Today I want to share something that I just acquired through a Facebook doll page. As I’ve mentioned I subscribe to a few Facebook pages mainly as another source of information and to be part of the doll community online but occasionally I buy things. I’ve been lucky that all the sellers I have dealt with have been lovely too.
This kitchen had just been posted when I saw it and I immediately said: “Sold”. I thought I’d better not waste any time or it might be gone as most people seem to do FB on their phones and check it constantly. I don’t and didn’t want to miss out. The seller, Lynda, was in another state and she actually went to the trouble of constructing a box that would fit it exactly as well as wrapping everything tightly in bubble wrap and filling the box with pieces of cardboard and packing beans. She said it took her over an hour to do it. The postage was a bit more expensive than we originally thought it would be but I was happy to pay the extra.
Here it is.
When I first saw the photo I assumed that this kitchen was from the late sixties or maybe very early seventies. In fact, it’s not quite that old. As much as it pains me to call anything made when I was already an adult vintage, this unit was made in 1977. I think we’ll call it “Contemporary Era” as they do on eBay. I should have guessed really as the colour scheme is very reminiscent of our first house which David and I bought in 1978. We had woodgrain cabinets and a brown and yellow carpet. Kitchen carpet. I still don’t know why anyone thinks that’s a good idea but I digress.
I asked Lynda if she knew much about the piece and she said that she had only managed to find one picture on Pinterest. I had about the same amount of luck. What I can tell you is that the company seems to have made a lot of licenced toys mostly for pre-schoolers like Disney and Sesame Street characters. I could not find any early history of the company. They were eventually acquired by Tyco who was acquired by Mattel and are now no more.
It is a nicely made toy, all overhead cabinets open as does the dishwasher and the oven. Even the little knobs for the hot plates turn. The kitchen has some working parts. The blender plugs in and the hot plates are wired to glow. It is powered by two size D batteries. The sink has a working drain so you can fill it but it doesn’t look as if the tap is meant to work. When I get the correct sized batteries I’ll test it and if it works I’ll take some more photos.
The accessories look rather out of scale to my eyes and of course, they are all yellow so for a diorama I would probably replace them with more realistic looking pots and pans. The orange casserole pot is made of metal and probably not original to the set but actually a much better fit. There is also a small wooden platter that looks like a ring in but I like it.
I think I was very lucky as this set hardly has anything missing. The lid to the blender is gone so I wouldn’t advise Barbie to make any smoothies in it and I think there is meant to be a shelf in the dishwasher but for a forty year old toy that is pretty darn good.