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on January 7, 2004
After reading some of the reviews, I was hesitant to purchase this product. But our 4 year old desperately wanted it from Santa Claus. I was very pleasantly surprised. It works exactley as advertised and she absolutely loves it. It only took me 30 mins to assemble it after taking everything out of the box. As one user mentioned, there are two screws holding the bottom piece on that are physically impossible to put in. There's about 1/2 inch clearance from the top of the screw that you're supposed to use a screwdriver on. No way. But since there's 4 total holding that piece on, those 2 aren't really needed. The plastic is flimsy but it seems that's the way most toys are these days. I did think the price was pretty steep for the quality.
But all in all I'm very happy. It's wonderful to see my daughter play with it and dance all around the living room. Even our 16 month old enjoys it.
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on December 26, 2003
The food does change colors. Of course it isn't going to stay that way once the food hits room temperature :) We've had no problems with that, nor have we had any problems with the door not staying shut. I've found that if you bend the door flap up a bit, it works just perfectly. When my 2 year-old saw this on Christmas morning, her face lit up the room. She LOVES it and will get a few year's use out of it, I'm sure!
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on October 23, 2015
ok for a gift
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on February 6, 2003
I bought this for my granddaughter who is 3 years old. She has played with it everyday since Christmas. The only problem we had was that the "food" did not turn colors as illustrated. Inside the box was a postcard to send in for replacement "food" as the company was aware of the problem. We still haven't got the replacements. All in all, my granddaughter has gotten hours of joy playing with it. That's what really matters, isn't it.
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on June 10, 2003
I bought this toy for my two daughters ages 2&1/2 and 1&1/2. They love it!!! I was worried about buying it because of all of the bad reviews, but I decided on getting it anyway. When I opened the box, I found that all of the parts were not only there and not damaged at all, fisher price had also included an extra set of treats. I guess I was impressed because they didn't really have to send the old ones that didn't work, but they did in addition to the new ones. I did have a problem with the fridge door, it wouldn't stay closed and was all warped, but some sticky backed velcro did the trick at the top and bottom to keep it closed. I am not even going to bother using the color change right now, maybe only on a rare occasion, because they think it is just the coolest thing that it "sounds" like it is cooking when the fan goes and they dance to the music and they love the lights. I tested the color change so that I know that it does work, but they don't even care about that!! My oldest "cooks" everything from the cups that it comes with to her blanket, just to see the oven work!! Also, it comes with an AMAZING amount of accessories!! I am sure I will find them stuffed under my couch and every where else, but I think for the money, it doesn't get any better!! I have never seen one with this many accessories, so a little rigging the fridge door is worth it!! It is a little hard for them to reach the pantry, but that will change with age. I personally think that this will last a long time as long as I am careful about the way they treat it, they are young and that is my responsiblity, but I think fisher price has done a great job!!
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on December 30, 2002
My brother-in-law got this for our 3.5-year-old niece. A few days after Christmas we took it to her grandmother's and put it together. TIP #1: present this gift to a child fully assembled. Assembly is a 20-step job and requires a screwdriver and at least 15 minutes. Your kids will want to help, run off with parts, and ask for continuous status reports :-)
The plastic parts are flimsy and hard to assemble. Fit and finish is not up to the standards of good toys. The screws don't fit well; they're tough to screw in, and you risk stripping the head. You can also see discolorations in the plastic where the screws stress it, like when you bend the clip on a Bic pen.
Some parts snap in instead of requiring screws. But when we inserted the central module into the base, which requires 8 tabs to snap in, only 7 of 8 caught. The other one was misaligned. Since the tabs can't be snapped back out, however, we had to try to force #8 in without being able to start over. #8 very quickly snapped off.
Taped to the shelf parts were a little addendum to the instructions, emphasizing how the shelves had to be inserted "just so" in order for connecting tabs to be engaged. This indicates there has already been feedback on assembly problems. The manual is still poorly written and illustrated.
Once the kitchen was assembled, and the batteries were installed, and the little ice thingy was frozen, it was time to do some baking. The toy includes an assortment of cakes, pies, cookies, etc. that have color-sensitive tops. The oven's Magic Secret is to blow cooled air on the treats so they change color and look cooked.
The color change is a faint purple, just as your hands might look if you walked outside in freezing weather without gloves.
But the kids (2, 3, and almost 4) loved it. They turn the knob (actually, _I_ turn the knob; it's poorly designed for kids' hands and hard to turn) -- and then lights flash and music plays for about a minute. Then "ding!" and the treats are ready. Given that the kids *stand still* for that one minute, waiting for the bell, and cook their treats over and over again, shows how much they enjoy it.
There's a "frosting" toy intended for dipping in ice water, then presumably does the same color-change trick on the baked goods (or makes them look more baked.) The kitchen's site will have to tolerate small amounts of leaking water.
Recommendations for Fisher-Price: Make the toy more sturdy, and easier to assemble. Keep the music, lights and bell. Forget about the color changing, which our kids didn't even care about, and older kids might think is not realistic enough. Cut the price from $.. to $.., and re-release.
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on December 19, 2002
My twin 3 year old daughters told Santa Claus just two weeks ago that they wanted a new play kitchen as their Christmas toy. The only problem was they each wanted a different one. One wanted the Fisher Price Sweet Magic Kitchen, while the other wanted the Little Tykes Tender Heart Tea Party Kitchen. Needless to say, on Christmas morning they will be receiving a Sweet Magic Tea Party Kitchen.
