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Product Type: Toys

 


2008 Award
Early Years Roll Along Mirror
(International Playthings $19.95 Score:)

Best part of this rolling toy is a mirror that is less distorted than most. The disk that holds the mirror wobbles between the two big wheels that roll with a touch of a little hand. We could do without the music mode and so can you just turn it off. The toy dies not need batteries to be enjoyed. In fact you will enjoy it more without batteries. Older tots may like the lights and sound turned on low volume. 6 months & up.

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

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Awards
Lamaze Fun Mirror Crawl Toy
(Learning Curve International $29.99 Score:)

We've seen rolling mirrors before, but this one is the best one we've seen yet. Two fat wheels-- one red and the other blue -- hold a prism shaped toy that spins as it rolls. The three-sided fun house mirror has a see-through window and two mirrors. No electronic sounds- just the rattle of beads as they drop. A good rolling toy for crawling babies. Also fun to stand upright on one wheel and spin.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP ACTIVITY: This colorful rolling toy is good fun for roly poly games that involve repetitive actions. Send this toy back and forth between you and your child. Or stand it on end and spin the triangular toy. Designed to invite beginners to crawl. This is no small deal for kids with physical delays. Use this as well as a soft fabric ball to motivate your child's active play.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Bright Beginnings Jiggle Brights
(Russ Berrie $10 Score:)

A sweet huggable cat that’s 12" from top to paw all done up in patterned velour. It’s pink, green and yellow—a happy palette with checks and polka dots and all stitched features with a quiet rattle sound sewn inside for safe keeping. Newborn & up.

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

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

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2008 Awards
Mega Bloks Smart Builders Piano
(Mega Bloks $34.99 Score:)

We are always on the look out for a beginning musical toy. Most are over the top in terms of frenetic lights/motion and or the sound quality is so poor you don't want that to be your child's introduction to musical exploration. So we were really delighted when this new piano arrived. There is a keyboard that you can set to play note for note or you can use the music bloks that sit on top on the piano to add layers of music/sounds/beats to what you're playing. Our testers noted that the bloks stay on well - a plus. Other comments included: "This is a fantastic toy"; "Interesting & fun now & will grow with him for a quite a while I suspect." "You can play the songs automatically or by pressing the keys, or you can use it as a straight piano (with several sounds) that has surprisingly good sound quality."

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP ACTIVITY:Playing a tune is not so easy except with this clever toy. It comes with preprogrammed songs that play a familiar tune as the child hits the same or different keys…so the child has a sense of control. It can also be played with color-coding, but it is the non-coded format that is most child friendly and empowering.

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

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2008 Award
Earlyears Lullaby Ladybug
(International Playthings $16.95 Score:)

Friendly faced fabric bug with wonderful eye-catching patterns, bright colors, and interesting sounds. There are crinkle sounds in the big red wings and textured teethers in each “hand.” Pull the dotted butterfly on the big bug's belly and it plays Brahms' Lullaby with a music box/non-electronic sound.

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

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

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2008 Award
Karito Kids Travel Charmers
(KidsGive $19.99 Score:)

A welcome new collection of funky multi-cultural dolls with international stories and attitude! Each doll in the new collection is 16" tall, soft, huggable, with an outfit that will appeal to the five and up crowd, and a travel story of her own. There's Zoe from North America, Wan Ling travels from China to Japan, Pita goes to Brazil, Gia travels from Italy to France and Lulu travels from Kenya to Madagascar. A portion of the profits fun children's humanitarian projects. Each doll comes with a code that unlocks karitokids.com (a site that includes games and talks to the concept of giving). Our testers really liked that they could take these dolls along easily. They're slightly more grown up than Groovy Girls. We love the commitment to diversity.

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
Crayola Digital Camcorder
(Sakar $59.99 Score:)

This little camcorder is pretty remarkable for what it is. It has a built-in microphone and includes a 1.5"preview screen, a memory expansion slot and comes with a lot of engaging activity centers that kids will love exploring: a story maker, puppet show, jig-saw puzzles and photo editing center. The hardware is compatible on a MAC -- BUT the included software can only be used on PC - a definite drawback for MAC users. Kids can record their show and see them on the TV screen. For the youngest video maker, this is a magical tool that will save wear and tear on your regular equipment.

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
Playskool Kota My Triceratops Dinosaur
(Hasbro $300 Score:)

The ultimate fantasy toy for the youngest dino-lover. This fabric covered huge, life size baby dino comes loaded with animatronics. No, it does not walk, but kids can sit on is back, hold onto the handle hiding behind its head and by touching one of 11 areas on its body make Kota moves its head, tail, and horn. 40” long this gentle monster makes some not-too-scary dino sounds. Kota, a plant-eater, “munches” when fed “leaves” and plays a little music as well as making jungle noises and laughing sounds. Looks like a gift that will not be forgotten—for better or worse. (Editor’s note: Don’t be upset if some children find Kota a little over the top scary, despite his smiling face and gentle sounds.) Maximum weight of child is 60 pounds.

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
Corolle Naima Calin
(Corolle $39.99 Score:)

We're always on the look out for dolls that reflect our diversity. Among the most adorable African American dolls is a huggable, soft-bodied 12-inch baby doll named Naima from their Calin collection. Her beanbag body makes her easy to pose. Dressed in a red and white cotton knit outfit with red headband, she is a bald headed baby with big brown eyes that open and close. She does not come with the usual extras such as a pacifier or bottle or toy that would be risky with toddlers who tend to mouth their toys. This one is an adorable armful for beginning pretend play.

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

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

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2008 Award
Big Ben Bear
(Mary Meyer $9 Score:)

Big Ben is part of the new Bennett Bear family from Mary Meyer. Big Ben is available in a 12" and 15" size. There's also a Baby version (9"). The Bennett family is alone as our Bears of the Year. Most of the other entries weren't huggable enough for our testers. Still a huge hit with every child that visits our office- the over-sized, extremely cuddly Creamy Bear from Mary Meyer.

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.

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