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Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2015 Award
Creativity for Kids Holiday Snow Globes
(Creativity for Kids $22 Score:)

Our tester was thrilled to be able to make his own snowglobes with this kit that comes with the makings for three good sized globes (something our parents totally appreciated). The kit includes three figurines (Santa, a snowman and a mini reindeer.) You get four packs of special non-drying clay and tools to make setting or other figures for a winter scene. Once the scene is in place glitter packets are added and the globe is snapped on the base. This step may require some adult help. Next you use the small funnel to fill the globe with water and snap the plug in place. We have to say, unlike other globes we tried, this set works and kids can use these as gifts for others or the start of a collection of their own.  If you are looking for a non-holiday theme, consider the new Under the Sea Water Globe set that works the same way but comes with three underwater figurines; a mermaid, octopus and sea horse. Marked for 6 & up.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Flipping Flags
(R&R Games $6.95 Score:)

A fun card game that is a lot more challenging than the typical concentration game. All the 60 flag cards are placed face down. Players take turns flipping cards and as two matches are found players must shout out and call the name of the country the matching flags represent. But wait, it's not that simple. There are three flags on each card, so there is a lot to look at and you know how similar some flags can be. Matching games are always fun and this one adds a new twist that challenges kids to note fine differences. Also, a great way to get kids to think about all the countries in the world and recognize their flags. A good stocking stuffer. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
R&R Cup-A-Cup Game
(R&R Games $19.99 Score:)

You have to look, think and grab fast in this challenging game. Put the cups out on the table. Players roll the dice and they don't match the geometric or color on the top of the cups; just to opposite! They have to find the missing color or shape that would complete the set. Say you roll a blue square and yellow triangle. The missing color is red and the missing shape is round—be the first to grab it! A brain teaser for 3-8 players ages 6 & up.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
LEGO Star Wars Death Star
(Lego Systems, Inc. $79.99 Score:)

If you saw the movie, this set will remind you of one of the most amazing moments in the story. It happens when Luke battles with Vader and Palpatine in the throne room. They will love the collapsing stairs and bridge, opening doors and much more. The setting is there for them to play out the final duel in Palpatine's throne room! Emperor Palpatine's throne room has an amazing swing-out side sections with opening entrance doors. Our tester loved the collapsing stairs and bridge plus the reactor shaft, and detachable throne section with rotating throne and secret Lightsaber pop-up function. The set includes an authentic 2-part helmet for Darth Vader and 5 minifigures with assorted weapons: Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and 2 Royal Guards. Ages 8-14 Also in the 2015 Star Wars collection, a 500 piece AT-DP(49.99) with an amazing range of motion. The twin-legged LEGO Star Wars AT-DP military walker patrols the streets with two minifigures on the look out for two Rebels in the area! Hurry! jump into the cockpit, close the hatch, load the twin spring-loaded shooters and get ready to escort Agent Kallus and the Stormtrooper in their hunt for the rebels. Includes 4 minifigures with assorted weapons: Agent Kallus, Stormtrooper and 2 AT-DP Pilots.” 8-14
Also, consider Lego Star Wars Naboo Starfighter 75092 (49.99)
The Naboo Starfighter set has an opening cockpit, spring-loaded shooters, eject function, access ladder, fueling station, stand and more. Kids can recreate scenes from the movie Then fire the twin shooters.DestroyeFeatures a Naboo Starfighter with rotating stand, access ladder, fueling station and 2 Destroyer Droids and a lot more. Naboo Starfighter features an opening cockpit, spring-loaded shooters and R2-D2 eject function. 8-14
 

 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Journey dolls 2015
(Toys R Us $39.99 each Score:)

