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Product Type: Toys

 


2007 Award
Monster Trucks Custom Shop
(Creativity for Kids $24.99 Score:)

Customize the four monster trucks with paint and stickers, then let ’em rip! With pull-back mechanisms, these are ready for racing. The stickers go on well. The paint isn’t great, but really is beside the point. These four monster trucks are just FUN! For smaller vehicles, check out Fast Car Race Cars ($14.99 4). Set of three wooden cars with pull-back mechanisms to paint (our kids used markers to play with the cars sooner). With either the trucks or the cars, set up a roadway with some empty small boxes for simulated crashes and road races. (800) 311-8684. Let’s go to the races! We often complain that there are not a lot of great craft kits for boys. Here are three sets that will be a hit.

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

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2007 Award
JellLoopdeLoops Sparkle Jelly Jewelry Kit
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $14.99 Score:) Our testers really enjoyed this kit with 48' of glitter tubing so that crafters can make 36 bracelets and 20 rings. One parent noted: “love the creativity factor and including the pliers was an excellent idea”, but thought the seed beads were too tiny to manage. 8 & up. (800) 492-3237.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2008 Award
Kid Tough Digital Camera
(Fisher-Price $69.95 Score:)

This was a Platinum winner in 2007. What has changed? It is now waterproof-not a bad idea when you think of how often cameras are taken along to the beach or pool. Technically, this is not a 2009 winner, but it is worth considering. Designed for beginners, this digital camera works surprisingly easily. There is a two-eye view finder as well as a small but adequate screen. It’s easy to use with chunky handgrips and big button. Comes with built-in flash, runs on four AA batteries, and you can add a card for extra memory. Compatible with Mac or PC. They say 3 & up, we’d say more like 6 & up. Available in pink or blue. (800) 432-5437.

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

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2007 Award
Thing-a-ma BOTS
(Gamewright $5.99 Score:)

Players turn over cards and name the funny looking robots. Others must remember the names others give and say that name when they recognize a matching robot that is turned up. Person who calls out name of match takes the stack and play continues. A quick 12-minute game that calls for listening, looking, and remembering. Kids will have less trouble coming up with silly names than most self-conscious adults. 6 & 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: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
Ugly Doll
(Gamewright $9.99 Score:)

This is like a disorderly game of concentration. Do not place the cards in neat rows. Spread all 70 out on the top of the table and turn three at a time. Do not turn them back down. Next player turns three over. First person to spot three that match calls out, “Ugly” three times and takes them. Silly, but fun and calls for speedy visual discrimination. 6 & up. Game based on Ugly Dolls ($20 each 4), Japanese animation-inspired dolls (created in Brooklyn!). Very quirky—not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but fun.

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: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
Combo King
(Gamewright $14.99 Score:)

Our testing family thought this was a kinder, friendlier form of Yahtzee. The cards you draw determine what kind of roll you need to get in order to win the round (e.g., three 5s, two 3s). Some dice challenges invite everyone to compete (e.g, first person to roll a four wins). Not difficult to learn and fun to play. You win chips for winning the rounds (so there is a poker-like element to the game as well); first player to make all their combos is the Combo King. 8 & up but you’ll need an adult.

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

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

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2007 Award
Math Dash
(Learning Resources $24.95 Score:) This is like Scrabble with numbers instead of letters. Players use the tiles to make math equations on a cross-word style grid.Each time a player he calls out "Take three!" and other players must take three extra tiles. Object is to be the first player to use up all your tiles. Fast-paced fun that can be played by kids at different levels of skill. Also new for 2007, Head Full of Numbers ($14.95 4.5)Like Boggle with numbers,players roll six dice and toss for all to see. Players write as many equations as possible using those numbers. 7& up. (800)222-3909.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Fuddy Duddy
(Let's Play Games $6.99 Score:) Quick and easy, players must collect a run of one color, 1 to 4, or a run of “duds” that have no color. 8 & up. (856) 988-1980.

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

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2007 Awards
Scratch Art Light Catcher Fun Kits
(Scratch-Art Co. $2.99 Score:)

Kids scratch away the black paint to give the open spaces a stained glass look when the finished product is hung on a window (themes include birds, flowers, and a sailboat). Quick, pleasing projects that are a good party favor/activity. Also new, Scratch Magic Stickers ($5.99 ) comes in 20 animal shapes. For a bigger kit, Draw & Learn Deluxe Kit ($16.99 ) has over 50 stencil shapes of dinosaurs, underwater, jungle, and outer space themes. This just might attract boys in particular who often need to develop the fine motor skills of holding a pencil—without the challenge of writing letters.


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
Weaving Fashion Weaving Loom
(Alex $18 Score:)

Cleverly packaged with very current chunky, fluffy yarn, this kit gives weaving an updated look. Our testers gave high ratings to both this kit and the Giant Weaving Loom ($29.99 4). Must be threaded, but easy to use. 


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

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