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Product Type: Toys

 


2006 Award
Triple Play Tunnel
(Step 2 $39.99 Score:) Knowing how toddlers love going in and out of their own spaces, this is great fun—especially for tight spaces. Our toddler tester liked using it for cruising around as well as crawling through (800) 347-8372.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Awards
WaterWheel Table
(Step 2 $39.99 Score:) We had mixed reviews on this one. For stand-up water play this seems a great choice for the patio or terrace. It doesn’t take up a lot of room and allows for spilling, filling, splashing, and getting good and wet! But be forewarned, there seem to be problems with leaks! The plugs on the table are not water tight, so you will have to refill this and not use it indoors. That said, this is also a toy that needs total adult supervision. (800) 347-8372. See Preschool chapter for sand and water table, p. 100.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Mega Blok Lil' Cement Truck and Dump Truck
(Mega Bloks $9.99 Score:) These plastic vehicles are just right for 2s and up. They both come with a truckload of Mega Bloks. Just right for pretend construction sites. New for , Lil’ Train Engine ($12.99 ), a colorful engine that holds a stash of blocks. Still top rated, the larger Mega Bloks Wagon ($30 ). A tot-sized red wagon loaded with 50 oversized plastic pegged blocks is fun for making big, fast constructions. Pegs on side of wagon can be used for building up and over. (800) 465-6342.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Lamaze Spin n Stack Rings
(RC2/Learning Curve $24.99 Score:) This stacker has four big plastic rings decorated with interesting textured fabric and ribbons that spin when the music in the post is activated. We thought the big ring would be too big for little hands, but our 10-month old tester loved it and soon figured out how to hit the post to activate music and make the base spin. (800) 704-8697. Still top rated, the Classical Stacker (Fisher-Price $19.99 ) has a post with twinkling lights and sounds as each ring is put on. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Little Mommy Newborn Twin Dolls
(Fisher-Price $16.99 Score:) These bald-headed twin dolls have no moving eyes or small accessories. They’re truly toddler friendly. The realistic vinyl features are painted on. Both heavily scented dolls have soft bodies and the rompers they are wearing do not come off. Both come with a chunky molded bottle. Available now in girl/girl; boy/boy, and girl/boy combos. Also available in African American as well as Caucasian dolls. 18 mos. & up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Big Spunky
(Gund $59.99 Score:) Older toddlers love big dolls to lug about and flop down on from time to time. The trick is to find something large but light enough for these little ones. Big Spunky fills the order. He’s 22" big and available in blue or pink soft plush with patches of white and stitched features for safety’s sake. This is what you call a real armful that will get a lot of loving! For smaller but great choices, consider colorful 11" Tutti Frutti ($20 ) elephant, monkey, or cat, or the classic all-time favoite, Snuffles, a BLUE CHIP bear ($12 and $20 ). (800) 448-4863.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
S.S. Duckie and Up, Up and Away
(Gund $19.95 Score:) If you’re in the back seat with your toddler and you need to go five more exits, these playsets make great choices! These are toys for telling little stories to your tot and hamming it up. There are lots of choices this year! A little ship loaded with two quacking ducks, crinkly starfish, and squeaker fish; or choose a white, red, and blue jet with rattle sounds, male and female pilots, and luggage; or My Doctor kit with two medical play figures and stethoscope. Finally, consider the Lavender Backpack with My Little Baby doll in the carrier and accessories inside the pack. (800) 448-4863.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Little Pretenders
(Chenille Kraft Co. $24.99 Score:) A new line of costumes made of wipe-able vinyl provides the most affordable choice. Each theme comes with accessories (stethoscopes, extinguishers, etc.) and appropriate headgear. Other costumes include Veterinarian, Hair Dresser (the pretend blow dryer makes a great sound), and Doctor. 3 & up. (800) 621-1261.

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

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Super Star Sing-Along Vanity
(Little Tikes $47 Score:) “Mirror, mirror on the vanity, will I be part of the future American Idol insanity?” We’re not big on vanities that come loaded with a karaoke mirror, a wireless microphone (the hairbrush) . . . and an applause button (honest!). Not available for testing. 3 & up. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Lili
(Corolle $60 Score:) Older preschoolers will love the articulated and fashionable 17" Lili dolls. Choose the blond Rose, auburn Melodie, dark brunette Belle, and strawberry blond Flore. Each is dressed in a très jolie outfit that is totally “now.” These will appeal to slightly older girls as well. Think younger American Girl dolls. 4 & up. Also new, Chouquettes ($39.95 1⁄2)—adorable 14" girl dolls come with blond or brunette hair and hairbrush for age-typical play. (800) 668-4846.

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

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