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Product Type: Toys

 


2007 Award
JellLoopdeLoops Sparkle Jelly Jewelry Kit
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $14.99 Score:) Our testers really enjoyed this kit with 48' of glitter tubing so that crafters can make 36 bracelets and 20 rings. One parent noted: “love the creativity factor and including the pliers was an excellent idea”, but thought the seed beads were too tiny to manage. 8 & up. (800) 492-3237.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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200 Award
Decoupage Diva Jewelry Keeper
(Creativity for Kids $21.99 Score:) Kids get a test run on decoupage with this mini-armoire with mirrored lid, doors that hold bracelets, interior for necklaces, and bottom drawer for pins and such. Comes with paper accents, sequins, and sparkle glaze. 8 & up. (800) 311-8684.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 200.

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2007 Award
Create Your Own Books
(Creativity for Kids $15.99 Score:) Two blank books, one with a “window” cut out of the cover and pages that a photograph will show through. This could make a great book that’s all about one person or a pet or a special place. A second book is notebook-sized and has lined paper with spaces for illustrations, plus colored pencils and stickers. These are open-ended materials for the budding author/artist. Comes with some suggestions for creating rough drafts and a list of story starter ideas. Says 4 & up, but this is likely to be a better choice for 5–9s. (800) 311-8684.

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

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2007 Award
Monster Trucks Custom Shop
(Creativity for Kids $24.99 Score:)

Customize the four monster trucks with paint and stickers, then let ’em rip! With pull-back mechanisms, these are ready for racing. The stickers go on well. The paint isn’t great, but really is beside the point. These four monster trucks are just FUN! For smaller vehicles, check out Fast Car Race Cars ($14.99 4). Set of three wooden cars with pull-back mechanisms to paint (our kids used markers to play with the cars sooner). With either the trucks or the cars, set up a roadway with some empty small boxes for simulated crashes and road races. (800) 311-8684. Let’s go to the races! We often complain that there are not a lot of great craft kits for boys. Here are three sets that will be a hit.

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

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2007 Award
Cast and Paint: Krazy Kars
(Skullduggery $16 Score:)

“Let’s do another,” and “so neat”—our testers really liked these fun model kits that are easy to do and produce Hot Wheels/Matchbox-scaled cars. Sets come with enough modeling material for four cars (but enough decorations for two). The cars take 30 minutes to set. New kits feature NASCAR winners like Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Kits come with NASCAR decals, paint, and blo-pens (not our favorites), but our testers really were less concerned with the decorating and more intent on making a toy they could really use!

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: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Beautiful Beaded Mirror
(Creativity for Kids $17.99 Score:) This would have been a top winner if it included more materials. A beautiful kit that requires more attention to detail than can be expected from 8s & up. (800) 311-8684. Still top rated, Beaded Dresser Set ($14.99 4) that comes with a small mirror set in wood, a ceramic heart frame and heart-shaped box, pastel colored beads, ribbons, and glue. A straightforward, easier project that requires kids to spread the glue out and then spill beads onto the glue for decoration. The light beads have a “princess/fairy” look to them and will appeal to younger girls. 6 & up. (800) 311-8684.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Sudoku
(Briarpatch $19.95 Score:) The object of this seemingly simple game is to put all the numbers in order from one to nine in a nine grid board. But this is a real brainteaser that calls for logic, problem solving, and patience. Unlike the book versions with lots of erasing, this elegantly designed board has Scrabble-like playing pieces printed in red on one side and black on the other. Set up the puzzle with red side chips and solve with black side showing. Comes with booklet of 100 puzzles waiting to be solved. Addictive! 7 to 77+. (800) 232-7427.

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

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2007 Award
Roll 'n Multiply
(3M $24.99 Score:) Our testers agreed this is a good way to work on multiplication facts. Roll the dice and multiply, then take the disk with that number and place it on the board. Your objective is to get four of your color tiles in a row while blocking your opponent. Beginners check answers with multiplication table—more advanced players must multiply without the table. (408) 247-3298.

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

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2007 Award
Uno Spin
(Mattel $15.99 Score:)

Right off the bat, we loved the sound of the click play board as it spins. The spinning board adds interesting twists to the game (as you play the regular game of trying to discard all of your cards), including trading your hand with another player, showing all your cards to your opponents, or a variation on war. 7 & up. (800) 524-8697.

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

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2007 Award
Tangoes Jr.
(3M $25 Score:) A handsome new game based on Tangrams, the classic geometric puzzle game. Seven puzzle pieces with magnets inside fit into a tray that stores under a magnetic playing board. There are two levels of play. Level one cards allow for matching geometric shapes on the card; level 2 shows only a silhouette that child builds on. So this grows more challenging. Excellent for travel or home. They say 4 & up; we’d say save this for 5–8. (800) 542-6375.

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

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