Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Pretend Play


Little Doctor Kit
(International Playthings $18.99 Score:) A new kit with some high-tech sizzle: a stethoscope with heartbeat and coughing sounds, a squeaking syringe, a blood pressure gauge with moving dial, and other chunky tools in a small case. Like other kits we tested this is also hard for kids to reload once they take the pieces out. 2 and up.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: .

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Veterinarian Costume
(RC2 Learning Curve $40 Score:) For playing Vet, here is a charming Small Miracles Lets Pretend Kit with a child- sized jacket, a puppy, stethoscope nd other medical tools.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: .

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2002 Award
Matchbox Hero Highway Motorized Playset
(Mattel $39 Score:) Testers loved all the ramps and roadways of this motorized highway with a conveyer belt that takes cars up, up, up and on their way down alternating passes with breakaway guardrails and collapsing bridges. Testers used this in setups with blocks and other vehicles. 3 and up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2008 Award
Plan Toys Parking Garage
(Plan Toys $65.99 Score:)

If you are looking for a non-electronic, old-fashioned garage, look no further. Here's a handsome three-level parking garage with working elevator, ramps, heliport and space for many small cars. Comes with figure, gas station and car washing machine and one car.  It will work with your child's other Matchbox or Hotwheel cars.  3 and up.

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

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on

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2003 Award
Deluxe Home Is Where the Heart Is Dollhouse
(Small World Toys $130 Score:)

This is a three stories high dollhouse with lots of rooms to fill with scaled wooden furnishings. It comes unfurnished and it is open front, back and roof, so it is easily accessible for many children to play with together. This is not furnished so you need to factor that into the cost.  Or consider their smaller Home Again, Home Again A-Frame ($130) that can be enlarged with an add-on basement and stairs($70). Multi-cultural families and furnishings are sold separately and run between $15-20 per room. We thought Ryan's Room Making Muscles exercise equipmet set was a sign of the times.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2003. Click here to purchase the product on

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2009 Awards
Plan Toys My First Dollhouse Without Furniture
(Plan Toys $99 Score:)

Choose this modern A-frame house with open roof for easy access that allows for playing from the front of the house or back in the traditional manner. This is a smaller house than their Green model or the CHalet, but a good choice for beginning pretend. Multicultural families and furnishings are available and run between $15-20 a set.

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

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2004 Award
Let's Pretend Careers
(Small Miracles $29.99 Score:) Handsome enough to wear as real clothes, the newest items in the career line are an Astronaut (4 1⁄2), and an ER Worker (4 1⁄2) with green scrubs, stethoscope, and other tools. Forget the stereotypical Teacher (2) costume with black glasses and old-fashioned red smock with white lace. Still top rated, Chef (with coat, hat, and tools); in the fantasy line, a Pirate (outfit comes with a felt hat). Past winners include: Doctor, Pilot, Equestrian, Firefighter, Construction Worker, and Police. PLATINUM AWARDS ’02 & ’04. 3–8. (888) 281-1798.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Ryans Room Majestic Castle
(Small World Toys $100 Score:) A truly majestic wooden castle, 20" X 20", with working drawbridge, movable staircases, four towers, and walls that can be arranged in different configurations. Comes with four knights and a horse. Additional figures such as king, queen, jester, wizard, jousting knights, and dragon are available. Easy to assemble, this play setting might become an heirloom. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2011 Award
Playmobil Big City Zoo
(Playmobil $104 Score:)

Playmobil's ZOO (we first game it a Platinum Award in 2005) is back. The structures are great parent/child projects with plenty of pretend play down the road, but make no mistake: an adult must do a great deal of the building.  We particularly like the open design of the zoo--so kids can easily access the play pieces and move them about. The set comes with a satisfying number of animals (including lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, caretakers, zoo visitors, etc.).  There is an entrance point (tickets!) and a gift shop (of course)...lots of opportunity to replay (or preview)  a visit to your local zoo.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on

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2005 Award
Ryan's Room Adventures Ahoy
(Small World Toys $99.99 Score:) Yahoo! Get ready for imagination to set sail with Captain Hook and two of his mates aboard this magnificent wooden ship with working sails, rigging, hatches, anchor, crow’s nest, and even a plank to walk! A stunning gift for years of dramatic play. 34" W x 24" H. Add-on sets with more figures available.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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