One of the first large Christmas presents we bought for our son was the KidKraft Vintage Kitchen Set. We wanted a toy that was going to allow him to be creative, but was durable enough to stand up to some punishment. A good kitchen set seemed like a perfect choice!
It was also a present I had to build at night while my son was sleeping, so he could wake up to it being fully built in the morning. You know, you have to create that picture perfect moment of your child coming out to the living room in awe to see all of the incredible Christmas gifts left for him overnight…even though he is like 2 years old and has no idea what is going on.
My wife also warned me it would take at least 2 hours to build. She had friends with this same kitchen set, and their husbands spent multiple hours putting it together. Of course those husbands weren’t as talented as me.
Needless to say, about 3 hours after I started putting it together, I built a great Retro Kitchen Set that my children love – and it was a big hit when our oldest child woke up Christmas morning.
Below is our quick review on our experience with this really fun toy.
Quick Toy Overview
This kitchen set has a very practical layout. The refrigerator and freezer are on the left hand side. The middle section is a sink and counter with two burners to the left of that. There is a storage cabinet below the sink and a microwave above it – with the oven to the far right of that. There are plenty of knobs, handles, and even a phone set that comes with it.
The sink knobs twist, the oven knobs twist, you can spin around items that are in the microwave, so there are a lot of fun little things that kids can do.
The kitchen set is heavy – almost 50 pounds when you put it all together. Since it is heavy, we do recommend using the wall anchors it comes with. It is very sturdy, and chances are it won’t fall down, but we did have it get pushed over once, and it could certainly hurt a young child if it was pushed over onto them.
I don’t know the exact dimensions, but it is about 4 feet high, 3 feet long, and it has a width of about 12 inches – so it is going to take up a chunk of space inside your home.
If your child is like mine, the kitchen set is going to take a beating. Over time, the burners may come loose, the sink knobs may be pulled off, and the sink itself can be removed. The knobs and handles have held up extremely well. There is a pull out platform in both the oven and the refrigerator – and those hold up extremely well also.
One of my son’s favorite games is pulling out the plastic sink and dumping tons of toys into the storage area located underneath the sink. You would be amazed at the random things I have found hidden somewhere in his kitchen set (cups, blankets, movies, stuffed animals). It is always a got to place when I can’t find my keys.
It does not come with any food or cooking gear – so you will need to buy those separately to give your child the overall kitchen experience I’m guessing you are going for. It is easy to find lots of different toy food options. The most popular food item in our house is a cupcake set.
The materials are very durable, and like I mentioned above, set aside at least two hours to put this kitchen set together – and probably more.
I believe the manufacturer recommended age for this toy is 3+ – personally we did break the rules and our kids started playing with it at a much earlier age.
The Danger Scale
Overall, this is a very safe toy. The biggest danger is having it tip over or fall over. If you use the wall anchors, this shouldn’t be an issue. Like we mentioned above, it is very heavy, and normally very sturdy even without the use of the wall anchors, but it can be pushed over – so that needs to be monitored.
In theory your child could try to climb up it, but I actually haven’t had this occur from our adventurous sons yet.
Over time, if your vintage kitchen set takes some abuse, some of the screws and small metal pieces used to build it can come lose. Those small pieces could become choking hazards. There are also a few plastic pieces that could be broken over time, but the risk is very small. There aren’t any small pieces to throw or hit other children with – besides the inserts in the oven/fridge.
As long as you use those wall anchors, we are going to give it a 2 on the danger scale, you shouldn’t have any issues with it.
The Parent’s Annoyance Scale
What parents really care about is how annoyed am I going to be by this toy? There are two phases that go into the annoyance scale for this kitchen set – the build and the post-build.
From the post-built perspective, there is nothing annoying about this toy. It doesn’t make loud noises and sounds (with the exception of your child slamming the fridge door really loudly). It encourages self-play and imaginative play. It is very durable and the pieces aren’t easy to break off. What isn’t to like about this that?
Now from the I haven’t put together this toy yet perspective – I hate this toy. I thought I could build it in an hour, and that didn’t come close to happening. There are a million screws, and so many little pieces that have to be connected – I get angry thinking about it. The instructions are clearly labeled, it just takes so very long to actually build. It was also midnight when I was building this, and all I wanted to do was go to bed.
So I’m going to average it out. I give it a 1 on the annoyance scale for the post-build phase, and an 8 for the pain I had to suffer to build it. Overall, I give it a 4 – but if you aren’t going to be the one putting it together (or hearing about how much it sucks to put together from your partner) – it will be a much lower grade!
This toy has been played with for many years, and is a mainstay in our toy collection. Our children have used this kitchen set to prepare many imaginative meals, and they have loved using the microwave, sink, and oven.
They have also used it to store many different toys, and play all sorts of different games. It has been very durable, Gold Star Edition to our toy collection.
If you are looking for a kitchen set, but aren’t looking for something so retro looking – here is a list of other Kitchen Sets from KidKraft. We also did a great review on our KidKraft Train Table if you wanted to learn more about other toys from KidKraft.