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Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers

 

 
2008 Awards
Alex Jr. Cuddly Kids
(Alex $15.99 Score:)

Cute huggable dolls with stand up Velour hair, clear happy features, and patterns in bright colors. There’s a boyish doll in blue striped pants and a girlish one in pink plaid dress. The clothes are part of the body and are not removable. All features are stitched on, so this is safe enough for little ones. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Peter Rabbit
(Kids Preferred $30 Score:)

A super soft 15" Peter Rabbit in non-removable blue jacket with gold stitched buttons or a smaller 11" Cotton Tail ($18 ) with a pink cape that does not come off; both done in organic cotton and oh, so green! Peter has all the details-but is softer and more floppy than many storybook dolls that are often more for display than play. Those who know the books will enjoy these.

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

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Awards
Happy Moments Busybuds Monkey
(Gund $23 Score:)

Toddlers will have no trouble bonding with this long legged red and tan monkey. Busybuds Monkey is 19” long with slender easy to grab arms, legs and tail. Fabric is bright red fleece with knit legs and hands. In the same Happy Moments line consider two other good choices. There is an adorable Busybuds Frog, a long legged green and yellow frog as well as a cute Busybuds Chick in yellow and melon with striped leg and floppy wings. These whimsical dolls have full bottoms so they can sit, but they are each a perfect armful for toddlers who love dolls that are extra big without being too heavy to tote about. 1 & up.

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

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Happy Moments Busybuds Frog
(Gund $23 Score:)

Toddlers will have no trouble bonding with this long legged green and yellow frog. He's 19" long with slender easy to grab arms, legs and tail. Fabric is bright yellow and green fleece with knit legs and hands. In the same Happy Moments line consider two other good choices. There is an adorable Busybuds Monkey, a long legged red, tan and blue monkey as well as a cute Busybuds Chick in yellow and melon with striped leg and floppy wings. These whimsical dolls have full bottoms so they can sit, but they are each a perfect armful for toddlers who love dolls that are extra big without being too heavy to tote about. 1 & up.

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

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2009.

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2008 Awards
Happy Moments Busybuds Giraffe
(Gund $23 Score:)

A bright yellow fleecy giraffe with blue mane, blue muzzle, and pink and green striped hooves. Its chunky legs don’t stand, but they spread and allow Busybuds Giraffe to sit flat. Smaller in scale than the Busybuds Frog or Monkey. Totally huggable and big enough to please toddlers who like their stuffed animals big but not heavy.

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

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Kid Galaxy My First RC Go Go Train
(Kid Galaxy $22 Score:)

What could be better than a bright red locomotive engine that kids can control with ease? Newest of the My First remote control vehicles with simple controller that are easy enough for young preschoolers to operate. Push the top button and the Red Engine goes forward. Push the bottom button and it goes left. This has a whistle sound and plenty of play that involves locomotion of toy and child! A developmental match for on-the-go tots and their love of transportation toys, active play, and early pretend. 2 ½ & up.

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

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2009.

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2008 Awards
Playskool Clipo Creativity Table
(Hasbro $29.99 Score:)

Twenty-five pieces of bristle like plastic blocks can be stacked on the clever storage table or used for stand-alone construction play. The neat little table has non-specific shape sorter style slots for dropping blocks into the hollow leg buckets on either side of the table. Best of all, a small turntable can be switched on with a push of a big orange button to set some of the blocks in motion. There are also smaller sets of Clipo that make nice additions: There are two buckets: Figure Set ($19.99) and Vehicle Bucket ($19.99) and still smaller basic sets ($5.99 to 14.99). 18 months & up.

We have not yet received a signed verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP ACTIVITIES:There are no right or wrong ways to build with these bristle like blocks that fit into the little table top desk. There a small turntable that is easy to turn on with a push of a big orange button that will send the blocks turning round and round. How many blocks can they put on the turntable before the blocks fall off? You can use the playing pieces for simple counting. Are there more yellow or blue? More red than green? All of these comparisons are fun ways to engage them with color concepts and simple counting. This is an excellent open ended toy that will help develop dexterity as well as visual discrimination.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Step 2 Fun Flow Sink
(Step 2 $49.99 Score:) The first review we got on this product was glowing! Our 2 and 3 year old testers loved the pump feature and pleasure of turning the water on and off. Our parent noted that the funnels and cups that came with the sink were just the right size for the kids to use and enjoy. The reservations at first were about the fact that the sink did not have a drain hole- making cleaning the sink a bit complicated. The assembly of the housing around the pump and batteries got low marks from this parent as well (an architect) but her child loved the table so much that she was willing to forgive the design flaws. A week later, we got a follow up review which told a very different story. The on-off button on the pump jammed after after a few days and the water leaks between the layers-- her concern is possible mildew. So as much as we think the concept of the toy is fantastic, it does need some tweaking to be a full fledged winner. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: .

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2008 Awards
Little Tikes 6 in 1 Town Center Playhouse
(Little Tikes $399.99 Score:)

One of our preschool testers thought this was absolutely perfect-- they had thought of everything but a porta potty! (His dad's an architect). What's really innovative about this playcenter is that it literally opens all the way up to reveal many different pretend settings. There is a cafe (with a chalkboard for specials, a bistro table, two chairs, and a sink), a gas station (here you can make the price as low as you want!), a town center with a retail store, and a sports center (complete with a basketball hoop, soccer net, and a place for toss games. Center is wheelchair accessible. Note: The only negative we heard back on this product is that it took over two hours to put together. If you're not particularly handy- this may be a problem. As with all of these plastic playsets, we pass on the recommendation we received years ago from Little Tikes to use liquid soap. It sometimes makes the pieces go together faster!

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

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Awards
Step2 50s Diner
(Step 2 $149.99 Score:)

Kudos to Step2 for coming up with a really fun, gender-free play setting. Our preschool and toddler siblings enjoyed playing diner (the older sister was running the place, of course!). On one side you have all the kitchen equipment of a traditional toy kitchen (sink, frig and oven) with the bonus of a grill top! The other side has a place for two customers to sit at the “booth”, complete with tabletop jukebox that plays a few tunes from the era, and a bell when you need service (our testers thought the bell could be louder). Diner also comes with coffee pot, dishes, silverware, and play food (our testers were big fans of the ice cream cones).

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

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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