Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Kitchen Littles by Tyco

Happy New Year!  2024 is off to a good start around here.  At work, my heart is constantly warmed by the number of wonderful people who come in looking to adopt an adult cat.  I think five long-term residents of the shelter found their forever homes the other day, which is truly remarkable.  I'm also excited about the blog, even though I have less time to write.  There are some new dolls that I'm eager to look at, plus an assortment of vintage items--some of which were inspired by your excellent suggestions.

In fact, today's review was also inspired by a suggestion.  Back in October, when I reviewed MGA's Miniverse resin food kits, Becky'sTwinn asked in a comment if I'd ever heard of Tyco's Kitchen Littles--a series of 1:6 scale kitchen appliances, accessories, and food that were released in the mid 1990s.  I hadn't heard of the brand before, and so Lena and I immediately went to eBay to browse the offerings.  I'm a sucker for kitchen-themed toys, and Lena is eager to upgrade her kitchen, so before long we'd amassed an impressive Kitchen Littles collection:

Lena with an assortment of Kitchen Littles toys by Tyco (1995).
I feel like the refrigerator is the most central part of any kitchen, and so the first item I purchased was a still-in-box Kitchen Littles Deluxe Refrigerator set:


Before anything else is said, let's discuss the little girl in the upper right hand corner of the box:

What in the world...
Is it just me, or does it look like a random swath of platinum blond hair was Photoshopped (or whatever people did back in 1995) on top of a darker-haired girl? And maybe some lipstick was added in, too?  It's completely bizarre and I don't like it.

I desperately wanted to superimpose better hair onto that poor girl.

Nailed it.
Unfortunately, I don't have any Photoshop skills.

I like being able to see the original packaging for older toys, not just because the box art can be hysterically wonky, but because it often gives information about the item's features.  Sometimes there's even an old price tag attached!  It looks like this set originally retailed for $39.99:


Of course I didn't pay $39.99.  My fridge cost $120, which is actually a pretty good deal.  These days, $200 is a more typical asking price for an in-box set.

For anyone curious, with regular inflation taken into consideration, $40 in 1995 is equivalent to about $80 today, although I don't think toys have been affected by inflation as much as other parts of the market.  That assertion is not based on fact, just my experience buying toys for the last three decades.

The box also has several blurbs that describe the refrigerator's features.  For instance, there's a working light on the interior, which is very cool:


I don't think I've ever had a doll fridge with a working light before.

There's also a working ice dispenser:

Which is more than I can say for my fridge.
Another thing on the front of the box that I want to keep in mind is this claim:

"Looks and feels like real kitchenware and food!"
That's pretty bold.  We'll see if it holds up.

The back of the box is crammed with pictures of other Kitchen Littles items:


At the top, there are two un-edited little girls playing awkwardly with the bigger appliances:


And at the bottom, there are tiny photographs of all of the different accessory sets.  I found these photos helpful, since at this point I didn't have a great idea of the range of items offered.

The accessory sets are arranged into different categories, like Fun Settings, Appliances and Cookware, 4 Place Dinnerware sets, and Large Meal Sets:


On the other side are Food Packs and Deluxe Cookware and Appliance sets:


The appliances and cookware look nice, but I'm always more interested in the food.  

In this close-up of the Fun Settings section, the Pizza Party looks great, but there's a green Jell-O mold in the Picnic Party set:

This was made in 1995, not 1950.
I also notice a lot of brand names (Lays, Pepsi, KFC).

I like the mix of food and accessories in the Appliances and Cookware section:

Is that an electric carving knife in the Holiday Dinner set?
This toy is making 1995 seem like a really long time ago.  I thought electric carving knives were a 1960s thing, but I could be wrong about that.  Anyway, the Barbeque Cookout set is very appealing to me, and also more modern-looking.  We have a little grill like that.

There are some noteworthy repeats between sets, though.  Like how many bags of Lays potato chips or cartons of ice cream does a person need?

