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Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2008 Award
Kidizoom Camera
(V-Tech $59.99 Score:) We were really impressed with the many features on this new digital and movie camera with dual eye viewing, an 1.8 LCD screen with 16 MB of memory, and auto flash. It stores 200 photos or 5 minutes of video. It has wacky effects such as hats, photo frames, and more that can be added on the camera screen or when you put it on the computer or TV. It also has games and photo puzzles. You can add a memory card and connect to TV or PC. A lot for the money!

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Awards
Crayola Color Surge
(Crayola $7.99 Score:)

Magical drawing experiences when these color surge markers touch down on the brilliantly colored double-sided paper. The colors brighten up as you draw and turn colors as one marker glides over an earlier line. Sets come with 8 or more markers and 20 or more sheets. This makes a great open-ended travel toy or a good choice for some non-messy creative time for a play date. Take it to Grams--chances are she will want to try it! 5 & up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP ACTIVITY: Use these magical markers and paper to encourage kids to practice writing their names and turn the finished work into signs for the door to her room or cover of his notebook. First you write a letter...then have the child trace your letter. This follow the leader game is a great way to make work into play with a happy payoff!

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

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2009 Award
Boochie
(Gamewright $34.99 Score:)

A great new active family game that combines the action of the Italian classic Bocce with a ring toss and extra twists! Everyone puts on a "wrist tracker" set at zero. "It" tosses the soft foam Boochie Ball about 12 feet away. Now players take turns tossing their color-coded hoops and balls as close to the 12-sided Boochie Ball. After everyone has had two turns, players approach the Boochie Ball to score the round. First to score 11 points wins. But watch out! The Boochie Ball may give points for being furthest away. Players set their wrist trackers, which reveal how they must play the next round, tossing, bowling, kicking, standing on one foot, squatting. For 2-4 players.

The company has submitted our safety verification form. Note, we did not test this independently in a lab.

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

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2009 Award
DRV Rescue SUV and Plane
(Kid Galaxy $45 Score:) Here's one of the coolest combinations. Two remote control vehicles to play with at the same time. The remote control works both the sturdy truck and the plane that sits on top of the truck. Charges just like their stand alone planes—you hold the charger down for 10 seconds.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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2008 Award
FlyTech Butterfly and Moth
(WowWee $24.99 Score:)

Ok, so it's probably too early in the season to declare our favorite toy...but these butterflies and moths are clearly front runners! Easy to launch- you just hold the button down on the launcher until the wings really start to go-and then pull it back all the way-the butterfly or moth will take off! Also available, a pretty sharp looking red and black Mosquito (only on-line). This is the type of toy everyone will want a turn playing with- including the adults. (Editors Update: So these remain one of our top fun picks of the entire year.)

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

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

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2008 Award
Lego Beach House
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:) Who wouldn’t like this bright contemporary looking yellow beach house with two big skylight windows and clear back doors that leads to a terrace. It has a satellite disk, BBQ, picnic table and umbrella, and hours of play build in to the fun. From Lego’s Creator line it’s cleverly designed to be converted to a café or a tall apartment building. A 3-in-1 kit with 522 pieces. Full of the kind of details that suits older builders. 8 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2009 Award
Lego Police Headquarters
(Lego Systems, Inc. $89.99 Score:)

Loaded with action, this is an immense building set with 953 pieces that will take days to assemble. Part of the City Collection, this multi-level huge police headquarters has a lock-up, of course, as well as offices, vehicles, satellites, and police figures. Build it together and then let the dramas begin. They say 6 & up. It is an elaborate set that will require an older sibling or adult if you bring it home for a 6 year old. It will be enjoyed by younger kids after it is built, but as a construction set, it will be an overwhelming challenge for solo building for kids under 8. Still, this is a wow-wee kind of gift for enthusiastic builders. Makes a good choice for those long rainy days when going out is not possible.

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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Create Your Own Pop Up Books Kit
(Creativity for Kids $17.95 Score:)

We are huge fans of pop up books! So we were particularly excited when this kit came in for review. Complete with two blank hard cover books that have some built in pop ups already loaded and then a collection of fun to add "do your own" pop up features--including pull tabs for revealing your own surprises! Fans of pop ups will enjoy giving this one a try.  Comes with 8 markers, stickers, wiggly eyes and die-cut pieces.

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: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Bulls Eye Baseball
(Hasbro $24.99 Score:)

Our baseball fans loved this small desktop baseball game. You have to bounce the small metal balls on the red launch pad just right in order to score. The automatic scorer really works and keeps track of your runs, and even home runs! The bases on the field light up when you sink a ball into them. Very cool. The sound effects are just right. It's kind of loud, but so is baseball! Great fun but obviously not a good choice if there are small children in the house.

The company has submitted our safety verification form. Note, we did not test this independently in a lab.

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

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2008 Award
Tiki Topple
(Gamewright $16 Score:)

Players rearrange the Tiki faces in the center of the board. Players get one secret Tiki card at the start of the game. Each player has a set of action cards. During each round every player uses the action card to rearrange the Tikki. The object is to get the three Tiki colors on your secret card to the top of the Tikki line up. Players keep from each round aiming for winning score of 35 points. A 2-4 player game that requires sequencing skills and strategy. 10 & up.

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

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

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