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Product Type: Toys

 


2005 Award
Scrapbook and Memory Box Gift Set
(Creativity for Kids $28.99 Score:) Scrapbook fans are going to love this commodious box with picture-frame cover, which holds a spiral-bound scrapbook plus 16 sheets of patterned paper, stickers, stencil, scalloped scissors, paper punch, stamper, pens, glue stick and great ideas. This will appeal to older girls ready to memorialize a school year, a trip or a big event. Marked 7 & up, but was coved by our 10 and 11 year old testers. The Groovy Girls Perfectly Picturific Scrapbook Kit will appeal to younger girls who play with Groovy Girl dolls. The hardcover scrapbooks made these two Creativity for Kids kits preferable to the Alex My Scrapbook, that comes with a soft-covered spiral. For less experienced and younger scrapbookers, see the review of the new for 2007, My Scrapbook Case (Alex).

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Prehistoric Creatures
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:) The large red T-Rex that you can build with this set is "amazing looking" according to our 11 year old testers. But our experienced builders warn: "it's very delicate and could break easily--keep your younger brothers away!" Set comes with instructions for 10 creatures. Marked 7 & up, but we'd say more like 9 & up. Also Titan XP from the same series, our testers wrote "wow, there are a lot of pieces!" (782 to be exact) Builds a 14" tall creatures that swivels at the waist--but he too is very fragile.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
4-Way Spelldown!
(Cadaco $19.99 Score:) Roll the two "letter" dice and try to make a word with the letters thrown and as many of the 10 letter keys on the playing board. For example, if you roll a "t" and an "o," and you have a "y" and an "s," you can spell "toys." The first to flip all of their keys wins. Marked 6 & up, but we'd say more like 8 & up. (800) 621-5426.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Robosapien
(WowWee $99 Score:) Our eleven-year-old testers were thrilled with this programmable 14'-high black-and-white robot that walks, dances, picks up and tosses objects, and delivers karate chops! Not designed for instantaneous gratification--there's a manual that involves reading and thinking to make things happen. Marked 6 & up, we'd say better for 9 & up. (514) 344-1250.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2011 Award
Playmobil Big City Zoo
(Playmobil $104 Score:)

Playmobil's ZOO (we first game it a Platinum Award in 2005) is back. The structures are great parent/child projects with plenty of pretend play down the road, but make no mistake: an adult must do a great deal of the building.  We particularly like the open design of the zoo--so kids can easily access the play pieces and move them about. The set comes with a satisfying number of animals (including lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, caretakers, zoo visitors, etc.).  There is an entrance point (tickets!) and a gift shop (of course)...lots of opportunity to replay (or preview)  a visit to your local zoo.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2005 Awards
Beginner Pattern Blocks
(Melissa & Doug $19.99 Score:) Ten wooden scenes are ready to fill with triangles, circles, squares, rectangles and ovals. Part puzzle/part shape sorter, all beautifully crafted with wooden storage box. 2 1/2 & up. This company also does handsome Sound Puzzles with small read peg handles and eight pieces to match. Choose vehicles, animals, or farm creatures. (800) 284-3948. ACTIVITY: 1-Play a sorting game with two shapes. Have children sort the circles and squares. Or use color attributes forsorting on a different game. 2-Put all 30 shapes in a bag. Player One calls the shape that Player Two needs to find by touch—no looking! Winner is first to feel and find five pieces.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
eeBoo I Never Forget A Face Memory Game
(eeBoo $12.95 Score:) Our almost-five-year-old tester proclaimed this the best memory and matching game ever (after resoundingly beating his grandma in several rounds). Features illustrated faces of kids from around the world. A classic concentration game for a new generation. 3 & 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. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Letter Factory Game
(LeapFrog $24.99 Score:) The first level of play is really a color-matching game. Once you pick the color card the electronic voice asks for, it then identifies the letter on the card. The electronic voice then asks you to move your game piece a certain number of spaces. Once you move along, it magically tells you what color space you're on. (We're grown ups and this got us every time.) Level 2 asks kids to find specific letters. There is a little "Chutes and Ladders"-style going backwards build in to the game play. Marked 3 & up, we'd say more like a great choice for the 4-7 crowd. (800) 701-5327.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Cookin Cookies
(Fundex $9.99 Score:) One of a series of fun games that come in their own small metal "lunch-box." Players get recipe cards and use their suction-cupped spoons to be the first to pick up all the ingredients. But don't pick up a rotten egg or you have to start from scratch! Also fun, Wormy Apples, a color game, and Storybook, a language memory game. (800) 486-9787.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2000 Awards
ChildLIfe Ultimate SuperChief
(Childlife $3600 Score:) This isn't your father's playset! ChildLife's play gyms are made from yellow cedar that is then covered with green enamel- giving it a smooth, splinter free finish. Older climbers will be attracted to the rock wall, the buoy ball swing, and the clubhouse. Starter sets begin at $800 but you can always add more and more features (kind of like designing a kitchen). The company will help design your "dream" system on their website, by phone or with an authorized dealer. With all climbing equipment, adult supervision is a must. The government recommends a minimum of 6 inches of ground covering (wood chips, recycled mulch, pea stones, fine sand) and a minimum perimeter of 6 feet. For more guidelines, please visit www.cpsc.gov.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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