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Product Type: Toys

 


2009 Award
Disney Pix Jr Digital Camera
(Disney $59.99 Score:)

Testers loved being able to add Disney characters to the photos they can take with this easy to use digital camera with all sorts of special effects. A great way to give you beginners hands on without getting their hands on your camera! This 1.3 Megapixel kid-friendly camera has easy-to-grab rubber grips, icon-labeled function buttons (no reading required), and a large display screen for easy viewing! Thanks to the memory (32MB), the kids can click rapidly. They only need two seconds between pictures! It has 1.3 Megapixel Resolution, holds up to 150 photos, USB enabled, built-in Auto Flash, 1.5" Color LCD Screen, long battery life - up to 15 hours of continuous use (requires 4 AA batteries - not included.) WARNING: Not compatible with a MAC. They say 3 & up - we'd say 4-7's would be more like it.

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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Acting Out Musical Waltz Dress
(Acting Out $40 Score:)

Like so many of their wonderful musical costumes, this charming tutu is done in layers of pink and blue tulle with shimmering sequins on the top of the stretchy top and edges of the gossamer skirt. Best of all it is motion activated. It will play the Beautiful Blue Danube waltz when your young ballerina begins to twirl. This company makes simpler tutus--just the skirt loaded with music from the Nutcracker or Swan Lake. They come in many sizes and colors. A dreamy gift for the sugar plum fairy in your life! 3 & up.

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

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2008 Award
Earlyears Blinky Beads Crawl Along
(International Playthings $24.95 Score:)

Fun for the crawling baby, this will not roll too far or too fast. A little push and the wobbly sides wiggle forward while the see through dome in the middle blinks as beads roll around inside. You can turn off the lights if you think they are sensory overload for baby. The rolling beads and clickety sound on one end are pleasing without being intrusive. They say 6 months and up. We'd say save this for when baby starts to crawl.

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 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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