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


2002 Award
Musical Tea Set
(Fisher-Price $12.99 Score:) Our testers enjoyed the novelty of this play set. When you pour, you hear different electronic sounds. While parents noted, the "electronic" quality of the sounds, the kids really enjoyed making it happen. We'd still recommend a basic set where kids make their own sound effects.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2003 Award
Small Miracles Lets Pretend Careers Costumes
(RC2 Learning Curve $35 Score:) Handsome enough to wear as real clothes, this collection includes: Firefighter's jacket, hat, and pretend extinguisher; Construction worker's vest, hard hat, flag, and tools; Police Officer's blue jacket, hat, police radio, whistle, and tickets (ouch!); and Chef's and Train Engineer's outfits. Platinum Award '02. New for 2003, Race Car Driver, Cowboy & Cowgirl, & Storybook Princess. This company also makes wonderful Tutus ($15 & up) and Capes for Kings, Knights, and Wizards. Platinum Award '01. 38.

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

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Talkin Fashion Vanity
(Little Tikes $50 Score:) Almost surreal, this vanity not only has a talking mirror that gives compliments, it nags kids to return the hairbrush or lipstick to the right slot after the sensors feel the object has been used long enough. We think kids do not need toys that nag-that is what parents are for, right? We know girls of a certain age enjoy a scaled down dressing table, but this is an example of a bossy, intrusive toy where less would have been more.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: .

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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. 38. (888) 281-1798.

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

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