Here are the different Food Packs:

With more potato chips and ice cream.
And here are the Large Meal Sets:

No potato chips...but another ice cream.
I see several sets that I like, but the repetition is frustrating.  I count four different groups that include potato chips, and five different groups with the same ice cream tub.  So in order to avoid repeats, you have to be strategic about which sets to consider.

On the other hand, getting some repeats might be useful.  For instance, several of the sets have a single hamburger, or a single place setting, but if Lena wants to have company over, she's gonna need extras!

The box was super-easy to deal with.   There's a simple flap opening on either end, and an inner carton, made out of plain cardboard, which was easy to pull out:


No plastic, no frills, yet very effective:


Here's everything that was in the box:

Okay, apparently a little bit of plastic was involved.
There's a pink pamphlet that has some information about the set:


It shows all of the pieces that should be included, how to assemble the fridge, and how to make the ice dispenser and light work:


The back of the pamphlet describes how to store Kitchen Littles food in the fridge, which seems a bit unnecessary, and also how to change the light bulb, which is useful--assuming you can still buy #14 flashlight bulbs:

(you can)
Here's the fridge itself:


The two doors are a bit hard to open, but they reveal a spacious two-sided interior and a separate plastic divider:


The plastic divider slid easily into a slot in the middle of the fridge:


The door on the right side has some fake eggs and a small compartment that opens:



And the door on the left side has the ice maker.  It looks very realistic!


On the inside of the door, there's a light, a battery compartment, and a small speaker:


The back of the fridge is completely plain:


Among the items that came stored inside plastic bags, I found a collection of shelves and drawers:


These slot easily into the body of the fridge and look very authentic.  The freezer shelves are even adjustable:


The fridge itself is great.  It "looks and feels real," as promised.  But I was curious to see if the food items would have the same level of quality and realism.

Here are all of the items that came with the set:


The number of pieces included here is a little disappointing.  I love the look of a fully-stocked fridge, and this isn't going to do it.  But let's take a quick look at everything on its own.

First, there's a TV dinner, which feels very dated.  I know TV dinners still exist, though, because my dad loves them.


This is a solid blue plastic rectangle with decals on each side.  


The sticker on the back is the same as the one on the front, just oriented the opposite way:

The Upside Down.
There are also mixed vegetables:


And cut green beans:


Both of these have the same style of construction as the TV dinner.  It's interesting to me that the veggies have the Birds Eye brand name on them, but the TV dinner is generic.

There is also some Tropicana brand orange juice:


The carton itself is made out of plastic, and the decorations are stickers.  The stickers have all of the details that you'd see on a real Tropicana orange juice, including a super-tiny nutrition label:


This level of detail reminds me of the Miniverse Make It foods.

There's a slightly boring container of Neapolitan ice cream:


This has no brand name and very few decorative details, but it's made out of plastic and has a solid weight.

The Pepsi bottle looks good:


As does this little container of mustard:


There's also a half watermelon that looks a little fake:


The back side is plain green, with no white details:


I would never put half of a watermelon in my fridge without some plastic wrap, either, so that part is also unrealistic.  So this claim is not holding up too well:

Not all of the food looks real.
I think maybe I'm just spoiled by the incredibly realistic handmade food that's available these days at places like Etsy.

Here's an example of 1:6 scale clay watermelons from a lovely Etsy shop called Miniature Hobby:

Photo property of Miniature Hobby, used with permission.
Those look so real and juicy that they make me hungry!

The watermelon might be a bit simplified, but some of the Kitchen Littles pieces are great.  Like this frozen pizza, which is actually wrapped in plastic!

Those are some big olives, though.
I was tempted to take the pizza out of the plastic for a better look, but I deiced to leave it alone.  You can barely make out a 1996 copyright on the back and a "made in China" mark:


The hot dogs are also wrapped in plastic and look realistic:



But that's all of the food that's included.  There are five things to put in the freezer and five things to put in the main fridge, which is nice, but it's a funny mix of items.  My favorites are the orange juice, the mini pizza, and the mustard.  Those all look good and are things that I might have in my own refrigerator.

