does:


If I'm sitting above the kitchen and looking down on Jenny, the scale looks better somehow:


Jenny was excited to start cooking...but I'm not sure she'll be able to do much with that tiny spoon!




Those bendable legs make it possible for Jenny to load her dishwasher, but I still think it looks really bizarre:


Carpatina Erin fits the kitchen slightly better because of her slender proportions:




Lorifina is slightly taller than Jenny and Erin, but I still wondered if she might be a good fit for this set because she is so much slimmer than the 18" dolls.  In the end, I think she's simply way too tall:




My singing Disney Store Cinderella fits really nicely into this space.  I am a few inches taller than my fridge, so Cinderella's relative size seems about right to me:



A few of the accessories are a little bulky for Cindy, though.  For example, the cupcakes would be huge and the red plastic cups would be like the Big Gulp from 7 Eleven.


Cinderella is wondering where dishwashers were when she was slaving away for her evil stepmother...

Where have you been all my life?
A dream is a wish your heart makes...
My City Girl Billy fits the kitchen pretty well, too, but she doesn't stand up solidly enough for me to have much patience for posing her here:


Some of the accessories are a bit large for her, too:

That's a big muffin.
Moxie Teenz are too small and are dwarfed by the large, bulky appliances:


Of all the dolls I tried in this kitchen, the one who seems the most at home is actually my sweet little MiM doll, Jane.  She's a bit tall, but her features are comfortably in between Jenny's and Cinderella's and go nicely with the appliances and accessories in the kitchen.


I changed Jane out of her pajamas and let her have a go at baking some cupcakes:





Our Generation kitchen set

Something that bothered me as I played around with this kitchen is that blank window:


I enjoyed the horse in the window of Hayden's house (oh yeah--that's yet another kitchen play set I have!).  In the end, though, maybe a blank window is a nice opportunity to customize this kitchen for different moods.  Some days it might be nice to look out over the ocean:


Or perhaps a castle scene would fit better with some games?


You could even get exotic:


Or invite some animals that would make certain Disney Princesses feel more at home:


Depending on who was visiting the kitchen, you might even want to go a little bit creepy and zombie-apocalyptic:



Here are a few last pictures of Jenny and her kitchen.  I wanted to get at least one picture that included everything in this set.  You can't see every last accessory clearly in this next picture, but it gives a general idea of how incredibly large this set is:

Our Generation kitchen set


Our Generation kitchen set

Bottom line?  I could only come up with a few critiques as I was playing with this set.  The refrigerator shelves don't move as easily as they should, and it's hard to fill all of the fridge compartments with the food items that come with this set.  In contrast, the rest of the kitchen is short on storage space and can't accommodate all of the non-food accessories.  I would happily trade several of the larger accessory items (the wash basin and the cake display tray, for example) to get more food.

Jenny herself is really cute.  She has pretty eyes and her hair is very soft and easy to brush--as least before it's been exposed to any kind of serious play.  Jenny's posing is a bit of a disappointment, though.  I'm not sure what kind of articulation I was expecting, but I don't really like wire armature.  When Jenny's limbs are bent, they look folded over and strikingly un-realistic.  On the other hand, Jenny's bendable arms come in handy in the kitchen when I want her to hold a bowl or another large accessory.  Also, Jenny's bendable torso adds a nice dimension to her range of movement without making her look strange.

Overall, this toy is amazing.  It is sturdy and detailed and has an incredible number of moving parts and well-made small accessories.  $62 is a lot of money, but if you subtract the price of the doll and her extra clothes, the actual kitchen part of this set costs $40 or less.  Considering the other dolls and play sets in the $40 price range (the Monster High Headless Headmistress set, Princess & Me dolls and Liv Hayden's House come to mind as interesting comparisons) this set is a bargain.  The play value here seems huge--even the entertainment value of taking everything out of the box is impressive.  The Our Generation Kitchen Set that does not include Jenny and the extra accessories should not be the same price as this set.  $40 would be a good deal for that set.   

