Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers
Categories: Pretend Play

 

 
2009 Awards
Playskool Wheel Pals Train Station
(Hasbro $24.95 Score:)

Like a ball roll, this uncomplicated purple and blue upright “railway” has a twisting orange track that is similar to the ramp on a toy garage. Put the red and blue train engines on top, push the engine or the red railroad crossing sign blinks its light as down, down, down, the little engines roll with a “toot toot!” There’s a “chugga chugga” sound of a train-on-tracks as it comes through the green gate. Repetitive action will appeal to toddlers. Preschoolers may use this setting with their building blocks. Takes 2 “AA” batteries. 18 months & up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP IDEAS: Although this is labeled for toddlers, there is nothing babyish looking about this toy. It lends itself to lots of cause and effect action as well as repetition. Watching the little vehicles race down the track also involves visual tracking.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Baby Smartronics Speak & Teach Phone
(Fisher-Price $14.99 Score:) The new Baby Smartronics Speak & Teach Phone (Fisher-Price $14.99 ) did not test well. Cord is too short (our tot had to lean all the way over!) and the receiver is too hard to get back into the cradle.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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Life Style Kitchen
(Step 2 $180 Score:) New for 2003, Life Style Kitchen ($180). For the toddler who needs the dream kitchen (in plastic, of course), this one comes with wainscoting, crown molding, simulated granite, and gooseneck faucet, and takes 12 AA batteries (that's a lot of lifestyle!). This was not ready for testing.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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2004 Award
My Little Puppy Playset
(- Not Selected - $19.95 Score:) If you’re in the back seat with your toddler and you need to go five more exits, this playset makes a great choice! You can make up little adventures for the little puppy that barks when squeezed. You can play a game of peek-a-boo by asking where the doggie went? Is he in his doghouse? Also recommended, My First Firetruck that comes with a fire truck that zips open to reveal a firefighter, Dalmatian, hydrant and water bucket.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2004.

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2005 Awards
My Pirate Ship
(Mega Bloks $29.99 Score:) This is a play theme preschoolers often enjoy. Here the play pieces are big enough for small hands to enjoy safely. The ship has sound effects, a crew of two pirates, a monkey, a parrot and a mermaid. They say 1 & up- we’d say more like 2 and a half to three. This would have been a gold winner except for the misleading age label. (800) 465-6342

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2007 Awards
Triple Track Tower
(Playskool $14.95 Score:) Three little cars race down three parallel tracks that are like a giant slide. They can roll free, or be operated with the push of a button that also gives the sound effects of speeding vehicles. Kids can also turn the lever and stop them at the bottom. Good for repetitive action and dramatic play. Since the slides go straight down there is less tracking, or interest, than the typical ball runs with twist-and-turn action. 2 & up. (800) 327-8264.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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Little People Lil' Kingdom Palace
(Fisher-Price $20 Score:) If you think this looks like last year’s Castle—you’d be right. It’s the same toy but it’s pinker. Unfortunately, this means it no longer operates as a gender-free play setting. (The people still fall off the balcony.) We’d also skip the new Little People Pirate Ship ($20.99 2) since we don’t believe toddlers need to be shooting cannons and walking the plank. The updatd Little People Animal Sound Farm ($34.99 2) is back, but now the inanimate gates say moo and neigh (not the animals). We also find the Little People Dinosaurs troubling since they come with a caveman. Apart from being factually incorrect, many of our older dino-enthusiast were alarmed by the concept of dinosaurs and people being around at the same time. We have been fans of this line but it seems that over the past two years the design group has lost sight of their very young audience. (All that said, look at the good rating for the Little People Time-to-Learn, p. 198.) (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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