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Product Type: Toys

 


2005 Award
Retro Rocket
(Radio Flyer $69.95 Score:) Our fifteen-month-old testers loved the push-button sound effects, lights, and vibrating motion on this low-to-the-ground ride-on. This vehicle is less wide and lighter than Radio Flyer’s Red Roadster, and easier for tots to get on and off of.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Plan Toys Shape-n-Sort
(Brio $15 Score:) A handsome wooden three-shape sorter. Drop the pieces in place, hit the tray, and pieces drop out.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Tutti Frutti 11"
(Gund $20 Score:) Whether you bring home the elephant, monkey, cat, or bear, these soft, 11" ultra-plush velour dolls have the potential to become a favorite lovey. With stitched features, they are done in cheerful bright colors; "they’re hard to put down," noted one parent tester. (We prefer the velour to the low-pile version.)

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Little Driver
(Small World Toys $32 Score:) This classic steering wheel with lights and sounds comes with a phone, just right for pretend road trips. 18 mos. & up. Vtech’s updated version is much louder than last year's. Try it before you bring it home.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Swirlin' Saucer
(Fisher-Price $12.95 Score:) Our seven month old tester loved picking up the over-sized plastic balls and dropping them in the saucer. You can turn on the toy base so that the saucer shakes and makes noise as the balls drop. When you first introduce the toy we recommend starting with the sound and motion off. A pleasingly easy to activate first floor toy.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Jittery Jungle Pals
(Infantino $6.99 Score:) This pull-down patterned elephant or cat with dangly legs jiggles when you pull it and easily attaches to a carseat or stroller. We also recommend this company's frog- or duck-faced Peek-a-Boo Rattle with crinkle sounds and teething rings as a welcome distraction. Also nice for take-along gazing, Tag Along Chimes ($5.99), two colorful critters with gentle chiming sounds that look down at baby.

Age: . Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Tiny 'n Tuff Fast Tracks
(Mega Bloks $29.99 Score:) A big cleverly designed container that doubles for storage as well as play is chock full of ramps and blocks for making a variety of super roadways that can cascade from the lid with built-in sound effects. Comes with two vehicles and highway signs. You’ll need to build it for 2’s but even 3’s will need help getting the ramp-ways built. Their Tuff ‘n Tiny Garage ($19.99 3.5) would have been a gold winner, too, but it is labeled for 1 & up. This is a toddler/preschool toy well beyond a one year old. The garage has built-in sound effects that won’t drive you to drink. It’s a colorful play setting with a working elevator, gas pumps, car wash, and ramps that attach in multiple ways. Comes with one vehicle but will accommodate many others. This can be a free standing or become part of the more complex roadway of the Tiny ‘n Tuff Fast Tracks set. Two and a half and up. (800) 465-6342

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
My Pirate Ship
(Mega Bloks $29.99 Score:) This is a play theme preschoolers often enjoy. Here the play pieces are big enough for small hands to enjoy safely. The ship has sound effects, a crew of two pirates, a monkey, a parrot and a mermaid. They say 1 & up- we’d say more like 2 and a half to three. This would have been a gold winner except for the misleading age label. (800) 465-6342

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Power Touch Baby
(Fisher-Price $29.99 Score:) This toy came too late for our annual book. It will not replace real picture books that baby can explore and enjoy. The mechanics of how a book works still require hands-on discoveries and the quality of a storybook like Good Night Moon or Runaway Bunny cannot be replaced by this sort of know and name talking book. That sid- this has reasonably clear pictures and responds to the turn of a page and touch of a hand. We have not seen the add-on books, but the platform and first book make a nice novelty.A good tool for talking and knowing and naming games. (800) 432-5437. Activity:This is an easy to activate language toy. YOu can play I spy games giving color riddles about objects in the pictures of shope words in your riddle..I spy something round and green.....etc. All of these kinds of knowing and naming - listening and finding games are a fun way to interact and reinfoce language and concepts. Together, you and your child can make up your own stories about what's happening in the picture.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Jungle Friends HippoStamus and Zebrabilities
(Mega Bloks $5.99 Score:) Part of the My First Mega Bloks line, these are magnetized stackers. One is a zebra, the other a hippo. Three chunk pieces can be arranged in multiple ways on each and roll away on their wide wheeled bases. A fun choice for early floor games that do not demand too much dexterity. 6 months & up. (800) 465-6342

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2005.

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