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Product Type: Toys

 


2005 Award
Push Around Buggy SAFETY RECALL
(Step 2 $40 Score:)

NOTE: This toy and the Whisper Buggy are subject to a safety recall from the CPSC (May 12, 2010). To read the release, click here,  and to arrange for a free repair kit from Step 2 call (866) 860-1887 or visit www.step2.com.  

Little toddlers can get into this vehicle without climbing. It is not a toy for them to run with foot power, it is more like a stroller for giving your tot a ride. It has a seat belt, push bar, and a storage compartment up front for treasures. Tested far better than Step 2's other ride-ons such as the Basket Ride-On ($21.99), a low-to-the-ground red three-wheeler with a big yellow basket for treasures. Testers found its lack of steering a drawback. Step 2's red Motorcycle ($21.99) was not balanced enough for toddlers and the small red Classy Cruiser ($34.99) was too difficult for young riders to get in and out of—and too small for older riders. None have steering.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Little Tikes Climb and Slide Castle
(Little Tikes $74.99 Score:) Designed for toddlers, this mini-castle-style climber has a low slide and steering wheel on top for dramatic play. It's 43" high. They say one and up; we'd say more like steady-on-their-feet toddlers—who are rarely younger than 18–24 mos. Requires supervision.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Musical Stack & Play
(Tiny Love $19.95 Score:) This cleverly designed elephant stacking toy has a place for dropping balls in its top. The balls come out at the base with some fanfare (lights/sound) but nothing over the top. Our testers also liked the soft fabric rings for stacking but really spent most of the time playing with the plastic balls. Marked 6 mos. & up, but will be most enjoyed by 1s and up.

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 plays—so the lessons in cause and effect are lost. Marked 6 mos. & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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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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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
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 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
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 Award
IQ Preschool Around the Blocks
(Small World Toys $25 Score:) A high-quality set of 26 blocks with upper and lowercase letters, plus images to match the letters. All store in a big cloth bag. SNAP Activity: Use these blocks for playing sound games. Put blocks with three distinctive sounds in sight. Ask child to find the block that has the same sound as the word you say. (800) 421-4153.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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