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Product Type: Toys

 


Award
Mountain Action Figure 8 Set
(Brio $39.95 Score:) This is your basic 25-piece figure eight set with extra mountain twist thrown in for over-and-under action. Comes with a battery-powered engine, two cars, and one play figure. A good beginning for 3 and up. For a more advanced and pricier set consider Country Crossing Play set($100/35 pieces) with raised girder, animals, train and engineer. Track and Stack City Set($130/38 pieces) is still more complex. It includes an elevator, stacking supports, signs and figures. Looks more complex to assemble, but our 4 and 5 year olds testers had no problem with getting this assembled independently. They combined it with other sets they own. Parents were pleased with this innovative design and its sturdiness. New Curious George and Builder Bob sets were not available for tasting at press time.

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

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2002 Award
Speedster Pull Back Action Wheeler
(Lego Systems, Inc. $14.95 Score:) With adult help to get them started, kids can build several different vehicles that run with pull-back motor. Parts(14 pieces) are assembled with a special screwdriver that testers loved- once they learned how. There's also a new RC Car($34.99) that assembles the same way. Looked neat, but was not available for testing at press time.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Racin'Rider RC Cycle
(Little Tikes $29.99 Score:) There are a lot of remote control cyclers scooting about this year. This one is easy enough for younger kids to operate. It has a very futuristic look. The cycler balances by putting a leg out when you change its direction with the two-button controller. Operating this calls for memory, directionality and some dexterity. too. For a simpler to operate vehicle, stay with last year's Select'n'Go R/C Car (Little Tikes $29.99)a zippy futuristic racing car.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2008 Award
Plan Toys Parking Garage
(Plan Toys $65.99 Score:)

If you are looking for a non-electronic, old-fashioned garage, look no further. Here's a handsome three-level parking garage with working elevator, ramps, heliport and space for many small cars. Comes with figure, gas station and car washing machine and one car.  It will work with your child's other Matchbox or Hotwheel cars.  3 and 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, Early School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2002 Award
Matchbox Hero Highway Motorized Playset
(Mattel $39 Score:) Testers loved all the ramps and roadways of this motorized highway with a conveyer belt that takes cars up, up, up and on their way down alternating passes with breakaway guardrails and collapsing bridges. Testers used this in setups with blocks and other vehicles. 3 and up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Alex Puppet Theatre
(Alex $80 Score:) Alex's updated big heare has a clock for show time and new eye-appealing graphics! This stable floor model is 48 inches high, with painted rim on one side and a chalk surface for messages. Their new for 2002 table-top model looks like a fairytale castle and comes with two felt puppets($50). 3 and up.

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

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2002 Award
Hullabaloos Puppet
(Manhattan Toy $10 Score:) With big eyes and simple mitten-shaped mouths, Hal the Horse, Bea the Bird and Rex the Rat are easy-to-manipulate glove puppets of bright velour with ribbed cuff. Fine for beginners. 3 and up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Doodle
(Gund $28 Score:) Doodle looks like an old-fashioned honey-colored jointed bear, but his limbs simply swing. His coat is nubby but silky to the touch and his bottom and limbs have jus enough beans to make him a hefty 16 inch huggable. For a smaller armful, 10 inch Luv Me Bear($12) with curly honey coat, is also a winner.

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

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Awards
Veterinarian Costume
(RC2 Learning Curve $40 Score:) For playing Vet, here is a charming Small Miracles Lets Pretend Kit with a child- sized jacket, a puppy, stethoscope nd other medical tools.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: .

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Awards
Little Doctor Kit
(International Playthings $18.99 Score:) A new kit with some high-tech sizzle: a stethoscope with heartbeat and coughing sounds, a squeaking syringe, a blood pressure gauge with moving dial, and other chunky tools in a small case. Like other kits we tested this is also hard for kids to reload once they take the pieces out. 2 and up.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: .

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