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Product Type: Toys

 


2008 Award
Lego Beach House
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:) Who wouldn’t like this bright contemporary looking yellow beach house with two big skylight windows and clear back doors that leads to a terrace. It has a satellite disk, BBQ, picnic table and umbrella, and hours of play build in to the fun. From Lego’s Creator line it’s cleverly designed to be converted to a café or a tall apartment building. A 3-in-1 kit with 522 pieces. Full of the kind of details that suits older builders. 8 & up. 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: 2008.

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2009 Award
Lego Road Construction Set
(Lego Systems, Inc. $19.99 Score:)

Kids who are fascinated with vehicles will be able to build more than three chunky wheeled trucks—a steam roller, earth mover with lift, and dump truck. Therr sets of instructions includes 15 different building ideas...not to mention the ones young builders will come up with on their own. A great gift for under $20. Says 4 & up. We think 4’s will need assistance. Good for dramatic play and as props for block buildings.

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

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Lego Police Headquarters
(Lego Systems, Inc. $89.99 Score:)

Loaded with action, this is an immense building set with 953 pieces that will take days to assemble. Part of the City Collection, this multi-level huge police headquarters has a lock-up, of course, as well as offices, vehicles, satellites, and police figures. Build it together and then let the dramas begin. They say 6 & up. It is an elaborate set that will require an older sibling or adult if you bring it home for a 6 year old. It will be enjoyed by younger kids after it is built, but as a construction set, it will be an overwhelming challenge for solo building for kids under 8. Still, this is a wow-wee kind of gift for enthusiastic builders. Makes a good choice for those long rainy days when going out is not possible.

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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Lego Ring of Fire
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:) Our toy tester wanted to really test this one--it's an update on a toy that was in the Lego line several years ago. First you build your racer, then you build a catapult and a ramp with a ring of fire. Unfortunately our tester found that this really didn't work as well as the original. The car really didn't launch sufficiently to go through the ring and the ring didn't stay together very well. 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: 2008.

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2009 Award
eeBoo Build a Robot
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

Part puzzle, part game this is quick and easy to play at various levels. Players take the five robot puzzle pieces out of their playing board. Hit the arrow spinner and pick the numbered playing piece that matches. First to rebuild the robot wins. But watch out, older players need to spin the “tool” tile before they begin. It takes some time and luck to spin all five numbers to build the robot. Good for turn taking, number matching, and sequencing from 1-5. Game includes names of robot related books.   5 & 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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
eeboo Pin a Parrot on a Pirate
(eeBoo $9.99 Score:)

Ahoy, Mate! Forget about that old donkey tail game.  If you are having a crew of pirates to celebrate a birthday, here's the game complete with bandanna to cover those eyes and precut parrots. Sticker parrots are sure to end up on the friendly pirate's nose, toes, or telescope. A reusable game for play dates or other pirate events. 4 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Create Your Own Pop Up Books Kit
(Creativity for Kids $17.95 Score:)

We are huge fans of pop up books! So we were particularly excited when this kit came in for review. Complete with two blank hard cover books that have some built in pop ups already loaded and then a collection of fun to add "do your own" pop up features--including pull tabs for revealing your own surprises! Fans of pop ups will enjoy giving this one a try.  Comes with 8 markers, stickers, wiggly eyes and die-cut pieces.

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: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit
(Green Toys $29.99 Score:)

We always like gardening kits and this one has a nice twist. The three pots are made from recycled plastic milk containers. Set also comes with a trowel, three packages of organic seeds (sunflower, basil and zinnia soil disks.) We had great success with our plants!

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Bulls Eye Baseball
(Hasbro $24.99 Score:)

Our baseball fans loved this small desktop baseball game. You have to bounce the small metal balls on the red launch pad just right in order to score. The automatic scorer really works and keeps track of your runs, and even home runs! The bases on the field light up when you sink a ball into them. Very cool. The sound effects are just right. It's kind of loud, but so is baseball! Great fun but obviously not a good choice if there are small children in the house.

The company has submitted our safety verification form. Note, we did not test this independently in a lab.

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

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2008 Awards
Step2 Canopy Wagon
(Step 2 $99.99 Score:) Our 2 and 3 year old testers loved going for a ride in this new wagon that comes with a removable plastic canopy cover. Kids tend to love covers since it makes a smaller cozy space - that's just for them. Parents like them since they keep the sun out. Note--this wagon does not have a door. Our testing family did not miss the door option and indicated that the kids had no trouble getting out of the wagon. Comes with seatbelts--a nice added safety feature. There are also deep well holes (also a plus) and two cup holders. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2008.

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