While the boys were busy scraping their knees and dreaming of becoming the fifth member of the A-Team, just where were the little girls of the 80s? In the kitchen, that's where (where they belong, some might argue!). But this wasn't any kitchen. No, this one was roughly the size of a tea trolley, it was made entirely of plastic, sometimes it could be found in the garage and sometimes cluttering up the hallway, and its cupboards were always stocked with pots of Play-Doh rathert than yogurt. It was, of course, the A La Carte Kitchen.
It was the stuff of dreams, it really was. After years of having your knuckles rapped for getting too near Mum's bubbling pans or delving into the fridge-freezer before tea time, little girls with generous parents rejoiced in getting their own chef's residence.
A La Carte Kitchen was a miniture kitchen consisting of a sink on one side and a cooker on the other. It had a fold-down table and two wheels to allow it to be wheeled around. Parents must have been horrified by the prospect of an A La Carte Kitchen on the Christmas wish list, especially with the mess the girl made on the advert as she presented her father with a dish of Swiss Roll with baked beans: 'Wake up Daddy, breakfast's ready."'
The A La Carte Kitchen, released by Bluebird Toys in 1982 (the makers behind the Big Yellow Teapot) was one of those classic "toys you always wanted but never got", although you could guarantee your best friend had one. Twenty or so years on, the girls who were aching to get one of these little plastic beauties in her Wendy House probably wonder why they were so infatuated with playing the little 'housewife'. However, it's important to remember that this was a time when no one really worried about stereotyping. No doubt, toys on the same wish list also included things like a toy ironing board, vacuum cleaner or Tiny Tears!