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

 


2013 Award
LEGO City Cargo Terminal
(Lego Systems, Inc. $99 Score:)

The first step to becoming a computer programmer begins with learning about sequence. For  builders this is a great place to start as a stepping stone to more advanced robotic sets offered by LEGO (see Mindstorms EV3).  Our testers found this giant size jet and control tower "totally awesome!" The handsome cargo plane has wheels that pivot allowing it to turn with ease on the ground. It has a big cargo door where the conveyer belt hooks up and the back end hinges open for alternate access. Testers loved the working conveyer belt they could turn to put cargo in or out of the plane. They also liked the working fork lift that is loaded with gold bars! Like all Lego sets, this is designed with an eye for details and clever accessories: there is a fuel truck, a complete cast of five mini-characters; a pilot, controllor and three workers. The control tower features a rotating radar dish, antenna and space for a mini-figure. 658 pieces. For the younger child this will be a parent-child project in the building stage. Once it is put together however, the set becomes a mini-setting for pretend play. 6-12

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
LEGO Galaxy Squad Warp Stinger
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:)

We thought this was one of the most unusual LEGO builds we've ever seen. Comes with 310 pieces, including three minifigures. When built it's over 8" high and 10" wide. It was less flexible than we imagined (we thought a wasp would have a flying position.) Our testers agreed that the colors were pretty amazing. It comes with one ball that shoots out of the bottom of the tail (they thought it should come with more).  The set includes many really small pieces that require greater fine motor skills as well as strength to make happen.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Lego Friends Rehearsal Stage
(Lego Systems $19.99 Score:)

Stephanie wants to be a superstar. She works out in her rehearsal studio with a revolving platform. She has a guitar, keyboard, and microphone. For dancing she has a ballet bar and mirror and before she goes on stage she puts on her make-up at a dressing table. A 198-piece set with one mini-figure. 5-12

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Lego Friends Stephanie's Soccer Practice
(Lego Systems, Inc. $9.99 Score:)

A small 80-piece kit with props and Stephanie mini-figure and her pup with props for soccer and snacks. Packed full of items such as a goal, ball, soccer ball launcher, obstacle course and more.   Also new and top-rated in the Friends line, Emma's Karate Class, a 93-piece set. 5-12

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
LEGO City Tanker Truck
(Lego Systems, Inc. $19.99 Score:) A 191-piece tanker truck that is somewhat simpler than some of the others. Designed for less experienced builders, it is a modular build. The set includes a stand alone gas pump with retractable hose, valve and fire extinguisher. The green and white tanker comes with an action figure driver who fits in the cab, can climb on the truck ladder and work the gas pump. A good build with plenty of dramatic play once the pieces are fit together. Marked 5 -12, it took our seven year old tester just under 2 hours to build.  Feedback included: "He likes that the truck side pivots open so you can put the race car inside (it does make it less stable though). The back of the truck also flips open and you can insert the car that way as well. He also likes that the cab of the truck swivels left and right as you "drive" it around. He says he wishes the little cabinet was big enough to fit all of the tools. He also likes that the set comes with three guys!"

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Lego 3-in-1 Super Racer
(Lego Systems, Inc. $16.99 Score:)

New to the clever Creator line of builds, this 121-piece set can be put together in three different versions: a quad bike, go-kart or racing car. These make terrific birthday gifts for all the parties your child attends. 6-12.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Lego Monster Trucks
(Lego Systems, Inc. $19.99 Score:)

Designed for younger builders, this 197-piece set comes with cards with step by step bold plans. Kids make three rough and tumble vehicles, and a judges stand. Once they build the vehicles there's plenty of dramatic play action. We think many 4's will have dexterity challenges and may need some help in getting started. These are marked for 4-7.

Note our more experienced 6 year old builder felt this set "wasn't like LEGOs"...because the instructions are simplified.  "It actually seems like they just omitted instructions. All that is included are three laminated cards (pics below) with the vehicle featured and small sections magnified. To (our builder), the chronological step by step instructions are what he loves about the build and what 'makes them Legos'."

""""""In otherwords, this is a good place to start with building LEGO sets.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
LEGO City Set Fire Boat
(Lego Systems, Inc. $48.90 Score:)

Once this 222-piece construction set is put together it really can be played with on water. It floats! Kids can build smaller sub-sets for quick builds. It includes a pontoon as well as a power-boat and action figures for dramatic play. According to his mom, our 5 year old tester "LOVED this build. He always likes the Lego City things and this was no exception." Though his mom usually does not allow Legos in the bath...since this is a boat, they gave it a test run in the tub. "It floats well (even the guys float when they fall in the water) and he is having a blast having play time with it and "fighting fires" in the bath."

A good build and good imaginary play once completed - a big winner.5-12

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
LEGO Star Wars Gungan Sub
(Lego Systems, Inc. $69.99 Score:)

Our LEGO Star Wars fans gave this set high marks: "the shape of the pieces are different", "the tail spins!", "fun build", "I like the minifigs!"   This 465 piece set comes with a cockpit that opens, two cargo containers and a rotating tail. You can detach the mini-sub -- providing more room for dramatic play.   The plus of these sets is that most kids both build and PLAY with the sets once they're together.  Cleverly, each set comes with different minifigures-- so that's also part of the appeal of putting together the fleet.  This build comes with Queen Amidala, OBi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn and of course, Jar Jar Binks.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
FAO Schwarz 150th Anniversary Playmobil Victorian City LIfe Set
(Playmobil $129 Score:)

To celebrate their 150th anniversary, FAO Schwarz has reintroduce a classic Playmobil set that is very special. In addition to the victorian house (that comes completely furnished), our testers loved the horse and buggy for taking the family out for a ride.  The attention to detail (as with all Playmobil sets) is unmatched-- our favorites:  the grandfather clock,  the flower boxes, the "modern" car, and the umbrella and purse for the lady of the house! A great parent/child project that will then be used a setting for dramatic play.  Available at the store or at TRU on line.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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