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Product Type: Toys

 


2007 Award
Zingo! Heroes
(ThinkFun $16.99 Score:) Updated with a superhero theme, this is a fun variation on Vingo. Each player gets a card with Marvel comic heroes such as the Thing and the Hulk. The dealer pushes down on the superhero tile dispenser. Be the first to see a match and the tile is yours. Will appeal to boys—quick to learn and to play. 4 & up. Thinkfun has also added the Marvel license to other past award winners including Hopper Heroes ($16.99 4) and City Crossing, now with Spiderman ($16.99 4). Still top rated, last year’s Toot and Otto Game ($7.99 4), a fun variation on Connect 4. (800) 468-1864.

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

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2007 Award
Tangoes Jr.
(3M $25 Score:) A handsome new game based on Tangrams, the classic geometric puzzle game. Seven puzzle pieces with magnets inside fit into a tray that stores under a magnetic playing board. There are two levels of play. Level one cards allow for matching geometric shapes on the card; level 2 shows only a silhouette that child builds on. So this grows more challenging. Excellent for travel or home. They say 4 & up; we’d say save this for 5–8. (800) 542-6375.

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

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2007 Award
Roll 'n Multiply
(3M $24.99 Score:) Our testers agreed this is a good way to work on multiplication facts. Roll the dice and multiply, then take the disk with that number and place it on the board. Your objective is to get four of your color tiles in a row while blocking your opponent. Beginners check answers with multiplication table—more advanced players must multiply without the table. (408) 247-3298.

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

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2007 Award
Sudoku
(Briarpatch $19.95 Score:) The object of this seemingly simple game is to put all the numbers in order from one to nine in a nine grid board. But this is a real brainteaser that calls for logic, problem solving, and patience. Unlike the book versions with lots of erasing, this elegantly designed board has Scrabble-like playing pieces printed in red on one side and black on the other. Set up the puzzle with red side chips and solve with black side showing. Comes with booklet of 100 puzzles waiting to be solved. Addictive! 7 to 77+. (800) 232-7427.

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

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Beautiful Beaded Mirror
(Creativity for Kids $17.99 Score:) This would have been a top winner if it included more materials. A beautiful kit that requires more attention to detail than can be expected from 8s & up. (800) 311-8684. Still top rated, Beaded Dresser Set ($14.99 4) that comes with a small mirror set in wood, a ceramic heart frame and heart-shaped box, pastel colored beads, ribbons, and glue. A straightforward, easier project that requires kids to spread the glue out and then spill beads onto the glue for decoration. The light beads have a “princess/fairy” look to them and will appeal to younger girls. 6 & up. (800) 311-8684.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Create Your Own Books
(Creativity for Kids $15.99 Score:) Two blank books, one with a “window” cut out of the cover and pages that a photograph will show through. This could make a great book that’s all about one person or a pet or a special place. A second book is notebook-sized and has lined paper with spaces for illustrations, plus colored pencils and stickers. These are open-ended materials for the budding author/artist. Comes with some suggestions for creating rough drafts and a list of story starter ideas. Says 4 & up, but this is likely to be a better choice for 5–9s. (800) 311-8684.

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

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200 Award
Decoupage Diva Jewelry Keeper
(Creativity for Kids $21.99 Score:) Kids get a test run on decoupage with this mini-armoire with mirrored lid, doors that hold bracelets, interior for necklaces, and bottom drawer for pins and such. Comes with paper accents, sequins, and sparkle glaze. 8 & up. (800) 311-8684.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 200.

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2007 Award
Wrist Pix
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $16 Score:) Set comes with small metal frames that you decorate using either the enclosed designs (ready for coloring with markers) or your own drawings or digital photos. Once you place your design, put a small acrylic cover over it; then you’re ready to make your bracelets by stringing the metal frames together using the enclosed elastic and glass beads. Still top rated, World Colors ($19.99 4), a more advanced kit with four colors of hemp to weave with a generous supply of shells, bells, wooden beads, and painted beads for bracelets, necklaces, and rings; Alphadot Bracelet Kit ($19.99 5), with 85 Alphadot beads that slide onto three thin watch-like bands; Ribbon Raps ($14 5), has beads to string on gossamer ribbon; and Mystix ($16 4), which includes semiprecious stones. 8 & up. (800) 492-3237. Editors’ Note: these new kits are marked 8 & up, but we found that kids often needed help getting started.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Hug This Shrug Kit
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $17.99 Score:) Picking up on a big fashion trend, this kit provides clear directions and materials for making a small black shrug as well as a big fashion beaded safety pin for closure. Marked 8 & up, but we’d say more like 10 & up, and then new knitters will need assistance. Flash Dance, anyone? Check out Leg Warminators ($17.99 5), which allow another generation to make their own with very bright colors using a large plastic spool knitter. Still top rated, I Knit this Poncho! ($16 41⁄2). (800) 492-3237.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Super Embroidery Kit
(Alex $19.99 Score:) Packaged in a red felt bag with a pocket, this is a charming sewing set for beginners. There’s an embroidery hoop and one practice cloth for trying out stitches as well as a dozen colors of floss, scissors, needles, transfer patterns to iron on, felt letters, shapes, and pieces to decorate with beads and sequins. A clear stitching guide is included. They have even included some buttons for practical needle-work. Marked 7 & up, we’d say more like 9 to ’tweens. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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