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Product Type: Toys

 


2006 Award
Baby Annabell
(Zapf Creation $39.99 Score:) For the first time, Annabell cries real tears. After her bottle, she randomly yawns and falls asleep, or starts to cry. Our testers liked the novelty and parents liked the “off” switch option. Crying, babbling Love Me Chou Chou ($49.99 ) disappointed our testers, who thought she was “too heavy… it had a seam on her head—looked like she had a brain surgery.” Take heart, there is still a My First Annabell ($19.95 ) a 14" baby doll, Caucasian or African American, who does whatever your child imagines. This doll is mislabeled 1 & up, however; the pacifier is too small to be safe for toddlers. (877) 629-9273.

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

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2006 Award
Jules
(Corolle $55 Score:) Finding a boy doll is not easy, yet it’s a great gift, especially when there’s a new baby in the family. Meet Jules, a 17" bald baby doll in blue romper with bottle, bib, and pacifier. Like last year’s winner, Lila, he cries, laughs, and babbles. Both are a perfect armful for pretend play. 3 & up. PLATINUM AWARD ’05. (800) 668-4846.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Lili
(Corolle $60 Score:) Older preschoolers will love the articulated and fashionable 17" Lili dolls. Choose the blond Rose, auburn Melodie, dark brunette Belle, and strawberry blond Flore. Each is dressed in a très jolie outfit that is totally “now.” These will appeal to slightly older girls as well. Think younger American Girl dolls. 4 & up. Also new, Chouquettes ($39.95 1⁄2)—adorable 14" girl dolls come with blond or brunette hair and hairbrush for age-typical play. (800) 668-4846.

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

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2006 Awards
My First Stove
(Alex $19.99 Score:)

This mini kitchen (12" x 11" x 11") fits on a table top; ideal for tight spaces. A painted wooden stovetop with colorful knobs and drawer that opens to store utensils.  We like the gender free color scheme. Don’t be fooled by the picture on the box—no pots or dishes in the package! 3 & up. 


SNAP: This will sit on a wheel chair table or fit on a table top, as will the sink. Velcro strips added to the bottom and table surface will keep this from flying.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Super Star Sing-Along Vanity
(Little Tikes $47 Score:) “Mirror, mirror on the vanity, will I be part of the future American Idol insanity?” We’re not big on vanities that come loaded with a karaoke mirror, a wireless microphone (the hairbrush) . . . and an applause button (honest!). Not available for testing. 3 & up. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Little Pretenders
(Chenille Kraft Co. $24.99 Score:) A new line of costumes made of wipe-able vinyl provides the most affordable choice. Each theme comes with accessories (stethoscopes, extinguishers, etc.) and appropriate headgear. Other costumes include Veterinarian, Hair Dresser (the pretend blow dryer makes a great sound), and Doctor. 3 & up. (800) 621-1261.

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

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2006 Award
Magnatudes
(Gund $7.5 Score:) Put a few of these soft critters onto the car seat. Attach them by their embedded-magnet hands or feet; your toddler will have fun getting them off and then discovering how their hands and feet attract and repel. Soft, small, and totally ready for imaginative play. These will be enjoyed by preschoolers as well as toddlers who love this small size monkey, bear, or pig that will fit so well in little hands. (800) 448-4863.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
S.S. Duckie and Up, Up and Away
(Gund $19.95 Score:) If you’re in the back seat with your toddler and you need to go five more exits, these playsets make great choices! These are toys for telling little stories to your tot and hamming it up. There are lots of choices this year! A little ship loaded with two quacking ducks, crinkly starfish, and squeaker fish; or choose a white, red, and blue jet with rattle sounds, male and female pilots, and luggage; or My Doctor kit with two medical play figures and stethoscope. Finally, consider the Lavender Backpack with My Little Baby doll in the carrier and accessories inside the pack. (800) 448-4863.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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Bathketball
(Little Tikes $18 Score:) Suction cups hold the hoop securely to the side of the tub. This comes with three squirty balls. The bottom of the net cinches shut for storage. If you are worried about squirty toys in the tub harboring bacteria, pass on this one. We passed on the Little Tikes Bathtime Band ($14.99 ) This requires 3 AA batteries. Add water to each of the instruments and they play Calypso music. We do not like the idea of battery-operated toys for the tub. Their new Bathtime Toy Waterfall () also did not work well. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Sassy Spout Guard and Toy Organizer
(Sassy $8.99 Score:) More like a good piece of equipment than a toy, this happy-faced frog goes over the faucet to protect active toddlers from bumping into metal spout. It comes with a suction-cupped frog with net holder for all those tub toys that make happier tub time for toddlers.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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