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Product Type: Toys

 

 
2006 Awards
Bendos My First RC Buggies
(Kid Galaxy $19.95 Score:) Our testers loved this new line of remotes designed with simplified remote controllers to operate. Choose a Bumble Bee or a spotted Ladybug with simple one button control. These have plenty of action; even when the remote is not pressed they spin. Still top rated, Old Tyme R/C Bumper Cars ($49.99 1⁄2) SNAP: Activity: Two kids can set up a racetrack and run their two bumper cars. (800) 816-1135.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2003 Award
Sunshine Circus
(Reprint Mint $58 Score:) Ladies, gentlemen, and children of all ages! Welcome to the Big Top Striped Tent! Has painted chipboard panels and towers. Will inspire lots of pretend with trapeze and ring. Clowns ($8 each) and other props are sold separately.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Flip Flops
(Mary Meyer $15 Score:) The ultimate in relaxed plush! Under-stuffed at the middle, these animals flop over and are made of extremely soft fabric. Our favorites: Libby Yellow Lab and Lucky Black Lab. If your child is asking for a dog, but you're not ready, these pretend pups may do the trick. For an even larger hug, Supersized Flip Flops ($45 each). Our favorite: Mickey Monkey.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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Poupette
(Corolle $39 Score:) This collection of six multicultural dolls is right on target for threes and fours. Each has a reversible dress with Velcro fasteners. These would have been Platinum winners, but they're marked 18 mos. & up, and the small hair accessories make them more appropriate for 3 & up. Also new, tubbable bath dolls; select either Les Bébés Bains ($40 each ) (Caucasian or Asian version available) or long-haired 14" La Poupee Bain ($65 each ). 3 & up. Still top rated, Les Minis Calins Blue Chip ($16 & up ), sweet 8" soft-bodied dolls which also come in Asian and African American versions.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: .

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2003 Award
Fancy Prancy Princess Topsy Turvy
(North American Bear Co. $32 Score:)

As princesses go, you won't find any as pretty as these charming old-fashioned flip dolls with a fair-haired princess at one end and a brunette (with a darker skin tone) at the other. Both wear crowns, of course! A very old-fashioned doll that transforms with imagination (not batteries). Equally special, Fancy Prancy Princesses ($14 each ). Pick a 9" princess wearing taffeta gowns with sparkling stardust safely stitched under a layer of netting. Each has a small gold crown and velboa hair.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Award
My First Briefcase
(Gund $15 Score:) Just like Mommy and/or Daddy, toddlers now have a fabric briefcase-in navy. Tot-sized case has three essentials for young executive on the move: a cell phone with quiet sounds, a squeaking calculator, and a key. All props done in fabric and ideal for early pretend. Also cute, My First Lunchbox ($15 ), same idea with apple, Dagwood sandwich that layers with Velcro, and a crunchy cookie. 18 mos. & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Musical Hands Mat
(International Playthings $29.99 Score:) Following the flashing lights above each handprint on the 45" mat allows children to play a tune. This calls for visual attention and sequencing. Marked for 2s, but this will be hard for most toddlers under 2˝. A much better choice for preschoolers and beyond!

Age: Toddlers,Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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Life Style Kitchen
(Step 2 $180 Score:) New for 2003, Life Style Kitchen ($180). For the toddler who needs the dream kitchen (in plastic, of course), this one comes with wainscoting, crown molding, simulated granite, and gooseneck faucet, and takes 12 AA batteries (that's a lot of lifestyle!). This was not ready for testing.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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Baby Smartronics Speak & Teach Phone
(Fisher-Price $14.99 Score:) The new Baby Smartronics Speak & Teach Phone (Fisher-Price $14.99 ) did not test well. Cord is too short (our tot had to lean all the way over!) and the receiver is too hard to get back into the cradle.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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2003 Award
Little People Cement Mixer Truck
(Fisher-Price $9.95 Score:) Push on the driver's head and the cement mixer tips as the vehicle beeps (not too loudly) with a back-up sound. We also note that the driver is not just female, but she's blond! What next? They say 1 & up. We found this was most enjoyed by 18 mos. & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2003.

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