Looking a little stark.
In addition to all of the food, there's a pair of glasses included with this set:


These are great because they can be used with the ice dispenser.

Oh, wait.  Where's the ice?  I realized at this point that I didn't have any ice cube clusters in my set, and there are supposed to be three of them:


I went back through all of the plastic bags and found a lone ice cube cluster:


That's better than nothing, I guess.  It was at least enough to test out the ice dispenser.  

To do this, I had to drop the ice cubes into a hole at the top of the freezer door, and then just push in on the dispenser lever like I would on a real fridge.  It works really well!

That is so cute.
The ice cubes come out really fast, though, so you have to be ready with the cup so they don't go shooting across the room.

For reference, this fridge is the same height as the one that came with the Rainbow High doll house, but it's much heavier and wider, and has more moving parts:

Rainbow High refrigerator (left) and Kitchen Littles refrigerator (right).
The fridge is compatible with the Miniverse kitchen, although it dwarfs the tiny oven!

Miniverse Make It Mini Kitchen (left) and Kitchen Littles refrigerator (right).
I was curious to see if some of the food items from the Miniverse sets would work in this fridge, to fill it up a bit more.

The ice cream and frozen waffles look good in the freezer:


And the whipped cream and almond milk carton fit into the door of the fridge:

The whipped cream looks especially good.
I also wanted to test out the light and sound feature, so I added two AA batteries to the door of the freezer, and sure enough!  The light still works:


It's weird, though, because the photo on the front of the box makes it look like the light will be coming from the inside back wall of the fridge:


I like how that looks better than the actual design, since a real fridge is more likely to have an interior light than a door light.  But at least there's a working light.  It's very cool.

Unfortunately, the sound feature on my fridge does not work, so there's no clinking sound when the ice cubes are dispensed.

International Playthings made a magenta Kitchen Littles fridge in 2009, and this toy looks like it has an interior light--or maybe even two interior lights:


This fridge is much harder to find than the one I bought.  It looks really great.  There's a matching magenta stove and counters, too, but I couldn't find any promotional photos of those.

I didn't do a deep dive on the ownership of the Kitchen Littles brand over the years, but apparently it changed hands at some point before 2009, because there's no mention of Tyco on the magenta fridge box--just International Playthings.  That made me curious about whether the food and accessories changed in 2009, too.

Some quick investigation on eBay makes me think that International Playthings kept the accessory sets mostly the same, but with a few upgrades.  For example, compare the 1995 Tyco Birthday Party Fun set:


To the International Playthings version:


The packaging has changed slightly, with the magenta section at the bottom, but the items are different, too.  The plates have a new design, the milk has a fancier carton, there are ice cream sandwiches instead of the boring Neapolitan block, the soda looks unbranded, and a few other little things are new.

This site has tiny thumbnails of all the Kitchen Littles products, if you want to explore the differences further.  I'll tell you right now that neither the green Jell-O mold nor the electric carving knife made it into the 2009 collection.

Anyway, I was impressed enough with the refrigerator at this point that I wanted to see more of what Kitchen Littles has to offer.  So I headed back to eBay and found this tempting bundle for about the price of the in-box fridge:

That's a lot of stuff.
I was kicking myself for not just buying a bundle like this to start with, but, like I said, it's fun to see at least one of the original boxes.  Besides, the fridge in this set was damaged, so it all worked out.

One really great thing about this bundle is that it included all three of the ice cube clusters!  Yay!  Now I have plenty of ice:

Ice, ice, baby.
I won't go through everything that was included in the eBay lot, but I'll show you some of the more interesting pieces, like these three smaller appliances:

From left: a toaster, a blender, and a popcorn maker.
What's neat about these pieces is that they all have metal components, and they all do something.  The toaster will pop two pieces of bread up into the air, the blender has a removable top and a spinning blade, and the popcorn popper has a handle that causes the little styrofoam popcorn bits to jump around.  I can picture kids having a blast with these accessories.

I like these ice cream tubs, too.  They're much better than the solid Neapolitan ice cream that came with the fridge:

Breyer's missed their chance.
These tubs actually open and have scoops of ice cream inside!

