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Product Type: Toys

 

  
2007 Awards
Groovy Girls and Groovy Boys
(Manhattan Toy $10 Score:)

This continues to be a BLUE CHIP collection of soft 13" multi-ethnic dolls with stitched features, yarn hair, and groovy clothes. Happily, there is a boy doll in this line.  Still the superlative gift, consider Supersize Yvette or Gwen ($50 each 5), a 40" child-sized fabric doll that’s like a pretend play pal. We found the new Groovy Girls’ PetRageous ($16.99) disappointing. If you didn’t see the hangtags you wouldn’t know they were from the same folks—they lack the wonderful design quality and spirit of the dolls. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2000 Awards
School Bus
(Playhut $29.99 Score:) Here's a new twist on play tents. Choose School Bus, Ice Cream Truck, Space Shuttle, or Fire Engine (app. 28" L x 55"W x 36"H). Kids love enclosed spaces where they feel big and imagination takes off. A bit more literal than a tent made of a blanket, but either makes a great rainy day prop for pretending. We wish the ice cream truck were a little less pink and lavender. 3 and up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2000.

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2006 Awards
Musical Jewelry Box
(Alex $19.99 Score:) Originally a Platinum Award winner in 2000, this box has been updated (with extra bling). This is the quintessential jewelry box with a spinning ballerina inside. Comes with sparkling gems to glue on top and a frou-frou tutu of pink tulle on a hot pink ribbon to attach to the box. A very girlie-girlie gift, but likely to win the oo-oohs and ah-h-h-hs of beginners. The box is finished in pink so there's not a lot to do, but it's showy and quick. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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1998 Award
Activity Rock Kit
(GeoCentral $18.95 Score:) If you have a budding rock collector in your family, this kit will be a sure-fire hit. Comes with activity book and 12 minerals that have special attributes sure to wow friends and family. For example, there's optical calcite, floating pumice, and magnetic lodestone. New for 2003, Break Your Own Geodes comes with ten small geodes. You'll need to supply the safety googles.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 1998.

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2000 Award
Hoberman Pocket Flight Ring
(Hoberman Designs $7 Score:) A new twist on a Frisbee type of toss-and-catch toy. This one has interlocking pieces that allow it to expand and contract from pocket size to a full sized ring. A good take along for active play after sitting still for long stretches.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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1998 Awards
I Made My Kaleidoscope
(Kahoot $13 Score:) Kids make their own Kaleidoscope with unbreakable Mylar mirrors and an end piece that can be loaded with ever-changing contents. Great parent/child projects for 5s to 7s or solo for 8 and up. Also top-rated, I Made My Microscope and I Made My Periscope 770-704-6009

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 1998.

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1999 Awards
I Made My Telescope
(Kahoot $13 Score:) Testers have consistently loved this series of hands-on science kits. I Made My Telescope (in ten easy steps, really!) calls for reading and following directions. When the deed is done you have a low powered scope that can be used for several activities suggested in the booklet. Great parent/child projects for 5s to 7s or solo for 8 and up. Also top-rated, I Made My Microscope and I Made My Periscope. 770-704-6009

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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1999 Awards
I Made My Microscope
(Kahoot $13 Score:) This is not a fine tuned microscope. It's a working model that calls for following directions and has an interesting activity book for using the microscope after it's built. Testers have consistently loved this series of hands-on science kits. Great parent/child projects for 5s to 7s or solo for 8 and up. 770-704-6009

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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1995 Awards
Giant Periscope
(Tasco $15 Score:) For exploring around corners, this sturdy, plastic double-handled periscope is just right. Made of sturdy plastic this is a fun toy for dramatic play as well as visual discoveries. This company also makes a full line of microscopes and telescopes.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 1995.

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1999 Awards
Buried Treasure Kits
(Kidology $17.95 Score:) We originally thought this kind of kit was pretty mindless, but our testers loved playing archeologist, chipping away at hardened sand blocks to unearth hidden treasures. While there used to be several themes- Castle, Egyptian, or Mayan Treasure-- the company has informed us that they are going forward with only the Egyptian set for 2009. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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