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Product Type: Toys

 


2005 Award
Robosapien
(WowWee $99 Score:) Our eleven-year-old testers were thrilled with this programmable 14'-high black-and-white robot that walks, dances, picks up and tosses objects, and delivers karate chops! Not designed for instantaneous gratification--there's a manual that involves reading and thinking to make things happen. Marked 6 & up, we'd say better for 9 & up. (514) 344-1250.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2011 Award
Playmobil Big City Zoo
(Playmobil $104 Score:)

Playmobil's ZOO (we first game it a Platinum Award in 2005) is back. The structures are great parent/child projects with plenty of pretend play down the road, but make no mistake: an adult must do a great deal of the building.  We particularly like the open design of the zoo--so kids can easily access the play pieces and move them about. The set comes with a satisfying number of animals (including lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, caretakers, zoo visitors, etc.).  There is an entrance point (tickets!) and a gift shop (of course)...lots of opportunity to replay (or preview)  a visit to your local zoo.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2005 Awards
Beginner Pattern Blocks
(Melissa & Doug $19.99 Score:) Ten wooden scenes are ready to fill with triangles, circles, squares, rectangles and ovals. Part puzzle/part shape sorter, all beautifully crafted with wooden storage box. 2 1/2 & up. This company also does handsome Sound Puzzles with small read peg handles and eight pieces to match. Choose vehicles, animals, or farm creatures. (800) 284-3948. ACTIVITY: 1-Play a sorting game with two shapes. Have children sort the circles and squares. Or use color attributes forsorting on a different game. 2-Put all 30 shapes in a bag. Player One calls the shape that Player Two needs to find by touch—no looking! Winner is first to feel and find five pieces.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
eeBoo I Never Forget A Face Memory Game
(eeBoo $12.95 Score:) Our almost-five-year-old tester proclaimed this the best memory and matching game ever (after resoundingly beating his grandma in several rounds). Features illustrated faces of kids from around the world. A classic concentration game for a new generation. 3 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Letter Factory Game
(LeapFrog $24.99 Score:) The first level of play is really a color-matching game. Once you pick the color card the electronic voice asks for, it then identifies the letter on the card. The electronic voice then asks you to move your game piece a certain number of spaces. Once you move along, it magically tells you what color space you're on. (We're grown ups and this got us every time.) Level 2 asks kids to find specific letters. There is a little "Chutes and Ladders"-style going backwards build in to the game play. Marked 3 & up, we'd say more like a great choice for the 4-7 crowd. (800) 701-5327.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Cookin Cookies
(Fundex $9.99 Score:) One of a series of fun games that come in their own small metal "lunch-box." Players get recipe cards and use their suction-cupped spoons to be the first to pick up all the ingredients. But don't pick up a rotten egg or you have to start from scratch! Also fun, Wormy Apples, a color game, and Storybook, a language memory game. (800) 486-9787.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2000 Awards
ChildLIfe Ultimate SuperChief
(Childlife $3600 Score:) This isn't your father's playset! ChildLife's play gyms are made from yellow cedar that is then covered with green enamel- giving it a smooth, splinter free finish. Older climbers will be attracted to the rock wall, the buoy ball swing, and the clubhouse. Starter sets begin at $800 but you can always add more and more features (kind of like designing a kitchen). The company will help design your "dream" system on their website, by phone or with an authorized dealer. With all climbing equipment, adult supervision is a must. The government recommends a minimum of 6 inches of ground covering (wood chips, recycled mulch, pea stones, fine sand) and a minimum perimeter of 6 feet. For more guidelines, please visit www.cpsc.gov.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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2002 Awards
CedarWorks Gazebo Slant 1 Playset
(CedarWorks $3100 Score:) The Gazebo is a big time investment in backyard fun. Made out of northern cedar, the company guarantees that its sets are splinter free. What we really like about the Gazebo system is that you can add guard rails all the way around the raised platform for added safety. As your kids grow, you can remove the rails for added climbing opportunities. Kids love having a clubhouse of their very own and that's what the Gazebo does (without having to build a tree house!) Starter sets begin at $1400 from this top of the line playset company, but you can always spend more. You can customize your "dream set" on CedarWorks website, on the phone or with an authorized dealer. With all climbing systems, adult supervision is a must. The government recommends a minimum of 6 inches of ground covering (wood chips, recycled mulch, pea stones, fine sand) with a minimum perimeter of 6 feet. For more safety guidelines, please visit www.cpsc.gov.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2005 Award
Disney Classic Portable DVD Player
(Memorex $222.99 Score:) We usually recommend talking, singing and playing games while traveling with your kids, but sometimes watching a favorite movie gives everyone some needed downtime. This red portable player comes with a 5” widescreen, a carrying bag and two sets of wraparound head phones. Can play DVDs, CD-R/CD-RWs, MP3 files and Kodak picture CDs. Comes with a DC car adapter and an AC power adapter so that you can also use in your hotel room.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
20Q
(Radica $9.99 Score:) How does it know? Play twenty questions with this handheld machine and it really seems like magic! The programmed answers also have a sense of humor. Updated this year with a larger screen and buttons. PLATINUM AWARD ’05. New for 2007 , themed versions ($14.99 3, sports, music or movies) were too hard for our testers. (800) 803-9611.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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