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

 

 
2009 Awards
Les Cheries
(Corolle $45 Score:)

We loved these dolls when they first hit the market back in 2003. They received a Platinum Award and we are now giving them a Blue Chip Award for 2009. Chloe, Camille, Clare, Cecile and Cathy are a multicultural collection of 13" dolls and are marketed as "best friend" dolls and are purposefully not fashion dolls. Our favorites this year are Cecile, an African American girl, with jeans, a knit shrug and glorious hair or Chloe, a brunette ballerina in a gossamer tutu. They are meant to look like girls of today. There are new clothes almost every year--but this is a collection that should not be missed.

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

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2003 Award
Girls from Many Lands: Neela Doll & Book
(Pleasant Company $50 Score:) One of a new collection of Girls from Many Lands, Neela is dressed in the orange sari and gold jewelry that she wears to her sister's wedding in 1939 when the world was about to plunge into World War II and India's Freedom Fighters were looking for their independence from the British Empire. Neela, the doll and her story (Victory Song written by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni) are for older school aged girls. She is not a play doll, but one for display as part of a collection. Her adventure portrays a girl with gumption who questions traditions and yearns to play a role in her country's history. We look forward to reviewing other books and dolls in this new series. There will be dolls and books set in Alaska in 1890, China in 1857, France in 1711 and England in 1592. 9-12.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2004 Award
American Girl Kailey
(American Girl $84 Score:) The company alternates each year between historic dolls and current dolls. This year, Kailey is a very California girl with long blond hair and boogie board! Her story focuses on saving the tide pools from a local developer. Still top rated, Kaya, the first Native American doll from the Nez Perce people in the collection. PLATINUM AWARD '03. 7 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2005 Award
American Girl Nellie O'Malley
(American Girl $84 Score:) The company alternates each year between historic dolls and current dolls. This year, they introduce Samantha's best friend, Nellie. With a big blue bow in her strawberry blonde hair and a white dress with matching blue sash, she’s the image of an Irish girl of 1906. Her story focuses on her promise to care for her younger sisters when her mother dies. Still top rated, Kaya, the first Native American doll from the Nez Perce people in the collection. PLATINUM AWARD ’03. 7 & up. (800) 845-0005.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2006 Award
American Girl Elizabeth
(American Girl $87 Score:) The American Girl collection of dolls each comes with a book that introduces girls to a bit of history through stories. Elizabeth is an English girl from a prominent Loyalist family (and best friend of well-known Felicity). She’s 18" tall with long blond hair and blue eyes. Still top rated, Nellie O’Malley (Samantha’s best friend). PLATINUM AWARD ’05. 7 & up. (800) 845-0005.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2007 Award
American Girl Jess
(American Girl $87 Score:) Jess, is this year's Girl of the Year from American Girl's contemporary collection of dolls. She's an Amerasian, 18" tall with dark brown eyes and her hair comes in loose braids. Her dad is Irish American and her mom is Japanese American. While the book points out that they come from different backgrounds, they both love archeology. Her family goes to Belize so the accessories that you can also add include a passport, a camera and a kayak.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
FurReal Friends Newborn Piglet and Lamb
(Hasbro $12.99 Score:) Two plush barnyard animals, a piglet and a lamb, that oink and baa and wiggle their heads and bodies when stroked. They come with a small feeding bottle, as well. These are novelty items, but fun little 9” critters for a fistful of fun. They would also be enjoyed on an office desk too (we speak from personal experience). 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Fashion Angels Living Dolls
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $20 Score:) A funky collection of multicultural dolls that have eclectic clothing, e.g., printed canvas sneakers paired with embroidered denim jackets with lacy skirts. There’s Lulu, Debo, Bebe and Izzy – all are poseable dolls and can exchange both clothes and wigs (a new twist in toyland). We wonder if the wigs were inspired by all those home shopping network wig segments (ok, sometimes we do watch way too much television.)

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2009 Award
Maru Doll
(Maru and Friends $99 Score:)

Maru is a very beautiful Hispanic doll with dark eyes, dark hair and fine features. She looks like a collector's doll with a face that looks like a bisque doll from another time. Her clothes are colorful, a pleated cordoroy skirt, orange blouse and hat and a cute vest with orange bows. She wears fleece topped boots and tights. She's about the same size as an American Girl doll. But her body is not soft. Her arms and legs move, but she is less flexible than some of the play dolls that look like American Girl wanna-be's. The book that comes with Maru is not really of the same quality as the doll. The book is a totally forgettable. We also question the age on the box. They say 3 & up. This is a doll for 5's and up, up, up. It wold be a total waste for 3's who would not be able to handle her clothes. So this is a mixed bag. Available on their site, maru.com, where you will find two other dolls, a blonde and a doll with wavy hair.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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Furby
(Hasbro $ Score:) Furby is back this year with what the company calls "Emotio-tronics". This larger furry creature now promises to display happiness,sadness, surprise, fear and of course, sleepiness (what's an electronic creature without the sleep mode?) Sometimes Furby sounds a bit like Yoda as he speaks his Furbish. A pure novelty that will likely end up sitting on the shelf after the initial furbishness wears off.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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