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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Pretend Play

 

 
2015 Awards
eeBoo Back to School Magnetic Playboard
(eeBoo $15 Score:)

A new version of the 'make me a story' collection that may be very helpful for kids with back to school jitters. It's metal playboard with a school setting provides the background for a classroom full of playful creatures and their wise old owl teacher. The magnetic backing on the playing pieces can be moved about as kids make up their own stories using the characters created by illustrator, Kevin Hawkes. A good prop for dramatic play or talking through typical angst over the opening of school and new situations. This is not for kids who still mouth their toys. The playing pieces are large and reasonably easy to move about. Good for story telling, listening, and pretend play.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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Fisher-Price Imaginext Ultra T-Rex
(Fisher-Price $99.99 Score:)

For dino-haulics of a certain age, this Ultra T-Rex will be a heavily promoted holiday gift. This is no toy for the timid. It walks, it stomps, it roars and goes from crouching to standing at full height—2 ˝ feet tall! But that's not all, it opens its toothy jaws and closes them with chomping sounds. Sound and motion are blended with lights on its spikes and eyes that will scare off any little sisters or brothers. T-Rex can even fire boulders from its chest and claws (they do not go far; they sort of fall to the ground so they are not a safety problem as so many projectile toys can be.) Okay, it's true, this is a novelty toy that will probably gather dust before long, and end up in the landfill; that said, we have to admit, dino lovers are going to be wowed by this gy-normous motorized plastic-saurus. It will come to life with 4 AA batteries. Marked 36 months to 8 years. We say 5-7 is probably prime time for this one. AWARD pending testing.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Time To Sleep Cradle
(Manhattan Toy $40 Score:)

A white wooden cradle that is easy to assemble and made to measure for a Baby Stella doll or other smallish dollsl and stuffed animals. It comes with a small pillow and bedding for tucking Stella in for  naptime. A good choice for beginning dramatic play. NOTE: the doll is not included!

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
Jurassic World Heroes Dilophosaurus
(Hasbro $14.99 Score:)

Kids will no doubt love the sounds and lights as they press the tail of this fierce blue and orange trimmed Dilophosaurus. His jaw opens and his claws move as he roars. Small enough to use with building blocks; scary enough to add drama to pretend stories of prehistoric dimensions. If you need a lot of birthday gifts that will not break the bank, this is a likely pleaser.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
Jurassic Park Tyrannosaurus Rex
(Hasbro $29.99 Score:)

Lights, sounds and a T-Rex that not only roars, you can hear it chew and swallow. This is one of the biggies in the Jurassic line-up, a giant green T-Rex with eyes that flash, spikes on its back, and a mouth full of teeth. Tip him forward and his jaw closes with a snap and the sounds of chewing and swallowing begins. Ferocious, and how! Being from the movies he comes with a handler who is small but tough and has his own leg gripper for grabbing T-Rex from behind. If you prefer a less noisy version, consider the brownish Tyrannosaurus Rex with a snapping jaw but no sounds or lights.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Hasbro Jurassic World Heroes Indominus Rex
(Hasbro $34.99 Score:)

Lights, sounds and a T-Rex that not only roars, she changes skin color on her thorny grey back when she eats. Even more frightening, you can hear her chomp, chew and swallow. This is the biggie in the Jurassic line-up, a giant grey T-Rex with eyes that flash, spikes all over, and a mouth full of teeth.  Super Ferocious, and how! Maybe a bit over the top for some preschoolers who have not sorted out real and make believe. Marked 4 and up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Janod Cat Cradle
(Janod $44.99 Score:)

Painted in deep pink this dolls cradle has a cat face cut out at each end. Big enough to hold several dolls it rocks gently and comes with a soft blanket and pillow. An ideal prop for pretend play, especially for new big sisters. One of those toys that will likely get passed along to cousins or younger siblings.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Awards
Calico Critters Chocolate Labrador Family
(International Playthings $24.99 Score:)

Newest of the posable families this year, four Chocolate Labrador Pooches; a Mama, Papa and brother and sister. Also cute, a family of four Cuddle Bears. These critters are pricey but good for dollhouse as well as their own settings. Look for the new Calico Critters Van, new for this holiday season. It's big enought to hold a family of seven! 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Janod Story Box Firefighter Set
(janod $24 Score:)

A fifteen piece miniworld with small wooden firefighters, dog, traffic light, ladder, flames, helicopter with spinning blade, firetruck with working arm, and ambulance and patient. The storage box is a colorful firehouse with a helipad. WARNING: This is marked properly for 3 & up since the playing pieces are truly small and not for children who still mouth their toys, even if they are 3.

 

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Fisher Price Thomas & Friends Daring Dragon Drop
(Fisher-Price $40 Score:)

A fun add-on for the Thomas & Friends train fans. This setting has plenty of action. Thomas rides along the track until he goes through a gate that sets off a volcano that lights up and rumbles. As Thomas reaches the top he slips into a zip line transporter style carrier that slips down and though the dragon's archway. The action is done without batteries and although it's a pretty closed system and may lose it's novelty before long, as an added setting for the train set, it adds a new element of action that will give the old train set a new focus. It's designed as a fold up take along, but it is not all that compact. 3 & up

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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