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Barbie’s Kitchen of the Future

By Jennifer White

In the early 1970’s, Mattel released the Karosel Kitchen, a play structure for Barbie or other similarly sized dolls.  This popular toy featured brightly colored cabinets and appliances oriented around a central rotating column.  Inspired by the “Kitchen of the Future” from the 1964 World’s Fair, the Kitchen showcased “modern” conveniences such as a dryer with a front-loading door and a dishwasher with a revolving fast-spin washing cycle.

The upper storage cabinets offered plenty of room to store Barbie’s kitchen supplies (sold separately!), and the lower section held six automated appliances.

Mattel’s Karosel Kitchen, copyright 1970

Refrigerator that lights up to show a roomy interior divided into four sections

1. Dryer with front-loading door and built-in clothes basket that spins.

2. Washing Machine with top-loading door and revolving fast-spin washing cycle.

3. Dishwasher with jet-action revolving center spindle that washes plastic dishes.

4. Sink that has modern faucet on top with lighted storage compartment underneath.

5. Refrigerator that lights up to show a roomy interior divided into four sections.

6. 2-Burner Stove with a built-in rotisserie that roasts chickens as it turns.

At the push of a button, children could rotate the Kitchen, giving their dolls easy access to the appliances, and another button turned the appliances on and off.

A Karosel Kitchen was recently donated to T/m by Kathy Pinter. Kathy fondly remembers seeing an advertisement in the Sears Wishbook Catalog and asking Santa for one of her own. To her delight, Santa surprised her with the Karosel Kitchen, and Kathy and her Barbies spent many happy hours playing with the new toy.

Dryer with front-loading door and built-in clothes basket that spins

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