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Product Type: Toys

 


2003 Award
Chess Yankees vs. Mets
(USAopoly $34.95 Score:) Last year our testers raved about this company's major league versions of Monopoly (featuring Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, or Dodgers). New for are various chess sets, which feature the managers as the kings, and pitchers as the queens-you get the idea. These are for kids who are already well versed in the game. Also new and good fun for Charlie Brown and Lucy fans , Peanuts Monopoly. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
3D Labyrinth
(Ravensburger $20.99 Score:) Here's a 3-D maze game that's fast and lots of fun to play, and that develops important visual discrimination skills. The maze-like board has a center portion that slides back and forth. Depending on the card you draw, you need to move the sliding portion of the board to capture one of the treasures printed on the board. Our testers preferred this to Magic Hill, a 3-D-styled chutes-and-ladders game where they found the directions unclear. 4-8. The company has submitted our safety verification form. Note, we did not test this independently in a lab.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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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. 47.

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 ). 47. (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. 48.

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

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