Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: Dolls and Huggables

 


2010 Award
Karito Kids Dolls Lulu
(Karito Kids $100 Score:)

This gorgeous 22" African doll from Kenya is fashioned to look like an eleven year old girl and is dressed for sport in a pink, orange and purple soccer outfit. She is one of a collection of multicultural dolls that comes packaged with a book. This purchase is not about the book. You’ll find better books on our book list. This is all about the doll. Her body is soft, but her arms and legs, like her head, are hard vinyl and beautifully molded. This collection has a presence online, as well with games, extra outfits, and a charity that encourages kids to donate money to those more needy. These are definitely dolls for older girls who have a more worldly view and are open to learning about other countries and the dreams of girls from far away. Unlike old-fashioned foreign doll collections, these were designed to be played with…not just displayed. They were also designed to encourage girls to think beyond the confines of their home base. Also in the collection is Pita from Mexico, Ling from China, Zoe from New York City, Piper from Australia. 

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Karito Kids Dolls Gia
(Karito Kids $100 Score:)

This gorgeous 22" brunette doll from Italy is fashioned to look like an eleven year old girl and is dressed in a knit orange and olive green outfit with leaopard dot trim and matching shoes. Gia is into fashion design. She is one of a collection of multicultural dolls that comes packaged with a book. This purchase is not about the book. You'll find better books on our book list. This is all about the doll. Her body is soft, but her arms and legs like her head are hard and beautifully molded. This collection has a presence online, as well with games, extra outfits, and a charity that encourages kids to donate money to those more needy. These are definitely dolls for older girls who have a more worldly view and are open to learning about other countries and the dreams of girls from far away. Unlike old fashioned foreign doll collections, these were designed to be played with…not just displayed. They were also designed to encourage girls to think beyond the confines of their home base. Also in the collection is Pita from Mexico, Lulu from Kenya, Zoe from New York City, Piper from Australia. 8 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Best Friends Club Dolls, Yuko
(MGA Entertainment $30 Score:)

An affordable collection of 18" multicultural dolls that budget minded shoppers will appreciate. These appeared too late for our list last year, so we will treat them as all new, although this year's entries are Yuko, an Asian beauty and Gianna a pretty doll with brunette hair. The Best Friends Club collection also includes blondes, brunettes and another of our favorites, Calista, an African American beauty who happens to wear glasses. These do not have soft bodies and their joints are a little weird, but mostly covered with jeans and such. They come packaged with extra sports clothing and a book/journal that gives the reader background on the doll as well as space to write about themselves. There are plenty of accessories sold separately and an online site where there are games. 6 & up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010.

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2010 Award
My American Girl Doll
(American Girl $95 Score:)

Instead of a premade doll, this year's American Girl is one you custom designed online. You and your child decide if her hair is blonde, brunette, curly, straight. You decide her skin tone and if she has freckles or wears glasses. You and your child can go online and custom-choose all the variables and then outfit her, too. Of course, you need a wardrobe budget and if price is not a limiting factor you can order up matching clothes for child and doll, not to mention all the furniture and accessories. There's even a manicure set and chair for a pedicure with a footrest - honest! Unlike the historic dolls this comes without a book as her story is one created entirely by the child she belongs to. Instead of a book, the company has created a website with games, quizzes, and activities that girls can enter via "Innerstar University" with an access code that comes with the doll. The games are designed for very young users. We have to confess that what has always set the American Girl apart from so many others was the quality of the dolls themselves, the book connection as well as the links to history. Their stories made history come alive with books by well know writers and the period clothes and crafts were a part of the package. This stripped down design-your-own-doll will surely have appeal to many, as will the website, but we hope that American Girl will not change its long standing mission.  

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010.

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2009 Award
American Girl Rebecca Doll & Book
(American Girl $95 Score:)

The year is 1914 and Rebecca Rubin, lives on the Lower East Side in New York City with her Russian-Jewish family. Newest in the American Girl Historical Collection, she comes dressed in period clothes and with five additional books about her experiences in the crowded tenement world she and her cousins shared. Like all the other dolls in this collection her back-story has been well researched and gives kids a window into the lives of the tens of thousands who came to America looking for a new life while holding on to the traditions of their religion and past. With her dark long wavy hair, her dark brown eyes, wearing her high button shoes and red dress, she may well resemble the great grandmothers of many of today's school girls. Although preschool children are sometimes gifted with these beautiful dolls as play dolls (which they are) the well-written books and the authentic details of their clothes and accessories are too often lost on pre-readers. Rebecca, like so many of the historical dolls and their stories, is more than a pretty face and is best appreciated by girls of 8 & up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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1997 Awards
American Girl & American Girl of Today
(American Girl $84 Score:) This company has made its name with exquisite dolls from different periods in American history. New for 2001 is Kit Kittredge, a nine-year old growing up in the Depression Era. There are books for each doll—a wonderful way to introduce history to kids. The American Girl of Today collection allows you to choose one of 20 contemporary-looking dolls with Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian American skin tones and features. 7 & up. SNAP INFO: A wheel chair is available for the American Girl doll. It's sturdy and a welcome addition to an excellent line. You can order the doll of your choice with skin, eye and hair color to match your child.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 1997.

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2002 Award
American Girl Lindsey
(American Girl $84 Score:) Lindsey is first in a line of annual featured dolls that will only be available for the year. Lindsey has curly auburn hair and sporty clothes. Her interests are in finding her lost dog. Her book (which was not available at press time) and accessories are extra. Pleasant Company continues to make exquisite multiethnic dolls from different periods in American history with books and period clothes and furnishings for each doll. A wonderful way to introduce history to kids. If you are looking for a patriotic theme this year, consider Molly a girl of the 40's and WWII. 7 and up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2003 Award
American Girl Kaya
(American Girl $84 Score:) Pleasant Company continues to make exquisite multiethnic dolls from different periods in American history with books for each doll-a wonderful way to introduce history to kids. New for 2003, Kaya, the first Native American doll from the Nez Perce people in the collection. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2009 Awards
Les Cheries
(Corolle $45 Score:)

We loved these dolls when they first hit the market back in 2003. They received a Platinum Award and we are now giving them a Blue Chip Award for 2009. Chloe, Camille, Clare, Cecile and Cathy are a multicultural collection of 13" dolls and are marketed as "best friend" dolls and are purposefully not fashion dolls. Our favorites this year are Cecile, an African American girl, with jeans, a knit shrug and glorious hair or Chloe, a brunette ballerina in a gossamer tutu. They are meant to look like girls of today. There are new clothes almost every year--but this is a collection that should not be missed.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Award
Girls from Many Lands: Neela Doll & Book
(Pleasant Company $50 Score:) One of a new collection of Girls from Many Lands, Neela is dressed in the orange sari and gold jewelry that she wears to her sister's wedding in 1939 when the world was about to plunge into World War II and India's Freedom Fighters were looking for their independence from the British Empire. Neela, the doll and her story (Victory Song written by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni) are for older school aged girls. She is not a play doll, but one for display as part of a collection. Her adventure portrays a girl with gumption who questions traditions and yearns to play a role in her country's history. We look forward to reviewing other books and dolls in this new series. There will be dolls and books set in Alaska in 1890, China in 1857, France in 1711 and England in 1592. 9-12.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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