Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2014 Award
Crayola My Virtual Fashion Show
(Crayola $19.99 Score:)

Wow! Young fashion designers can create fabulous fashions in their 20-page Fashion Sketch Book by coloring the front and back images of clothes in the book. The kit comes with 12 colored pencils. Next, they take a photo of their designs with their "device" (meaning smart phones or i-pad) and use the My Virtual Fashion Show app to customize the modelís look and accessories. Got it all set? Now kids can watch their original fashions on the runway as the 3-D model walks and spins to show front and back of their high style creations. Their creations can be saved on the device to view again and again. Instead of giving over your device, most of the designing is done on paper and then viewed on the device. Now, this is technology they gotta love, if they are into fashion! They say 6 & up. We'd say slightly older girls will be using this as more than a coloring book. Older girls will be able to add the more design elements for impressive results. Our ten year old tester said this was the most exciting new electronic art toy of the year. We have to agree.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Spot it! Freeze
(Blue Orange Games $25 Score:)

Newest addition to the Spot it! games, a timer that really puts the pressure on players as they try to spot the matching images on two cards. There are different ways to play and two different setting on the timer that add to the challenge. However you play there is only one matching pair on any two cards, so you have to be fast. Our testers were not sure the timer would be fun for all players; it is definitely for older players. This set of cards features "temperature-charged" things such as polar bears, camels, umbrellas, beach chairs, etc. Instead of the usual round tin, the cards store in the timer, making this still an easy-to-take along game for family fun. Our testers also like the stand-alone game of Spot It Splash, no timer needed, just match up images that all relate to the water, such as boats, fish, sand castles and such. 8 to adult.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Crayola Paint Maker
(Crayola $24.99 Score:)

Our 10-year old reviewer, who is interested in art was excited about this new take on paint that she could make herself. You get 75 color strips in three colors(red, blue, and yellow) with a color mixing guide for making custom colors. The kit also includes 15 small paint pots and labels along with base white paint and brush. Our tester's mom writes that Paint Maker "is a neat way to be part of the artistic process from the ground up." Our tester "enjoyed picking out the color combinations and was able to do the entire thing very readily on her own...getting much more satisfaction out of creating artwork from her custom creations than she would from a set of store bought paints. Each creation earned some "oohs" and "aahhs."On the negative side, though the toy is operated with a hand crank (look, Ma, no batteries!) it is a little bit loud and there were some complaints of a tired hand. That said, it was fun for a good while! From the parent's paint of view, the big bonus is that it is not too messy since the paint colors are achieved by combining little paper thin strips of yellow, blue and red pigment in various combinations within each paint pot. So, this is not an instantaneous dive in and paint material. It's more about mixing and making the materials before the painting even can begin. A refill pack is available. 8 & up

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Zingo! Word Builder
(Thinkfun $19.99 Score:)

Our testers loved the fast-paced action of sliding the zinger machine to reveal two letters. Players take letter that they can use to complete a word on their playing boards. Possible words do vary so this game is rarely ever the same. In fact, it helps beginners see all the variations they can make as well as demonstrating the need to look at all the letters to see the difference between words that look almost alike. First player to fill his board is the winner. A fun way to reinforce reading skills for beginners who are learning to build phonetically regular three letter words. 5 & up

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Hape Happy Harp
(HaPe $36.99 Score:)

A charming and not too noisy instrument that kids can play instantly with the sheet music that goes under the strings. The sturdy wooden harp with nylon strings comes with two picks for strumming and several song sheets with familiar folksongs such as Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Happy Birthday, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and more; songs that kids will soon be able to play and sing along to. Although there are songsheet, in time, children will be picking out songs they know and play by ear. You will need to tune this lovely auto harp before you present it. It comes with a tuner, so just keep track of that since it will need adjusting from time to time.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Klutz Felted Friends
(Klutz $19.99 Score:)

You start this craft kit with soft fuzzy wool and by following the instructions in the excellent book, transform that wool into adorable felt critters. The kit includes the special tools and materials you need to create really cute little animals. Use the six different colors and the special needle tool on the foam cushion to poke and form a cute little mouse, squirrel, bunny, fox, and cat into one-of-a-kind creations. Following instructions, staying with the task, and patience are all required along with a good deal of care with how and where the tool is used, since it is sharp and not for younger kids to handle. 10 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Klutz My Style Studio
(Klutz $21.99 Score:)

Our tester liked this fashion designer kit because it really involved tracing, coloring, and allowed for flexibility in designing. It has restickable stickers that you put on the transparent form. Then you trace and color the unique model. The kit comes with a drawing board, four sheets of clothing, hairstyles and faces to mix and match, plus colored pencils, textured rub sheets and tracing paper. The book gives ideas for designing and adding accessories. This is not an instantaneous reward giving kit. Designing takes time, patience, and skill along with creative ideas. Though we generally prefer more open-ended toys and steer clear of coloring and tracing, we know that older kids are often frustrated with their own drawings and like the safety net this gives them for trying new skills. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Roaring Power
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:)

Newest in the clever 3-in-1 builds the 374-piece set gives kids instructions for a roaring race-car, a T-Rex, and a sea plane. A mid-size kit that shows kids they can use the same pieces for new constructions.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
LEGO STAR WARS Droid Gunship
(Lego Systems, Inc. $49.99 Score:)

The grey and blue Droid Gunship is an intermediate build with 439 pieces. If your Star Wars fan is building his fleet from the cartoon show (as opposed to the movies), this is a fine addition. Comes with a spring-loaded shooter, Chewbacca, Super Battle Droid, Battle Droid and 41st Elite Corps Trooper. We find that the included minifigs are a big part of the collectability appeal of the line for fans of the line. 8-14.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
LEGO STAR WARS V-Wing Starfighter
(Lego Systems, Inc. $24.99 Score:)

STAR WARS fans will love building this small red and grey spaceship. With 201 pieces this is a good place to start if you have a beginning LEGO/STAR WARS fan. Set comes with a V-Wing Pilot and an Astromech Droid. Also new this year and in the same level of building experiences: the yellow and grey Jedi Interceptor ($24.99 with 223 pieces and comes with Anakin Skywalker and R2-D2) and the blue/grey Vulture Droid ($24.99 with 205 pieces and comes with Buzz Droid, Pilot Battle Droid and Neimoidian Warrior). All marked 7-12. All come with new spring-loaded shooters which need some supervision.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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