That reminds me a lot of Miniverse.
There are even cones that will hold the scoops of ice cream:

That's adorable.
The eBay lot included a pizza that had been taken out of the plastic wrap, so we can see all of the details:

There's no pepperoni!
The pizza definitely looks better with the plastic.

Here are some other random items that were included:


It appears that both Coke and Pepsi got some brand recognition with this toy.  I remember people being so passionately divided about Coke vs. Pepsi back in the 80s and 90s.  I don't hear much about that anymore, but perhaps it's still a thing.

All of the items are made out of plastic, and the labels have varying degrees of detail.  The Quick carton is especially good:


Although it's hollow on the bottom:


There were several different kinds of bread, all shown here:


The loaf on the top right was supposed to be inside a Wonder Bread bag, but the bag had a lot of damage.  The varied levels of detail on these different bread items is interesting.  The Wonder Bread is definitely the most realistic, then the Italian loaf, and then the plain brown rectangle that only vaguely resembles bread.  

None of these loaves feel like real bread, though, which brings me back to this:

Not all of the food feels real.
There are some fun breakfast items, like bacon, grapefruit, and some fried eggs:


The bacon looks truly disgusting, though.  It's a brownish-green color with red lines down the middle.  If you ever see bacon like this in real life, my advice would be to run:


One nice surprise was that most of the Kitchen Littles pots and pans are made out of metal.  Like this baking sheet with its three adorable gingerbread men:


And here's a typical pot, which is all metal except for the pink handle and the knob on the lid:


The pot could use a bit of polishing, but it's still quite shiny, with lots of detail and a substantial weight:


I'd say that the pots and pans all look and feel like real pots and pans, so the box claim holds up here.

Another group of items that I found on eBay is this sandwich-making set:


The assembled sandwich looks pretty convincing:


And the jar of mayonnaise is so realistic!


The mayonnaise itself is actually resin that was added by a previous owner, but I think it looks fantastic:


In addition to the smaller items, my eBay lot also came with several furniture pieces, like this Deluxe Kitchen Center:


To me, the Kitchen Center is not quite as interesting as the refrigerator, but it has some fun features.  For example, all of the cupboards and drawers open, and the sink and dishwasher have a water function.

The sink sprayer can be pressed up and down to pump water out of a small tank at the back of the kitchen:


The tank is slightly dirty, but you can see the clear tube that pulls water up into the sink:


The dishwasher opens in front and has movable racks inside.  Furthermore, if the switch on the top is moved to the rightmost position, water from the tank in back will flow into the dishwasher instead of into the sink:


Both the sink and the dishwasher then drain back into the tank to be re-used again and again.

I wonder how many kids actually played with the water feature in this set?  I didn't bother to try it because I didn't want to have to dry everything out afterwards.  Lazy me.

I found this promotional photo of the kitchen, though, so you can see how everything was advertised:

At least that girl has her real hair.
There are little differences between the promo photo and the final product, like the color of the sink (which looks better in silver, if you ask me) and the mechanics of the water feature.  Notice that the zoomed-out photo of the kitchen sink does not have a sprayer or a switch on the dishwasher.

Here's the stove that came with my eBay lot:


It looks great, with real metal burners and a door that opens:


The interior rack is warped, and I wish it could be moved to different heights inside the oven, but it's fine.

The drawer at the bottom opens, too, and could store a few things:


The metal burners don't all look the same, and I'm not sure why the back left one is different:


The box advertises several special features, like sound effects, an interior light, and a magic flipping pancake:


The light in my oven does not work, but there are three sound effects that can be activated by pressing the burner knobs.

The first sound is a pleasant sizzling noise:


The second sound is a ticking time bomb timer:


And the last sound is a soul-piercing scream:


Or maybe a kettle boiling.

I tested out the magic (magnetic) pancake-flipping action, too, and it works really well!


