We have the usual eclectic pile of children's toys in our house, but one thing I usually avoid are toys that make tinny electronic noises. Part of this is that I want my children to use their own imaginations when it comes to play; the other part is that I prefer to keep my sanity intact, something that is impossible when some infernal piece of plastic is beeping or singing in a high pitched tinny tuneless voice within my hearing. However my younger brother takes great pleasure in presenting my children with these sort of toys (don't worry I have all sorts of revenge planned for when he produces infants of his own) and last Christmas my then 5 year old and 15 month old were given this microwave toy. ***What is it?*** A realistic replica DeLonghi microwave made by Casdon -a known and trusted brand. Silvered plastic on the outside and black on the inside it is clear that they have tried to make it look as much like a microwave as they can, for a toy of course. It has fake moulded vents on the top and down the side are a series of dials, knobs, lights and buttons which need the 3 AA batteries to work (not supplied with the toy). At the top you have a simple dial which changes the words in a small window, one turn will select Pizza, then Potato, Chicken etc. Underneath is a series of lights which follow a sequence when the start button is selected. The timer button underneath will stop the microwave in the middle of a cycle. Then there are the Start and Stop, Grill and Oven buttons - when you press Start you can select either Grill or Oven to add additional cooking noises into the mix. On pressing Start on its own the microwave whirs, lights up and the items inside begin to spin around. A realistic sounding beep sounds as the microwave finishes cooking your food.The final button down the side is the Power dial, twist it and it makes a loud clicking sound. In the box with the microwave are a little plastic plate and a little plastic wheel to fit underneath. When you fit them on to the little silver knob inside the microwave they rotate as the wheel and glass plate in a real microwave do. You also get a plastic baked potato, a plastic roast chicken, a plastic pizza with a removable slice and a plastic dish of pasta. ***Price*** RRP is £20, but you can buy it cheaper online e.g. its around £18.83 on Amazon at the moment. ***Age Range*** Says not for children under 36 months and that it needs adult supervision. To be honest I can't see why, my son has been using it from 15 months supervised and unsupervised with no mishaps to either himself or the microwave. ***Personal Experience*** This is a nice toy and whilst it can be incredibly annoying if the start button is continually pressed (looking at you there, my son) it is very sturdy and has a lot of play value to it. My daughter liked it at 5, but lost interest quickly and rarely even looks at it now. My son who was 15 months when we got it, has loved it from the very first. For the first couple of months it was the toy he played with all the time, it was constantly whirring and beeping and whirring and beeping. Most popular was his toy dolly, I hope this isn't a reflection of his future parenting ability! Even now, 9 months or so later he is still enamoured with it and regularly puts things in and watches them light up and whir. Sadly they no longer rotate as the plate and wheel for the inside are two separate fragile pieces of plastic that have to be fiddly fitted onto the little knob on the inside. If they weren't temporarily missing then they were constantly having to be refitted into the toy, a job just for adults as it was so tricky to do. After a few months I removed them permanently and neither child really noticed their absence - for them the lights and sounds were more important. Pretty much every toy that will fit in the box have been put inside at one time or another, with my son watching intently through the window and with a great deal of pleasure. Who would have thought that something that is essentially a light up box would be so popular, but children are really really strange. This is a very sturdy toy, it has been dropped off tables, kicked, thrown onto concrete floors, pulled around by the door, used as a stepstool and all the buttons have been repeatedly and relentless pressed by small fingers. However the microwave has survived with just superficial scratches to the outside, everything still works, all the dials still function. The lightbulb and the batteries have lasted almost 9 months of daily play, but I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing for some people! One small negative may be that the Power dial at the bottom is very difficult to turn, its stiff but also slippery and even as an adult I find it hard to turn around. It is also quite heavy which can be a problem if a small child wants to carry it from room to room, or if it is inadvertently dropped onto a foot, adult or child. ***Would I recommend this*** Yes, it's a well-built, quality toy with lots of appeal for pre-schoolers who want a realistic toy. Even though it is expensive compared to other similar toys, it is definitely worth it in terms of durability and function. The only negatives are the ridiculous turntable setup and one sticky dial, but I would certainly buy this again for my children, for the sheer amount of pleasure it has given my son and the sheer amount of peace and quiet I have got from it. I do have to add at the end that on Amazon there is a one star review from a real numpty who thought this was a real microwave and ordered it in error! I guess that is testament to its realism!
Complete your make believe kitchen with all the gadgets and appliances.