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

 


2010 Award
Fisher-Price Steel Force Front Loader
(Fisher-Price $27.99 Score:)

A hefty front loader with working parts that will lift sand, or blocks and dump them wherever your construction worker steers it. This is a 15 inch truck that looks big but is not as heavy as your old Tonka trucks used to be. The painted metal trim is encased in plastic and sealed so there are no sharp edges and it should not rust. Also see the Steel Force Dump Truck. For smaller vehicles to take to beach or sandbox, see the Mini Front Loader and Mini Digger with treads from the same Steel Force line. ($16.99 each). 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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2010 Award
Fisher-Price Steel Force Dump Truck
(Kid Galaxy $27.99 Score:)

A hefty working 15-inch plastic and steel trimmed dump truck that is light enough for kids to handle. The big wheels will ride through sand and mud and do a good day's work in sandbox or inside for dramatic play, loading and dumping with ease. The painted metal trim is encased in plastic and sealed so there are no sharp edges and it should not rust. 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
Doodle Track Cars
(Day Dream Toy Company $15 Score:)

Wait till you try these amazing little vehicles that will follow any dark line you draw! These Doodle-Track vehicles are truly magical! Bring home a blue or red sports car. Small enough to fit in your hand, yet these are loaded with play power. Each vehicle comes with it's own set of colorful stickers, a thick black marker and a small pre-drawn track. The little vehicles have an optical sensor that will follow lines drawn by a thick washable marker or crayon. The company also plans to make tracks with signs and seasonal decorative themes available on line that kids can download and print out at www.doodletrackcar.com.  This is a wonderfully open-ended toy that allows kids to dream up new ways of playing. Add original tracks into block settings or create your own raceway for multiple Doodle-Track vehicles to run. This comes under the heading of many good things come in small packages! Requires 2 AAA batteries. Marked 4 & up.   We think this will be enjoyed by older kids as well...not to mention their parents.    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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Shake 'N Go Extreme Speedway
(Fisher-Price $65 Score:)

We've told you about these Shake 'N Go cars before. To charge them up you have to shake them and off they go.  You get two cars in this new Extreme Speedway set that is packaged with a marvelous set of tracks with a goodly supply of pieces that can be set up in six or more formations. Unlike last season's track, which could only work as a circle, this is far more open-ended. Kids can construct a loop with figure eight track, an oval within an oval, a circle within a circle or many other choices.  Follow the patterns shown or create your own. There are so many ways to use the Easy Track Changeup. The set includes a ramp and barrels for doing tricks. A memorable gift! 

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

SNAP IDEAS: Making the track fit together is pretty open ended now and the pieces are big and easy to put in vrious formations.  But the best parts of this toy are the cars themselves. In fact, you can buy the cars separately. There is no remote controller to make them go. You need to shake the cars and count to ten and va-va-va- voom off they go! There's plenty of built in practice since you ned to count and shake them everytime. What a fun payoff for counting!

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

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2009 Award
Thomas and Friends Wooden Talking Great Discovery Set
(Learning Curve International $179.99 Score:)

Happily Thomas and Friends are back! After all of the lead issues, it's nice to see that the company has regrouped and come out with something that will attract train fans! Push one of the special trains through the station and Sir Topham Hatt will great the trains. While we were originally concerned that this additional of technology would overtake the experience, it really enhances the play possibilities. We also LOVE that there is a volume setting since the out of the box setting is really loud. If you already have a lot of trains, you can also just bring home the Stop and Greet Station ($69.99) or the new Cranky the Crane ($69.99) and the new talking trains ($14.99 each). It's all really pricey but very innovative and special.

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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Hot Wheels Color Shifters Blaster
(Mattel $22.99 Score:)

Hands down one of our favorite toys of the year.  If you have a child in the Hot Wheels zone, this is a must have toy.  Because the play experience involves water (and more the better!) we'd say this is a better choice for outdoors...or parents that don't mind water all over the counter.  The cars react to cold and hot water - and will turn a different color when put into either temperature. Seriously cool.  Best yet, it comes with a squirt bottle so you can change the cars by squirting them.  If you don't want to buy the whole set - we'd suggest buying one of the cars - you can use your own squirt bottle and have the same experience.   The car that turns from blue to yellow is much more dramatic than some of the other color changes (yellow/orange).  The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in  a lab.

We waited with great anticipation for the bigger and more tricked out Custom Color Shop ($37.99)...it includes a launcher that sends the car either through a waterfall at the top of the toy or down a ramp.  Here's the deal, we found the launcher somewhat hard to do (to get it to hit the waterfall point consistently was challenging to say this least)...and the water at the top and bottom will need more adult intervention than the Color Shifter Blaster.  It looked like it would be really great, but our testers preferred the less expensive version -- that they could handle more independently. Nice when the less expensive toy comes out on top.

SNAP IDEAS: Quite apart from the "magic" of changing the colors of the little cars, this is a great toy for working on developing hand stregnth. Squirting the water calls for sqeezing the spray bottle and if you want to add to the fun, how about counting to see how many squirts it takes to abra-ca-dabra the change of color. Buy the whole set up or look for the color changer cars that are sold separately. Any clean sqqirt bottle will do the trick!

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

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2001 Awards
Rokenbok Monorail Building System
(Rokenbok Toy Co. $$149 Score:)

The Monorail is the big news this year in Rokenbok. This open-ended construction/remote control vehicle setting just got even better. "It's awesome!" our seven and 10 year-old testers said. You can add several R/C vehicles to the mix. This innovative system is expensive, but offers greater interest and challenge than other train or car sets we've seen. Will work with original sets. 6 & up with adult assistance. Takes 3 AA batteries.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Awards
Construction Truck with Hard Hat
(Little Tikes $20 Score:) If you're looking for a showy gift at a reasonable price, you won't do better than this set. These vehicles are articulated for easy action and made to withstand sand and water. Choose a working dump truck or loader.

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

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Award
Country Crossing Play Set
(Brio $100 Score:) Set includes a raised girder, farm animals, train, and engineer. The Track & Stack City Set ($130/38 pieces) with elevator, stacking supports, signs, and figures was not ready for testing, but looks more complex to assemble.

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

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Award
Thomas the Tank Engine Drawbridge
(RC2 Learning Curve $30 Score:) Cleverly designed, this totally assembled bridge/tunnel has a lever that lifts the low bridge so tall trains can pass. The Firehouse ($30) has a fire truck that pops out when you ring the bell. Also new are Thomas or Percy Express Packs ($30 each). These sets include a battery-powered train.

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

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