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Product Type: Toys

 


2014 Award
Corolle Babipouce Blue Stars Doll
(Corolle $40 Score:)

Corolle's line of Babipouce fills the bill as a great place to start in doll land. With all a soft fabric, huggable body and soft vinyl face (with painted featured), this is a safe choice for older babies and toddlers. The blue romper and coordinating velour hat (with knotted top) will be pleasing to the touch. Very sweet. If you're looking for a "pink" version, look at last year's Platinum Award winner, Babipouce Pink Cotton Flower Doll.

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

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2014 Awards
Corolle Grenadine Mini Miss & Teether
(Corolle $21 Score:)

An adorable soft doll that is only 6.7 inches tall. She has a soft body and vinyl face, scented with vanilla. She comes with a teether that will be a comfort before long. A charming first doll that's easy to take along.

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

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2014 Award
Corolle Elf Blue Stars
(Corolle $25 Score:)

A bue version of last year's Pink Elf doll. A first delicious huggable that has a soft easy to grasp body. The painted eyes also makes this a safe choice for older babies and toddlers. The ever soft velour body and pink elf hat are pleasing to touch. The doll makes a jingle sound that's also just right for this age group and has the signature Vanilla scent of this doll line. Very sweet! Also top-rated, Corolle Babe Elf Grenadine Heart Doll.

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

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2014 Award
Disney Get Better Talking Mobile
(Disney $49.99 Score:)

Forget the old black Doctor's bag that kids played with for generations. Young medics now have a van that is loaded with lights, sounds EKG, stethoscope, thermometer, and bandage dispenser to care for their ailing dolls or playmates. There is even a gurney and seat for the teddy bear or doll in need of medical attention. Oh, and yes, it even plays the Doc Mobile song. A very large piece of plastic, but for Doc McStuffins fans this is a play setting with lots of potential.

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

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2014 Award
Disney Walk n’ Talk Doc Mobile
(Disney $35 Score:)

Fans of Doc McStuffins are going to clamor for this novelty version that features Doc walking with her Mobil van. It's pretty much a watching toy. You put the handle of the van into the hole in Doc's fist, push the button and off she goes, pulling her van behind her. There's music and action and your player will need to provide the drama. We suspect this will be a wow for a brief shining moment. Doc is made of rigid plastic—she needs a strong core. On testing she did fall on her face a few times, but with luck she will walk upright and sing at the same time. Not a must have buy unless it is on top of the wish list and then, only maybe.

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

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2014 Award
Magformers 83 Piece Magnets in Motion Power Set
(Magformers $179.99 Score:)

Here is the super duper uber size Magformer set that includes gears, a generator, and all the shapes needed for building exciting constructions that move. A pricey set that will challenge and large enough for several kids to share. Like all Magformer sets, this involves science, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience and imagination. Kids are going to have good fun building machines that they can activate with the colorful gears and crank for getting all those parts moving or use the generator to get things going. There are big and little gears, colorful image plates that swirl when they turn, creating optical illusions. This primary colored set is gender neutral and comes with step by step instructions for making their models, though the pieces can be used in an open ended way for making their own creations.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Magformer 83 Piece Safari Set
(Magformers $149 Score:)

This is the super size Magformers set, big enough for several kids to share. The step-by-step instruction book has ideas for building an entire zoo. It comes with 12 different shapes annd iseas for building giraffes, flamingos, rhino, elephant, camel, lion, and more. A gender neutral set that should appeal to boys and girls. Like so many of the Magformer sets, this involves, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience and imagination. They say 3 & up, we think 3's will like playing with the pieces that are safe since the magnets are embedded in large plastic pieces. But making these complex builds is more like a task for 5- 6's and up.

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

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2014 Awards
Magformers 62 piece Classic Set
(Magformers $99 Score:)

This is where we started when Magformers were first introduced. It has all the basic pieces for making a dome, a square, a star and so many other geometric forms. We have to confess, we loved the dome that goes together like magic and remains a favorite at the toyportfolio. Like all of the Magformer sets, this involves, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience, science, and imagination. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Magformers 62 piece Inspire Design
(Magformers $99 Score:)

Designed to appeal to girls with hot pink, lavender, powder blue, pink and magenta pieces, this construction set had magnets embedded in plastic shapes, so it is safe, yet challenging, inviting kids to investigate in a hands on way how magnets attract and repel, how they can put the pieces together to make three dimensional designs. This big set comes with a step-by-step instruction booklet for creating all sorts of geometric constructions. Like so many of the Magformer sets, this involves, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience, science, and imagination. Do we think girls need special colors to entice them? No, but apparently it does appeal to some who might otherwise not do any construction play. That would be a greater loss, since developing spatial skills and this kind of thinking should not be reserved for boys only. It this is the ticket--we say go for it.  6 & 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 Awards
Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Beige Soft Nurturing First Baby Doll
(Manhattan Toy $35 Score:)

A perfect first doll, this year's Baby Stella has a removable outfit, diaper and a magnetic pacifier. She wears a pink and yellow romper and headband with a pretty yellow bow, of course. Her features are stitched for safe play and her soft huggable 15" body has heft without being heavy for toddlers to enjoy. There are other Baby Stellas in the collection. This year the featured doll has a beige tone body and big brown eyes. There are a number of other choices in the Stella collection; some with peachy skin ton and with yellow tufts of felt hair rather than the brown on this one. Look also for made for Stella beds, chairs, and many accessories for dramatic play. 12 months & up.

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

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