Greetings and Salutations Doll Friends!!
The Doll House Kitchen has gone through quite a few remodels and updates since I set up the very first Kitchen using Mom's vintage toy kitchen pieces. I loved using her items because of the sentimental nature of them not to mention I love the look of 1940s kitchens. I made updates to that kitchen for a while... Then I found the My Life As Kitchen for a great price and decided it was time for the doll house kitchen to get an update. Looking back it had to have been providence that I got that set for less than $25 because it's since gone on to cost so much more. I really rather liked that set and it ended up matching up perfectly height wise to some of the gorgeous cabinets that Frann sent me from Russia even! I haven't really got one negative thing to say about that set at all because it was a great deal at a perfect time and the accessories are still some of my favorites. However, as you may have read in that post about getting it, it wasn't really one I 'chose' to go out and get, it was more of a 'it's too great a price to let it get away since you've been wanting to update your doll kitchen and/or review a doll kitchen anyway' kind of a moment.
So, later that year, at Christmas time I think, I saw Journey Girls new Gourmet Kitchen Set and had a 'Oh golly, I wish I didn't already own a doll kitchen because I love love love the way that one looks' moment. I try not to be that way and to be happy with what I have in all aspects of my life but still... It was just so cute. Much more 'realistic' looking than most any 18inch doll kitchen I'd seen so far. I mean I liked that the Our Generation Gourmet Kitchen had a separate fridge and a dishwasher but I really didn't like the 'childish' look of the whole set. I know, I know, these are toys and are meant for kids but I can't help it... I like realistic looking things and I suspect kids really do too. You know what I mean? I digress. So anyway, that kitchen never tempted me in the least due to that reason.
I'm not really sure when they updated their kitchen to this one but I know why they made the change. The older model Journey Girl Kitchen is pretty lame. I mean it seemed to get good reviews but it was so small and didn't even have a sink as best as I can tell? What's that all about? So this kitchen is much better. The price reflects the changes naturally. That kitchen was $29.99 regular price and the newer Journey Girl Kitchen set is $69.99. So, quite a difference!! Given that American Girl Doll's Gourmet Kitchen Set is $225.00 though, that isn't totally unheard of. Naturally the American Girl Doll one is top notch quality and made better in all likelyhood, the price difference is signifigant enough to understand the differences where they are.
So what made me take the plunge and buy the new one? Well, two factors went into it. The first is I got a windfall of cash (around $150) and was instructed to use it only to have fun with. Well... OK! So my first inclination, naturally, was to buy another posh doll. Haha. But given that lately I've been trying to purge a few dolls from the collection because they collect dust, I decided that was a silly idea. So, instead, I decided to just take the plunge and buy this kitchen. The second reason is that I am trying to assemble a second, mobile, Doll House that I can box up and take with me to different venues. What?!?! More on that at a later time but... Suffice to say I will need a kitchen in my Mobile Doll House and the smaller My Life As one will be perfect for that purpose! So, being justified in my purchase, I put it in my online buggy and rang out. It arrived two days ago! I was nearly as excited as a child on Christmas morning. Hahaha. However I was tired that evening and had other plans as well and so I knew I'd have to wait to open it. I know large toys like this take some patience to get out of the box and knew I'd get cranky and frustrated if I tried when I was tired already... So I waited until early morning yesterday. That's why the photos might be a bit 'dark' so I apologize for that. 😊
I was totally right. It took me a full hour to unbox it and get it put together enough for it to be 'played with'. So if you're looking to get this set for your daughter for Christmas or her Birthday, you might just want to open it up and get it all sort of 'put together' before she unwraps the box or you're going to be working under pressure of a little girl wanting to play with it while you're trying to unbox it. Because it took some doing. Tools (well, one) even!
I tend to think of myself as a pretty patient person when it comes to meticulously opening things and such but this box, quite honestly, drove me a bit bonkers. They used clear tape on the doors and openings of nearly everything. Clear tape over even some of the 'stickers' on the kitchen... Tsk tsk. I hate that. Figure out some way to package it without the tape I say because it is a pain in the neck to get off and if you're not ever so careful, you end up with tape residue on your kitchen and/or messing up the stickers by pulling them off with the tape. Ugh. So... I hate to be a Negative Nelly but am also trying to give an honest review. (And warning! Have a glass of wine before you open this! Hahaha! Kidding!)
Can you see the tape? I know it's hard, right? Exactly! What. A. Pain.
Tape tape tape, everywhere tape...
Then I was shocked to discover the freezer drawer had come apart in shipping...? Luckily it snapped right back together but talk about a moment of panic. My local TRU doesn't carry Journey Girls stuff anymore (they have the AG stuff and can't have both) and so returning would be a total pain in the neck!!
They literally hooked the large items from the kitchen in the box with screws. You'll need a phillips head screw driver. Yes. Really.
This kitchen wasn't getting outta this box by accident!!
Finally I got all the items out of the box. Thank Heavens!
The fridge had the bags of accessories in it. You can see that the fridge shelves and door bins have to be attached.
Here are the three bags of accessories.... One of them is the bins and shelves for the fridge.
Here are the shelves put in. They give you option of three settings which I thought was cool.
All the shelves in!
Here are the accessories in bags. The ziplock bag are the ones that came 'on' the kitchen in blister packs.
Bag one's contents. I love the cookbook and the toaster and the oven mitts and....
Bag number two... Those ICECUBES!! Love love love! That is the largest sandwich in the history of dolls I think... Lots of cute stuff. I am running out of time here or I'd say more about them but they really are cute although some of them are rather 'cheaply' made.
The 'cardboard' accessories. These would be destroyed in a real kids kitchen in no time I think... I mean some kids are careful so maybe not but.. I plan to cover them with packaging tape so they'll be more 'sturdy'.
And here is the kitchen mostly put together with my accessories added... Prism is the first one to model in the kitchen! Who is Prism? Well, the other thing I spent a bit of money on was doll wigs and.... Prism is another new OOAK doll in the Doll House! I'll tell you all about her in the next post!
Out of time for now though!