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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 

 
2006 Awards
Stacking Shapes Pegboard
(Learning Resources $14.95 Score:) A classic toy returns! Little hands will be busy with twenty-five easy-to-grasp, brightly colored chunky pegs that can be sorted by color or shape on the big 10"-square base. Pegs can be stacked and eventually strung like beads. Marked two & up, we’d say this is for slightly older twos and even threes. (800) 222-3909.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Latitude Enfant Grannimals Collection
(Pint Size Productions $14.99 Score:) Done in knitted fabric and stitched features, these are an unusual collection of machine washable soft dolls that are gender neutral. A real departure from the usual plush. Choose Lucien the rabbit, Mona the cow, Sasha the cat, Marie the mouse. The medium (8" $20) and large (16" $30) arrive in a special box that might well turn into a bed. The mini (5" $5) and giant (40" $100) come sans box. (800) 544-9183.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2009 Award
Corolle Navy Blue & Pink Carriage
(Corolle $139.99 Score:)

A carriage/stroller for all seasons! This big-ticket doll accessory converts from carriage for “newborn” baby to sit-up stroller and lift-out baby carrier. It has a second mesh carrier at the bottom for a possible second baby or supplies for the doll who has everything! Done in classic navy blue and lined in pink with big white wheels, this is one of those toys that can become a pass along treasure for all the little caregivers in the family.  The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Awards
Neurosmith Music Blocks
(Small World Toys $45 Score:) Welcome back! This Platinum Award winner was gone for a few years. It returns with five colored plastic blocks, each side making a different sound. Match the shapes on the blocks or play them in random order—there’s no right or wrong way. The “composer” allows you to record and play back your composition. Comes with one jazz cartridge; we’d suggest bringing home the classical cartridge ($15), too. (800) 421-4153. SNAP Activity: This is a great product for developing shape matching concepts as well as dexterity. Play a game of putting up all the triangles and play them...next try all the circles. Or how about making a pattern as in circle, square,cirle, etc. A satisfying toy for making things happen. Sound quality is also a major plus when it's a toy you are going to hear again and again.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Awards
My First Stove
(Alex $19.99 Score:)

This mini kitchen (12" x 11" x 11") fits on a table top; ideal for tight spaces. A painted wooden stovetop with colorful knobs and drawer that opens to store utensils.  We like the gender free color scheme. Don’t be fooled by the picture on the box—no pots or dishes in the package! 3 & up. 


SNAP: This will sit on a wheel chair table or fit on a table top, as will the sink. Velcro strips added to the bottom and table surface will keep this from flying.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Awards
Check-up Time Elmo
(Fisher-Price $19.99 Score:) A great prop for getting kids ready for a visit to the doctor. Comes with stethoscope, thermometer, sounds, a song, and a book. Also, techno-savvy tots can have a programmable Knows Your Name Elmo or Winnie the Pooh ($39.99 each). Not ready for testing, but they promise to know your child’s name, favorite food, birthday, and friend’s names. (Not sure why, but this seemed a little creepy to one of us.) These are all marked 18 mos. & up, but a better choice for 3 & up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Calico Critters Townhome
(International Playthings $84.99 Score:)

Our testers have loved the characters and furnishings from this line for years. Now the new Townhome, in molded plastic, has a woodland look with red tile roof and lights that plug in and turn on with a switch. The animal critter families ($19.99 a set) are like storybook characters. The house opens for play and closes for storing all those little play pieces that kids adore. 4 & up. New for 2007 , outdoor furniture ($24.99 ) complete with sandbox! 4 & up. (800) 445-8347.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2005 Award
Groovy Girls Minis
(Manhattan Toy $4.99 Score:) Best props for dollhouse play this season are long-term multi-ethnic favorites, Groovy Girls, now launched as “minis” in molded plastic with various hairdos, groovy clothes, pets, and funky home furnishings. These little 4" dolls can stand on their own two feet and are pose-able for active pretend. New for 2007, Reese, Gwen, Lourdes and Leticia. These little 4" dolls can stand on their own two feet and are pose-able for active pretend. (800) 541-1345.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2006 Award
Automoblox
(Automoblox $32 Score:) A new collection of sleekly designed cars destined to be a bestseller in museum shops for their handsome design,, and a hit with kids for their playability. Each wooden car comes apart (making it part vehicle, part puzzle). The plastic connectors have shape receptors. For parents looking for “cool design” for the playroom, look no further. 4 & up. (973) 364-8090.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Rugged Riggz
(Little Tikes $9.99 Score:) We’re big fans of this updated collection of basic trucks. Among our favorites are a Helicopter Hauler, a Sports Car Hauler with two cars, and a Garbage Truck. Still top rated, Motorcycle Hauler, and the classics (cement, dump, and hauler). New for 2007 are Haulers, Ford or Chevy trucks that haul racing cars. Also neat, Spark Racerz Hummers ($5 4), smaller-scaled, pull-back vehicles. All are just right for the 3 & up crowd. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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