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Product Type: Toys

 


2006 Award
Harry Potter LUMOS Book Light
(Lightwedge $34.95 Score:) Better than a flashlight under the covers, the Harry Potter LUMOS Book Light PLATINUM AWARD (Lightwedge $34.95 ) comes with an acrylic lens that you place over the book page and it lights the page evenly. Truly amazing! Also comes sans Harry Potter motif and in smaller versions. Youíll want your own. (877) 777-9334.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Smushy Bear
(North American Bear Co. $40 Score:)

As always, we find selecting one winner totally unbearable! Here are our top picks: Smushy Bear (North American Bear $40 ) is a floppy tan 25" bear of huggability with a smushy body, floppy head, and velvety nose. (800) 682-3427. Or consider some of our other best bears of the year: A big bear, two medium-sized bears, and a wee little baby bear: Great Big Creamy Bear (Mary Meyer $130/36" ) Remem-ber the oversized bear you always dreamed of winning at the fair? This one is much better, because heís totally huggable, soft and delicious! 36" big, this memorable bear will be great to talk to and lean on. Also comes Kinda Big ($30/20" ). (800) 451-4387. Cuddly Pals Big Pokey (Gund $20 ) A pudgy 16" soft bear with stitched features and honey-colored fur, all dressed up with an organdy bow. (800) 448-4863.

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

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2006 Award
Cuddly Pals Big Pokey
(Gund $20 Score:) As always, we find selecting one winner totally unbearable! Here are our top picks: One of our winners is Cuddly Pals Big Pokey (Gund $20 ) A pudgy 16" soft bear with stitched features and honey-colored fur, all dressed up with an organdy bow. (800) 448-4863. Also consider: a big bear, two medium-sized bears, and a wee little baby bear: Great Big Creamy Bear (Mary Meyer $130/36" ) Remem-ber the oversized bear you always dreamed of winning at the fair? This one is much better, because heís totally huggable, soft and delicious! 36" big, this memorable bear will be great to talk to and lean on. Also comes Kinda Big ($30/20" ). (800) 451-4387. Smushy Bear (North American Bear $40 ) is a floppy tan 25" bear of huggability with a smushy body, floppy head, and velvety nose. (800) 682-3427.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Great Big Creamy Bear
(Mary Meyer $130 Score:)

As always, we find selecting one winner totally unbearable! Here are our top picks: a big bear, two medium-sized bears, and a wee little baby bear: Great Big Creamy Bear (Mary Meyer $130/36" ) Remem-ber the oversized bear you always dreamed of winning at the fair? This one is much better, because he’s totally huggable, soft and delicious! 36" big, this memorable bear will be great to talk to and lean on. Also comes Kinda Big ($30/20" ). (800) 451-4387. Or consider some of our other best bears of the year: Smushy Bear (North American Bear $40 ) is a floppy tan 25" bear of huggability with a smushy body, floppy head, and velvety nose. (800) 682-3427. Cuddly Pals Big Pokey (Gund $20 ) A pudgy 16" soft bear with stitched features and honey-colored fur, all dressed up with an organdy bow. (800) 448-4863.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Woody Click Firehouse
(HaPe $99 Score:) This firehouse with mini firetrucks, firefighters and other pretend props is part of a new line of wooden pretend settings that are ideal as props for block building and pretend play. Also notable in the line is a police station and hospital, the latter with heliports and their own vehicles and figures. They can be taken apart and rebuilt, but this takes some dexterity and adult help. That said, these are handsome. Look for the construction trucks, too in bright yellow. All of these came too late for separate review in the annual book, but they are all Platinum winners. Choosing the right one will be your pleasure.

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

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2006 Award
Harry Potter Deluxe Edition Scene It?
(Screenlife $49.95 Score:) Chances are youíve seen and even played Scene It? before. Players race to identify and answer questions from old films or TV shows. This one is especially for Harry Potter film aficionados, with images and questions from all the Harry Potter films including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (866) 383-4263.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Big Brain Book Interactive Dictionary
(Oregon Scientific $34.99 Score:) We donít love the cartoonish illustrations in this big book of words, but that said, it has a stylus that reads the definitions on the oversized pages. Children will need to learn how to click the stylus each time they change pages, but once learned they can enjoy this independently. This is a better choice than the Encyclopedia from the same maker, with information that seems more appropriate for middle school. 5Ė8. (949) 608-2848.

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

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2007 Award
Wet Head
(Imagination Entertainment $19.99 Score:) On a hot day, this water roulette toy is the perfect outdoor game. After you fill the hat's reservoir with water, each player takes a turn wearing the hat and having the other players pull one of the water plugs on the hat. Watch out, one of them will release all the water! Best played in bathing suits!

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

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2006 Award
I Dog
(Hasbro $24.99 Score:) I-Dog works both as an interactive pet and as a speaker for an MP3 player. Cleverly it does have that sleek white I-Pod look. We tested the I-Dog with several groups of tween testers. The I-Dog was a bigger hit with girls. Boys tended to prefer the IZ from Zizzle. Girls thought it was a great accessory to their IPods. One tester wrote: "I really liked the dual use of the I-DOG. When I was experimenting with the toy first I realized that you can use the toy as either a game or a makeshift pet. It was incredibly entertaining." There were some complaints about the long set up time, but overall the I-Dog did very well with our testers (ages 7-14). Is this a must have toy? Not really. But if you're looking for a speaker for your child's IPOD, here's a good choice for the money. It also gets the music out of their ears so that they have a better chance of hearing you call them to dinner!

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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Shell Shocker Radio Control
(Mattel $69.99 Score:) By remote control you can have the shell shocker roll up into a ball or open it up into what the company calls a "cyberbeast". The vehicle is also designed to stand up to play action in the dirt. As the toy opens up a cyber extention flaps down hard and helps propel the shell shocker. While it is relatively easy to get the shell shocker to turn, our testers found it difficult to have it move forward. Our testers also felt this was the most unfriendly remote they had ever tried. You certainly "wouldn't want to get to close to it!" reported one tester. It does have an alien/predator feel to it that might appeal to older boys. You also should buy the Tyco Pro Fexpak Battery and Charger for an additional $29.99.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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