I assembled both the Sweet Magic Kitchen and the Tea Party Kitchen last night. The Magic Kitchen was a little more difficult to assemble, with more screws, etc. But both kitchens were sturdy once completed. The Oven and Refridgerator doors on the Sweet Magic Kitchen don't close as well, as previous reviews have stated. But both will be good enough for my girls to actively play with.
The advantage of the Sweet Magic Kitchen is of course the fact that it "cooks" treats by changing the color of the treat by blowing air cooled by an ice tray which sits in the "oven". So remember to freeze water in the ice tray for Christmas morning. I was one of the unlucky ones that purchased the early version of this toy which has the treats that do not change color as well as the newer ones. They are shipping us new treats, but my chief complaint would be that it will take 6 to 8 weeks (well after Christmas morning). Oh well.
The advantage of the Tea Party Kitchen is that it has a cute little pink chair (according to my daughter). It also makes play noises when the tea pot is "ready" and has a baby seat for a doll at the side table.
Because I'm trying to avoid a fight, we also purchased a Little Tykes Country Table and Chairs (the chairs are blue but identical in shape to the pink chair of the Tea Party Kitchen).
I think that both of these toys will be enjoyed by my girls. In my opinion, if you need to decide between the two, ask your child which they would prefer (assuming you can still get either one). Or guess which features they would prefer. Do they want treats that (sort of) change color? Or do they like a kitchen with a pink chair and side table? I don't think they will be disappointed with either toy.
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on December 28, 2002
We read all the reviews on this item before making a purchase, so our expectations weren't that high. Out of the box (on Christmas Eve, no less) the oven door is broken. It's something we can probably fix with Superglue if need be.
It is now five days after our daughter opened this and I STILL cannot get through to Fisher Price to get a new part. Every time I call the Consumer Assistance line, it says "We are experiencing heavy call volume, please try again later or try our web site (which is of no help at all)."
Other than that, it's okay. Our daughter likes it. It has a lot of pieces, so in that respect, it's probably a good deal.
All right, here's my final update: Fisher Price ended up sending us a new "Oven" instead of a door, which we could not use without prying and/or breaking off all the other pieces. I called again in APRIL and they sent us a whole new toy. Beware - they made me send in the stove top as proof of purchase, and I had to eat the $11 postage. When I complained, they said they NEVER reimburse people to send in the items.
In late April we received the "new" Sweet Magic Kitchen. We opened the box and found that many of the pieces were definitely used and repackaged. There were scrapes everywhere and broken pieces on the bottom of the box as well as an oven door that couldn't close. We were able to cobble together a single working Sweet Magic Kitchen from the 2 1/2 units scattered all over our living room.
I wrote yet one more letter to the PRESIDENT of Mattel, requesting a complete refund and reimbursement of that $*#(%) $11. In late May, we received a check for $80. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!
Beware, beware, beware.
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on December 9, 2002
I read the reviews on this web site and took a chance and bought the kitchen anyway for my daughter for Christmas. I went ahead and put the kitchen together last week to see "How bad it really was."
The pieces that come to put the kitchen together are very flimsy, And I was very worried about the pieces "cracking" trying to put it together. My husband and I took extra care in putting it together and it was a very painless assembly. Once you get it put together the kitchen itself is "sturdy". I would say the oven door and the refridgerator door are pretty flimsy and don't "close tight". Nothing that an extra magnent or 2 couldn't fix.
The treats don't change color at all like the web site demonstration. I did call to complain with Fisher Price and they have already made "new and Improved" color change treats and have shipped those out to me. *edit* I have received the new treats and they work perfectly.
Well, I didn't do a very good job of hiding my kitchen and my 3 year old daughter has been playing with it for 2 days. =) She absolutely loves this kitchen. She doesn't even care that the colors don't work on all of the treats. She likes the fact that she can "turn on" the oven herself and she knows that while the music is playing the oven is "hot and you don't touch". And that once it dings the cake/cookies are finished and it's time to eat them.
My husband and I have had so much milk and cookies these past 2 days that we are stuffed. *wink*
I would buy this again in a heartbeat. I think my daughter will take very good care of the kitchen even with the "delicate doors" that come with it.
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on November 30, 2002
Here's how it works, inside the 'oven' is a removable cooling unit that must be completely frozen in your freezer before use. (HINT: Don't open this on xmas morning! Put it together and prepare the freeze chamber the night before!) When you insert the ice chamber and turn the switch, a fan comes on (3 "D" batteries!) which cools the treats and turns them colors. Or at least, that's how it is supposed to work. The items barely change, in fact Fisher Price inserted a card in our box apologizing for their ... product and included a phone number to call and order improved treats. We'll see what happens. It is indeed the most flimsy kitchen I've ever seen. It is NOT Little Tikes quality, Fisher Price uses much cheaper plastic, the refrigerator door doesn't shut, the sink doesn't snap in so it wobbles all over, and putting the entire unit together took a lot of effort. I have a feeling refreezing the unit will be pain, plus as it thaws, it drips all over the oven. It's a neat idea though, I prefer the cold to a hot light bulb I guess. Just wish it was better constructed and that the treats actually changed color like the commercials! One Postive: My 3 1/2 yr old doesn't care and loves it anyway. Just remember to put it together before she sees it, I can't stress this enough.
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