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Product Type: Toys

 

 
2007 Awards
Rub a Dub Jungle Waterfall Bathtub Set
(Alex $17.5 Score:) Arrange the many suction cup pieces on the wall of the tub and get ready for action. Pour the water in at the top and the pieces will spin and splash. Hands on lessons in physics for toddlers. 2 & up. This works a lot better than the Whistling Hippos (below) that our testers liked but found disappointing due to their limited sound effects. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Funky Artist
(Alex $19.99 Score:) One step above finger paints, this set of three “funky” brushes is unlike anything you have seen before. One looks like a string mop, one like the soft brushes at the car wash, and one like a flower made of cloth. Each produces a different texture. Kit comes with three bottles of washable paint and flat dishes for paint. Fat handles make this easy for little hands to hold and bold colors will invite big arm movements as they experiment with spreading paints and mixing colors. There are little brushes included, but this is all about big strokes for little folks. 2 & up. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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Little People Lil' Kingdom Palace
(Fisher-Price $20 Score:) If you think this looks like last year’s Castle—you’d be right. It’s the same toy but it’s pinker. Unfortunately, this means it no longer operates as a gender-free play setting. (The people still fall off the balcony.) We’d also skip the new Little People Pirate Ship ($20.99 2) since we don’t believe toddlers need to be shooting cannons and walking the plank. The updatd Little People Animal Sound Farm ($34.99 2) is back, but now the inanimate gates say moo and neigh (not the animals). We also find the Little People Dinosaurs troubling since they come with a caveman. Apart from being factually incorrect, many of our older dino-enthusiast were alarmed by the concept of dinosaurs and people being around at the same time. We have been fans of this line but it seems that over the past two years the design group has lost sight of their very young audience. (All that said, look at the good rating for the Little People Time-to-Learn, p. 198.) (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Little People Lil' Movers School Bus
(Fisher-Price $16.99 Score:) Push down on the school bus driver and the lights flash, horn beeps, and music plays on this big yellow school bus. Kids can be loaded through the side door or the open roof. Bus includes a wheelchair but no ramp for getting it on and off. They say 1 & up. We’d say more like 18 months & up. Still fun, Little People Cement Mixer Truck (800) 432-5437. SNAP: We like the fact that this school bus includes a wheel chair for one of the Little People. This is a terrific toy for dramatic play. Loading the passengers on and off allows you to use location words and position words in a concrete way that makes abstract concepts more meaningful.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Little People Lil' Movers Airplane
(Fisher-Price $21.99 Score:) Load the chunky Little People on and off through the top of the jolly looking white plane with licks of blue, red and green. Little People will not fit in the door/ramp, but not to worry; they fit through the open roof. There’s a female pilot and two passengers that bounce up and down as kids push the plane along the floor. Push the pilot down in her seat and the music begins, a short little tune that is not too intrusive. A red handle makes it easier to “fly” the plane in the air. A toddler size prop for pretend. They say 1& up. We’d say more like 18 months & up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Mega Blok Lil' Cement Truck and Lil' Dump Truck
(Mega Bloks $9.99 Score:) These plastic vehicles are just right for 2s and up to enjoy spilling blocks from and refilling. They both come with a truckload of Mega Bloks, just right for pretend construction sites. While we liked the concept of the new Lil’ Copter and the plastic blades are neat, it is much harder to load than the trucks because of the angle of the cutaway lid. (800) 465-6342.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Zoom Around Garage
(International Playthings $59.95 Score:)

Our 21⁄2 year old tester loved the levels of this multilevel garage and the elevator - his mom loved that the set comes with four cars (easier to share that way!) The chunky plastic cars can ride up the elevator and roll down the chutes and ramps with sound effects and flashing lights (not too loud). A fun setting for dramatic play. Cars can be played with separately or linked together with magnetic connectors. They say 1 & up - we'd say more like 18 mos. & up. (800) 445-8347.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
Smushy Elephant
(North American Bear Co. $25 Score:)

You’ve heard of the three bears? How about three adorable pachyderms? In creamy white with pink or blue satin ribbons or powder blue, these fuzz-free huggables have high and low plush, turned up trunks, and floppy ears, and come in a 25", 17", or 11" cuddly soft armful. Very lovable! (800) 682-3427.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Awards
Latitude Enfant Grannimals Collection
(Latitude Enfant $5 Score:) Done in knitted fabric and stitched features, these are an unusual collection of machine washable soft dolls that are gender neutral. A real departure from the usual plush. Choose Lucien the rabbit, Mona the cow, Sasha the cat, Marie the mouse. The medium (8" $20) and large (16" $30) arrive in a special box that might well turn into a bed. The mini (5" $5) and giant (40" $100) come sans box. PLATINUM AWARD ’06. New characters (available in only the smaller size) include Lou the wolf, Leon the Pig, Theo the Bear, Hugo the Hedgehog. Also new and extremely cute, parent/child pairs Celestine and Celeste (cats), and Justin and Justine (dogs)and Emile and Emilien (mice). (800) 544-9183.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Flatopotamus
(North American Bear Co. $17 Score:)

These floppy, understuffed, under-structured huggables are oversized and totally appealing to toddlers who like their toys big! We’ve seen the hippo and bear before, but the lime green frog and pink elephant are new and very cute. These are 25" or 15" but light enough for toddlers to handle with ease. Or for another big armful to love, choose the velvety 22" Creeper Sleeper Dog ($17 ) in blue polka-dot jammies, or Cat with pink, with stitched details and nonremovable PJs. (800) 682-3427.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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