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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 

 
2006 Awards
WaterWheel Table
(Step 2 $39.99 Score:) We had mixed reviews on this one. For stand-up water play this seems a great choice for the patio or terrace. It doesn’t take up a lot of room and allows for spilling, filling, splashing, and getting good and wet! But be forewarned, there seem to be problems with leaks! The plugs on the table are not water tight, so you will have to refill this and not use it indoors. That said, this is also a toy that needs total adult supervision. (800) 347-8372. See Preschool chapter for sand and water table, p. 100.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Little Mommy Newborn Twin Dolls
(Fisher-Price $16.99 Score:) These bald-headed twin dolls have no moving eyes or small accessories. They’re truly toddler friendly. The realistic vinyl features are painted on. Both heavily scented dolls have soft bodies and the rompers they are wearing do not come off. Both come with a chunky molded bottle. Available now in girl/girl; boy/boy, and girl/boy combos. Also available in African American as well as Caucasian dolls. 18 mos. & up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Little Pretenders
(Chenille Kraft Co. $24.99 Score:) A new line of costumes made of wipe-able vinyl provides the most affordable choice. Each theme comes with accessories (stethoscopes, extinguishers, etc.) and appropriate headgear. Other costumes include Veterinarian, Hair Dresser (the pretend blow dryer makes a great sound), and Doctor. 3 & up. (800) 621-1261.

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

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Super Star Sing-Along Vanity
(Little Tikes $47 Score:) “Mirror, mirror on the vanity, will I be part of the future American Idol insanity?” We’re not big on vanities that come loaded with a karaoke mirror, a wireless microphone (the hairbrush) . . . and an applause button (honest!). Not available for testing. 3 & up. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Lili
(Corolle $60 Score:) Older preschoolers will love the articulated and fashionable 17" Lili dolls. Choose the blond Rose, auburn Melodie, dark brunette Belle, and strawberry blond Flore. Each is dressed in a très jolie outfit that is totally “now.” These will appeal to slightly older girls as well. Think younger American Girl dolls. 4 & up. Also new, Chouquettes ($39.95 1⁄2)—adorable 14" girl dolls come with blond or brunette hair and hairbrush for age-typical play. (800) 668-4846.

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

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2006 Award
Jules
(Corolle $55 Score:) Finding a boy doll is not easy, yet it’s a great gift, especially when there’s a new baby in the family. Meet Jules, a 17" bald baby doll in blue romper with bottle, bib, and pacifier. Like last year’s winner, Lila, he cries, laughs, and babbles. Both are a perfect armful for pretend play. 3 & up. PLATINUM AWARD ’05. (800) 668-4846.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Baby Annabell
(Zapf Creation $39.99 Score:) For the first time, Annabell cries real tears. After her bottle, she randomly yawns and falls asleep, or starts to cry. Our testers liked the novelty and parents liked the “off” switch option. Crying, babbling Love Me Chou Chou ($49.99 ) disappointed our testers, who thought she was “too heavy… it had a seam on her head—looked like she had a brain surgery.” Take heart, there is still a My First Annabell ($19.95 ) a 14" baby doll, Caucasian or African American, who does whatever your child imagines. This doll is mislabeled 1 & up, however; the pacifier is too small to be safe for toddlers. (877) 629-9273.

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

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Doucette
(Corolle $24.95 Score:) A multiethnic collection of soft-bodied dolls. We love their polka-dotted outfits and charming faces with painted-on features. These would have been PLATINUM AWARD winners, except for the age label. While these are a perfect choice for 3s & up, small hair accessories and silky hair make them inappropriate for toddlers (the collection is marked 18 mos. & up). Other multicultural collections: Bebe Do ($50 ) come in two skin tones, and Les Minis Calins BLUE CHIP ($16 each) come in Asian and African American versions. (800) 668-4846.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Shout Elmo
(Fisher-Price $29.99 Score:) This season's Elmo is designed to get kids up and dancing along. He moves his hands around and moves as he asks kids to sing louder and (thankfully) softer. He takes four AA batteries. Marked for 18 mos. and up, we think these are a better choice for prechoolers 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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Twin Time Dollhouse
(Fisher-Price $69.95 Score:) This big eight-room house has a patio, garage, a mom and dad and twins, plus 10 pieces of furniture and accessories. It opens to a spacious setting that folds up after playtime is done. The color scheme screams plastic, but a good value for the price. 3 & up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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