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Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers

 

Transportation Peg Set
(Lauri $11.99 Score:) Five colorful rubbery vehicles come with 20 big pegs to fit and stack in a carry-along sack. Fun for counting, sorting, dexterity, and pretend play. 2–5. 800- 451-0520.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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Lil' Snoopy
(Fisher-Price $8.99 Score:) Too bad they added so much sound to good old Snoopy. This little black and white pup now barks and sort of sings the melody of B-I-N-G-O with incessant barking as his “leash” is pulled. This is an example of how less was more. Too bad, Snoopy! 1 & up. (800) 432-5437. We suggest instead Ambi’s Max Pull Along Dog (Brio $17.50 ), an adorable yellow, black, and red pooch. 11/2 & up. (888) 274-6869.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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LittleTouch Leap Pad
(LeapFrog $34.99 Score:) As electronic readers go this one is a breakthrough product that actually uses real picture books on their talking platform-granted so far there are just a few titles but the manufacturer promises more. “Guess How Much I Love You” ($14.99) one of our award winners has been adapted to the talking machine with add-on activities that will entertain and delight young listeners. Many of the other titles are “knowing & naming” books, All this would be fun for toddlers and parent to explore together. However, our testers noted, as we did that you need a BIG touch to activate the story. One needs to use a fair amount of pressure, so this may require more parental involvement. We think that’s a plus when you are dealing with toddlers- but probably needs some fine tuning by the manufacturer. Others have also complained about the on off switch being too easy for tots to find and use! We think all these problems will be reworked soon. Will this replace a book for tots to taste, toss, and explore without sounds? Not at all. Nor will it replace a warm lap and a book in hand. But as a first electronic reader- it’s a brave new world choice. They say 6 months & up--we’d say more like 18 months.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. 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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2004 Award
Pudgies Wag Wag Yellow Lab
(Mary Meyer $9.99 Score:) A sweet honey colored lab that is incredibly soft and just right for toddlers and preschoolers. The pudgie comes with a red bow, a bean bag body and an easy to hold legs. A Black lab is also available.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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2005 Award
Retro Rocket
(Radio Flyer $69.95 Score:) Our fifteen-month-old testers loved the push-button sound effects, lights, and vibrating motion on this low-to-the-ground ride-on. This vehicle is less wide and lighter than Radio Flyer’s Red Roadster, and easier for tots to get on and off of.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Plan Toys Shape-n-Sort
(Brio $15 Score:) A handsome wooden three-shape sorter. Drop the pieces in place, hit the tray, and pieces drop out.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Tutti Frutti 11"
(Gund $20 Score:) Whether you bring home the elephant, monkey, cat, or bear, these soft, 11" ultra-plush velour dolls have the potential to become a favorite lovey. With stitched features, they are done in cheerful bright colors; "they’re hard to put down," noted one parent tester. (We prefer the velour to the low-pile version.)

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Little Driver
(Small World Toys $32 Score:) This classic steering wheel with lights and sounds comes with a phone, just right for pretend road trips. 18 mos. & up. Vtech’s updated version is much louder than last year's. Try it before you bring it home.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Swirlin' Saucer
(Fisher-Price $12.95 Score:) Our seven month old tester loved picking up the over-sized plastic balls and dropping them in the saucer. You can turn on the toy base so that the saucer shakes and makes noise as the balls drop. When you first introduce the toy we recommend starting with the sound and motion off. A pleasingly easy to activate first floor toy.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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