Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2006 Award
Star Wars ARC-170 Starfighter
(Lego Systems, Inc. $39.99 Score:) Some of the best Lego sets this year came from the Star Wars line. Top marks went to this new fighter featured in the last film. Our testers also enjoyed the Wookiee Catamaran ($49.99 /376 pieces) which comes with Jedi lightsabers that really light up (very cool). 8 & up. Editors’ note: Also noteworthy—Lego Factory, where you build your own creations online at lego.com and then they ship you the parts. (800) 223-8756.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Castle Keep
(Gamewright $11.99 Score:)

The object is to be the first to complete a castle with a total of nine castle cards (walls, towers, and a keep). But beware—opposing players can seize your pieces if they have a duplicate! A game of strategy that involves flexible thinking as builders must match geometric and color attributes. 8 & up. For younger players, Leaping Lizards ($9.99 ) is also an attribute game. The novel “game board” is actually a long shoestring and beads. With each turn players choose a “lucky” picture token that will help determine how many spaces they can move. Watch out, if you roll a sad face you move backwards! This can be frustrating for younger players. With adult participation, 5s & up.


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

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

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2006 Award
Charoodles
(ThinkFun $19.99 Score:) Our families with older kids, 8 to 12, really enjoyed this new version of Charades that includes “props” (a foam ball, tube, square, and plastic cup) for acting out one of the 3,000 charades on the play cards. Timer included. A good choice for a family party. (800) 468-1864.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Da Vinci's Challenge
(Briarpatch $24.99 Score:) For 2–4 players, this is a truly challenging game where the object is to create ancient patterns on the pre-printed circular game board. Each pattern you create has different point values, but of course there is a twist. Your opponents can block your patterns. “The game became more interesting as more pieces were put on the board and sometimes a bigger pattern emerges when you’re not paying attention!” They say 8 & up, we’d say more like 10 & up. The connection to Da Vinci? He studied the Egyptian symbol called the Flower of Life. (800) 232-7427.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Family Fun Game
(Cranium $19.95 Score:) Designed for teams of grown-ups and kids to play together, players use visual memory, creativity, factual information, cooperation, and communication skills to win. For example, with timer going, a player must sculpt a turtle of clay; or recall sequence of a pattern without looking; or name five zoo animals, each new one beginning with letter of last one named. There’s plenty of thinking, doing, and laughing, too! 7 & up. Still top rated and geared for younger kids, PLATINUM AWARD-winner Balloon Lagoon ($19.99 5 & up) and Cranium Cadoo for Kids ($19.99 ) are similar to the new game but this one is played by kids with other kids. 7 & up. (877) 272-6486.

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

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2006 Award
Raceway 57 and Chaturanga
(Front Porch Classics $74.95 Score:) Our older testers loved both of these new games, Chaturanga ($44.95 ), an Indian game, is said to be the earliest form of chess. It’s a strategy game with an element of chance, as players roll wooden dice and play one on one or in teams. Raceway 57 has a handsome track, mini-cars, and metallic playing boards. Players race to be the first to finish three laps without running out of fuel, tires, and suspension. They say 8 & up—we’d say more like 10 & up. (206) 826-3202.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Chaturanga
(Front Porch Classics $44.95 Score:) Our older testers loved this Indian game, said to be the earliest form of chess. It’s a strategy game with an element of chance, as players roll wooden dice and play one-on-one or in teams. They say 8 & up—we’d say more like 10 & up. PLATINUM AWARD ’06. Also noteworthy, a Bookshelf version of Raceway ’57 (PLATINUM AWARD ’06). Our players did not love the design or play pattern of the new Wordspot (3); “there are more exciting word games like this.” (206) 826-3202.

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

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2006 Award
Whoonu
(Cranium $16.95 Score:) It’s all about knowing the people you are playing with; players take turns at being the “whoozit” and others get points by guessing what objects named on the playing cards the “Whoozit” likes best. Even testers who do not like board games love this card game for three or more players. Still top-rated, Zigity ($12.95 ). Visual discrimination and word and number play are all part of the fun. 8 & up. (877) 272-6486.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2008 Award
FLY Fusion Pentop Computer
(LeapFrog $99 Score:)

A sleek update of a truly innovative product with the computer is built into the pen that works with special paper to create a variety of options: a working calculator, a translator, and our favorite, a musical keyboard you can draw and then play on your paper. But our testers LOVED that they could take notes on the special paper and that they were converted to a document on their computer. "So cool!" It might make you want to do seventh grade again...ok, not really, but you will want your own pen!

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

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2006 Award
EZ 2 Quikrochet
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $15.99 Score:) Remember as a kid making yarn snakes with a wooden spool knitter? This kit updates that craft by including beads to work into your creations. Comes with four pastel sets of elastic and a plentiful supply of glass beads. Our more experienced beaders (10 & up) thought it was fun but told us that younger kids may find it difficult on their own. The kit is marked 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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