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Product Type: Toys

 


2007 Award
Cosmic Catch
(Hasbro $24.99 Score:) A great game for the whole family! Everyone wears a different colored band on their hands and the ball then identifies each player by passing it around once. Our favorite game mode is much like Simon Says—the ball calls out the color that it should be passed to next. If you make a mistake, the game is over. There are more challenging games, in which you have to break the “code” the ball has in mind. 7 & up, but will also be enjoyed by older siblings and family members. 2–6 players. (888) 836-7025.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Scavenger Hunt for Kids
(Pazow $6.98 Score:) Here’s a great card game for a play date, birthday party, or sleep-over. Sure, you can write your own cards for a scavenger hunt; in fact, this comes with some blanks for that purpose. But this comes ready-made with a basic game, a race version, and a team variation. There are three items on each card and players must find all of them. Bonus points are also awarded for the first to put the found objects away. Designed for 8 & up. (415) 885-5006.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Pisa
(HaPe $17.95 Score:) Construct a tower with colored rods between disks of wood. Roll the colored die, remove a rod of that color; but watch out, or the whole tower will fall! Harder than Pandabo,(HaPe $9.95 5) last year's Platinum winner. Pandabo is a beautifully crafted balancing game with a wooden panda holding up round, half-round, and square rods. Fine motor skills help as players take turns trying not to be the one who upsets the stack. They say 4 & up, we’d say more like 6 or 7 for both. (800) 661-4142.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Zingo! Heroes
(ThinkFun $16.99 Score:) Updated with a superhero theme, this is a fun variation on Vingo. Each player gets a card with Marvel comic heroes such as the Thing and the Hulk. The dealer pushes down on the superhero tile dispenser. Be the first to see a match and the tile is yours. Will appeal to boys—quick to learn and to play. 4 & up. Thinkfun has also added the Marvel license to other past award winners including Hopper Heroes ($16.99 4) and City Crossing, now with Spiderman ($16.99 4). Still top rated, last year’s Toot and Otto Game ($7.99 4), a fun variation on Connect 4. (800) 468-1864.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Tangoes Jr.
(3M $25 Score:) A handsome new game based on Tangrams, the classic geometric puzzle game. Seven puzzle pieces with magnets inside fit into a tray that stores under a magnetic playing board. There are two levels of play. Level one cards allow for matching geometric shapes on the card; level 2 shows only a silhouette that child builds on. So this grows more challenging. Excellent for travel or home. They say 4 & up; we’d say save this for 5–8. (800) 542-6375.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Roll 'n Multiply
(3M $24.99 Score:) Our testers agreed this is a good way to work on multiplication facts. Roll the dice and multiply, then take the disk with that number and place it on the board. Your objective is to get four of your color tiles in a row while blocking your opponent. Beginners check answers with multiplication table—more advanced players must multiply without the table. (408) 247-3298.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Sudoku
(Briarpatch $19.95 Score:) The object of this seemingly simple game is to put all the numbers in order from one to nine in a nine grid board. But this is a real brainteaser that calls for logic, problem solving, and patience. Unlike the book versions with lots of erasing, this elegantly designed board has Scrabble-like playing pieces printed in red on one side and black on the other. Set up the puzzle with red side chips and solve with black side showing. Comes with booklet of 100 puzzles waiting to be solved. Addictive! 7 to 77+. (800) 232-7427.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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Beautiful Beaded Mirror
(Creativity for Kids $17.99 Score:) This would have been a top winner if it included more materials. A beautiful kit that requires more attention to detail than can be expected from 8s & up. (800) 311-8684. Still top rated, Beaded Dresser Set ($14.99 4) that comes with a small mirror set in wood, a ceramic heart frame and heart-shaped box, pastel colored beads, ribbons, and glue. A straightforward, easier project that requires kids to spread the glue out and then spill beads onto the glue for decoration. The light beads have a “princess/fairy” look to them and will appeal to younger girls. 6 & up. (800) 311-8684.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Create Your Own Books
(Creativity for Kids $15.99 Score:) Two blank books, one with a “window” cut out of the cover and pages that a photograph will show through. This could make a great book that’s all about one person or a pet or a special place. A second book is notebook-sized and has lined paper with spaces for illustrations, plus colored pencils and stickers. These are open-ended materials for the budding author/artist. Comes with some suggestions for creating rough drafts and a list of story starter ideas. Says 4 & up, but this is likely to be a better choice for 5–9s. (800) 311-8684.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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200 Award
Decoupage Diva Jewelry Keeper
(Creativity for Kids $21.99 Score:) Kids get a test run on decoupage with this mini-armoire with mirrored lid, doors that hold bracelets, interior for necklaces, and bottom drawer for pins and such. Comes with paper accents, sequins, and sparkle glaze. 8 & up. (800) 311-8684.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 200.

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