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Product Type: Toys

 

 
2005 Awards
My Pirate Ship
(Mega Bloks $29.99 Score:) This is a play theme preschoolers often enjoy. Here the play pieces are big enough for small hands to enjoy safely. The ship has sound effects, a crew of two pirates, a monkey, a parrot and a mermaid. They say 1 & up- wed say more like 2 and a half to three. This would have been a gold winner except for the misleading age label. (800) 465-6342

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Tiny 'n Tuff Fast Tracks
(Mega Bloks $29.99 Score:) A big cleverly designed container that doubles for storage as well as play is chock full of ramps and blocks for making a variety of super roadways that can cascade from the lid with built-in sound effects. Comes with two vehicles and highway signs. Youll need to build it for 2s but even 3s will need help getting the ramp-ways built. Their Tuff n Tiny Garage ($19.99 3.5) would have been a gold winner, too, but it is labeled for 1 & up. This is a toddler/preschool toy well beyond a one year old. The garage has built-in sound effects that wont drive you to drink. Its a colorful play setting with a working elevator, gas pumps, car wash, and ramps that attach in multiple ways. Comes with one vehicle but will accommodate many others. This can be a free standing or become part of the more complex roadway of the Tiny n Tuff Fast Tracks set. Two and a half and up. (800) 465-6342

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Babipouce
(Corolle $29 Score:) Older babies are fascinated by dolls that look like real babies. The trick is to find dolls that are washable and safe enough for them to handle. Corolle has an assortment of dolls with all-fabric velour rompers in various colors and soft vinyl painted faces. Our favorites this season: Puppet Blue, with a tri-knottie hat, or Puppet Raspberry, that is easy to grap with an un-stuffed body, or Miss Grenadine with a bright red romper.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Jittery Jungle Pals
(Infantino $6.99 Score:) This pull-down patterned elephant or cat with dangly legs jiggles when you pull it and easily attaches to a carseat or stroller. We also recommend this company's frog- or duck-faced Peek-a-Boo Rattle with crinkle sounds and teething rings as a welcome distraction. Also nice for take-along gazing, Tag Along Chimes ($5.99), two colorful critters with gentle chiming sounds that look down at baby.

Age: . Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Put and Peek Birdhouse
(Manhattan Toy $19.95 Score:) This cheerful fabric birdhouse is a parent-intensive toy with lots of possibilities for hamming it up. You an fly the four birds into the house (the roof opens wide, as does one side). Our nine month old tester favored holding (and tasting) the red bird as he watched his father fly the other ones about. Preferrable to Infantino's Puppies Playhouse (same idea, but the animals aren't as nice and the house is smaller and not see-through).

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Swirlin' Saucer
(Fisher-Price $12.95 Score:) Our seven month old tester loved picking up the over-sized plastic balls and dropping them in the saucer. You can turn on the toy base so that the saucer shakes and makes noise as the balls drop. When you first introduce the toy we recommend starting with the sound and motion off. A pleasingly easy to activate first floor toy.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Sleepyhead Bunny
(North American Bear Co. $29 Score:) Pull the long blue and white sleeping cap on this floppy pastel bunny, and it plays "Beautiful Dreamer". Music has an old-fashioned musical sound. Also comes in blue. A perfect baby shower present!

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Dance Baby Dance Classical Stacker
(Fisher-Price $22.99 Score:) This prior award-winning stacker is reintroduced in new colors. Star rings fit on the post in any order (a plus). Post has magical lights that wink and play music when top is pressed. Sound quality is not excellent, but it is a long-term favorite. The sounds and lights make this a multi-sensory toy with great appeal. Encourages eye hand and dexterity as well as playful problem solving.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Fire Truck and My Little Puppy Playsets
(Gund $19.95 Score:) If you're in the back seat with your toddler and you need to go five more exits, these playsets make great choices! The all-fabric fire truck zips open to reveal a firefighter, Dalmatian, hydrant, and water bucket. My Little Puppy comes in his own dog house, with a ball, bone, and bowl, and barks quietly when squeezed. Also top rated: My First Sports Bag with three fabric balls.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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Dance Baby Dance Sit & Stand Danceband
(Fisher-Price $39.95 Score:) Great idea, poorly executed. When toddlers activate sounds by stepping on the play mat or by hitting the keys on the console, too much music playsso the lessons in cause and effect are lost. Marked 6 mos. & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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