Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Dolls and Huggables

 


2006 Award
Barbie
(Mattel $15.99 Score:) We like the idea of Barbie being active- not just a pretty face with glitzy clothes. Last year, it was soccer; this year there's Cool Skating Barbie who really does skate and Swimming Champion Barbie, a true Olympian. These dolls have small details that require fine motor dexterity and will be enjoyed more by school aged kids who can handle them. We liked the look of Barbie's VW, but it was not ready for testing.New for 2006, our testers all wanted the new American Idol Barbie with Karaoke Machine () but found the clothes particularly difficult to put on and take off. They also wished that the doll sang more than a part of a song. Also among this year’s crop: Fairytopia Barbie (with light-up wings ); and Fashion Fever (with really neat clothes that come on little mannequins ). (800) 524-8697.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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1999 Awards
Muffy VanderBear and Hoppy VanderHare
(North American Bear Co. $20 Score:)

Muffy fans will adore the new trunk with built in bunk beds ($90) for playing and storing two dolls and accessories. Pricey but very special! PLATINUM AWARD '99. We think this Muffy Bear dressed in a rabbit costume is a winner ($60) although pretty pricey. Check out some of the simpler versions of Muffy. Testers also liked the Hoppy Starter Set, a good place to begin at a great price. Also, Muffy Stuff ($20), a soft carry case for traveling bears. 6 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 1999. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Awards
Groovy Girls and Groovy Boys
(Manhattan Toy $10 Score:)

This continues to be a BLUE CHIP collection of soft 13" multi-ethnic dolls with stitched features, yarn hair, and groovy clothes. Happily, there is a boy doll in this line.  Still the superlative gift, consider Supersize Yvette or Gwen ($50 each 5), a 40" child-sized fabric doll that’s like a pretend play pal. We found the new Groovy Girls’ PetRageous ($16.99) disappointing. If you didn’t see the hangtags you wouldn’t know they were from the same folks—they lack the wonderful design quality and spirit of the dolls. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Bitty Baby Doll and book
(Pleasant Company $ 80 Score:)

15" soft-bodied Bitty Baby dolls with vinyl heads, arms and legs have been updated to allow for more options to customize. You have a choice of 11 dolls with differnt hair, skin and eye color combintions. Each doll arrives in a signature sleeper and a Bitty Baby & Me picture book. The updated doll now has a hairline brought forward and eyebrows for a more realistic look. The upper body was also redesigned with arms brought forward -- for better huggability. Beautiful clothes and furniture accessories available.  We also recommend the Bitty Baby Twins (boy and girl toddler dolls $115). As always there are extra outfits for the baby and matching clothes for the child. 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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Awards
Wooden Doll Cradle
(Community Playthings $95 Score:) A solid maple cradle designed for schools and built to last. The large 29" model is big enough so kids can climb in and play baby or put a family of dolls to sleep. Sure to become a family heirloom.

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

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2012 Award
Mini Corolline
(Corolle $17.99 Score:)

This collection is now celebrating its tenth anniversary and is still a huge hit with our testers. You won't know which to pick from this group of 8" blond, brunette, Asian, and African American dolls. Each comes with a stylish outfit and with plenty of long hair for brushing. New for 2012, an adorable brunette with a pink hair band and floral dress.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2002 Award
Doodle
(Gund $28 Score:) Doodle looks like an old-fashioned honey-colored jointed bear, but his limbs simply swing. His coat is nubby but silky to the touch and his bottom and limbs have jus enough beans to make him a hefty 16 inch huggable. For a smaller armful, 10 inch Luv Me Bear($12) with curly honey coat, is also a winner.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
American Girl Lindsey
(American Girl $84 Score:) Lindsey is first in a line of annual featured dolls that will only be available for the year. Lindsey has curly auburn hair and sporty clothes. Her interests are in finding her lost dog. Her book (which was not available at press time) and accessories are extra. Pleasant Company continues to make exquisite multiethnic dolls from different periods in American history with books and period clothes and furnishings for each doll. A wonderful way to introduce history to kids. If you are looking for a patriotic theme this year, consider Molly a girl of the 40's and WWII. 7 and up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2003 Award
American Girl Kaya
(American Girl $84 Score:) Pleasant Company continues to make exquisite multiethnic dolls from different periods in American history with books for each doll-a wonderful way to introduce history to kids. New for 2003, Kaya, the first Native American doll from the Nez Perce people in the collection. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2009 Awards
Les Cheries
(Corolle $45 Score:)

We loved these dolls when they first hit the market back in 2003. They received a Platinum Award and we are now giving them a Blue Chip Award for 2009. Chloe, Camille, Clare, Cecile and Cathy are a multicultural collection of 13" dolls and are marketed as "best friend" dolls and are purposefully not fashion dolls. Our favorites this year are Cecile, an African American girl, with jeans, a knit shrug and glorious hair or Chloe, a brunette ballerina in a gossamer tutu. They are meant to look like girls of today. There are new clothes almost every year--but this is a collection that should not be missed.

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

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