Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Construction Toys

 


2000 Awards
Oogly Googly
(Learning Resources $20 Score:) Our PLATINUM AWARD winner in 2000 is a motorized Gears! creation that can be built in three or more ways. Based on the original and still wonderfully open-ended Gears! Gears! Gears! this kit comes with giant Oogly Googlie Eyes that jiggle and wiggle as the creature rolls along. These are still great toys that develop problem-solving skills as well as dexterity. They don't come out of the box ready made, but once they are built kids can take extra pleasure in playing with what they have created. .

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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Awards
Unit Blocks
(Constructive Playthings $186.95 Score:) Set of 85 pieces in 15 shapes

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

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2001 Awards
Castles
(Lego Systems, Inc. $89.99 Score:) Lego's latest King Leo's Castle with 524 pieces ($89.99) is geared to dramas of good vs. evil with trap doors, catapults, and secret hiding places. They've added a warrior princess but this, like Playmobil's King Large Castle, will likely appeal to boys, while Playmobil's Fairy Tale Castle is gender-specific lavender. 7 & up. Lego (800) 453-4652.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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2001 Awards
Block-N-Roll
(Taurus Toys $19.99 Score:) A new twist on marble runs, this engrossing multipiece set (60 & 100) has blocks with grooves, drop-through slots, ramps, and turns that link together to make an endless variety of runways. New for 2001, they have added new twists with Loop-D-Loops ($4.95).

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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2002 Award
Lincoln Logs Commemorative Edition
(K'NEX Industries $29.99 Score:) Good news! Last year's splintery Lincoln Logs are gone! These are smooth and ouch-free. Keep in mind that building log houses requires visual discrimination and dexterity. Testers loved that big Commemorative Edition with 115 pieces in a giant tin. Most fours can't do these- save them for 5s. 6s and 7s.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Knex Missions in Space Sets
(KNEX $29.99 Score:) Builders continue to report that they need more finger strength for K'nex than for Legos. Fans of K'nex gave high scores to the new Apollo 15 Lunar Lander($2999/501 pieces) that comes with an astronaut and neat sound effects. The Jack Knife Big Rig Race Transport($16.99/296 pieces) Also scored a solid four.

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

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Award
Wooden Alphabet & Math Blocks with Braille
( $30 Score:) SNAP INFO: These Uncle Goose wooden blocks look like classic alphabet blocks, but with one wonderful difference! Two faces of each cube have a letter impression and raised Braille cell for that letter. Also top rated, a Braille math set ($17) includes zero through 9, and plus and minus signs. (888) 774-2046.

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

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2003 Award
Ello
(Mattel $19.95 Score:) Designed to attract girls to construction toys, this is an innovative building system with panels and Matisse-inspired cutout disks that can be joined with square and circular connectors, string and slender sticks for adding extra flair. Research has indicated that playing with blocks and building sets help to develop important spatial relations and math skills needed for later achievement in math, engineering and science. Unfortunately too many sets on the market are geared only for boys. We particularly liked the look of the Ello-opolis set, which has a modern art feel, or the underwater Ello Aquaria set. (Imagine Matisse or Calder designing a construction set!) They have an engaging color palette (refreshingly not all pink!) and have interesting building pieces that lend themselves for open-ended play.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Lego Bionicle
(Lego Systems, Inc. $7.99 Score:) Our testers enjoyed these futuristic robots that have become a hot collectible. Not the Lego toys you remember, but not too dark or menacing-and they're easy to put together.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2005 Award
Geomag
(Ekos $20 Score:) We love these open-ended magnetic sets. Put one on the coffee table and everyone will take a turn. Geomag comes with straight magnetic rods in different colors and steel balls. The rods are not tapered like the competing Supermag sets (although our testers judged them to be equally enjoyable to use.) Geomag Panel kits were interesting at first, but not as open-ended as the classic sets. (888) 450-9858.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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