Play Eats: PBK Play Kitchen ReviewBy Blemon
My daughter's play kitchen began with one consignment store purchase made by my mom, before my daughter was a year old. She picked up the Pottery Barn Kids Classic Kitchen Stove for $40 and it came with pots, utensils and oven mitts and potholders. It is the perfect size for smaller kids- my daughter was able to pull up and play on it before she was walking and she still loves it at 3 years old. It is very sturdy and all of the knobs turn and the timer/clock clicks when you turn it. My parents added to her kitchen collection the following Christmas and bought her the matching fridge. It was very exciting for Eloise to have such a large package on Christmas morning and the fridge was an immediate hit.
Pottery Barn Kids had discontinued making the Classic Kitchen pieces, but brought them back for the 2009 Holiday Season. We live very close to a PBK store my mom bought it there when it initially went on sale and then had the price adjusted after it was marked down again to $99. Which I don't think is a bad price for a new non-plastic/non-particleboard play kitchen piece. I love that it came fully assembled!
I had looked into having a fridge made by someone on Etsy and the total cost including shipping would have been more than $99. Even though PBK is not a local business, they do have a store less than 5 miles from our home, which serves as a great pit-stop/play area when we have to go to the mall. Both pieces are very sturdy and well made. I like that the pieces are heavy and stable enough to withstand being pulled up onto by smaller children. The fridge came with a "tip resistant kit" so I guess if we were better parents we could have attached it to the wall, but we have never had any mishaps. The doors have magnetic closures and both have withstood being pushed upon and are still very sturdy. The appliances are constructed from wood for the frames, handles, knobs, etc. and MDF for the panels. It would be great if they were all wood, but the MDF is definitely nicer than plastic and particle board that many play kitchens are constructed from. The pieces are very simply designed and don't have any extra decoration, which is nice. Even though there is a lot of pink on the icebox and a few pink touches on the stove the boys that visit our house love to play in the kitchen.
The stove was in good condition when my mom bought it, but there was some wear on the faucet. The stove with its knobs, faucet and stove elements has been exposed to a lot more play than the fridge. I have noticed that that kitchen sets now sold at Pottery Barn Kids have metal faucets, not wood. The use of metal pots on the stove has probably added to the wear. Overall we have been very pleased with both pieces.
Thanks so much to Carolyn for this very thorough review! Of course, all pictures are courtesy of Carolyn and her son who is demonstrating that even boys can play with a kitchen too. Even though the set is discontinued, it attests to the quality of a PBK piece and all will help as these kitchen sets are going to be popping up on Craig's List all the time as kids grow out of them.
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