I love the open-ended versatility of toys like this.  Not only will the kitchen work for Our Generation dolls and American Girls, but several other sizes of doll could step in and use this kitchen effectively.  Creative children will probably even have their favorite stuffed animals shuffling around this bright space cooking up some muffins.  You don't even need a doll to play with this set.  I can picture different families using this toy to stimulate some wonderful activities.  Kids could sculpt food items out of clay and add them to the refrigerator until it is bursting with goodies.  Little ones could "cook" in this kitchen while Mom makes dinner.  Favorite recipes could be copied into the blank recipe book--and then tested in a real kitchen.  Different pictures could be drawn or printed out to be taped into the open window...transporting this kitchen to any landscape imaginable.  Dishwasher loading skills could be learned!  Oh, the possibilities.

I predict that this particular set will get much harder to find as the holidays approach.  It's rare to get this much "wow" for such a reasonable price.  There's a giddy, fun factor associated with toys like this that seem to offer so much more than what you pay for.  I hope limited availability doesn't skyrocket the cost and ruin the fun.

Our Generation kitchen set

38 comments:

  1. I think the apron is supposed to say I love BAking... not I baking. But the heart is in a very akward place.

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    Replies
    1. I think you're right! The lower case "i" and capital "B" make it seem like a play on iPad or iPhone or some other iProduct, don't you think? Very strange design!

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    2. Emily, what about LIV dolls?

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Alexander! She's a cutie. :)

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  3. What an incredible set! Have you tried arranging it similar to the box picture? They have the phone on the sink (maybe the spray is for cooking?) and many items are in different places.
    I want to suggest an explanation for the alien eggs - when I wrap cookie dough to chill it, it looks exactly like that.
    The recipe.. .doesn't specify sugar in the ingredients. So even if you managed to bake it with sunshine, it would taste pretty bad.
    And finally, the doll scale. I actually like prefer how the smaller dolls fit in there. My fridge is taller than everyone in the house, my oven is wider than me, my mugs are huuuge... so dolls like Cinderella look more to scale to me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go make cupcakes in my 700ml mugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wrapped cookie dough!! I never would have thought of that! And, I can't believe I didn't see that there was no sugar in that recipe! Yucko. I don't think strawberries are sweet enough to compensate for that. I clearly need to bake more cookies around here. ;) And 700 mL cupcakes!! That's my kind of cupcake. ;D

      I like Cinderella's fit in the kitchen, too. Especially when I look back through the pictures, she looks really great next to the appliances. It's not a fairy tale style kitchen, I guess, but a modern Cinderella game would be fun, too!

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  4. While I like the kitchen with the taller ladies and Mim. Just think of the kitchen as tiny Japanese appliances.

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    Replies
    1. That's a good perspective, April! Even in this country, there's a huge range in the size of fridges. There's nothing to say whether this refrigerator is supposed to scale to 5 feet tall or 7 feet tall!

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    2. When you get Ashlynn Ella, she might be a good scale, and she's a little more modern looking!

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  5. What!? I got the set without the doll, and there are many things that don't come with the normal set. Like the rolling pin....

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    Replies
    1. Oh, no! The kitchen alone still seems like a very cool toy, and I don't think you can get the Jenny set in red, but the smaller set shouldn't cost the same as this one. Too many people are going to feel bad that they got an inferior deal! I wonder what other differences there are? I assumed it was just that first bag of clothes that was extra.

      Maybe Battat knows that they can't sustain selling a product like this for such a low price, so this is a short-term bundle deal or something like that? It's very confusing.

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  6. I really want this set, and the review made me want it more! Thanks for such a detailed review!

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    Replies
    1. You are very welcome, Nina! It's a really fun toy. :D

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  7. Hello from Spain: I really like these designs. The kitchen furniture is fabulous. This doll is very cute. I have no seen before. Keep in touch

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  8. the part about the strawberry cupcakes was hilarious, it would have been very cool if the recipe was real, and not just some extra thing for the kitchen.

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  9. That's really nice kitchen! It's not my style or scale and looks a bit cheap here and there, but still it's really nice set. I can see kids having much fun with it.

