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Product Type: Toys

 

Penguin Bowling
(Infantino $19.99 Score:) Cheerful and colorfully attired penguins are numbered and ready to be knocked down. Our parent testers had some difficulty getting the penguins to stand up before their kids lost interest in bowling. “Throwing” the penguins quckly became the name of the game. (800) 840-4916.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Triple Track Tower
(Playskool $14.95 Score:) Three little cars race down three parallel tracks that are like a giant slide. They can roll free, or be operated with the push of a button that also gives the sound effects of speeding vehicles. Kids can also turn the lever and stop them at the bottom. Good for repetitive action and dramatic play. Since the slides go straight down there is less tracking, or interest, than the typical ball runs with twist-and-turn action. 2 & up. (800) 327-8264.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Peek-a-Blocks Bucket o' Builders
(Fisher-Price $19.95 Score:) Fifteen interesting blocks with see-though sides and interesting objects inside come in a large bucket with a textured lid. Each of the blocks has a bristle-like surface that fits into the lid and into each other. Fun for filling and dumping games, and for tossing and tasting, too. 1 & up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Gotz Precious Day Mini Muffin Boy and Girl
(International Playthings $14 Score:) These little 8" realistic dolls have painted eyes, bald heads, easy-to-hold beanbag bodies, and no small doo-dads. Dressed in striped rompers, they are light enough for older tots to carry and cuter in person than they appear online. 18 mos. & up. (800) 445-8347.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Latitude Enfant Grannimals Collection
(Latitude Enfant $5 Score:) Done in knitted fabric and stitched features, these are an unusual collection of machine washable soft dolls that are gender neutral. A real departure from the usual plush. Choose Lucien the rabbit, Mona the cow, Sasha the cat, Marie the mouse. The medium (8" $20) and large (16" $30) arrive in a special box that might well turn into a bed. The mini (5" $5) and giant (40" $100) come sans box. PLATINUM AWARD ’06. New characters (available in only the smaller size) include Lou the wolf, Leon the Pig, Theo the Bear, Hugo the Hedgehog. Also new and extremely cute, parent/child pairs Celestine and Celeste (cats), and Justin and Justine (dogs)and Emile and Emilien (mice). (800) 544-9183.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Mega Blok Lil' Cement Truck and Lil' Dump Truck
(Mega Bloks $9.99 Score:) These plastic vehicles are just right for 2s and up to enjoy spilling blocks from and refilling. They both come with a truckload of Mega Bloks, just right for pretend construction sites. While we liked the concept of the new Lil’ Copter and the plastic blades are neat, it is much harder to load than the trucks because of the angle of the cutaway lid. (800) 465-6342.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Little People Lil' Movers Airplane
(Fisher-Price $21.99 Score:) Load the chunky Little People on and off through the top of the jolly looking white plane with licks of blue, red and green. Little People will not fit in the door/ramp, but not to worry; they fit through the open roof. There’s a female pilot and two passengers that bounce up and down as kids push the plane along the floor. Push the pilot down in her seat and the music begins, a short little tune that is not too intrusive. A red handle makes it easier to “fly” the plane in the air. A toddler size prop for pretend. They say 1& up. We’d say more like 18 months & up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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Little People Lil' Kingdom Palace
(Fisher-Price $20 Score:) If you think this looks like last year’s Castle—you’d be right. It’s the same toy but it’s pinker. Unfortunately, this means it no longer operates as a gender-free play setting. (The people still fall off the balcony.) We’d also skip the new Little People Pirate Ship ($20.99 2) since we don’t believe toddlers need to be shooting cannons and walking the plank. The updatd Little People Animal Sound Farm ($34.99 2) is back, but now the inanimate gates say moo and neigh (not the animals). We also find the Little People Dinosaurs troubling since they come with a caveman. Apart from being factually incorrect, many of our older dino-enthusiast were alarmed by the concept of dinosaurs and people being around at the same time. We have been fans of this line but it seems that over the past two years the design group has lost sight of their very young audience. (All that said, look at the good rating for the Little People Time-to-Learn, p. 198.) (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Funky Artist
(Alex $19.99 Score:) One step above finger paints, this set of three “funky” brushes is unlike anything you have seen before. One looks like a string mop, one like the soft brushes at the car wash, and one like a flower made of cloth. Each produces a different texture. Kit comes with three bottles of washable paint and flat dishes for paint. Fat handles make this easy for little hands to hold and bold colors will invite big arm movements as they experiment with spreading paints and mixing colors. There are little brushes included, but this is all about big strokes for little folks. 2 & up. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Rub a Dub Jungle Waterfall Bathtub Set
(Alex $17.5 Score:) Arrange the many suction cup pieces on the wall of the tub and get ready for action. Pour the water in at the top and the pieces will spin and splash. Hands on lessons in physics for toddlers. 2 & up. This works a lot better than the Whistling Hippos (below) that our testers liked but found disappointing due to their limited sound effects. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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