Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Vehicles

 


2014 Award
Thomas & Friends Track Master, Avalanche Escape Set
(Fisher-Price $65 Score:)

Getting this 6-foot long roadway built is going to be an adult project that kids can help you do. Once the set-up is made, Thomas is in for quite a ride over the mountaintop track. As he climbs the steep incline he literally has to fly across the huge gap in the tracks. As he zooms down the mountain he goes over a rickety ridge that has collapsing guardrails and then into a cave. This set comes with track adaptors so that more track can be added to make this a part of a larger set-up. As a stand alone, it is a pretty closed system that does the same trick again and again. Yes, it is novel and a wow-ee kind of show the first few times. We think it may lose some appeal after the tricks become old hat. We strongly suggest additional tracks to make this a more viable play experience. 3-6

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Shake n Go Dune Racer
(Fisher-Price $14 Score:)

Shake the four-wheel drive vehicle to make the engine roar and let it go! It not only rolls, it climbs over obstacles and up small hills. There is a yellow mudder truck, and a red hot rod racer truck. They all take two AA batteries. For the money, this is a showy little vehicle that could also knock down some blocks as it runs obstacle courses that kids love to create. Bring home two and they can have a race. These come with a warning to keep the spinning wheels away from hair. 3-7

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Tobo Toy Track Set
(Tobo Toys $40 Score:)

Our testers liked this versatile and unusual new track that comes with only one small wooden car, but will be used with other vehicles and wooden train track set-ups. The twelve wooden pieces have multiple interlocking tabs in several shapes that are imprinted with numerals to match up. There are a variety of ways to make these connections, so in spite of the numerals, it is a pretty open-ended track that is compatible with Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends, Brio and other car and train tracks. A fun accessory for problem solving, matching numerals, fine motor skills, creative thinking, and giving old track toys a new possibilities. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Krazy Kars Max Traxxx Tracer Racers
(Skullduggery $29.99 Score:)

Awesome. If you're looking for a car track set, look no further. First, the set comes with two cars that have LED lights on the bottom (you can change the settings to adjust the type of pattern the car will leave on the track). Yes, the cars leave a trace of LIGHT. Did we mention that the tracks will light up in the dark from the LED lights?  Our testers loved  both leaving LED on all the way--this lit up the entire inside of the track or putting the LED lights on pulse...which left a broken pattern on the track. Either way - this is a hit. The tracks go together well and come with suction cups so that you can make two ramps and race the cars.  The company tells us that there is a patent pending, we just know this is sooo much fun.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Power Tower Trackset
(Mattel $44.99 Score:)

If you're a fan of Hot Wheels Wall Tracks, you'll want to know about this latest addition to the line. The Power Tower features a central corkscrew track that brings the cars up to the top of the structure. Comes with one Hot Wheels car (we always think these sets should come with at least two!) and the magical 3M Command Strips that make it possible to temporarily place the structure on the wall. (We'd recommend not placing on wallpaper. During one of our first trials we did not pull the strip down sufficiently and as a result removed some paint from the wall. This was on us. If you follow the instructions, the Command Strips work well.)

This set kept three of our toy testers well entertained. What's nice about these sets is that they can be combined with others to create a truly amazing wall of tracks. Something some of us only dreamed about as kids!

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Hot Wheels Carcade
(Mattel $99 Score:)

Hands down one of the most fun toys we tested this year. If you like Hot Wheels cars and pinball - it doesn't get much better than this new arcade game that loads your Hot Wheels cars (it only comes with one) into the launcher that moves from side to side so that you can shoot the car into the slots above.  If you get the car into the slot when the light above it is on, you score points. It has an electronic scoreboard that keeps track of your score. It has a neat lockdown dome (think Mad Max thunderdome) that captures a car and provides added drama of doubling your points while that one car is trapped inside. This feature, while fun, did not always work well but no one seemed to mind. In order to get into the dome you have to get the car up a special ramp - our testers found this hard to do - but willing to keep on trying. Requires 3AA and 4 D batteries. Will not work with all Hot Wheels vehicles but it worked with the ones we had on hand.  This is what we call a big memorable novelty toy. The kind that gets played with a lot when friends come over! 5 & up.

 

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Neat-Oh Hot Wheels Crash Racer Backpack
(Neat-Oh $20 Score:)

A small backpack that is shaped like a racing car and unzips to become a race track. This is not a backpack for carrying lots of school books and such. It is more like a fun carry along to a play date. It comes in several color choices and with one hot wheels racing car to use on the small ramp. 3 & up

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Hot Wheels TCR Total Control Racing Stunt Park
(Mattel $52.99 Score:)

Pure racing fun! The large track set comes with one yellow car and charger (of course, you can buy additional cars/chargers). The track has a  big loop and two pleasing ramps - providing plenty of satisfying motion. The cars are remote-controlled. We recommending buying an additional white car (and controller), so that another person can control that car separately (they use different radio frequencies).  We had a little trouble getting the clear plastic on the the larger ramp - but we got it to work. The racing action here is great fun and the fact that you can have more than one car and controller to the mix adds to the possibilities for races and collisions!  Each charger uses 4 AA batteries (not included).

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Power Tower Trackset
(Mattel $44.99 Score:)

Wall Tracks were a dream come true when they came out last year. If you're a Hot Wheels fan, then you've always dreamed of putting tracks everywhere--including your walls.  Most of last year's sets did not require batteries-- they were elegantly designed to take your speeding car down a maze of tracks. Mattel partnered with 3M to find a use for heir 3M Command Strips that would excite an 5 year old!  This new POWER TRACK is just that-- almost the muscle machine of the line with batteries that propel your car up a corkscrew elevator and watch out for the jaws that try to eat your car for lunch.  While we prefer the non-battery operated concept, our testers enjoyed the added bells and whistles of this set. Requires 2 D batteries.  One of our parent testers noted that the 3M Command Strips did not hold up on her textured dry wall. Take a look at last year's review and video before you buy.

 

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Micro Charger Jump Track
(Moose Toys $29.99 Score:)

This little racing set comes with two micro charger vehicles and two handheld chargers. Rev them up and put them on the track and watch them go. The little track set has a gap that the little racers can jump--except when they don't. Check out some of the other sets from the same company.  They  are compatable and allow you to combine elements to make larger race tracks. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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