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Product Type: Toys

 


2005 Award
Maask
(Blue Orange Games $19.95 Score:) Here is an unusual format for a concentration game. A wooden crown has hidden “jewels” that players try to collect. To do so they must unmask the covers on the jewels and find gems to match the dice they throw. Winner is the one with the most jewels. From the maker of Platinum Award ‘03 winner Gobblet Junior. A memory game for 6 & up. (415) 572-3885

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2004 Award
Skrooz
(Progressive Trading Inc. $15 Score:) Here's a new twist on the rods and metallic ball construction sets. These new rods can be lengthened and shortened with a twist so they are more versatile than the original rods with fixed sizes. Add these to existing sets or start here with a 168, 84, or 42 piece set. Available in metallic or bright gem colors. These are compatible with the original MAGZ-X and the amazing new WEBZ from the same maker. Put these on the coffee table in your family room and let the fun begin! 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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Cool Crew Magic Talking Kitchen Crew
(Playskool $39.99 Score:) Smaller than your average toy kitchen, this is more of a novelty item than the kind of play setting that should be open ended and have long term play value. It’s only 17.6 X 16.2 X 8.6. Hardly big enough for even pretend chefs over the age of 2 and a half. We don’t think kids need anthropomorphic doors that talk and ask them the same question again and again. For toddlers who are still sorting out real from make believe this kind of cartoon-ish toy only clouds their thinking. Young children are magical thinkers by nature- but they come up with enough magic without the added confusion of stoves with eyes and mouths that move. Nor do kids need toys that crack corny jokes. Keep in mind that these seemingly cute extras are apt to get “tired” with continued use. True, the price is low for a toy kitchen, but that’s about the only thing it has on the plus side. Think of a toy kitchen as an investment toy that will be used for three or four years and then can be passed on to another child. This is not that kind of kitchen.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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I Knit this Poncho!
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $16 Score:) Ponchos are all the rage- so imagine the thrill of making your own poncho. This is a simple knitting project for the fashion conscious. Knitters make two panels with the basic garter stitch and then put them together following the simple instructions. They say it takes just four hours to make this child size poncho. The kit comes with one set of thick needles and soft off white bulky yarn. So, this is fast and fun to do and even more fun to wear.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Pop Art Painted Jewelry and Nail Polish Kit
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $16 Score:) Plastic jewelry from the 60s is making a come back. Kids can be right in the middle of this retro fashion trend with this set that comes with six rings, two pendants and four bracelets. You paint the underside of the plastic for a "pop art" effect. We agree with the directions that you really need to paint with toothpicks (not included) to get the right color saturation. If you just paint with the nail polish brushes included we found the color is too light.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Friendship Wheel
(Alex $13.99 Score:) Remember braiding friendship bracelets in multicolored threads? Well they are back, only now there is a weaving wheel that guides the process and takes just a few minutes to master. Kit comes with two foam wheels and enough thread for 10 bracelets. Kids can pass the wheels around and help make all of them or bring home a wheel for each guest. Also a great choice for play dates or keeping hands busy on a trip. Our ten year old tester said it would be the "perfect travel toy."

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Paint Ice Jewelry
(3M $13.99 Score:) Make a whole wardrobe of rings and bracelets with the five funky rings and four bracelets. Jewelry is made of clear plastic that you paint on the underside. Kids can use decals as well as paints to make stripes, spots and other designs. A fine brush and bright paint do the task with ease. But kids do need to wait between colors so the colors dry one at a time. Also a good choice for a play date with enough pieces to go around. 8 & up. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Zolo Stacrobats
(Kushies $45 Score:) Five colorful fabric acrobats and three colorful balls can be balanced (sort of) and arranged in multiple ways on their colorful magnetic fabric balancing three-ring circus style pad. Magnets inside make for interesting experiments that will be going ka-boom on a regular basis. A fun toy for interacting with young toddlers. Play figures store in the magnetic base, so toss the plastic bag they come in. This is a pricey toy, but attractive. 1 & up. (800) 841 5330.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Jumbo Farm Animals
(Learning Resources $22.95 Score:) Seven farm animals beautifully molded and colored and ready for years of pretend play action. They are in size proportion to each other and will fit into block settings. Set includes a horse, cow, pig, goat, sheep, goose and rooster. 3 & up. (800) 222-3909.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Make a Story Writng JOurnals
(Learning Resources $14.95 Score:) Designed for the classroom, in sets of ten, this is a resource package of blank booklets that kids who like to write and draw would enjoy at home,too. Sturdy paper covers hold the 32 page booklet together with three lines of text space and blank space for illustrations on every page. At the back end there are pages for notes about the author and story. Yes, kids can make their own books with any paper, but this is one way to get them started and the finished product is going to be a family heirloom. 6 & up. (800) 800-7893.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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