Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Play Kitchen Review: Little Tikes Inside Outside Cook 'N Grill Kitchen

After doing some research on play kitchens, my wife and I decided to buy the Little Tikes Inside Outside Cook 'N Grill Kitchen. The factors in the decision included price, gender favorable, and least amount of synthetic noises. We purchased it from Toys 'R Us in Chicago on Western Ave. for $129.99 plus tax.

Set up was difficult. Mainly, excessive tools and force were needed almost every step of the way. Faulty manufacturing was the problem. Holes to hang the doors did not exist and had to be drilled. Looking back at the directions, my memory was accurate for once – they specifically said not to use a drill. (I did anyway for the entire install.) The procedure had to be repeated for the cabinets, the microwave, the refrigerator, and the phone. For all of the other screws, using a screwdriver manually would have taken forever; each hole had to be opened, then had to penetrate sometimes two or three layers of hard plastic. There's no way I could have done it by myself in less than four hours. I have a Ryobi drill and set the torque to the lowest setting so that it wouldn't push the screws too deep. That and a gentle touch sped up the process.

The other difficulty we found was inserting the range knobs. Even putting soap on the ends as was recommended, it was tough.

I'm 6'5", 200 lbs. and in play hockey regularly. Some of you might also be able to overcome the difficulty, but I would use caution.

On the other hand, The price compared to other kitchens was $20-70 cheaper and, once set up, it is awesome. JD loves it.

All in all, if you are an expert toy setter-upper with an assortment of tools, this is a good buy. Perhaps others don't have the manufacturing flaws this did; maybe we got the bad box. I could have returned it, but the thought of putting it back into the box or even just into the car, burning the gas, then hauling it back into the store only to deal with the savvy, motivated personnel at Toys R Us left me motivated to make it work.

I have contacted Little Tikes to tell them the difficulty I had. I also tried to post a review on the Toys R Us website but had some trouble.

I'll try to get a picture up of JD playing with it.

1 comment:

  1. This is nice article. Thank you for sharing. Continue posting.