Overall, I'm really happy with the stove.  It looks good, the features are fun, and I appreciate all of the metal components.  It also accommodates the different pots and pans nicely:

That looks and feels pretty real.
For reference, the Kitchen Littles stove is slightly wider and taller than the oven that came with the Rainbow High doll house:

Rainbow High oven (left) and Kitchen Littles oven (right).
It's also more solidly and intricately made, and feels much higher-quality overall.

Needless to say, Lena was getting impatient at this point, waiting to see how all of this new kitchen stuff would work in her home!

You do prattle on and on sometimes, Emily.
The first challenge was to see if the food items were in scale with Lena:

That sandwich looks compatible with my mouth.
The mayonnaise jar is pretty big, but overall everything seems to be approximately the right size.

My eyes might be bigger than my stomach, though.
The watermelon felt small to me alongside the other food, but it's actually a decent fit for Lena:

Watermelon comes in a lot of sizes, Emily.
The ice cream tubs are a bit too large as well, but I've never heard anyone complain about that.

I'm not complaining.
And I've seen waffle cones as large as the cones in this set:

It's perfect.
Lena has a few appliances in her kitchen that fit her extremely well, like this incredible die-cast metal stand mixer:


In contrast, the Kitchen Littles appliances all look slightly too big:

These take up too much counter space.
That blender, in particular, is huge.  It's longer than Lena's entire torso.

Some of the larger pots and pans feel big to me, too, but I'm sure there are turkeys that massive:  

I can't even lift these things, Emily!
The smaller pots and pans are well-suited to Lena, though:

But why is the bacon green??
Lena's biggest concern was whether or not she'd be able to use any of the Kitchen Littles large appliances.

I'm tired of these.
Especially the fridge.

Like, what's up with this sticker window?
Lena's kitchen is small, though, so I wasn't sure what would be possible.

Umm, I prefer to call it cozy.
The Deluxe Kitchen Center takes up almost the entire back wall and blocks the window, so that won't be of much use:

Also, too much pink!
But we tried a bunch of configurations and finally found a way to make both the stove and the refrigerator fit--while keeping the island and its wonderful green chairs:

I like it!
The fridge looks a little short for Lena, as many 1:6 fridges do, but it's very wide and deep compared to the old one!

Look at all of this food!
And the fridge is starting to look well-stocked, too, thanks to the Kitchen Littles eBay lot, and several of the Miniverse Make It pieces:


Lena fixed herself a snack and sat down to enjoy the new space.  Now she's ready for a new Tea with Lena  review!  Although there's probably no time for anyone to visit today, since we've covered so much ground already.

Meaning you talked a lot and I basically said nothing.
Well, okay, actually Lena does have a new friend that she might want to tell you about...

Hi, cat.
All of the fostering that I've been doing rubbed off on Lena, apparently, and she decided to adopt her own pet.

He's spunky.
He was a stray, roaming the streets of Trenton, but seems much happier living in a home--especially as the weather gets colder.

Lena named him Bruno.

We can talk about Bruno.
Bruno is actually a Capsule Q Museum toy from Japan.  You can find these on AliExpess for $11-15 each, and there are five color varieties.


Each cat has six points of articulation (neck, legs, tail).


The tail is very short and stubby, like a bobtail cat, but it helps with balance in certain positions!


I wish that Bruno's head could look upwards a bit more, but his face is well painted and very cute.


The toe beans are even painted!


I looked at a lot of more expensive 1:6 cats for Lena (pure breds, if you will) but decided that an $11 stray was the way to go.

Here's the little pamphlet that came with the cat:

That face!
It shows all of the different colors and facial expressions that are available:


Each cat comes with one section of a cat tree, too, so if you have a lot of cats, you can build a tall tree.


Lena is happy with one cat for now, but if she's anything like me, that will probably change.

Bruno might need a friend some day.
Lena made one more furniture addition to her kitchen:


Bruno seems to really like his tree!




As Lena was playing with her new cat, I stood back to look at the upgraded kitchen again:


The Rainbow High house has a lot of colors in it, by definition, but there's not much purple in the kitchen.  This means that the purple handles on the fridge and stove look out-of-place, at least to me.

