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Product Type: Toys

 


2007 Award
Elephant
(Folkmanis $36 Score:) An oversized floppy-eared grey elephant with a clever two-ring mechanism that raises and lowers the trunk, this full-bodied puppet is sure to take over the show! On a more domestic scale, there is also an adorable 13" brown Tabby Cat ($22 4), the favorite of one of our toddler testers! Still charming, a 30" honey-colored Golden Retriever ($60 4). (800) 654-8922.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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Air Hogs Hydro Launcher
(Spinmaster $99.99 Score:) Promises to take flight from the water! Marked appropriately 14 & up (the propellers have a potential to really hurt). Equally neat looking, Air Hogs Helix Helicopter ($69.99)—a small-scale copter designed for indoor use. If this works, it will be great. No assembly required. 8 & up. Neither ready for testing. (800) 622-8339.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Hot Wheels Flashfire
(Mattel $89.99 Score:) Newest from the Pro Power Series, this oversized RC is an all- terrain racing car that can splash through water, leap over rocks, and thrill young drivers. It has an 8 multi-channel system that means you can race up to 8 cars at once—pretty cool! (800) 524-8697.

Age: . Award Year: 2007.

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Roboreptile and RS Media
(WowWee $350 Score:) RS promises to provide all of your media needs in the package of an interactive robot. Comes with a small color LCD screen on his chest, tweeters and woofer, a USB connector, and music playback; you can input data from your PC. Comes loaded with four personalities (each with its own distinct animations and expressions). Comes with 50 MB of internal memory or you can use an external memory card (additional purchase required). Also new, Roboreptile ($120 4), the latest in the robo “creature” line, 21⁄4' long, is truly creepy in that Jurassic Park/Terminator kind of way, with 28 remote functions. We found him less responsive to commands than his predecessors. 8 & up. Still top rated, the less expensive earlier versions: Robosapien ($99) and Robosapien V2 ($250); and Roboraptor ($100 ), a scary 32"-long white robotic dino that thinks he’s in a scene from “Jurassic Park.” He hisses and snaps. For our older toy testers this was cool. (Some little siblings may truly be freaked out by his aggressive nature). 10 & up. (800) 310-3033.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Star Wars
(Lego Systems, Inc. $34.95 Score:) For Star Wars fans there are several new kits worth noting: Jabba’s Sail Barge ($74.99/781 pieces 4): Our 11-year old tester thought the age label (8–12) was off—you’d need to be older to do this kit. He liked the toy, but had tough comments for the directions: “pictures were too dark on the instructions and that really threw off some of the building.” For the hard-core Star Wars/Lego fan, consider the Imperial Star Destroyer ($99.99/1366 pieces), and of course you’ll need the B-wing Fighter ($34.99/435 pieces) to go along with that! (800) 223-8756.

Age: . Award Year: 2007.

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K'nex Vertical Vengeance Coaster
(KNEX $59.99 Score:) Here is the latest twist on a K’nex roller coaster. This one is over 5 feet high, with a motorized chain lift that takes two cars to the top—where they zoom down the loops and spiral turns of 33 feet of track. Our crack K’nex testers gave the directions very poor ratings. Ages 10 & up. For younger K’nex builders, Light ups! 30 Models Kit ($29.99) looks challenging with rods that light, but not available for testing; also Gear Action Building Sets ($29.99 3) that have gear-driven motion; these work, but directions are not clear. 7 & up. (800) 543-5639.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Mag XL Magformers
(Rainbow Products $16.99 Score:) Here’s the newest fun in magnetic toys! Choose a set of either 14 or 30 geometric squares and triangles that can be set down on a flat surface. Give them a lift and—abracadabra—you have a 3-D ball that clicks together! Kids will have fun exploring the countless ways to invent new connections and constructions. Safe enough to leave out on the coffee table with no small magnets to worry over. This will entice grownups as well as kids. 5 & up. (541) 826-9007.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Tall Stacker Pegs Building Set
(Lauri $40 Score:) Our tester was not sure at first about this toy, an unusual combo of big chunky pegs with crepe rubber shape pads with peg holes. Kids can build horizontally as well as vertically. Our tester wrote, “In my kindergarten class, the children . . . didn't seem to tire of it . . . I also loaned it to friends with children who are 5 and 7 . . . they absolutely loved it!!! They kept building hotels, etc.” This unusual construction set builds eye-hand coordination along with open-ended creative designing. Set has 100 pegs, large base, and 17 mats in varying colors, sizes and shapes. 4 & up. (800) 451-0520.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Cosmic Catch
(Hasbro $24.99 Score:) A great game for the whole family! Everyone wears a different colored band on their hands and the ball then identifies each player by passing it around once. Our favorite game mode is much like Simon Says—the ball calls out the color that it should be passed to next. If you make a mistake, the game is over. There are more challenging games, in which you have to break the “code” the ball has in mind. 7 & up, but will also be enjoyed by older siblings and family members. 2–6 players. (888) 836-7025.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Scavenger Hunt for Kids
(Pazow $6.98 Score:) Here’s a great card game for a play date, birthday party, or sleep-over. Sure, you can write your own cards for a scavenger hunt; in fact, this comes with some blanks for that purpose. But this comes ready-made with a basic game, a race version, and a team variation. There are three items on each card and players must find all of them. Bonus points are also awarded for the first to put the found objects away. Designed for 8 & up. (415) 885-5006.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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