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Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers

 

 
2007 Awards
Little People Lil' Movers Airplane
(Fisher-Price $21.99 Score:) Load the chunky Little People on and off through the top of the jolly looking white plane with licks of blue, red and green. Little People will not fit in the door/ramp, but not to worry; they fit through the open roof. There’s a female pilot and two passengers that bounce up and down as kids push the plane along the floor. Push the pilot down in her seat and the music begins, a short little tune that is not too intrusive. A red handle makes it easier to “fly” the plane in the air. A toddler size prop for pretend. They say 1& up. We’d say more like 18 months & up. (800) 432-5437.

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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2007 Awards
Funky Artist
(Alex $19.99 Score:) One step above finger paints, this set of three “funky” brushes is unlike anything you have seen before. One looks like a string mop, one like the soft brushes at the car wash, and one like a flower made of cloth. Each produces a different texture. Kit comes with three bottles of washable paint and flat dishes for paint. Fat handles make this easy for little hands to hold and bold colors will invite big arm movements as they experiment with spreading paints and mixing colors. There are little brushes included, but this is all about big strokes for little folks. 2 & up. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Rub a Dub Jungle Waterfall Bathtub Set
(Alex $17.5 Score:) Arrange the many suction cup pieces on the wall of the tub and get ready for action. Pour the water in at the top and the pieces will spin and splash. Hands on lessons in physics for toddlers. 2 & up. This works a lot better than the Whistling Hippos (below) that our testers liked but found disappointing due to their limited sound effects. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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Whistling Hippos
(Alex $14.99 Score:) Four colorful hippos float in the tub. Hit them gently on their heads and each one makes a quiet whistling sound. You can play a color matching game, matching the hippos and rings. Our testers liked playing with the hippos but were very disappointed with the limited sound effects. 18 mo. & up. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Radio Flyer Little Wooden Car
(Radio Flyer $150 Score:) Our testers enjoyed giving this sturdy, foot-powered red car a ride. Comes with a steering wheel that turns (and there's a working horn). The only drawback is that the steering wheel does not function. There is no connection to the front wheels. There is a set of smaller caster wheels at the front end which make it easier for kids to move around. The "no-steering" is part of larger and unfortunate trend in the ride-in category. That said, this is still a beautiful ride-in for steady on their feet toddlers.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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Award
No Spill Bubble Tumbler
(Little Kids $2.99 Score:) The No Spill Bubble Tumbler solves that oh so familiar and upsetting moment when the bottle of bubble solution spills all over the ground. Here the wand goes into the container and is loaded with just the right amount of solution to make a bubble. If you turn the container upside down, nothing will spill out, really! The containers come in mini, regular and super sized (with three wands). A great example of a classic toy made even better by an innovative design.

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

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2008 Award
Musical Babipouce
(Corolle $30 Score:) Babies are often fascinated by dolls that look like real babies. This year's Babipouce goes one step further—pull the top of this doll's hat and it plays "Beautiful Dreamer." Like earlier versions of Babipouce, this one is soft and safe enough for baby to handle with sewn-on velour romper and painted face. No moving eyes or doo-dads. You will need to remove ribbon on the doll's hand.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Royal Jungle Puppets
(Manhattan Toy $12 Score:) These brightly colored 9" animal hand puppets (lion, monkey, and elephant) are just right for tracking games or just hamming it up for your baby. Our favorite is the lion with the brightly colored mane. This lion is also available as a music box, but it has a metal key- which is unfortunate.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Inchworm
(Radio Flyer $39.99 Score:) He's back! Two versions of the classic toy are vying for your inchworm dollars. Playskool had the original green and yellow Inchworm in the '70s but have modified the design a lot with their new Bounce'n'Go Inch-Along. Radio Flyer's Inchworm is truer to the original design but done now in green and red. It is larger than Playskool's and more aesthetically pleasing. In our head to head competition, testers preferred the jaunty, springing action of the Radio Flyer. Both are novelty ride-ons and will not replace a basic ride-on.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2008.

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