Lena agreed, and so I spray-painted all of the handles a metallic silver color:

What do you think?
The paint I used doesn't perfectly match the super-shiny silver on the ice dispenser or the oven knobs, but I think it's an improvement.


With the kitchen renovation compete (at least for now), and the fridge fully stocked, Lena decided to make herself a healthy meal...with Bruno's help.

Are you pointing at the eggs, Bruno?
Lena fried up some eggs while Bruno started the toaster:

Stand back when it pops up, bud.
Bruno wasn't sure if the toast popping up was scary, or maybe the best game ever!

Toast ninja!
That's a nice-looking spread, Lena!

Well, Bruno did half of the work.
There's even ice in the orange juice glass.

And it didn't go all over the floor!
Lena sat down to enjoy her hearty breakfast:

Oh, wow.  This looks so good.
Are you forgetting something, though, Lena?

Wait, what?
You have to feed the cat.

Here you go, Bruno.
I'm not sure exactly what Lena put in that cat bowl, but we can talk about pet nutrition later.

Bye, Emily.  We're going to eat now.
Bottom line?  I'm so grateful to Becky'sTwinn for recommending this brand to me.  It has so many of the things I love; it's vintage, kitchen-themed, miniature, fairly realistic, and it actually works with Lena and her Rainbow High house.

There are very few things about the refrigerator that I would change.  A more versatile and realistic handle color would have been nice, of course, but that was easy to fix.  I also wish that the light was on the interior of the fridge, as is shown on the box art.  And last, while the ice dispenser is super-cool, it ejects all available ice at once, which is not exactly what Lena needs (and is a good way for ice cubes to get flung around the room and lost).  But I mostly love the fridge.  It's solid and sturdy, and the areas for holding food are well thought-out and useful.  I especially like all of the door storage.  And the light and ice dispenser, despite my complaints, are excellent perks, and something that is difficult to find on more current 1:6 fridges.  For $39.99 back in 1996, this refrigerator set was a steal.  And I'm actually happy to have it for $120, which is saying something.  Still, I'd recommend shopping for used lots to get the best value with these vintage toys.

The other large kitchen furniture is less impressive than the fridge, but the oven is still great.  I love the metal burners and the sound and light features, even though I avoid the screaming tea kettle whistle at all costs.  The magnetic pancake flipping action is also surprisingly fun, and something I would have loved as a kid.  Overall, the oven feels solid and high-quality, and it looks great.  The kitchen cupboard unit, while big and impressive, is not as useful to me (or Lena) as the smaller pieces.  I like that so many of the doors and drawers open, and the dishwasher is awesome, but the water feature feels like a gimmick, and I can't see anyone (kids or collectors) using it regularly.  For me, the hassle of drying everything out and the risk of mold was too much of a barrier.

There's not much point in having these large kitchen appliances unless there are compatible food items, pots, pans, and tableware to play with.  And I think the Kitchen Littles brand does a solid job here.  The pots and pans are all metal, which is kind of extraordinary, and the food is realistic enough for the most part.  A few of the pieces, like the ice cream tubs with their little scoops of ice cream inside or the highly-detailed orange juice carton, remind me a lot of the intricate Miniverse food.  In fact, I wonder how much MGA was inspired by Tyco's earlier efforts.  But some of the food, like the blocky TV dinner and cereal boxes, are less impressive.  There are so many highly-detailed food items available for 1:6 scale dolls these days, it's easy to be overly-critical of the shortcuts taken here.  But most of the food and accessories, with the exception of some paper and plastic pieces, were made to be durable.  So even after more than twenty years, these pieces are still worthy of collection and play.  So, overall, I'm more delighted and impressed by the mini foods and accessories than disappointed by them. 

