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Product Type: Toys

 


2008 Award
Little Petals Daisy Collection
(Mary Meyer $13 Score:) A new funky collection of four 10" all-fabric velour dolls with yarn hair and fun clothing (which does not come off). They look like cousins of the Groovy girls (from Manhattan Toy) —we love that all four dolls are smiling. Come in two skin tones.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Arnold the Snoring Pig
(Gund $30 Score:) Pure novelty! Arnold is a cuddly pink plush pig that snores and moves its ear, mouth, and body when you press its hoof. It’s hard not to smile. Your preschooler will enjoy Arnold--you will too!

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Bobbidi
(Gund $18 Score:) Bobbidi is a 15" bear with a large dark brown plush nose, a jaunty long snout, and curly, toffee-colored fur. His feet are over-sized and his arms and legs are floppy. He's a very approachable friendly armful! Also notable: Georgie Jr. (Gund $15), a light honey-colored 13" bear with stringy-looking fur that is silky soft, and a prominent snout with velour-like paw pads.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Higgins
(Mary Meyer $9 Score:) It’s a tie! Our testers couldn't put down either the very sweet honey-colored dog Higgins (Mary Meyer 8" & 12") with big floppy ears and soft huggable body, or Yardley Jr. (Gund), which is larger in scale—an armful with big floppy honey-colored ears and two-toned white-and-honey body, this darling silky plush pooch has a dark brown velour snout and black beady eyes.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Grover
(Gund $70 Score:) Close to three feet tall, this 30" full body puppet has an easy-to-activate mouth and openings in the hands so Grover can gesture and talk, with a little help from a friend. Big and cuddly, this will do double duty as a huggable and puppet. Elmo, Ernie, and Cookie Monster are also available. Pricey but special for puppet lovers.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Butterfly
(Kids Preferred $15 Score:) Bring the magic of Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar to life with a plush 11" green caterpillar, a multi-colored hand puppet butterfly, or a caterpillar plush puppet. This is a well-executed collection of plush and puppets that are true to the spirit of Carle's work. Makes an ideal present with the book!

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Candy Land Castle Game
(Milton Bradley $19.99 Score:) We love this low-tech game that reinforces shape and color concepts. Pull the candy-cane lever and out pops a shape. Players match shape spaces on their gingerbread-cookie playing boards. Preschoolers will like the action of popping shapes, and you can add words that define the colors and shapes.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Diggity Dog
(International Playthings $19.99 Score:) Players must listen to the number of times the big electronic dog barks and then move their little dog that many spaces. When you land on that space, your magnetized dog picks up a bone. If it matches your dog, you keep the bone in your dog house. Winner is the one with the most bones, of course. A game of chance with listening and simple counting. 3 & up. 2–4 players. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Smart Cycle
(Fisher-Price $99.99 Score:) Responding to concerns that our kids are sitting on the couch way too much, Smart Cycle combines video games and active play. Be forewarned—the stationary bike is small, so if you have a big preschooler, you might want to test-drive this in the toy store. In order to play most of the games on the TV screen, kids must pedal. The bike comes bundled with Learning Adventure, a game that combines typical arcade driving with pretty simple matching games that focus on letter names, colors, shapes, and numbers. Kids use the joystick on the bike to select some answers and steer the handlebars for others. Hooks up easily to the A/V jack of your TV. Our testers found the games entertaining. Additional games including Dora, Hot Wheels, Barbie, and Diego are planned, but were not ready for testing. 3 & up. We really wish they had made a version for older kids who traditionally spend much more time playing video games!

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Once Upon a Time Matching Game
(eeBoo $12.95 Score:) The matching cards are all fairy-tale related but not tied to a license (a plus to our testing family). The cards "are substantial" and will hold up to more wear and tear. I Never Forget A Face Memory Game ($12.95)—same idea (less pink). Our almost-five-year-old tester proclaimed, "this is the best memory game ever" (after he repeatedly beat his grandmother). Our testers were split on the new Tea Party Game ($15). One family loved the big playing pieces and the tablecloth that add to the pretend part of this simple luck-of-the draw game. Another family preferred the game play of the Once Upon a Time game above. Graphics are beautiful. For a less pink version, the Picnic Game ($15) uses the same idea with a few ants thrown into the mix!

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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