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Product Type: Toys

 


2003 Award
Search & Rescue GI Joe
(Hasbro $24.99 Score:) A departure from GI Joe's regular tour of duty, here he is a hero in the community. Comes in firefighter's uniform, with thermal imaging camera, air tank, and other rescue gear. This is a multicultural collection. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2009 Awards
Les Cheries
(Corolle $45 Score:)

We loved these dolls when they first hit the market back in 2003. They received a Platinum Award and we are now giving them a Blue Chip Award for 2009. Chloe, Camille, Clare, Cecile and Cathy are a multicultural collection of 13" dolls and are marketed as "best friend" dolls and are purposefully not fashion dolls. Our favorites this year are Cecile, an African American girl, with jeans, a knit shrug and glorious hair or Chloe, a brunette ballerina in a gossamer tutu. They are meant to look like girls of today. There are new clothes almost every year--but this is a collection that should not be missed.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Award
American Girl Kaya
(American Girl $84 Score:) Pleasant Company continues to make exquisite multiethnic dolls from different periods in American history with books for each doll-a wonderful way to introduce history to kids. New for 2003, Kaya, the first Native American doll from the Nez Perce people in the collection. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Puzzibilities Style & Smile Kids
(Small World Toys $17 Score:) Four small puzzle boards come with four different girls with interchangeable heads, torsos, and lower bodies. The pieces are covered with fabric that are glued down. We like the zip-up case that can also hold some crayons and paper. This is simpler to do than the Woodkins below. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Fire & Rescue Activity Pack
(Lauri $14.99 Score:) Loaded for dramatic play with lacing and tracing figures of firefighters and trucks; has 20 stringing pieces with firehouse theme and a small setting with firehouse, trees, and animals. Plenty of activity here for developing fine motor skills along with pretend play. Also top rated, Space Odyssey Pack. 4–7.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Skweeez
(Jakks Pacific (Child Guidance) $4.99 Score:) Tubes with a single color dough are easy to squeeze and have zip-lock side closures when play is done. These are ideal for taking along on a trip.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2006 Awards
Dough Party
(Alex $17 Score:) Comes in a newly designed see-through canister with six bright colors, a roller, cutters, plus a mat to work on. If you prefer clay, consider their Clay & Play Party ($17 ). 4–7. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2009 Award
Razor RipRider 360
(Razor $99 Score:)

The RipRider 360 Caster Trike is the update of the original Razor Scream Machine that we really loved in 2003. It has smaller caster wheels than the Scream Machine. But the fun remains the same. Like the Big Wheels we had as kids, this is low to the ground trike-like bike is great fun designed for kids 4 & up. We'd add a flag so vehicles can see riders low to the ground! Be forewarned: this does take some skill in putting it together. 4–8.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Awards
Crayon Balance Beam
(Artistic Coverings $199 Score:) A pricey but neat piece of equipment that will be a hit with preschoolers and early school-aged kids who love the challenge of walking on a beam (with the safety of knowing that you're only inches off the ground). The crayon is 6' long and 10" wide with a 4" beam surface.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Nobbly Wobbly Beach Ball
( $12.95 Score:) (Hands On Toys) Here's a pretzel of a beachball with several interlaced plastic tubes that you blow up individually to make a 19" beach ball. Because it's not a solid ball, it is easier to catch. We didn't find the enclosed pump very useful—we blew it up the old fashioned way!

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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