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Product Type: Toys

 


2005 Award
Prehistoric Creatures and Titan XP
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:) The large red T-Rex that you can build with this set is "amazing looking." Our experienced builders warned: "It's very delicate and could break easily." Set comes with instructions for 10 creatures. Marked 7 & up, we’d say more like 9 & up. About Titan XP ($49.99/782 pieces ) from the same series, our tester wrote "wow, there are a lot of pieces!" Builds a 14"-tall creature that swivels at the waist—but he too is very fragile. (800) 223-8756.

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

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2005 Award
Rumis
(Educational Insights $29.95 Score:) A three-dimensional strategy game where the object is to place your three-dimensional blocks on the board in such a way as to have the most showing from above. Of course your opponents are there to block you! More challenging to play than last year’s award-winning Blokus ($29.95), which is played with flat pieces. While even younger players enjoyed Blokus, Rumis will most likely appeal only to the 10 and up crowd. (800) 995-4436.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
I Spy Word Scramble
(Briarpatch $19.99 Score:) This has a big game board with sliding tiles. Players take turns drawing a card, choosing a letter or image on the card, and spelling that word by sliding letters before the timer runs out. Challenging fun for 7 & up. (800) 232-7427.

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

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2005 Award
Operation Shrek
(Milton Bradley $16.99 Score:) If you were an "Operation" fan when you were a kid, you won’t be disappointed with the Shrek update. Instead of retrieving just your regular body parts, you’re after earwax and humongous fungus! As with the original, the player who collects the most money for successful operations, wins. 6 & up. (888) 836-7025.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Who? What? Where?
(Pazow $29.95 Score:) Each player takes a who, what, and where card, which asks that you draw a certain image—Abraham Lincoln, fishing, in Paris, for example. Players get points for guessing each other’s drawings. A fun family game. Marked 12 & up, but our 10-year-old testers had a great time.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
There's a Moose in the House
(Gamewright $9.99 Score:) One of the most innovative card games we've played in years. The cards have pictures of empty rooms, doors, and moose in the same rooms. The object is to place as many moose as possible in your opponents' house of cards. The player with the fewest moose at the end of the game, wins. Easy to learn and a lot of fun to play! 2–5 players. 15 mins. Still top rated, PDQ, short for Pretty Darn Quick, a great word game for travel. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Zigity
(Cranium $12.95 Score:) Our own family played many heated rounds of Zigity! The object is to be the first to get rid of your cards, but watch out—there are different activities that can change the course of the game dramatically. For example, just as you think you’re going to win, you may be forced to draw three additional cards. Visual discrimination and word and number play are all part of the fun. 8 & up. (877) 272-6486.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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Turbo Extreme
(LeapFrog $34.99 Score:) You can work on math, spelling, science, and social studies with this hand-held toy with add-on cartridges ($9.99 each). For drilling this got high marks: "games are fun"; "better than flash cards." When you enter a math answer, however, the machine asks for the tens place. Since kids are taught to add the "ones" first, this can be confusing. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: .

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2005 Award
Crayola Window Mega Markers
(Binney & Smith $4.99 Score:) Great for a rainy day. Kids can decorate sliding doors and windows with these four extra-thick washable markers. Also a good way to temporarily note a special occasion. For sunny days, Crayola Sidewalk Paint ($9.99) Have your own sidewalk art show with this three-color paint kit. "Colors not as vibrant as on the box, but the kids had a great time. I had to fight with the kids to get them to stop and get ready for bed!" New for 2005, comes in a reusable plastic paint tray. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
My Jewelry Box Kit
(Balitono $19 Score:) Our testers gave this 8" wooden jewelry box high marks for the way it was finished inside with velvet finished fittings and little hooks for hanging necklaces. This is a more grown-up jewelry box than most we've tested. While marked 6 & up, it was appealing to our 11-year-old testers. For our horse fans, My Horse Stable & Corral Kit ($25) got rave reviews. Comes with a wooden stable (8" x 6" x 7") with two stalls, one wooden horse, and an 18"-long wooden corral, and paint.

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

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