Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Pretend Play

 

 
2009 Awards
Plan Toys My First Dollhouse Without Furniture
(Plan Toys $99 Score:)

Choose this modern A-frame house with open roof for easy access that allows for playing from the front of the house or back in the traditional manner. This is a smaller house than their Green model or the CHalet, but a good choice for beginning pretend. Multicultural families and furnishings are available and run between $15-20 a set.

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

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2004 Award
Let's Pretend Careers
(Small Miracles $29.99 Score:) Handsome enough to wear as real clothes, the newest items in the career line are an Astronaut (4 1⁄2), and an ER Worker (4 1⁄2) with green scrubs, stethoscope, and other tools. Forget the stereotypical Teacher (2) costume with black glasses and old-fashioned red smock with white lace. Still top rated, Chef (with coat, hat, and tools); in the fantasy line, a Pirate (outfit comes with a felt hat). Past winners include: Doctor, Pilot, Equestrian, Firefighter, Construction Worker, and Police. PLATINUM AWARDS ’02 & ’04. 3–8. (888) 281-1798.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Ryans Room Majestic Castle
(Small World Toys $100 Score:) A truly majestic wooden castle, 20" X 20", with working drawbridge, movable staircases, four towers, and walls that can be arranged in different configurations. Comes with four knights and a horse. Additional figures such as king, queen, jester, wizard, jousting knights, and dragon are available. Easy to assemble, this play setting might become an heirloom. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2011 Award
Playmobil Big City Zoo
(Playmobil $104 Score:)

Playmobil's ZOO (we first game it a Platinum Award in 2005) is back. The structures are great parent/child projects with plenty of pretend play down the road, but make no mistake: an adult must do a great deal of the building.  We particularly like the open design of the zoo--so kids can easily access the play pieces and move them about. The set comes with a satisfying number of animals (including lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, caretakers, zoo visitors, etc.).  There is an entrance point (tickets!) and a gift shop (of course)...lots of opportunity to replay (or preview)  a visit to your local zoo.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Grande Mansion
(Playmobil $170 Score:) Part construction set/mostly pretend setting, Grande Mansion has two stories and a usable attic; this yellow house has an old world charm that will be a memorable gift. Younger kids will need help with assembly. This is a fun parent child project if you're so inclined!

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Only Hearts Club Ballet Studio & Stable
(OHC Group $50 Score:) Settings for these 9" dolls with bendable bodies, delicately etched faces, and charming accessories, as well as small books that relate to typical problems of girlhood. The two sided Ballet Studio Theatre ($50) has a mirror and bar for doll to go through her paces. On the other side is a theatre with curtain where she can perform for an audience of other dolls. Very cute. For young horse lovers, this is a beautifully crafted Stable($75) With stables and tools for grooming horses( included) As for the dolls, girls need considerable dexterity to get the little shoes and clothing on and off. Unlike most fashion dolls today, these have outfits that would be acceptable to well-heeled parents and grandparents. They are dressed like girls—not funky streetwalkers in training. Our testers were thrilled with the Ballet Studio Theater, Stable ($75 ) and dolls. All are PLATINUM AWARD winners. (805) 456-0241.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Woody Click Firehouse
(HaPe $99 Score:) This firehouse with mini firetrucks, firefighters and other pretend props is part of a new line of wooden pretend settings that are ideal as props for block building and pretend play. Also notable in the line is a police station and hospital, the latter with heliports and their own vehicles and figures. They can be taken apart and rebuilt, but this takes some dexterity and adult help. That said, these are handsome. Look for the construction trucks, too in bright yellow. All of these came too late for separate review in the annual book, but they are all Platinum winners. Choosing the right one will be your pleasure.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Swan Lake Musical Dress
(Acting Out $30 Score:)

Push the button in this pink dream dress and your little ballerina has her own orchestra that plays as she dances!Musical chip is hidden in a pocket inside the dress. Once she starts dancing, the music is magically motion activated. One size fits most 3-6 year olds. Or if you prefer, just a multilayered Swan Lake Musical Skirt($24) with elastic waist and sparkle dots. Great for active dramatic play!

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Tchaikovsky Musical Dress
(Acting Out $30 Score:)

Push the button in this red tulle and satin dress and your little ballerina has her own orchestra that plays Nutcracker music as she dances! Musical chip is hidden in a pocket inside the dress. Once she starts dancing, the music is magically motion activated. One size fits most 3-6 year olds. Or if you prefer, just a multilayered Nutcracker Musical Skirt($24) with elastic waist and sparkle dots. Great for active dramatic play!

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
Get Real Gear
(Aeromaxtoys $49.95 Score:) We were impressed with this company’s themed jumpsuits: new for 2007, an astronaut’s white suit and an amazing helmet ($43.95 5) that comes with audio commands for a “lift off”—really for 4s and up. Past favorites: Jr. Air Force Pilot and Jr. Championship Racer. Come in sizes for kids 3–12. PLATINUM AWARD ’05. They have new gender-specific doctor outfits (not our speed). (877) 776-2291.

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

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