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Product Type: Toys

 

Groovy Girl Pet Show Game
(Briarpatch $19.99 Score:)

Our 8- and 9-year old Groovy Girl fans found the instructions confusing and the game play boring. We had similar complaints about the directions for last year’s Groovy Girl Sleepover game.   6 & up.   This game has been discontinued.


Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Family Fun Game
(Cranium $19.95 Score:) Designed for teams of grown-ups and kids to play together, players use visual memory, creativity, factual information, cooperation, and communication skills to win. For example, with timer going, a player must sculpt a turtle of clay; or recall sequence of a pattern without looking; or name five zoo animals, each new one beginning with letter of last one named. There’s plenty of thinking, doing, and laughing, too! 7 & up. Still top rated and geared for younger kids, PLATINUM AWARD-winner Balloon Lagoon ($19.99 5 & up) and Cranium Cadoo for Kids ($19.99 ) are similar to the new game but this one is played by kids with other kids. 7 & up. (877) 272-6486.

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

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2006 Award
Da Vinci's Challenge
(Briarpatch $24.99 Score:) For 2–4 players, this is a truly challenging game where the object is to create ancient patterns on the pre-printed circular game board. Each pattern you create has different point values, but of course there is a twist. Your opponents can block your patterns. “The game became more interesting as more pieces were put on the board and sometimes a bigger pattern emerges when you’re not paying attention!” They say 8 & up, we’d say more like 10 & up. The connection to Da Vinci? He studied the Egyptian symbol called the Flower of Life. (800) 232-7427.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
eeBoo Storefront Bingo
(eeBoo $14.99 Score:)

Each playing board is a different store. Dealer draws a picture tile and names object; player who has the store for that item calls out name of store. Winner is first to match and fill card pictures. Also new, Life on Earth Matching Game ($14.99 ), a concentration-style matching game with pleasing images of birds, snakes, kangaroos, and other earthly creatures. Also top rated, Candy Matching ($12.95 ) with yummy-looking candies to match. All 5 & up. (212) 222-0823.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Bialo
(HaPe $14.95 Score:) Beautifully crafted with bamboo wood, the object here is to launch your wooden play piece into one of the colored circles (this determines how you move around the board). First to complete the outer circle wins. Requires finesse rather than strength. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Alfredo's Food Fight
(Fundex $19.99 Score:) Set up Alfredo the chef with his Velcro plates and apron; push the button on the base and he turns. while players use “forks” to launch meatballs covered with yarn spaghetti strands that stick. Our school-aged testers thought this was pure “silliness” and fun to play. For 2–4 players. 5 & up. (800) 486-9787.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Charoodles
(ThinkFun $19.99 Score:) Our families with older kids, 8 to 12, really enjoyed this new version of Charades that includes “props” (a foam ball, tube, square, and plastic cup) for acting out one of the 3,000 charades on the play cards. Timer included. A good choice for a family party. (800) 468-1864.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Castle Keep
(Gamewright $11.99 Score:)

The object is to be the first to complete a castle with a total of nine castle cards (walls, towers, and a keep). But beware—opposing players can seize your pieces if they have a duplicate! A game of strategy that involves flexible thinking as builders must match geometric and color attributes. 8 & up. For younger players, Leaping Lizards ($9.99 ) is also an attribute game. The novel “game board” is actually a long shoestring and beads. With each turn players choose a “lucky” picture token that will help determine how many spaces they can move. Watch out, if you roll a sad face you move backwards! This can be frustrating for younger players. With adult participation, 5s & 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, Later School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Star Wars ARC-170 Starfighter
(Lego Systems, Inc. $39.99 Score:) Some of the best Lego sets this year came from the Star Wars line. Top marks went to this new fighter featured in the last film. Our testers also enjoyed the Wookiee Catamaran ($49.99 /376 pieces) which comes with Jedi lightsabers that really light up (very cool). 8 & up. Editors’ note: Also noteworthy—Lego Factory, where you build your own creations online at lego.com and then they ship you the parts. (800) 223-8756.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Quadrilla
(HaPe $30 Score:) A new line of imported marble run toys caught our attention for their design (they are beautiful). An unusual funnel-shaped piece is the center post of both the Basic Set ($49.95) and the big Twist Set ($149.95). Their Rail Set ($129.95) is also a beauty, with releases that add surprise motion. The first batch of these sets had some rough pieces that impeded the marble from rolling, but this issue has been addressed. If you got one of the old sets, exchange it. (800) 661-4142.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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