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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2006 Award
Castle Keep
(Gamewright $11.99 Score:)

The object is to be the first to complete a castle with a total of nine castle cards (walls, towers, and a keep). But beware—opposing players can seize your pieces if they have a duplicate! A game of strategy that involves flexible thinking as builders must match geometric and color attributes. 8 & up. For younger players, Leaping Lizards ($9.99 ) is also an attribute game. The novel “game board” is actually a long shoestring and beads. With each turn players choose a “lucky” picture token that will help determine how many spaces they can move. Watch out, if you roll a sad face you move backwards! This can be frustrating for younger players. With adult participation, 5s & up.


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

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

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2006 Award
Alfredo's Food Fight
(Fundex $19.99 Score:) Set up Alfredo the chef with his Velcro plates and apron; push the button on the base and he turns. while players use “forks” to launch meatballs covered with yarn spaghetti strands that stick. Our school-aged testers thought this was pure “silliness” and fun to play. For 2–4 players. 5 & up. (800) 486-9787.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
eeBoo Storefront Bingo
(eeBoo $14.99 Score:)

Each playing board is a different store. Dealer draws a picture tile and names object; player who has the store for that item calls out name of store. Winner is first to match and fill card pictures. Also new, Life on Earth Matching Game ($14.99 ), a concentration-style matching game with pleasing images of birds, snakes, kangaroos, and other earthly creatures. Also top rated, Candy Matching ($12.95 ) with yummy-looking candies to match. All 5 & up. (212) 222-0823.

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

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2006 Award
Family Fun Game
(Cranium $19.95 Score:) Designed for teams of grown-ups and kids to play together, players use visual memory, creativity, factual information, cooperation, and communication skills to win. For example, with timer going, a player must sculpt a turtle of clay; or recall sequence of a pattern without looking; or name five zoo animals, each new one beginning with letter of last one named. There’s plenty of thinking, doing, and laughing, too! 7 & up. Still top rated and geared for younger kids, PLATINUM AWARD-winner Balloon Lagoon ($19.99 5 & up) and Cranium Cadoo for Kids ($19.99 ) are similar to the new game but this one is played by kids with other kids. 7 & up. (877) 272-6486.

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

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Groovy Girl Pet Show Game
(Briarpatch $19.99 Score:)

Our 8- and 9-year old Groovy Girl fans found the instructions confusing and the game play boring. We had similar complaints about the directions for last year’s Groovy Girl Sleepover game.   6 & up.   This game has been discontinued.


Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Chaturanga
(Front Porch Classics $44.95 Score:) Our older testers loved this Indian game, said to be the earliest form of chess. It’s a strategy game with an element of chance, as players roll wooden dice and play one-on-one or in teams. They say 8 & up—we’d say more like 10 & up. PLATINUM AWARD ’06. Also noteworthy, a Bookshelf version of Raceway ’57 (PLATINUM AWARD ’06). Our players did not love the design or play pattern of the new Wordspot (3); “there are more exciting word games like this.” (206) 826-3202.

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

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2006 Award
Pandabo
(HaPe $9.95 Score:) Beautifully crafted, this is a balancing game with a wooden panda holding up round, half-round, and square rods. Fine motor skills help as players take turns trying not to be the one who upsets the stack. They say 4 & up, we’d say most fours will have trouble doing this. More like a good choice for 5–8. Also clever, Cagola ($9.95 ), another balancing game with a swinging “boat” and small pieces that fall overboard! We like them both, but Pandabo is better. (800) 661-4142.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Toot and Otto Game
(ThinkFun $9.99 Score:) A simple strategy game with twenty-four plastic tiles, with “O”s and “T”s. One player must spell Toot, the other Otto as they take turns dropping letters into the game tower to block their opponent and spell out their name. Quick and easy to learn. 5 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2008 Award
FLY Fusion Pentop Computer
(LeapFrog $99 Score:)

A sleek update of a truly innovative product with the computer is built into the pen that works with special paper to create a variety of options: a working calculator, a translator, and our favorite, a musical keyboard you can draw and then play on your paper. But our testers LOVED that they could take notes on the special paper and that they were converted to a document on their computer. "So cool!" It might make you want to do seventh grade again...ok, not really, but you will want your own pen!

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

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2006 Award
Alphabet & Number Puzzle Pairs
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

A handsome set of two-piece puzzles with easy-to-recognize objects to pair with upper- and lower-case letters or objects and numerals. The letter/number sides are color-coded along the edges to help make the matches. Illustrated by Saxton Freymann, well-known artist of How are You Peeling? and Food for Thought. These can be used for simple games or solo puzzle play. (212) 222-0823.

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

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