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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 

Dance Along MP3
(Playskool $14.99 Score:) The LCD screen on this machine looks crude with only black graphics. Comes loaded with 100 songs to “download,” making their own play lists but the music quality is very tinny and unpleasant. (800) 327-8267.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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Star Station On-the-Go Player
(Fisher-Price $19.99 Score:) Player comes equipped with headphones and cartridge with three Kidz Bop songs (not our favorite, but we know they’re popular). Here’s the problem: the on/off dial is also the volume control. If you go the wrong way you can really get blasted. The top volume level is just way too loud. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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On-the-Go-Microphone
(Fisher-Price $14.99 Score:) Comes with a cartridge that plays three Kidz Bop songs that our testers found very difficult to sing along with (an adult male and kids singing such odd choices as: “I Like It (like that),” “Absolutely,” and “Purple People Eater”). The microphone on its own is wireless (a plus) but in order to get enough amplification, your voice sounds fuzzy. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Matchbox Construction Zone Pop Up Adventure Set
(Mattel $14.99 Score:) Ideal for travel, this slim case, close to 10" square, pops up into a play setting with crane, ramps, and plenty of action for dramatic play. Comes with just one vehicle. This is likely to make a great birthday party gift or take-along toy. Also available in Harbor Patrol and Auto Center settings. Says 3 & up; we’d say more like 4s and more. (800) 524-8697.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Ride and Rescue Cozy Coupe
(Little Tikes $79 Score:) A twist on the classic ride-in, comes with firefighter’s handheld gizmo for turning on flashing lights and seven siren sounds built into electronic microphone. Still runs on good old-fashioned foot power! Also refreshed, Tikes Patrol Police Car ($75 4) now done in new colors. 3 & up. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Goober
(Gund $30 Score:) A pot bellied bear that you’ll just want to hug. He’s two-toned with a really distinctive big nose—very endearing. (800) 448-4863. Still very special, Great Big Creamy Bear (Mary Meyer $130/36" 5) Remember the oversized bear you always dreamed of winning at the fair? This one is much better, because he’s totally huggable, soft, and delicious! 36" big, this memorable bear will be great to talk to and lean on. PLATINUM AWARD ’06. (800) 451-4387.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Elephant
(Folkmanis $36 Score:) An oversized floppy-eared grey elephant with a clever two-ring mechanism that raises and lowers the trunk, this full-bodied puppet is sure to take over the show! On a more domestic scale, there is also an adorable 13" brown Tabby Cat ($22 4), the favorite of one of our toddler testers! Still charming, a 30" honey-colored Golden Retriever ($60 4). (800) 654-8922.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Tall Stacker Pegs Building Set
(Lauri $40 Score:) Our tester was not sure at first about this toy, an unusual combo of big chunky pegs with crepe rubber shape pads with peg holes. Kids can build horizontally as well as vertically. Our tester wrote, “In my kindergarten class, the children . . . didn't seem to tire of it . . . I also loaned it to friends with children who are 5 and 7 . . . they absolutely loved it!!! They kept building hotels, etc.” This unusual construction set builds eye-hand coordination along with open-ended creative designing. Set has 100 pegs, large base, and 17 mats in varying colors, sizes and shapes. 4 & up. (800) 451-0520.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Zingo! Heroes
(ThinkFun $16.99 Score:) Updated with a superhero theme, this is a fun variation on Vingo. Each player gets a card with Marvel comic heroes such as the Thing and the Hulk. The dealer pushes down on the superhero tile dispenser. Be the first to see a match and the tile is yours. Will appeal to boys—quick to learn and to play. 4 & up. Thinkfun has also added the Marvel license to other past award winners including Hopper Heroes ($16.99 4) and City Crossing, now with Spiderman ($16.99 4). Still top rated, last year’s Toot and Otto Game ($7.99 4), a fun variation on Connect 4. (800) 468-1864.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Trapecolo
(HaPe $24.99 Score:) Create colorful patterns with 180 trapezoid shapes that fit into a large six-sided wooden frame. Patterns are shown in the brochure, but not full size, so these are more challenging. Marked 4–99, we’d say more like 6 & up. Making a design with these multicolored blocks takes visual perception as well as patience and problem-solving skills. For a simpler set, we still suggest a classic BLUE CHIP Parquetry Blocks Super Set (Learning Resources $26.95 5), thirty-two geometrically shaped tiles kids arrange on top of 20 colorful patterns. BUt this new set from HaPe is more challenging.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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