This year's Journey dolls are off to Italy! Ciao! As always they are beautifully fitted out for their new adventure. Not only do they all have different colored hair, these girls are individuals. Each has a unique face with no look-alikes in the crowd. Mikaella is wearing brocaded silvery trousers with a purple sweater trimmed with silver embroidery. Her long auburn hair in a side braid is ready for styling. She likes cooking and baking. Maybe in Italy she'll master homemade pasta! She and her friends are going on a side trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, they’ll tour the Coliseum in Rome and in Venice they'll ride in a Gondola. Bring on the Gelato! Meredith, is a blonde beauty who loves sports. She's dressed for going out on the town in a white skirt, blue knit pullover and hot pink bag and matching shoes. Callie, a dancer, is an Asian American girl with beautiful black hair. She's dressed in a pink eyelet zippered jacket, matching hair band, a black velvet skirt, white tee and pink shoes. Kelsey, a stunning redhead, is an outdoor type but for Italy, she is done up in a denim blue embroidered dress with a poofy black headband and black shoes and handbag. Kyla is an artist dressed in a hot pink wrap skirt with a tee that says Ciao! She is a girl of color with brownish hair and hazel eyes. Dana is an animal lover who wears dark rimmed glasses that match her dark brown hair. She is wearing a fake fur vest over a grey knit sweater and jeans with her high brown boots and animal print tote. Chavonne is perhaps the most striking of the group; a talented singer, a girl of color with glorious Afro style hair and hazel eyes. She's wearing floral pants, a striped tee and a hot pink jacket with big white buttons.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
Stikbot Studio
(Zing $19.99 Score:)

For any fan of stopmotion movies, the Stikbot Studio set from Zing is one of the best toys around. With two Stikbots and one tripod to hold you phone, you can explore the art of making your own movie. What makes this set so great is the flexibility and stability of the Stikbots. The suction cups at the end of their arms and legs are strong enough to allow creativity when posing the models. The tripod is also well made, allowing users to change the height of the camera. And who doesn't want to make a stop motion video of Stikbots breakdancing their little hearts out? Includes a free app for iphone and Android, the company calls this a social media toy that is easy to share on social media sites. We think kids will be satisfied to make stop motion videos to enjoy or share with family and friends. Marked 4 and up, this is totally unrealistic! That said, this is a terrific way of exploring movie making and animation. Extra stikbots are available for crowd scenes. Note: Our tester found the suction cups work better on a stone counter than on a wooden desktop.  A great choice for 8 and up, up, up.

 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Project Mc2 Doll Mckeyla and Lava Lamp Experiment
(MGA Entertainment $24.99 Score:)

One of a new collection of Mc2 dolls that comes with a different science experiment for each doll--experiments that really work! Fashionably dressed in patterned knee highs and boots, jean shorts and jacket and a stylish black fedora and long glorious brunette hair. Mckeyla is a beauty who also likes reading detective stories and doing science. She comes with directions and parts for assembling a a working lava lamp that really bubbles. Her kit does not include the food coloring, veggie oil or effervescent tablet (as in Polident or Alka-selter) she needs. That said, the little lamp is very cool! Like the other dolls in this line she's more than just a pretty face. A playful way into STEM learning. 6 & up

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Project Mc2 Doll Camryn and Skateboard Experiment
(MGA Entertainment $24.99 Score:)

One of a new collection of Mc2 dolls that comes with a different science experiment for each doll--experiments that really work! Fashionably dressed in patterned stretch tights, glitzy patterned shorts, a chartreuse knit top, and patterned headband on her long glorious red hair. Camryn, is a beauty who also likes science and the thrill of skateboarding. She comes with blueprint paper that magically reveals the directions for assembling a skateboard she will be able to use. Like the other dolls in this line she’s more than just a pretty face. A playful way into STEM learning. 6 & up.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Max Traxxx Infinity Loop Set
(Skullduggery $119.99 Score:)

Here's the ultimate Max Traxxx Tracer Racers RC Set with a glow-in-the-dark dual loop, 6 dual glow-in-the-dark corners, over 46-feet of glow-in-the-dark track plus 2 remote control Tracer Racers. Kids can set up a variety of their own customized racing circuits and then—let the races begin! Like previous Platinum Award winners, these Tracer Racers utilize Light Trail Technology as they streak along leaving a trail of lights on the showy Glow-in-the-Dark track. Each Tracer Racer beams down purple light rays from its undercarriage onto the specially engineered track and leaves a glow long after the racer has passed. This is fun to use in light or dark, but they are the most fun when you turn the lights down and the racers and tracks light give off their drama! There are less costly and less complex sets worth considering. Check earlier listings for award winning Max Traxxx sets. The good news is the tracks are interchangeable, so you can combine old sets with new. This big set has a more complex track layout and may need adult assistance to get it set up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
MiP Robot Miposaur
(Wow Wee $119.99 Score:)

In terms of what they can do,these are the most elaborate of the year's dinos. The company says their MiP Robot has "evolving intelligence" for progressive play. Yikes. You can take him through his paces through hand gestures or using an APP that also allows you to make him go, dance, chase, etc. Comes with a "Beacon Sense" infused trackball so that Miposaur can't get lost.  8 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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