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2014 Award
Manhattan Toy My Peek-a-Boo Book
(Manhattan Toy $16 Score:)

A charming all fabric book with lots of lift the flaps for finding peek-a-boo images hidden under a leaf, a cloud, a heart and more. This is interactive fun for the lap baby stage. It ends with a small peek-a-boo moment with a mirror so baby can see her own adorable face. A nice baby shower gift.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Playmobil City Action Crane
(Playmobil $118 Score:)


Talk about big--this is stands almost a yard tall and can be operated with a hand-held remote control. The Crane can move from side to side and the trolley goes forward, back, up and down. There is a construction worker who fits into the cab. There's a forklift for lifting loads up to the construction site. An amazing 32-piece set with step by step directions for assembling. Younger kids are going to need adult help to do this. Once it's put together, it will be a fun prop for moving toy blocks. Takes 6 AA batteries that are not provided in the package. 5 & up

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Manhattan Toy Groovy Girls Blissful Bubbles Bathtub
(Manhattan Toy $25 Score:)

Who but a Groovy Girl would have a satin lined bathtub? Of course, this fantasy tub can take no water or bubbles, despite its fancy name. But it is perfectly proportioned for on Groovy Girl doll at a time. Come with terry towel and a few other bath accessories. For the Groovy Gal collector. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Wimmer Ferguson See and Say Book
(Manhattan Toy $10 Score:)

Bold high contrast outlines will attract the attention of lapsitting babies. Each of the images also has some bright splashes of color. They call this see and say, but this is a book you will use long before baby has much to say and the images are somewhat more abstract than we would have preferred. That said, this is a sturdy board book for talking with baby. There is no story except for the one you will make up as you turn the pages. This is a prop for interacting, socializing, and introducing little ones to the pleasures of reading together.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Playmobil Wild Life, Noah's Ark
(Playmobil $95 Score:)

Not surprisingly, this is subtitled, Noah's Ark, even though a lot of the animal pairs you might have expected to be here are not. Noah and his wife are here and the Ark could take a lot more passengers. That said, there are 101 pieces in the box and plenty of play potential. You may want to add the African Savannah elephants and rhinos to the other African animals in the set, i.e. giraffes, lions, zebras, monkeys, parrots, and ostriches. There is food on board, a ramp for getting off and on. A classic play setting for the ages. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Rainbow Wooden Lawn Mower Vacuum Push Toy
(Pure Play Toys $39.99 Score:)

Beautifully crafted, this wooden push toy has sound, action, and classic play power for beginning walkers. Call it a lawn mower, a vacuum, whatever...you like. It's perfect for walkers who are steady on their feet but still like holding on. Done in natural wood with colorful cylinder blocks that knock and roll as the mower goes, it is a perfect 1st birthday gift that will be enjoyed once young toddlers are up on their two feet and like making things happen in a new way.   1 & up

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Madame Alexander Play Travel Friends
(Madame Alexander $16.95 Score:)

Dolls from around the world have been around for ages. Your own collection may have been strictly for display and dressed in traditional costumes of each country. However, 21st Century foreign dolls are meant to be played with and are dressed in modern attire. A charming doll of India wears silk-ish clothes but not a sari although she has an embroidered elephant on her sleeveless blouse. All of the collection comes with abundant hair to style and joints that bend for active playing. These are definitely girl dolls not fashion dolls like Barbie. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Disney Planes Fire Rescue Attack Launcher
(Disney $19.99 Score:)

Ready, aim, fire! Three light-weight foam planes can be launched 15 feet with this squeeze trigger toy. It has lights and sound when the red tab on back of the launcher is pulled back. Aside from pulling the trigger, this is a toy that will get them up and running about to pick up the planes when they land. Not exactly big physical play, but more active than most. They say 3 & up, we'd say more like older 4's and up and those that have the judgment not to aim it at your favorite vase. Itís not like a dart or heavy projectile, but although the planes are lightweight, this is a toy that will need supervision.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Corolle Mon Classique Graceful Emma Drink and Wet Bath Baby
(Corolle $67 Score:)

For many years Corolle has had an anatomically correct bath doll, Emma and Paul (both award winners in 2005). New for 2014, they've added an African-American Emma to the mix. Just like the original she comes with a potty, feeding bottle, pacifier and is dressed in an undershirt and underpants. Having a doll going through potty-training can often help your own toddler make the transition!  We hope they'll add an African-American Paul to the collection.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Corolle Bebe Graceful Pink Doll
(Corolle $84 Score:)

Graceful is adorable. She comes in a pink and white romper, a headband with a bow and a pacifier.  She is one of the new additions to Corolle's classic Bebe line  which means she has a soft body, vinyl arms, legs and head. Her brown eyes close when you place her in a sleeping position and because of how she's weighted she will also sit up on her own. A lovely doll for older toddlers and preschoolers- pricey, but very special.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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