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Product Type: Toys

 

 
2015 Awards
Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Sweet Sounds Doll
(Manhattan Toy $45 Score:)

All soft and huggable, Baby Stella makes a great first doll. This is a new twist with some relatively quiet sounds. We think you do not need a talking doll for toddlers, but this one doesn’t talk much. Squeeze her hand and she simply says Mama or giggles; or put her pacifier near her mouth and she makes a sucking sound. This year's Sweet Sounds Doll comes in a polka dotted pale pink and green dress and her pacifier matches. With stitched features and a tuft of brown fabric hair, she is just the tight size armful for toddlers. 12 months and up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
North American Bear Fox
(North American Bear Co. $18-25 Score:)

One of our favorites, a bright orange and yellow fox with red ears, black snout and a very long long tail that will double as a comforting cozy that baby will love to touch. The smaller fox is 5 ½ inches and has a quiet rattle inside. Their 11-inch variation is more like a toddler size huggable.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Manhattan Toy Lovies Bailey Bunny
(Manhattan Toy $25 Score:)

Bring home the large blue Bailey Bunny or the smaller handful size. Both have pellets inside so they can sit up or stretch out for a rest. Soft-as-silk-plush with safety anchored eyes and a stitched snout. If you are looking for pink, look for Binky Bunny, the same sweet huggable with a floppy body that will get lots of hugging and loving. If you are shopping on line, be aware this comes in many sizes. For toddlers, big but light is best. They like the heft of an armful to lug around and the long arms and legs of dolls that can be grabbed with ease.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
North American Bear Peacock
(North American Bear Co. $18 Score:)

A multicolored little bird with a very long velour tail that will double as a cozy baby will love to hold. Made of silk soft fabric, the little bird has a quiet rattle inside that will grab his attention. There is a larger version of this, but we really like the smaller one of this set. Also see the very friendly looking Fox in this line

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Mega Bloks Scooping Wagon
(Fisher-Price $34.99 Score:)

Loaded with twenty big mega bloks, this tot-sized red wagon has a big easy grip blue handle with a buildable section. Toddlers can wheel their blocks from one place to another and enjoy filling and spilling them, often as much as building with them. This little wagon has a scoop at the bottom BUT it only sort of works sometimes, and not very well. You have to push the wagon rather than pull it over the blocks. But it does seems more intuitive to pick up by pulling the wagon. That said, this is a big toy keyed into toddlers love of locomotion; their own and anything with wheels. Marked 12 months to 5 years, we would say-- a good choice for steady on their feet toddlers 18 months and up. Not likely to be of interest past 3. Award pending testing

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Spinmaster Zoomer Kitty
(Spinmaster $99.99 Score:)

Move over, Zoomer Dino! There's a feisty kitty in town. Zoomer Kitty is the latest in SpinMaster's line of interactive pets. Kitty is both motion and sound activated. If she likes what you do, she'll follow along- but if you pet her the wrong way—watch out! Her eyes go green and she'll hiss at you. Zoomer Kity comes with a ball on a stick that she will follow if you move it around her. Marked 5 & up, but older kids will have fun training her to dance and perform tricks. Charges via USB cable (included). Award pending further review.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Minecraft Stop-Motion Movie Creator
(Mattel $32.99 Score:)

If you have a Minecraft fan in your house, you'll want to check out this new stop-motion movie creator. You'll need a smartphone to take the pictures with (it fits on the provided stand) and then your child's imagination takes over. Choose one of the six backgrounds and then yell "action" as you move the three Minecraft figures around your set. The APP then lets you create your own movie and share it with other people. Our testers had a new appreciation for what goes into animated movies. Marked 6 & up, but much older kids will enjoy this a lot more and be able to do it more independently. Award pending further review.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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V Tech Sit-to-Stand Ultimate Alphabet Train
(V Tech $51.99 Score:)

Toddlers are all about mobility! This multi-part vehicle is designed to be both a ride-on and a push toy. It comes fully loaded with lots of bells and whistles to push. Thankfully there is a volume control and kids can also ride the train with no sound. We do like the choo choo sound effect! While we question the need to drill toddlers on the alphabet, they will like the cause and effect they can activate as they push the buttons, making things happen. Most of all, we think they will love the fun feature of droppping the alphabet blocks into the front engine and seeing them spit out into the back compartment. Just the kind of magical repetitive action that toddlers love. Pending Review. 1 & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Little People Big Animal Zoo
(Fisher-Price $39.99 Score:)

Great fun from the Little People gang! This new zoo comes with an over-sized Elephant that makes sounds and is articulated. Everyone wanted a turn playing with the elephant. The interactive setting has a monkey that swings back and forth on the tree top. ELephant can make food roll down the slide into the feeding pit. It comes with a Zookeeper and Mia. We'd recommend bring home some of the add-on animals (Our testers particularly liked the giraffe and hippo sets.) Lots of pretend possibilities with this mini-playsetting. Our test family, with mixed ages from infant to preschool, has had this for several weeks and it's still a favorite; one that they return to daily.  Marked 1 & up but will be enjoyed best by older toddlers and young preschoolers.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Crayola Crayon Carver
(Crayola $29.99 Score:)

Crayola has designed a motorized machine that allows you to personalize your crayons with your name, words, symbols. To design, you first pick your letter and symbol tiles, load them up into the front yellow positions. Once you're happy with your wording, place your crayon into the well and then you trace over the "letters and symbols" with a moving arm. While you're tracing the other end of the arm is carving into the crayon. There is a number expansion pack sold separately. For safety purposes the carving end is enclosed in plastic. Pending further testing. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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