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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 


2006 Award
Great Big Creamy Bear
(Mary Meyer $130 Score:)

As always, we find selecting one winner totally unbearable! Here are our top picks: a big bear, two medium-sized bears, and a wee little baby bear: Great Big Creamy Bear (Mary Meyer $130/36" ) Remem-ber the oversized bear you always dreamed of winning at the fair? This one is much better, because he’s totally huggable, soft and delicious! 36" big, this memorable bear will be great to talk to and lean on. Also comes Kinda Big ($30/20" ). (800) 451-4387. Or consider some of our other best bears of the year: Smushy Bear (North American Bear $40 ) is a floppy tan 25" bear of huggability with a smushy body, floppy head, and velvety nose. (800) 682-3427. Cuddly Pals Big Pokey (Gund $20 ) A pudgy 16" soft bear with stitched features and honey-colored fur, all dressed up with an organdy bow. (800) 448-4863.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Woody Click Firehouse
(HaPe $99 Score:) This firehouse with mini firetrucks, firefighters and other pretend props is part of a new line of wooden pretend settings that are ideal as props for block building and pretend play. Also notable in the line is a police station and hospital, the latter with heliports and their own vehicles and figures. They can be taken apart and rebuilt, but this takes some dexterity and adult help. That said, these are handsome. Look for the construction trucks, too in bright yellow. All of these came too late for separate review in the annual book, but they are all Platinum winners. Choosing the right one will be your pleasure.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Swan Lake Musical Dress
(Acting Out $30 Score:)

Push the button in this pink dream dress and your little ballerina has her own orchestra that plays as she dances!Musical chip is hidden in a pocket inside the dress. Once she starts dancing, the music is magically motion activated. One size fits most 3-6 year olds. Or if you prefer, just a multilayered Swan Lake Musical Skirt($24) with elastic waist and sparkle dots. Great for active dramatic play!

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

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2006 Award
Tchaikovsky Musical Dress
(Acting Out $30 Score:)

Push the button in this red tulle and satin dress and your little ballerina has her own orchestra that plays Nutcracker music as she dances! Musical chip is hidden in a pocket inside the dress. Once she starts dancing, the music is magically motion activated. One size fits most 3-6 year olds. Or if you prefer, just a multilayered Nutcracker Musical Skirt($24) with elastic waist and sparkle dots. Great for active dramatic play!

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

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2007 Award
Cranium Hullabaloo DVD Game
(Cranium $24.95 Score:) Plug this DVD in, put the playing mats on the floor, and let the fun begin! Fun for a party or play date, this is an active game that involves kids in wiggling like an octopus, crawling like a lizard, hopping like a kangaroo. As they move to different colored and shaped playmates, kids may find themselves on the same square as a friend. No problem. It’s not a competitive game. Winning is completely by chance as the caller announces the “Lucky Pad” that three kids may be standing on. With live action video of animals and how they move, this game offers lots of opportunities for active play as well as quick rounds for multiple winners. A delightful adaptation of the original Hullabaloo game.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Get Real Gear
(Aeromaxtoys $49.95 Score:) We were impressed with this company’s themed jumpsuits: new for 2007, an astronaut’s white suit and an amazing helmet ($43.95 5) that comes with audio commands for a “lift off”—really for 4s and up. Past favorites: Jr. Air Force Pilot and Jr. Championship Racer. Come in sizes for kids 3–12. PLATINUM AWARD ’05. They have new gender-specific doctor outfits (not our speed). (877) 776-2291.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Bebe Do with Moses Basket
(Corolle $70 Score:) A very special-looking present that comes with a 14" baby doll in a charming pink fabric-lined carrying basket with quilt, toy bunny, bottle, and baby book! There is an African American Bebe Do version ($49.99) but unfortunately not with the basket. (800) 668-4846.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Corolle's Nursery
(Corolle $36 Score:) The perfect accessory for doll play. This nursery looks most like a portable crib done in pink and white. Comes with an activity arch with two dangling toys. Sure to be a pleaser, especially with a new doll inside!

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Center Stage Puppets
(Mary Meyer $13 Score:)

Just right for lively reenactments of your favorite stories. There’s a wide assortment of animals: bear, dog, frog, horse, monkey, lion, moose, and wolf! (800) 451-4387.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Jumbo Jungle Animals
(Learning Resources $29.95 Score:) Perfect props for pretend, a set of five jungle animals—a 13" giraffe, an elephant, a lion, a tiger, and a gorilla. Handsomely finished with realistic colors. Little hands will find lots of ways to use these with and without blocks. 2 & up. Still top rated, Jumbo Farm Animals ($22.95 41?2) Seven farm animals, a horse, cow, pig, goat, sheep, goose, and rooster sized proportionately to each other. 3 & up. (800) 222-3909.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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