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Product Type: Toys

 


2004 Award
Sodor Engine Wash Set
(RC2 Learning Curve $100 Score:) This 39-piece set comes with the Water tower and Sodor Engine Wash. You also get Percy and Gordon (trains). For a slightly larger set, consider Down by the Docks ($149.99/45 pieces) with Sodor Bay Bridge, Lighthouse, and Crane. PLATINUM AWARD ’03. New for , and a “grandparenty” kind of gift, Sodor Rescue Team Set ($300) —100 pieces that come in a storage box (includes our favorite add-ons, Fire Station and Rescue Hospital). Also noteworthy, Tidmouth Station Travel Set ($80) for the child who can’t leave home without some trains! Comes with Thomas, 20 pieces of track, and a zip-up case.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Sky Train Set
(Brio $50 Score:) 24- piece set comes with two trains that run on elevated track with gondola-like wagons suspended beneath. Shouldn’t replace a basic set, but the movement and height will impress train aficionados big time. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Ryans Room Majestic Castle
(Small World Toys $100 Score:) A truly majestic wooden castle, 20" X 20", with working drawbridge, movable staircases, four towers, and walls that can be arranged in different configurations. Comes with four knights and a horse. Additional figures such as king, queen, jester, wizard, jousting knights, and dragon are available. Easy to assemble, this play setting might become an heirloom. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Let's Pretend Careers
(Small Miracles $29.99 Score:) Handsome enough to wear as real clothes, the newest items in the career line are an Astronaut (4 1⁄2), and an ER Worker (4 1⁄2) with green scrubs, stethoscope, and other tools. Forget the stereotypical Teacher (2) costume with black glasses and old-fashioned red smock with white lace. Still top rated, Chef (with coat, hat, and tools); in the fantasy line, a Pirate (outfit comes with a felt hat). Past winners include: Doctor, Pilot, Equestrian, Firefighter, Construction Worker, and Police. PLATINUM AWARDS ’02 & ’04. 3–8. (888) 281-1798.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Hocus Focus
(Gamewright $9.99 Score:)

Put your visual discrimination skills to the test with this card game that features 48 images of the wizard. The object is to find the wizard that has nothing in common with the draw card. Sounds harder than it is to play. Also fun, Stampede, where player with the most complete hippos, rhinos, and elephants before the deck runs out wins. Seeing the differences between the hippos and rhinos takes some attention! 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2004. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2004 Award
Discovery Kids SL70 Telescope
(Discovery Kids $149.95 Score:) With many of the same features usually found on expensive adult models, this is a terrific value. Includes precision ground lenses, an erecting prism, and universal 10mm and 25mm Kellner eyepieces. Comes with a tripod that extends to 55 inch viewing height and a padded shoulder carry bag-the whole kit (tripod, scope, bag) weighs just 16 lbs. Ultra neat are the illuminated night-vision dials.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Green Machine
(Huffy $100 Score:) You'll want a turn on this truly innovative ride-on. Steer the two chunky rear wheels by moving the two hand levers (one also has a brake). Solidly made for even bigger kids (and small adults!).

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Beamo
(Stuff Design $25 Score:) We really wish that we had had one of these when we were younger! These fabric discs are about two feet wide and have a foam outer core that doesn't hurt as much as a regular frisbee if you miss! Great for multi-generational play. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Potholders and Other Loopy Projects
(Klutz $16.95 Score:) Don't look any further, this is the best potholder set on the market. The supplies are vibrant and inviting and the book really does explain what to do. Weaving not only develops eye-hand coordination, it also involves following patterns and problem solving. Marked 6 & up, we'd say more like 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2005 Award
Beginning Stitcher Deluxe Set
(Quincrafts $12.99 Score:) Try your hand at needlepoint, cross stitch, and sewing with this set. Comes with safe plastic needle, a needlepoint keychain and picture frame, and two square grids (one for cross stitch, one for needlepoint). New for this year, Make Your Own Teddy Bear with Scarf ($8.99) now comes with yarn, needles, and instructions for making a scarf for the bear. 9 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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