As much as I love vintage items like this, sometimes they make me feel sad.  The level of detail and craftsmanship that went into the Kitchen Littles toys (especially the refrigerator and oven) is not something that is easily found today--certainly not for the prices offered in 1996.  But on the other hand, I think the 1:6 scale play dolls that are available to us today (things like Rainbow High and Made to Move Barbie) are superior in many ways to equivalent dolls from the 1990s.  So maybe Lena's world is not so different from my own: I feel like a better, wiser, more patient person than I was in 1996, but I'll never have a washer, dryer, dishwasher, or fridge like the ones I owned back in those days.  They just don't make 'em like they used to.

Please talk to Lena about pet nutrition now, Emily.

20 comments:

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    1. I will tell him you said that!

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    2. Don’t forget to talk with Lena about cat nutrition!

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  2. Wow, I'm so excited that I inspired a review!!! Just the other day I was wondering if you'd do a post at some point about my Kitchen Littles suggestion. You and Lena are very welcome!

    I wish everything had turned out to be in better scale for Lena; I didn't have Barbies as a kid (I was into bigger dolls like American Girl) so didn't use them with the kitchen stuff. I still have my Kitchen Littles in the basement--the kitchen counter set, fridge and stove. It looks like there was an island set in the lot you bought...didn't know about that piece. I did use the water feature for the sink/dishwasher a bit as a kid. Too bad the ice sound effect didn't work for your fridge. And I still have the back of one of the boxes (the same picture you show with the two little girls), which I used to pore over and over as a kid, looking at all the other sets of food and dishes. The chip bag is really cute; the chips are a molded piece of yellow plastic that can be taken out of the bag.

    Lastly, congratulations to Lena on her new kitty! A subject very close to my heart as I lost my own cat early last year and can't wait to adopt another, and also because I volunteer for a large animal shelter in my area and have seen many sweet cats and kittens find new homes over the past few months. In fact today I've been dealing with the possibility of my location (the shelter has several in different towns) possibly shutting down (I don't know at this point) and that will devastate me, so your post was very timely in giving me a smile when I need it...so thank you!

    Becky'sTwinn

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    1. I had so much fun with this review, and am still scouring the internet for some of my favorite pieces! I can totally relate to your pouring over the little pictures on the back of the box. I was fascinated by those.

      I'm very sorry to hear that you lost your cat. It's so heartbreaking. And it's hard to know when to get a new friend. Maybe the right cat will find you. I feel like every cat that comes through our shelter eventually finds their person--no matter how old or odd the cat might be. It's so uplifting. We had this cranky, overweight gray cat who needed a special urinary diet and wouldn't let anyone touch him. He'd come up to the front of the cage to say hi, but if you opened the door, he'd run and hide or try to bite. But then last week, randomly, a woman thought he was pretty and so we opened the cage, and this cat *put his head in her hand* to be petted. It was amazing! So he found his person and went home. Shelters are magical places, and they are so essential to the community. I hope you don't lose yours! We are in a constant state of wondering if we can keep our building, so I can empathize. I'll be wishing for the best for you and those animals.

      Thank you again for the awesome tip! :D

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    2. Exactly! I've seen that myself--there's a human for every cat. We had this one gorgeous tuxedo cat who was a total hiss-box...hissed at everyone for no apparent reason. Family came in and despite his less-than-gentlemanly behavior they adopted him, even driving a two-hour round trip home to get a cat carrier when he instantly broke out of the cardboard one we put him in. Got a bunch of photos from them a while later showing how happy he is in his new home and saying the love him!

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    1. Hahahaha!!! Omg. I have to steal that. Brilliant. ;D

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  4. A huge mansion, a cat, and ice cream? Lena is living the dream! Bruno is adorable! Also have you seen the re-ment miniatures? They look like the perfect size for barbies and they all look delicious!

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    1. I agree about the Re-Ment miniatures! They look so realistic. They can be pricey, though, especially if you covet as many things as I do, lol. Lena has been eyeing a Re-Ment toaster oven for the counter. :)

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  5. Bruno is so cool! Looks a bit small but would make a good mini of my tiny but dangerous boss tuxie.
    The minis look surprisingly good for playline toys. I wonder if the light works properly with the closed freezer and open fridge? There must be a reason that divider is transparent!

