Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Dolls and Huggables


2009 Award
Smushy Monkey
(North American Bear Co. $17 Score:)

Irresistibly huggable 22” sand colored monkey with velvety snout, ears and paws. Slightly under stuffed this is covered in a plush that is both short and long so that it feels super soft and looks unusual in a positive way. Smushy’s features are stitched and he sports a peach ribbon. The long arms, legs and tail make this a perfect choice for toddlers who prefer their huggables big enough to fill their arms…yet need them to be light enough for easy lugging about. Although the neck ribbon is stitched on the manufacturer’s tag says to remove the ribbon before giving the monkey to a small child. Also available in 14” size for $17. 2 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.


Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2009.

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1999 Awards
Muffy VanderBear and Hoppy VanderHare
(North American Bear Co. $20 Score:)

Muffy fans will adore the new trunk with built in bunk beds ($90) for playing and storing two dolls and accessories. Pricey but very special! PLATINUM AWARD '99. We think this Muffy Bear dressed in a rabbit costume is a winner ($60) although pretty pricey. Check out some of the simpler versions of Muffy. Testers also liked the Hoppy Starter Set, a good place to begin at a great price. Also, Muffy Stuff ($20), a soft carry case for traveling bears. 6 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 1999. Click here to purchase the product on

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2007 Awards
Groovy Girls and Groovy Boys
(Manhattan Toy $10 Score:)

This continues to be a BLUE CHIP collection of soft 13" multi-ethnic dolls with stitched features, yarn hair, and groovy clothes. Happily, there is a boy doll in this line.  Still the superlative gift, consider Supersize Yvette or Gwen ($50 each 5), a 40" child-sized fabric doll that’s like a pretend play pal. We found the new Groovy Girls’ PetRageous ($16.99) disappointing. If you didn’t see the hangtags you wouldn’t know they were from the same folks—they lack the wonderful design quality and spirit of the dolls. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on

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1995 Awards
Littlel Tikes Shopping Cart
(Little Tikes $30 Score:)

This bright yellow cart with baby seat is more gender free than most doll carriers. Lends itself to more open-ended pretend shopping and simply carting treasures about games. Room for a doll or teddy bear simply makes it more like the real thing.

SNAP INFO: Solidly built for lots of pretend, this shopping cart has a seat for doll or teddy when kids need a shopping spree play time.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 1995. Click here to purchase the product on

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2013 Awards
Bitty Baby Doll and book
(Pleasant Company $ 80 Score:)

15" soft-bodied Bitty Baby dolls with vinyl heads, arms and legs have been updated to allow for more options to customize. You have a choice of 11 dolls with differnt hair, skin and eye color combintions. Each doll arrives in a signature sleeper and a Bitty Baby & Me picture book. The updated doll now has a hairline brought forward and eyebrows for a more realistic look. The upper body was also redesigned with arms brought forward -- for better huggability. Beautiful clothes and furniture accessories available.  We also recommend the Bitty Baby Twins (boy and girl toddler dolls $115). As always there are extra outfits for the baby and matching clothes for the child. 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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Wooden Doll Cradle
(Community Playthings $95 Score:) A solid maple cradle designed for schools and built to last. The large 29" model is big enough so kids can climb in and play baby or put a family of dolls to sleep. Sure to become a family heirloom.

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

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2012 Award
Mini Corolline
(Corolle $17.99 Score:)

This collection is now celebrating its tenth anniversary and is still a huge hit with our testers. You won't know which to pick from this group of 8" blond, brunette, Asian, and African American dolls. Each comes with a stylish outfit and with plenty of long hair for brushing. New for 2012, an adorable brunette with a pink hair band and floral dress.

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

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2002 Award
(Gund $28 Score:) Doodle looks like an old-fashioned honey-colored jointed bear, but his limbs simply swing. His coat is nubby but silky to the touch and his bottom and limbs have jus enough beans to make him a hefty 16 inch huggable. For a smaller armful, 10 inch Luv Me Bear($12) with curly honey coat, is also a winner.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2003 Award
Fancy Prancy Princess Topsy Turvy
(North American Bear Co. $32 Score:)

As princesses go, you won't find any as pretty as these charming old-fashioned flip dolls with a fair-haired princess at one end and a brunette (with a darker skin tone) at the other. Both wear crowns, of course! A very old-fashioned doll that transforms with imagination (not batteries). Equally special, Fancy Prancy Princesses ($14 each ). Pick a 9" princess wearing taffeta gowns with sparkling stardust safely stitched under a layer of netting. Each has a small gold crown and velboa hair.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003. Click here to purchase the product on

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2003 Award
Flip Flops
(Mary Meyer $15 Score:) The ultimate in relaxed plush! Under-stuffed at the middle, these animals flop over and are made of extremely soft fabric. Our favorites: Libby Yellow Lab and Lucky Black Lab. If your child is asking for a dog, but you're not ready, these pretend pups may do the trick. For an even larger hug, Supersized Flip Flops ($45 each). Our favorite: Mickey Monkey.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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