    And shame on you, Emily! You make me want City Girl doll... And they aren't available where I live... (Don't worry, I definitely want to many dolls I can't have)

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    1. If you're looking for a Tonner City Girl doll. They're on sale on the Tonner website right now. I think they ship internationally. The selection is a little limited (two versions of Astor, a basic Houston, and a fashion pack), but the price is right! Here's a link: http://www.tonnerdoll.com/city-girls

      Hope that helps! I've been intrigued by the City Girls, too. Guess I'd better take my own advice and get one while they're still on sale :)

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  10. I love your review. My favorites in the kitchen are Billy and Jane. Billy just has one of the mega muffins that are so popular (but also preached against by health gurus). What's the name of the last doll you had there?
    Also love the different window scenes. Too funny and too cute!
    Thank you for a great review.

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  11. Hi! I think the MIM doll Jane and Billy look the best in the kitchen,especially Jane. The cupcake recipe seems so strange,and made me kind of worry kids would want to make cupcakes and bake them in sunshine. Those alien egg-things are really strange,maybe they're just really big eggs?
    Thanks for another amazing review!

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  12. I so love your reviews!

    This kitchen and doll set was a great find--I need to check my local Target and see if they have any; it would make a perfect Christmas gift for a little one I know.

    I agree with Doll Lover about the apron--I read it immediately as "I love baking" and was initially confused about why you didn't like it.

    Jenny has a really likeable, sweet face. Maybe her lip color is a bit more off-putting person, but they don't detract much from her nice eyes (let's pretend yours didn't have a factory oops) and hair. Her knees bother me more than her elbows--maybe if she were in the "perfect" Springfield dress her knees would be covered a bit more? If it looks better, please take pictures!

    It's really interesting to see which other doll lines fit well with this set--I think Cinderella, your City Girl, Jane, and your creepy Japanese-horror looking doll all look great with it. With each of them, the scale of the furniture looks appropriate. I wasn't really thinking that Moxie Teenz would work with it, but I was really hopeful that they would for a moment there--bummer. I've always thought they looked more like young college girls than high schoolers, but your doll almost pulls off the petite high schooler look--if only the microwave (and smaller accessories) weren't so large! Actually... I have a friend that needs a step-stool to reach her overhead microwave; would some of the smaller accessories work with Moxie Teenz?

    It's a shame that there's not as much non-refrigerated storage space, but it's probably due to how large the playset is. I don't think that it's a big drawback for a child--I know I kept my pantry items in my Barbie fridge when I was little and had no place else to put it; it never occurred to me that there was a problem with that. A bigger problem in my mind is how the pitcher doesn't hold liquids well--as a kid, I was always serving my dolls drinks and I think many girls do the same thing.

    Overall, I think $62 is a fantastic value for this set. There's an unbelievable amount of small accessories that comes with it--it feels like a "real" kitchen.

    Oh, oh, oh!!! And I love the bundt pan! I was so excited when I saw that! I only think that they missed a great opportunity to have a great bundt cake available as well.

    Anyway, I've yammered on enough--thanks for the great review!

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  13. When I've watched baking competition shows, oftentimes design ideas are sketched out first. Maybe the sketch pad is supposed to be used for that.

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  14. What a great set! a pity is not available in my country, it would have been a wonderful gift for my little cousin... Indeed, the price of the doll + kitchen is a bargain, in Italy the price would be at least 80-90 euros (even more in the small toy shops)...

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  15. I agree with the scale of furniture for 18 inch dolls, are the dolls (like AG) supposed to be adults or children?
    I recently bought the same kitchen, without the doll, for my BFC ink dolls. They too are a little bit large, but it was better scale than the Casdon Kitchen appliances I was using (though I still love them-they have sounds and lights, and ginormous pieces of food, maybe the alien eggs can go with them).
    Cutlery - where are the knives forks and spoons? Hmm I wonder if Kitchen Littles accessories would look okay as stand ins....

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  16. My first thought when I saw your new review in my reader was "DANG that is a gorgeous doll!" I've said before that I don't usually do blonde dolls, but I'd make an exception for Jenny there!

    While I don't have room for a kitchen set myself - I'm just hoping to get Mari and Elyse a bed to sit on - this was really interesting to me. I love doll food and doll dishes, so in that regard this is right up my alley.

    When I got Mari, my aunt went a little berzerk on Etsy, buying handmade clothes, and one of the things she sent was a little apron, chef's hat and oven mitt. If I had room, I would get this kitchen for her! As it stands, she'll just have to supervise while I make cookies or something.

    Great review, as always, and welcome Jenny to the gang!

