Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Review of the Muppet Show Swedish Kitchen Play Set by Palisades

Speaking of diorama play sets, I have to show you this exceptional one.  I feel a little bad mentioning it because it is very hard to find these days.  You could pick it up on eBay for $100-$250, but it originally retailed for $34.99 and at that price, it had people in awe.

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!



I can't think of any other doll or toy line that would be the right scale to live in this kitchen.  The Swedish Chef seems to be his own unique size (about 6 inches without his hat).  It does work well with other Muppets figures, though.  Regardless of who fits in it, this kitchen set is a unique and amazing diorama.  I am not sure they are making toys like this anymore, if they are--I want to hear about it!


Age Level
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.
Highly Recommended



  1. Replies
    1. Sorry, I don't know why I was so off with this--he's 6 inches without his hat. Not 9!! My bad.

  2. does it fit to Barbie dolls height? I can play with Barbie doll with it?

    1. It won't fit Barbie, no. The Swedish Chef is about 9 inches tall, which is quite a bit shorter than Barbie. It's too bad, because it is an amazing kitchen and I can't think of another size of doll that would fit in it!

  3. my name is Paula and I´m into buying this kitchen how am I supposed to do ?

    1. Hi Paula! Unfortunately, it is very hard to find right now. You can sometimes find one on eBay, but they have become pretty expensive. :(

  4. WOW! XD I just wish it would fir LIV dolls.

    Here's a trick I use to figure out doll house and accessory scale.
    Kitchen and Bathroom counters,tables and high stools should be roughly waist high. Same goes for normal stove tops/ovens, dish washers and washer and dryers.
    Normal fridges should be around head high. Mini fridges can be smaller.
    Most chairs, sofas, low tables ect. should be around knee hight.

    CDs/Blu Ray/DVDs should be the same size as your doll's hand. Same goes for paper money. Unless it's some foriegn currancy.

    1. Oh, I know! Wouldn't it be amazing for Liv? I like your rules of scale--that is incredibly helpful. Going by those rules, the kitchen is the right size for small Kish dolls, but they're supposed to be little kids, so that makes the scale all wrong again. It's amazing that of all the dolls in this house, the Swedish Chef can't share his kitchen with anyone! :-O
      Thanks again for your cool tips. I am going to check out your blog!

  5. I wonder if tiny bjds could use this kitchen. It'd be interesting to see how Chelsea would look in this kitchen. Then you'd have a sense of whether tiny bjds like Pukipuki or Amelia Thimble could use it, or whether it'd be useable by slightly larger bjds. Still, sounds like the set is a bit out of my price range at today's market value!

  6. Would Juku Couture dolls fit?

  7. I love this house. It's much nicer than my 1:18 doll ratio dollhouse kitchen which has tiled terra-cotta floors and ceramic turkey themed accessories. The Muppet kitchen is larger and more appealing to the eye. I wish I would have seen this. I adore all things Muppet-related and collect interesting Elmo items . . .

  8. Perhaps, the Chef being 6" tall, this kitchen would work for your OG mini dolls, the Lori dolls, and the AG minis?

  9. I have a complete set I would consider selling