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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Dolls and Huggables:

 


2010 Award
Manhattan Wildlife Collection Willis Walrus
(Manhattan Toy $30 Score:)

Willis has a wistful look with his deep set eyes and drooping tusks. A marvelous 14" plush walrus of dark brown velvety plush with wrinkly skin folds and dark blue-grey snout and flippers. We love his whiskers and all the detailing that make Willis a walrus worthy of hugs. He does look a lot like the Warren Walrus Puppet from the same company. However, Willis does not open his mouth and he seems to be dreaming of something. 3 & up.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Moxie Girlz Best Friends
(MGA Entertainment $25 Score:)

Move over Bratz, the Moxie Girlz have arrived. Designed to look more like girls than tarts, they come with a back story to encourage girls to be themselves...and never give up their dreams. They look like the younger cousins of the Bratz, so you can see where they might go wrong. You also get a look at how the Bratz might have looked before they grew up. These Moxie gals are much shorter than other fashion dolls--though their hair is longer, running all the way down to their backsides. Their many colored wigs sort of sit over their existing hair with an odd layered look. Their big eyes resemble their older Bratz relatives though their clothes are funky but tamer. Right now they look fairly tame. Packed two in a box, they are more about friendship.

 

 

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Liv Dolls
(Spinmaster $17 Score:)

Talk about hair play. These fashion forward dolls not only have the latest look, they have painted on short hair plus a hole in the head to secure their wigs. (Yes, the hole in the head is a bit odd, but effective as a way of securing the wigs.)  Articulated in 14 ways, the four LIV dolls, Katie, Sophie, Daniela, and Alexis are a multi-cultural group of active high school students who like sports, performing, volunteering, and all the things teen-aged girls like to do. From our point of view--this is all good, but what's really exciting and innovative...they have flat feet (they wear sneakers) and...wait for it, they can stand up.  You have to work at it but, unlike Barbie, these dolls can stand on their own two feet!

Another positive aspect of these dolls: they are dressed like girls.  Unlike the questionable wardrobe choices of Bratz, these dolls are meant to mirror what's current.   Yes, they do have big heads since hair play is so central to their play scheme.  Each doll comes packed with a brush, a hairstyle stand, and 2 wigs. You can buy still more hairstyles if you have a bad hair day with the two original styles. We've seen this advertised for 3's and up. No way that preschoolers can handle the tiny pieces of clothing. They can undress them, but dressing them will be frustrating. These dolls are a better bet for school aged girls. Their price is also right on for tight times!

But if that is not enough hair play kids can go online with their code (comes with each doll) to get virtual hairstyles and games. We've heard this line is not easy to access. 

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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