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Product Type: Toys

 


2007 Award
American Girl Emily
(American Girl $87 Score:) In the American Girl collection of dolls, each comes with a book that introduces girls to a bit of history through stories. Emily is in fact not an American girl, but an English girl, an auburn-haired beauty evacuated during WWII from London, to live with Molly and her family. Still top rated, any number of historic dolls from various times in our history. Last year’s winner was also an English girl, Elizabeth, from a prominent Loyalist family (and best friend of well-known Felicity). She’s 18" tall with long blond hair and blue eyes. PLATINUM AWARD 06. 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: 2007.

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Smoby Star Party Duo Mix Set
(International Playthings $59.99 Score:)

A set of mikes perfect for American Idol wannabes and host. Unfortunately, very gender specific in pink and lavender. For a solo mike there's Star Party Micro Star ($39.99 4). Both have applause sound effects. 5 & up. For the full disco effect, check out Smoby Star Party Disco Bubble and Light ($64.99). You might just need this faceted-mirrored disco ball that turns on a platform with an automatic bubble maker and spotlight. Not exactly a toy, this is more like a piece of equipment to add a twinkle to parties. 5 & up. (800) 445-8347. These products have been DISCONTINUED.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
My Picnic Basket
(Alex $20 Score:)

We liked the sturdiness of this 18-piece set that comes with blue enamelware including plates, cups, spoons, forks, and tablecloth. Great for real picnics or pretend tea parties.   All stored in a lovely wicker basket that closes- just like the real thing.  5 & up.


Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
Playmobil's Soccer Match
(Playmobil $39.99 Score:) Both Playmobil and Lego introduced new soccer sets for 2007 that scored high with our testers. Playmobil’s Soccer Match ($39.99 ) comes with six players with kicking action and an oversized 38" x 26" soccer mat that you build the frame around. Comes with a suggested scoring game, which our testers tried; then they made up their own games. The Lego Grand Soccer Stadium (Lego Systems $49.99/386 pieces) is an updated version that is much improved, with greater stability in the core playing field. The goalies have the greatest mobility and two players are also on slides to cover more of the field. Other players can kick (our testers thought two of them should also be on slides for great coverage). Much smaller and different in feel from Playmobil’s—our testers thought both were fun. Younger builders will need help putting both together. 7 & up. Lego (800) 233-8756/Playmobil (800) 752-9662.

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

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Playmobil Skull Pirate Ship
(Playmobil $29.99 Score:) New for 2007, Playmobil Skull Pirate Ship is big and showy, but our tester had trouble connecting the deck and hull securely. Kids will need help attaching the “nets” that clamp the ship together, and once done, it will not be convenient for storage. ALthough younger kids also needed help with Lego's Pirate Ship,the end products seemed sturdier for play. (800)752-9662.

Age: . Award Year: 2007.

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BIrd's the Word Elmo
(Fisher-Price $19.99 Score:) Novelty dolls often get a lot of media attention. Some are worth the buzz, others deserved silence. For example, Bird’s the Word Elmo (Fisher-Price $19.99 2) features our pal Elmo dressed up like a bird, telling jokes and singing. It’s just too derivative and remote for kids.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Goober
(Gund $30 Score:) A pot bellied bear that you’ll just want to hug. He’s two-toned with a really distinctive big nose—very endearing. (800) 448-4863. Still very special, Great Big Creamy Bear (Mary Meyer $130/36" 5) Remember the oversized bear you always dreamed of winning at the fair? This one is much better, because he’s totally huggable, soft, and delicious! 36" big, this memorable bear will be great to talk to and lean on. PLATINUM AWARD ’06. (800) 451-4387.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Cooking Essentials
(Step 2 $17.99 Score:) A handsome 7-piece set of enameled blue pans includes a large and small saucepan with lids and a sauté pan with wooden handle plus two pot holders. Their stainless steel set ($24.99 3) with tea kettle, colander, sauce pots, sauté pan, and pot holders would have been a top winner but for the tea kettle’s handle, which is roughly finished. We pass on the bake set ($17.99 3) because the measuring cup, marked as a cup, is short of a true cup. It seems silly to be inaccurate. 3 & up. (800) 347-8372. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Ride and Rescue Cozy Coupe
(Little Tikes $79 Score:) A twist on the classic ride-in, comes with firefighter’s handheld gizmo for turning on flashing lights and seven siren sounds built into electronic microphone. Still runs on good old-fashioned foot power! Also refreshed, Tikes Patrol Police Car ($75 4) now done in new colors. 3 & up. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Penelope Peapod
(Penelope Peapod $40 Score:) Imagine a drawstring pocketbook made of a basket with fabric top, that opens into a bassinette and has a sweet little doll inside, dressed in a matching romper. Perfect for pretend on the go. Dolls come in various ethnicities, with cotton prints (including our favorite with Pucci-inspired fabric). Additional dolls also done for Kate Spade (but you’ll need to add $10 to the price). (877) 352-1035.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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