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  17. I always smile when I see something I own up for review on your blog. I bought this exact set back in June as a birthday gift to myself. I actually use it with my Ellowyne Wilde, Delilah Noir and Minifee dolls. Their scale is very similar to your MiM doll. Yes many of the pieces are too large for them, but perfect for the AG dolls.

    I ended up taking some time (and a fair amount of hot water) and removing the sticker from the back of the fridge. I like it much better with out it.

    BTW the Sketch book that seems odd is actually a reference piece from the story. (Jenny sketches her cake designs in it.) I actually read the book, and I thought the story was actually pretty good. I like that they have a vocabulary section at the end of the book too!

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  18. This cute! I do wish the food was sold separately, as I love doll food but don't have the space (or money) for the full kitchen set. :(. I'm pretty sure that the weird box in the fridge is for soda- you fill it with cans from the top, and take them out though the hole. It's odd that they would have extra-healthy cereal, then design the fridge with soda in mind!
    Juliet
    (sorry, I haven't sent you re-stringing pics yet- do you still need them?)

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  19. I suspect baking in sunshine was a way to print a (fake) recipe without giving kids the idea to play with a real oven. The lawyers probably suggested it. ;)

    This is a really cute set. I don't have room for it but all the little pieces are so sweet and tempting! It reminded me of opening a Barbie bakery playset around 10 years ago that had so many small pieces to discover and set out for display.

    The difference in the two sets is so weird, almost like one is a mistake! How could they be the same price? I can understand testing out different packaging options, like testing a window and windowless box. Or testing if parents would pay, say $15, more to get the kitchen PLUS a doll and all her accessories (the chef coat is adorable). But they're the same price! What a deal you found!

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  20. The little triangles are doll pb&j sandwiches





    -Jasmine

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  21. holy tumolie!! that's a lot of awesomeness! You lucked out and got a great deal!
    I love this set and they seem to have added to it!

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  22. I think the red version of the kitchen is newer, so maybe OG is trying to get rid of excess inventory on the gray version by bundling it with a doll? That might explain the economy packaging.

    Rebecca

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  23. Thanks for the interesting review! What a strange move on Battat's part. I mean, the kitchen set on its own would still be a pretty good deal, but the one with the doll is so obviously superior. It's strange that they're out at the same time.

    I don't collect 18 inch dolls, but I have been tempted to buy this set for my lovely little Hearts for Hearts Mosi. Do you think the scale is appropriate for a Hearts for Hearts Girl, given that they're meant to represent children? Also, how big are the holes on those six plastic shakers' lids? My first instinct would be to fill them with colored sugar and decorate some tiny cupcakes.

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  24. Omg Emily, I love this play set! At first I thought $62 was a bit much for a play set (even though I also love kitchens) until I saw the content. There's so much stuff there, wow. It's quite funny actually because I was thinking about what I could give to you if I wanted to send you a new package in the future. Here in The Netherlands, supermarkets often come up with little toys to collect for children. One of the most popular supermarkets here was giving away small pieces of groceries a while ago. Things like pieces of fruit but also cute little bags of chips or even toilet paper. They're very realistic and I have quite a few of them. I think some of these would fit perfectly in this kitchen so that's something I'll send to you the next time :D
    You really get a lot for your money buying this play set. There's so much (cute) stuff and it's all so detailed. Thanks for this review Emily, it was fun reading this and I loved some of your comments like: ''Hello, Salmonella food poisoning!'' and ''Take me to your leader...'' You have a great sense of humor hahahahahahahahaha

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  25. That cupcake recipe calls for 1259 chocolate chips, and then doesn't even include them in the directions

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  26. Emily, has the hair held up well since you got this doll? I'm really curious :)

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  27. Aww the photo shoot with Jane is so cool! I hope can take pictures almost as well when Yui gets here. xD

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  28. The apron doesn't say iBaking,it says I HEART baking!

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  29. The plant that isn't a cactus is a club moss https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTpbVSUkuIL54eF8QtdPptXFkVL1WaGXq7mubLi8k4hVxAKT2Qv . I have one and it looks exactly like the little toy version! I'm pretty impressed. :D

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I value and welcome all opinions, but comments with abusive or offensive language will be deleted.