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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 


2014 Award
Corolle Mon Bebe Classique Happiness Doll
(Corolle $84 Score:)

The latest from Corolle's classic multi-cultural 14" Bebe collection. She has a soft body with vinyl arms, legs and head - all with their signature vanilla scent. Comes in a floral romper, a matching scarf for head, adorable sandals and a pacifier. Her blue eyes open and close when she's put in a sleeping position.  We also loved: Bebe Classique Valentine Doll - she comes in a pale grey dress with a pink sweater. There is also a very sweet African-American version  - see our review of Bebe Classique Graceful Pink.  We love that these dolls are so huggable and because they're weighted in their bottoms,  they will sit up on their own.

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

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2014 Awards
Little Tikes Splish Splash Sink and Stove
(Little Tikes $26 Score:)

This is the buy of the year as toy kitchens go...the tabletop toy has a working faucet that circulates the water in the sink for splish-splashing good fun. Unlike so many toy kitchens, this really has a sink big enough to wash dishes, not to mention getting to play in water. However there are two issues you need to know up front:  1) no soap bubbles are allowed since they might clog up the works and 2) real hand strength is needed to get the water action going. Of course, this can be messy, but good play often is exactly that. Adding to the value, this combo sink and stove takes up very little space but has a lot of pretend play built into the affordable mini-setting. The stove has knobs that click and the young chef will love cooking with and cleaning up a fry pan two dishes, cups, and cutlery that comes with the set. 

SNAP: Put this on a table top for kids who are in a wheelchair. The water faucet does require hand power and may be too hard for some. It is otherwise a terrific water toy/ pretend prop for dramatic play.

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

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2014 Award
Little Tikes Ultimate Cook Kitchen
(Little Tikes $150 Score:)

Our test family gave this kitchen setting very high grades. Our three-year old tester's mom tells us "he is having a ball with it..." He loves every detail of this kitchen and especially likes to make them Cappuccino and asking them if "we need some coffee?" She likes the fact that it went together easily and is also being enjoyed for pretend play by his six and seven-year old siblings. Although some of the hanging pieces do not stay in place, they had no complaints. It has been used daily since it arrived and as our tester's mom wrote, she is impressed with the durability of Little Tikes products... "if three boys can't destroy it, it has to be made well." We like the fact that his kitchen is not gender specific and will be enjoyed for years of dramatic play by boys and girls. 2 +

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

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2014 Award
Little Tikes Touch N Go Racers
(Little Tikes $12.95 Score:)

Choose one of the five Touch n Go Racers; a black and white police car, a green hatch back, a red truck or a blue or grey racer. All have buttons that start the engine, rev it up, honk the horn and a GO button that sends it zooming. Bring home two and have your own races. This is small, very special, but affordable toy that will get lots of action.

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

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2014 Award
Disney Get Better Talking Mobile
(Disney $49.99 Score:)

Forget the old black Doctor's bag that kids played with for generations. Young medics now have a van that is loaded with lights, sounds EKG, stethoscope, thermometer, and bandage dispenser to care for their ailing dolls or playmates. There is even a gurney and seat for the teddy bear or doll in need of medical attention. Oh, and yes, it even plays the Doc Mobile song. A very large piece of plastic, but for Doc McStuffins fans this is a play setting with lots of potential.

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

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2014 Award
Disney Walk n’ Talk Doc Mobile
(Disney $35 Score:)

Fans of Doc McStuffins are going to clamor for this novelty version that features Doc walking with her Mobil van. It's pretty much a watching toy. You put the handle of the van into the hole in Doc's fist, push the button and off she goes, pulling her van behind her. There's music and action and your player will need to provide the drama. We suspect this will be a wow for a brief shining moment. Doc is made of rigid plastic—she needs a strong core. On testing she did fall on her face a few times, but with luck she will walk upright and sing at the same time. Not a must have buy unless it is on top of the wish list and then, only maybe.

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

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2014 Award
Manhattan Toy Delightfuls Duffy Dog
(Manhattan Toy $18 & up Score:)

A delicious armful, Duffy Dog is a taffy colored pooch with dark brown floppy ears, velvety nose and tail. His furry coat is shaggy and his body has pellets to weigh down the bottom for sitting. He's huggable as a pooch can be and comes in two sizes, large 15" and medium 12".

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

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2014 Awards
Magformers 55 piece Dinosaur Set
(Magformers $99 Score:)

There are step-by-step instructions for creating a brontosaurus, velociraptor, stegoaurus, tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops with the colorful magnetic pieces. Of course, the finished pieces are rather abstract representations, but, satisfying for kids who are heavily into dinosaurs. Of course, kids can make their own creations, as well. Like so many of the Magformer sets, this involves, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience and imagination. Also fun, for Deep Sea ($89) enthusiasts, a 46 piece set with instructions for making 10 nautical builds or the Forest Friends ($89) 47 piece set for making bats, butterflies, bunnies and other creatures of the forest. They say 3 & up, we think 3's will like playing with the pieces that are safe since the magnets are embedded in large plastic pieces. But making these complex builds is more like a task for 5's and up.

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

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2014 Award
Blabla Mirabelle
(blabla kids $56 Score:)

Who can resist the delectable bunny Mirabelle with her floppy pink ears with small pom-poms, her blue ballet leotard and her lace up slippers? Happily, all her clothes are knitted on and not removable. She's 18 inches tall with long legs and arms for easy grabbing. She’s big enough to satisfy toddlers love of big huggables, but light enough to be handled with ease. Her adorable stitched features will bring a smile from tots and adults alike.

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

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2014 Awards
Blaba Mini London
(blabla kids $44 Score:)

A high contrast white and black doggie with polka dots. Knitted by hand in Peru, this is a charming 100% cotton doll that is 12 inches big and machine washable. Mini London is white with grey and black dots and all stitched features. A huggable pooch that infants will enjoy gazing at; eventually it will be just right for hugging, as well. For a larger pooch, see Licorice, done in reverse with a black body and grey and white dots. Newborn & up.

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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