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Product Type: Toys

 


2008 Award
FLY Fusion Pentop Computer
(LeapFrog $99 Score:)

A sleek update of a truly innovative product with the computer is built into the pen that works with special paper to create a variety of options: a working calculator, a translator, and our favorite, a musical keyboard you can draw and then play on your paper. But our testers LOVED that they could take notes on the special paper and that they were converted to a document on their computer. "So cool!" It might make you want to do seventh grade again...ok, not really, but you will want your own pen!

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Rapido
(HaPe $14.95 Score:) An elegant sequencing game. Players compete to pick up colored wooden marbles in special cylinders matching the pattern on their playing paddle. Seeing the pattern and responding quickly calls for good eye-hand coordination and memory. Fun quick rounds for 2–4 players. They say 4 & up, but we’d say more like 5–8. (800) 661-4142.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Dot 2 Dot Dinosaurs
(Lauri $11 Score:) Six dinosaur cards that kids lace by the numbers. These are sequenced from 1-to 26; Farm Animals go from 1 to 22; wild animals in the Animal Alphabet set go from A to Z. These will appeal to both genders and develop sequencing skills as well as fine motor skills. Marked 4 & up, but we’d say more like 5 & up since the numbers go into the teens. (800) 451-0520.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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The Scrambled States 2
(Gamewright $6 Score:)

There are 50 state cards, each with four different attributes for that card (region, population, land mass, and color). Fifteen cards are placed face up, one card from the draw pile is turned over. The first player to “slap” one of the 15 cards that has a shared attribute with the face card, wins that round. A fun way to introduce kids to geography. Some parents may find it light on content, but it’s a good way to get the subject introduced in a nonthreatening manner. 6 & up. Still recommended, the board edition. 


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

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Map Tangle
(Borderline Games $24.95 Score:) Think Twister, but here the play mat is 6' x 5'5" with a marvelous map of the world! We really love the design of the giant playing mat and the idea of cooperative play by teammates who help each other find the two locations they must stand on while avoiding a “Map Tangle” and falling down! This came too late to test with families and we are not sure if the game play is going to be satisfying. We suspect kids will be making up their own rules. Still top rated, Borderline ($9.95 ). Whether you play with the USA or new World Edition, here’s a painless way to make maps fun! The object is to get rid of all your cards, but you can only put cards down on a card that “borders” the state, body of water, or country in your hand. If you don’t know, flip your card for a map that shows the borderlines. A no-tears-or-fears geography game! 8 & up. (973) 761-6260.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Whoonu
(Cranium $16.95 Score:) It’s all about knowing the people you are playing with; players take turns at being the “whoozit” and others get points by guessing what objects named on the playing cards the “Whoozit” likes best. Even testers who do not like board games love this card game for three or more players. Still top-rated, Zigity ($12.95 ). Visual discrimination and word and number play are all part of the fun. 8 & up. (877) 272-6486.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Maya & Miguel Word Scramble
(Briarpatch $19.95 Score:) Like last year’s I Spy Word Scramble, this has a big game board with sliding tiles. Players take turns drawing a card, choosing a letter or image on the card, and spelling that word by sliding letters before the timer runs out. Inspired by the PBS TV show, this game can be played both in Spanish and English. 7 & up. (800) 232-7427.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Who? What? Where? Jr.
(Pazow $19.95 Score:) Each player takes a who, a what, and a where card, which combine to ask you to draw a certain image—Abraham Lincoln fishing in Paris, for example. Players get points for guessing each other’s drawings. A fun family game for 7 & up. A follow-up to last year’s PLATINUM AWARD-winning game for 12 & up. (415) 885-5006.

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

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2006 Award
Star Wars Monopoly
(Milton Bradley $29.99 Score:) In honor of the last installment of the series, Hasbro has brought out several classic games with a SW theme. The Star Wars Saga Edition Monopoly ($29.99 1⁄2) is great fun with features that span the series including Darth Maul, Darth Vader, Yoda. The board takes you through the galaxy. For parents who enjoyed Stratego ($15.99 ) or Risk ($24.99 ), your kids will enjoy these versions with characters from all six movies. We’d skip the Chess Set ($29.99 ); the pieces are too difficult to distinguish for young chess players). (888) 836-7025.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Toot and Otto Game
(ThinkFun $9.99 Score:) A simple strategy game with twenty-four plastic tiles, with “O”s and “T”s. One player must spell Toot, the other Otto as they take turns dropping letters into the game tower to block their opponent and spell out their name. Quick and easy to learn. 5 & up. 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: 2006.

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