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    1. You are so clever. Indeed, if the fridge side is open and the freezer is closed, the light from the freezer is on and shines through. It looks very nice and homey. Good call. I should get a pic of that when I have time!

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  6. Great review! Love the miniatures. Also, Bruno is ADORABLE!!

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  7. This was so much fun, thank you!

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  8. Thank you for another great review... especially because you've solved a mystery for me, haha! I've always loved fake foods, and I had a bunch of Barbie-sized (and sometimes Barbie-ish-sized) toy foods as a kiddo, and there were a few that I never knew where they came from. They didn't match the look of any of my Barbie stuff.... but I recognized some of them in the photos you shared here!

    I don't think I had any of the exact sets shown, so now I have a new mystery in wondering where I got my random pieces in the first place lol, but I'm so excited to have a name to go with some of my childhood favorite toys (and now I might need to keep an eye out for some of the bigger appliances! I love all the little details!!)

    Thank you again, and I hope you have a lovely weekend!! Your reviews always bring a smile to my face, and this one was extra-special since I recognized some of the things! :)

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  9. Another great review that satisfies my needs for realistic miniatures content... for now ;)
    The quality of these older miniature sets is undeniable. All the little gadgets and gizmos would've kept me busy for hours as a kid, and the real metal is just extraordinary! It's funny how you decided to paint some parts because I was thinking that the pinks and purples were detracting from the realism a bit and that they could use a repaint. That very realistic yet playline look in the furniture and foods reminds me a lot of the Barbie Happy Family line. As a kid, I got the supermarket set with Midge, and as an adult I got the 'Shopping Fun Grocery Store' set to go with it. Both of those sets are just glorious to me, from the tiny magnetic milk that can be held by Midge's toddler, to the real toilet paper in the toilet paper cartons, and the big milk carton which, when placed on the ground, looks like it got knocked over and had spilled. All of this blew my mind as a kid. I later discovered how huge the Happy Family line actually was (including a super realistic, big house!), though I doubt the whole line made it to Europe (we did get controversial pregnant Midge, though). Even back then these sets were not cheap or easy to find, but if you ever get into the realistic miniature playset mood again, maybe looking into the Happy Family line could help with that...

    Bruno is just adorable by the way, I totally get why Lena fell for him!

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  10. I always loved Kitchen Littles. I didn't have a dollhouse at that point, but I did have kids! I talked my husband into getting the stove, sink set, and fridge under the idea that daughter Emma and I would share them. They spent many years in her dollhouse, where many magic pancakes were flipped, and many ice clumps were shot all over the kitchen. (Although the water feature in the sink wasn't used very much. The fascination with that was short lived, probably because of the maintenance required to keep it going.) Emma has been grown for years now, so I'm finally getting my turn with the stuff. Kaybee had all the Kitchen Littles stuff clearanced at one point, so we had most of the food sets, and gave them as birthday gifts to Emma's friends, who were obsessed with her dollhouse. There were also sets of dinnerware in various patterns. I think each of my kids had a different one. The food looked great at the time, but now, of course, there's more realistic stuff available, even factory made,(not handmade). The appliances are yellowing now, and I was never crazy about the purple and pink either. I have seen repaints of the appliances that look wonderful. Maybe if Emma ever has kids, I'll freshen up the old kitchen for them.

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  11. Lena cracks me up, she has a response to everything. Bruno is a lovely addition to her family, what a neat little guy!

    These mini sets are so cool! As much as I love the food details, the tiny appliances working is so fun, and my fav but, even if they're not in a scale for Lena, what a delight.

    And the ice shoots across the floor never to be seen again? How realistic of them.

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  12. Lena and Bruno make a awesome team! Love the kitchen littles I have never had a doll house and the fixings to go with but those are definitely at the tp of my bucket list~

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  13. It-sure-doesn’t-feel-like-MN Girl here. Great review…and sure looks to me like Lena’s human friend had a ton of much fun with this one! Soooo glad Lena got a cat—She most def needed one! To start with anyway 😁

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