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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2007 Award
American Girl Emily
(American Girl $87 Score:) In the American Girl collection of dolls, each comes with a book that introduces girls to a bit of history through stories. Emily is in fact not an American girl, but an English girl, an auburn-haired beauty evacuated during WWII from London, to live with Molly and her family. Still top rated, any number of historic dolls from various times in our history. Last year’s winner was also an English girl, Elizabeth, from a prominent Loyalist family (and best friend of well-known Felicity). She’s 18" tall with long blond hair and blue eyes. PLATINUM AWARD 06. Still top rated, Nellie O’Malley (Samantha’s best friend). PLATINUM AWARD ’05. 7 & up. (800) 845-0005.

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

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2007 Award
Tiptoes Touche Mediterranean Madge
(Manhattan Toy $19.99 Score:) The latest in one of our favorite lines of plush—they’re fun and funky, and come with plenty of attitude. You can select Madge the pig in her new polka dot bikini or her pink boa, or Gladys the cow with hot pink shoes. (800) 541-1345.

Age: Early School Years. 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
Mag XL Magformers
(Rainbow Products $16.99 Score:) Here’s the newest fun in magnetic toys! Choose a set of either 14 or 30 geometric squares and triangles that can be set down on a flat surface. Give them a lift and—abracadabra—you have a 3-D ball that clicks together! Kids will have fun exploring the countless ways to invent new connections and constructions. Safe enough to leave out on the coffee table with no small magnets to worry over. This will entice grownups as well as kids. 5 & up. (541) 826-9007.

Age: Early School Years,Later 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
Cosmic Catch
(Hasbro $24.99 Score:) A great game for the whole family! Everyone wears a different colored band on their hands and the ball then identifies each player by passing it around once. Our favorite game mode is much like Simon Says—the ball calls out the color that it should be passed to next. If you make a mistake, the game is over. There are more challenging games, in which you have to break the “code” the ball has in mind. 7 & up, but will also be enjoyed by older siblings and family members. 2–6 players. (888) 836-7025.

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

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2007 Award
Pisa
(HaPe $17.95 Score:) Construct a tower with colored rods between disks of wood. Roll the colored die, remove a rod of that color; but watch out, or the whole tower will fall! Harder than Pandabo,(HaPe $9.95 5) last year's Platinum winner. Pandabo is a beautifully crafted 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 more like 6 or 7 for both. (800) 661-4142.

Age: 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
Tangoes Jr.
(3M $25 Score:) A handsome new game based on Tangrams, the classic geometric puzzle game. Seven puzzle pieces with magnets inside fit into a tray that stores under a magnetic playing board. There are two levels of play. Level one cards allow for matching geometric shapes on the card; level 2 shows only a silhouette that child builds on. So this grows more challenging. Excellent for travel or home. They say 4 & up; we’d say save this for 5–8. (800) 542-6375.

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

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2007 Award
Roll 'n Multiply
(3M $24.99 Score:) Our testers agreed this is a good way to work on multiplication facts. Roll the dice and multiply, then take the disk with that number and place it on the board. Your objective is to get four of your color tiles in a row while blocking your opponent. Beginners check answers with multiplication table—more advanced players must multiply without the table. (408) 247-3298.

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

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