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Product Type: Toys

 


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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2007 Award
Matchbox Construction Zone Pop Up Adventure Set
(Mattel $14.99 Score:) Ideal for travel, this slim case, close to 10" square, pops up into a play setting with crane, ramps, and plenty of action for dramatic play. Comes with just one vehicle. This is likely to make a great birthday party gift or take-along toy. Also available in Harbor Patrol and Auto Center settings. Says 3 & up; we’d say more like 4s and more. (800) 524-8697.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Wikki Stix Curious George Activity Books
(Wikki Stix $14.95 Score:)

Choose from three different themes (school, birthday, or circus), which come with a colorful pack of wax-coated bendable stix that can be used to trace geometric shapes, follow the dots, do puzzles, trace mazes, or circle the “answers” to questions. A little workbookish, but an entertaining parent/child activity. 3 & up.


Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
My Creative Center
(Alex $159.99 Score:) You’ll need lots of room for this oversized wooden table (49" x 29.5" d) that eclipses their previous Super Art Table ($179 5) in size. Rounded on one end with a storage container, this table comes with a chalk surface and a paper roller/cutter and two long benches. Done in the same cheerful primary “Maisy-like” color scheme as the other tables in the collection. For a smaller round table with same style, consider My First Table (Alex $100 41⁄2). 3 & up. (800) 666-2539.

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

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On-the-Go-Microphone
(Fisher-Price $14.99 Score:) Comes with a cartridge that plays three Kidz Bop songs that our testers found very difficult to sing along with (an adult male and kids singing such odd choices as: “I Like It (like that),” “Absolutely,” and “Purple People Eater”). The microphone on its own is wireless (a plus) but in order to get enough amplification, your voice sounds fuzzy. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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Star Station On-the-Go Player
(Fisher-Price $19.99 Score:) Player comes equipped with headphones and cartridge with three Kidz Bop songs (not our favorite, but we know they’re popular). Here’s the problem: the on/off dial is also the volume control. If you go the wrong way you can really get blasted. The top volume level is just way too loud. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Kid-Tough FP3 Player
(Fisher-Price $69.99 Score:) Parents can download songs and stories to the preloaded player designed for preschoolers. Add your own music or selections from the Fisher-Price Song & Story Content Store. (Software PC compatible only.) In contrast to the Star Station On-the-Go Player (next page), the FP3 has a volume control and limiter to protect young ears! Comes with a 1.4" LCD screen that displays titles and visual icons for pre-readers. 3 & up. (800) 524-8697.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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Dance Along MP3
(Playskool $14.99 Score:) The LCD screen on this machine looks crude with only black graphics. Comes loaded with 100 songs to “download,” making their own play lists but the music quality is very tinny and unpleasant. (800) 327-8267.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Hokey Pokey Musical Skirt
(Acting Out $32 Score:)

Following the success of last year’s Platinum winning Swan Lake Musical Dress ($32 5) and Nutcracker Sugar Plum Musical Skirt ($26 5) that gave little ballerinas an orchestra they could activate as they danced, this season dancers can turn themselves around as they do the Hokey Pokey in a polka-dotted skirt with motion-activated music. All make magical gifts to stir active imaginative performances. 3 & up. (877) 727-0222.

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

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SparkArt Creativity System
(Fisher-Price $99.99 Score:) Imagine an easel that tells you what to do! Its so-called “magical technology” “gets kids’ creative juices going with audio prompts, inspiring them to use colors, sounds, objects, and the alphabet.” In other words, it tells your child what to draw. Where’s the creativity in following audio prompts? While the technology may be amazing (it has over 600 word combinations and sound effects), we don’t believe that kids should be standing at an easel waiting for instructions. From a developmental point of view, we want kids to be able to explore their own imagination and make their own sounds. Was not ready for testing, but the concept is misguided. 3 & up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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