The big green box

So at the Before Party, the Big Green Box made its presence felt as its massive bulk sat tantalizingly close and untouchable. Of course it was also sat on, and sat on pretty uncomfortablely, because underneath the green polka-dot exterior was nothing but unpadded heavy-duty cardboard for Liam Wallace’s buttcheeks during the photo-op that he got us back for.


See those toes? You get the idea.

The outer covering didn’t last too long when it came time to unwrapping as Micro-Dragon got first dibs at ripping before inviting cousins to fall upon it like grad students with free food. Real Day of the Locust scenario. If you’ve seen The Two Towers, think of the scene where the Uruk-hai says that “meat’s back on the table” to have an idea what unwrapping looked like.

Frrom underneath all that green polka-dot, the big green box revealed itself to be this: The Step 2 Lifestyle Dream Kitchen with included accessories and sound effects. It’s a honking big box.

The Step 2 Lifestyle dream kitchen

Anyway, time to get down to business, starting with the unboxing. Step 2 loves packing tape because the carton openings were mummified with the stuff. After considerable struggle using box cutters to hack through the seals, we saw this:

The open box-top and contents

Doesn’t seem so bad, right? And the box also says “minimal assembly required”.

A hundred years ago, Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden stated that the implementation of federal income taxes for the first time ever in Canada would only be a temporary measure until the conclusion of the extraordinary events in the world. We all know how that promise went and it’s yet another reason why federal Conservative governments are never a good thing, but let’s get back to the kitchen.

Remove one piece. Remove another piece. And another. And another. And another. Then bags full of accessories, parts and screw. Many, many screws. This is the final unboxing; the majority of the bags are underneath that white centrepiece for the hutch.

Lots of pieces in the full unboxing

Oy vey! Everything is covered in production dust! Time to wipe down every single surface during parts inventory to make sure it’s clean so that playtime can ensue as quickly as possible. Time for wipedown: 90 minutes. That’s a lot of surface area there.

After wipedown was completed, it was time to get started. First thing: assemble the doors for the pull-out drawers, then fit the basket, oven tray, cutlery tray and faucet before installing the combined counter and cooktop. Align base and countertop and secure with screws. Install felt pads onto base to minimize scratching.

The completed base

Next: assemble hutch and secure components together with screws. Install refrigerator door.

The completed hutch

Align keytags of hutch with matching slots in base and slide components together. Ensure appropriately alignment and secure with screws. Install backsplash with appropriate screws. Install fixtures.

Integration of hutch and base

Did I mention that the illustrated instructions don’t fully match reality? I should.

And the final product, though without some of the finishing details on the crown moldings because that makes the kitchen just a touch too “country”. So what do we see in this kitchen? Cutlery in the cutlery drawer, table setting in appropriate slots, food in appropriate locations within the refrigerator (fruit, vegetables and hamburger) and oven (pizza), pots and pans put away under the sink.

That is indeed a wireless phone with appropriate beep-boop sounds, there is a microwave with sound, a cooktop with bubble/sizzle sounds, an oven with sound and a functional LED overhead light, all powered by a small mountain of batteries.

The fully-assembled kitchen

Time from unboxing to completion of assembly: 5 hours 20 minutes. Remember – the box said “minimal assembly required”. I’d be seriously worried if there was significant assembly required.

At the end, was all that pain and angst for the patrem worth it?

Look for yourself: this is the filium proudly showing off all the cool features of his new kitchen to Super-Fina, who showed early to give him his birthday present and spend some time with him. He’s going to look really sharp in that new outfit by the way.

Liam Wallace showing Super-Fina the cool stuff

Micro-Dragon plays with the kitchen when he wakes up in the morning and when he comes back from proto-school at the end of the day so yes, it was a successful choice. I’m also quite sure that Super-Fina notices that Liam Wallace makes way less mess in his kitchen than the parentals do in the other one.



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