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Product Type: Toys
Award: Gold
Review Year: 2012

 


2012 Award
Baby Long Legs Bunny
(North American Bear Co. $28 Score:)

A lovely combination of knit and plush that is totally on the mark for toddlers who like a big but light enough huggable to drag about. These huggables are 18-inches long. The photo of this soft cuddly doll with long legs and arms and floppy ears does not really convey just how cute this doll is. The legs are not rigid or wired, but soft and easy for little ones to grasp. The features are stitched and baby safe. There is a grey elephant version as well as a pink mouse. We happen to love the bunny and see the new black and white Puppy in the same line. Also adorable, Baby Long Legs Squeakers, Bunnies, Elephants, Puppy and Pink Mouse ($12.99 each) in this line that are 8-inch miniatures of the bigger dolls.   Baby safe and machine washable. All ages.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Blabla Giant Charles Lion
(blabla kids $180 Score:)

Three feet tall, Charles is truly a giant in Toyland. Knitted of cotton yarn he is soft and huggable and will make a decorative centerpiece of any child's room. But more than that, he is apt to play a big role in a child's pretend play. With his orange whiskers, happy grin, long green tail with orange tufts, and brown shaggy yarn mane, Charles is a friendly sort of lion with big blue eyes and striped trousers. This is the kind of memorable plaything that listens well and says only what a child imagines it can say. The smaller doll pictured does not come with Charles. Blabla makes many smaller and less pricey dolls that are equally charming. Handmade in Peru, these dolls capture the affection and imagination at first glance. All ages.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Earlyears Push n Go Turtle
(International Playthings $11.95 Score:)

Push the shell on the little green turtle and its little head and legs move as it quickly scoots forward across the floor. Talk about making things happen, this is a fun cause and effect toy for floor play with sitting up and beginning to crawl babies. 6 months.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Tooth Treasure Super Hero
(North American Bear Co. $25 Score:)

Oh, what a night-when the tooth fairy comes on its magic mission! This 9-inch square pillow has a pocket for leaving a note for the tooth fairy and a felt pocket to tuck the lost tooth into. The little super hero is detachable from its yellow cape and used as a finger puppet. There is a girl version of this with Princess finger puppet and pastel look. Usually tooth treasures will not be needed before 5-6.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Alex Scanimagic
(Alex $23.99 Score:)

You may have seen the book called Gallop with its moving images. This wonderful toy allows children to create their own moving images. The case and markers come with premade art that young kids color. Then they close the case and turn the dials to see their colorful creation come to life. The kit comes loaded with a roller in place and a spare roller with more images that can replace the original. We usually steer clear of coloring toys that are not open-ended. But this goes beyond simple coloring. It's a little magic, science and illusion. Younger kids will need help with setting it up and adding the second roller. 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Willow Doll Tan
(North American Bear Co. $50 Score:)

An adorable 18-inch fabric doll with big yarn pigtails. This one is African American with a tan fabric body. She is also available in peach fabric. She has small stitched features. Her linen jumper has a pocket and two working buttons that require some dexterity. She has a removable striped shirt. Her shoes and underwear are sewn on. Due to the buttons, this is recommended for 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Rosy Cheeks Big Sister Doll Tan
(North American Bear Co. $32 Score:)

This has to be one of the most adorable dolls of the year! Rosy Cheeks Big Sister Doll is done in an African American version with very contemporary hair-style and removable clothing. She is an armful, an 18-inch rag doll with a soft huggable body covered in a knit fabric. She has stitched features. Her body is of a knit fabric, her jumper with Velcro closing is corduroy. Designed for preschoolers and up. She is available with the same outfit as a Caucasian girl with red yard hair.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Bananagrams 2012 London Edition
(Bananagrams $14.95 Score:)

To celebrate the upcoming Summer Olympics this version of Banangrams has five extra colorful joker tiles with pictograms of various Olympic sports. It is otherwise the same game in a convenient banana shaped zip up pouch. Players divvy up the tiles and play side by side creating their own connected words. It's different from Scrabble since you do not take turns, although you must take extra tiles when your opponent uses up her tiles and is ready to take more. A great take along for vacation time. Quick and easy to learn. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Barbie Dolls of the World, Australia
(Mattel $29.99 Score:)

Collecting dolls of other lands is a passion that frequently begins in the later school years. Girls may feel "too old" to play with dolls but still like having them in their rooms. The current Australian and Irish dolls are fairly reasonably priced for entry level collectors. For this age group they may also spark an interest in finding out more about their doll's country and customs. Mattel has a website with map and games and information dedicated to this collection. Each doll comes with a passport and display stand and is dressed in clothes or costumes that reflect the traditional or modern dress. Each doll also has a related animal. The Australian doll wears a safari outfit and has a koala bear.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Primary Science Mix and Measure Set
(Learning Resources $29.99 Score:)

Learning about measurement equivalencies comes built into this clever set of measuring tools. For starters you want to give kids a chance to explore how many cups it takes to fill the bigger containers and to discover that the tall and short two-cup containers are the same. The 12-piece set includes measuring spoons and 1/4, 1/2, and 1 cup measures, 2-cup and 4 cup beakers. A small scale is included along with some clever activity cards to use with your child. These science activities are recipes for creating bubble solution, puffy paint, clay, trail mix, slime stencils, mystery goo and other more basic measuring experiments. The well made materials and activity cards add up to a wealth of entertaining parent and child explorations that make early connections to science. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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