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Product Type: Toys

 


2008 Award
EyeClops Bionic Eye Multizoom
(Jakks Pacific $44.99 Score:)

We originally raved about the original EyeClops that allows you to blow up images that you can view on your television screen. Ever look at your carpet or your skin up close? Really gross and cool -- all at the same time. This year they improved the product by making the magnification even better (you can set it at 1o0, 200 or 400X). You can move around with it rather than having to be tethered to your tv. One of the best hands-on science toys we've ever seen for the home market.

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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2008 Award
EyeClops Night Vision
(Jakks Pacific $79.99 Score:)

If you've read our reviews over the years you know we really like glow in the dark toys. So it's not too much of a stretch that we were going to be interested in this night vision toy. As usual we packed into the office bathroom to check out. It really does work. The company says that the infra-red driven technology allows you to see clearly for 50 feet in pitch black. Our bathroom wasn't that big! Only kidding--we tried it in larger rooms and were amazed by what we could see. Editors note: While we have noted that consumers have posted comments on-line that they had trouble with getting the product to work properly--we did not have a problem and our testers really gave this product high marks. If it doesn't work-for $80 you should complain! Get a replacement--it's cool!

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

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2008 Award
Imaginext Spike the Ultra Dinosaur
(Fisher-Price $129.99 Score:)

This is the clearly the year of the dinosaur! Spike, a green remote control dino that really roars, lights up and moves (his neck also moves independently) is a leading part of this trend. Spike's controls are easy to learn. He's marked for kids 3-10. It really depends on your child- we had mixed reactions. He's not nearly as scary as Wowwee's dinos of the past, but not as warm and fuzzy as the larger Kota from Playskool. If you have a five or six year old in the "dino-zone" this will be a hit.

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

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2008 Award
Gotz Aquini Drink and Wet Dolls
(International Playthings $30 Score:)

Finding an anatomically correct doll is not easy; finding one that can go in the tub is even harder. Select either the boy or girl 13" versions with painted features. Each comes with potty seat and bottle along with snap off and on romper and towel for drying off. New outfits are slightly different than photo. A perfect choice for the potty training set.  We were just informed that the BOY is being discontinued.

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

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Fun Fly Stick Magic Levitation Wand
(Unitech Toys $26.95 Score:)

Want to see kids up and moving? Here's a fun novelty toy that seems to work by magic. In fact the magic is electrostatic! Remember how you used to make a balloon float after rubbing it with your hair…or how you gave your little sister a shock by dragging your feet on the carpet? Same idea…only more fun! Press the button on the magic wand, toss one of the three flying toys up, touch it once with the wand and get ready for magic! Your wand will keep the silvery iridescent toy levitating as you chase it around the room. A word of caution, this is not to be used within 3 feet of any electronic devices such as a computer or TV. Therefore, this is a toy that will need supervision…and please, let the kids play with it.

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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2008 Award
Tonka Scoot N Scoop 3 in 1 Ride On
(Hasbro $39.99 Score:)

Here's a "convertible" that switches from a push toy for the littlest ones to a first ride-on for toddlers. It has a magic picker upper that scoops up plastic blocks that also fit in a shape sorter seat. Our tester really enjoyed this aspect of the toy--he could make the blocks "disappear". Has a "revving wheel" with a horn, clicking direction signals, and child-pleasing motor sounds. Best of all they can take the wheel off and play with it off the truck. Our tester loves taking the wheel off and into his parents car so he can help drive. He also takes his cat and stuff animals for rides. Our parent tester loved this toy along with the new companion Tonak Li'l Gas Pump (sold separately for $19.99).

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

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Tonka Li l Gas Pump
(Hasbro $19.99 Score:)

This gas pump just proves how fast things move in Toyland…with a pump that now offers regular gasoline or ethanol! Yes, there are flip down symbols and one has an image of corn as a choice. Despite the green message, it might be interesting to see if any dramatic play reflects the kind of heated reactions parents are having these days at the gas pump. Just what will kids be saying as they pretend to fill up their Tonka trucks? Comes with shape sorting blocks, buttons to push, and some up to date choices as to fuel choices.

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

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Double Shutter
(Blue Orange Games $18 Score:)

This is a variation on the old Shut the Box addition game, but instead of one row of numbers to add and flip down, this game has two sets of tiles to flip down. The advanced game comes with numerals from one to nine in a handsome red tin with a curved front where the dice are thrown. Match them or add them. Your object is to be the player with the lowest score at the end of your round. 10-20 minutes a round. Good for 8 to adult. For younger players, consider Double Shutter Jr. with numerals from 1-6. Again, there is a double set of tiles.

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

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2008 Award
Fundomino
(Blue Orange Games $19.99 Score:)

32 Curved dominoes with numerals and colors to match as well as action symbols to avoid or draw – wild dominoes that can set your game back seriously or propel you to a winning streak. Play it one round at a time or keep score on the special board with playing pieces that keep track of your score. Comes in a good metal tin for safekeeping.

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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2012 Award
American Girl Bitty Twins Multicultural Collection
(American Girl $95 Score:)

One of best collections of multicultural dolls ever. We are also thrilled that there are boy dolls (often very hard to find) included in this updated collection of twin dolls that include Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Asian sets of twins. The attention to detail for these contemporary twins is nothing less than you would expect from American Girl. You can select your own twins on line- also very clever. New for this season, new clothes for the dolls and matching clothes for kids.

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: 2012.

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