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Product Type: Toys

 

 
2014 Awards
Bunnies by the Bay Peanut and Wee Peanut Elephants
(Bunnies By the Bay $25 Score:)

A super sweet 13-inch huggable elephant, called Peanut, with embroidered face, a sideways trunk, and curly tail. It has satin lined ears and is available in pink or blue. Slightly under-stuffed, making it easy for tots to grab. Also available in pink or blue, a Wee Sized Peanuts($15) that is a pudgy but adorable 7-inches.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Awards
My First Nici Bunny
(Neat-Oh $12.99 Score:)

Soft to the touch and easy to clutch, this plush doll has a bunny head with bright red and white polka dot ears, stitched features and a totally unstuffed body. There are knotties that to grab on each arm and the body itself is multi-colors of turquoise, cream, and rosy pink. A nice choice that may become a favorite comfort toy. There is also a yellow, cream, and turquoise doggie or a turquoise and lime green lamb with a shaggier head. Any one of these will make a lovely little gift for a shower or going to visit a newborn.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Awards
Neat-Oh My First Nici Baby Booties Rabbit with Rattle Plush
(Neat-Oh $12.95 Score:)

Soft booties with quiet rattles built in to add sound as baby kicks. These are part toy/part foot covereing....but good for playtime fun, adding some sensory extras to baby's motions. Depends on the baby--some love this others may not. Use to suit your baby's temperament.

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

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2014 Award
Blue-Box Speedy’s Magical Shell
(Blue Box $15 Score:)

Part pull toy, part hammer toy, part drum, this bright yellow snail turns the drum shell as it rolls along. Take the rum off of Speedy’s back and take the feelers out of the top of his head and you have a drumstick to beat on the see-thru drum head or open the side of the drum to get the three balls out. Now close the drum and hammer the balls back into the drum. Since the balls and round openings are color coded to match, you can build language and early color concepts as well as matching. For such a small toy this is one versatile plaything that is age appropriate and not a major investment. On the mark for 12 months and up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
LEGO CITY Police Station
(Lego Systems, Inc. $99.99 Score:)

An update on the 2009 Police Station Headquarters. The 854-piece build is multi-level with both a police station and jailing area. Comes with an assortment of vehicles to build (a car, a police car, a police motorcycle and a police helicopter). A big gift and great parent child project to enjoy together. 6-12. Can be used with the LEGO CITY Helicopter Transporter (382 pieces) that comes with a flatbed truck, a racing car, a race car, a helicopter and a motorcycle and an assortment of good and bad guys (with stolen loot!). Our 7-year old tester and his almost 6-year old brother are "having a blast making stories up" with the figures that came with the set. "The toilet/trap door was a big hit…they have really enjoyed all the detailed pieces…such as handcuffs, computers, cups…yes! There are lots of details so there are many ways to play with it…so they never get bored." Since the boys are on the younger side of the suggested age, building the large structure was a little frustrating and they needed help. "They worked on it for an hour, then leave it…do something else and then come back to it." That is fine. Big projects are not instantaneous—staying with a task over time is an important life lesson. Parents can help but try not to take over.

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
Disney Princess LEGO Cinderella's Romantic Castle
(Lego Systems, Inc. $69.99 Score:)

Cinderella has arrived in LEGO land. This multi-layered white castle has accents of blue, lavender and pink (of course). We love the detail (down to the glass slipper) so that once you're done building, you have a pretend setting to retell the story. With 646 pieces, this is a sizeable set to work on together with a new builder or for a more experienced intermediate LEGO builder alone. Set includes the unforgettable, Prince Charming--  and a place for him to dance with Cinderella.

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
LEGO Friends Rapunzel's Creativity Tower
(Lego Systems, Inc. $39.99 Score:)

Remember the tale of Rapunzel, who was stuck up in a tower by a wicked witch, until she cleverly lets down her hair and escapes? Now kids can build the tower and replay this well loved fairy tale. With 299 pieces, this is not a huge build but a place to get started with building. Who knows? Maybe Rapunzel went on to become an engineer!

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

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2014 Award
Seedling Mini Collage Kit
(Seeding $18.99 Score:)

An open-ended kit with a good supply of pompoms, feathers, googlie eyes, rhinestones, glitter, and glue. Fun for making imaginative greeting cards, posters, and constructions. Lots of little pieces so this needs to be out of reach of toddlers.

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

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2014 Awards
Let's Imagine Elmo
(Playskool $35 Score:)

A new interactive Elmo changes from Prince to Cowboy to Pirate, with a change of hats. Kids can count to 20 with him and he'll sing a reward song; they can play a version of Simon Says--only here the game is Prince Elmo Says; they can squeeze Elmo's tummy and he'll play a Sounds of the Sea Game. As always, Elmo is a novelty toy that may be a wow-ee kind of toy out of the box, but will probably hold interest for a limited time. Since he is electronic, this is not a cuddly Elmo. That said, it is likely to be highly desired and heavily promoted on TV. 2-4.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Awards
The Big Creativity Can
(Creativity for Kids $19.99 Score:)

We love this open-ended cardboard box with and amazing assortment of art materials that will invite all kinds of imaginative explorations! There are feathers, pompoms, bells, chenille sticks, pop sticks, holographic stickers, packs of clay, wiggly eyes, felt, mesh tubing, corrugated paper, sticky foams squares, patterned papers, scissors, foam shapes, satin cord--and NO INSTRUCTIONS! That is right. They are left out on purpose. It's all in the hands and eyes of the creative thinker. A great family gift that many children can share with more than 100 pieces. 4 & up.

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

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