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

 


2010 Award
Best Friends Club Dolls Calista
(MGA Entertainment $30 Score:)

Calista is from an affordable collection of 18" multicultural dolls that budget minded shoppers will appreciate. Calist's photo here does not do her justice. She is full of life and really cute. Calista appeared too late for our list last year, so we will treat her as new, although this year's entries are Yuko, an Asian beauty and Gianna a pretty doll with brunette hair. Calista, is an African American beauty who happens to wear glasses. The Best Friend Club Dolls do not have soft bodies and their joints are a little weird, but mostly covered with jeans and such. They come packaged with extra sports clothing and a book/journal that gives the reader background on the doll as well as space to write about themselves. There are plenty of accessories sold separately and an online site where there are games. 6 & 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. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Best Friends Club Dolls, Yuko
(MGA Entertainment $30 Score:)

An affordable collection of 18" multicultural dolls that budget minded shoppers will appreciate. These appeared too late for our list last year, so we will treat them as all new, although this year's entries are Yuko, an Asian beauty and Gianna a pretty doll with brunette hair. The Best Friends Club collection also includes blondes, brunettes and another of our favorites, Calista, an African American beauty who happens to wear glasses. These do not have soft bodies and their joints are a little weird, but mostly covered with jeans and such. They come packaged with extra sports clothing and a book/journal that gives the reader background on the doll as well as space to write about themselves. There are plenty of accessories sold separately and an online site where there are games. 6 & 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: 2010.

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2010 Award
Dollie & Me Collection: Ava, Gabriella and Rachel Dolls
(Alexander Doll Company $29.99 Score:)

An amazing new collection of 18" dolls has just entered the scene and they are good news for consumers. Just look at the price! They do look a lot like the higher priced dolls. This collection of lovely dolls is available with blonde, brunette and black wavy hair. They come in several skin tones and fashionable clothes. There are three dolls in the collection: Ava, Gabriella, and Rachel. The dolls have soft torsos, sleeping eyes, jointed bodies, but solid legs and arms and each comes dressed in a school day kind of outfit plus two pairs of shoes. Ava is wearing pink clogs and Gabriella is wearing pink platform sandals, both come with a pair of gold Mary Janes. We did not see Rachel in person. Best of all, you can buy matching dresses for child and doll and they are not only special, they will not break the bank. There are also matching sports clothes, costumes, outerwear, and sleepwear. Dress sizes range from 2T to 16 depending on the style you choose and they are priced from $34 & up. Many of the dresses are perfect for holiday parties. They say 3 & up, but this is really a doll for slightly older girls.


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

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010.

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2010 Award
My American Girl Doll
(American Girl $95 Score:)

Instead of a premade doll, this year's American Girl is one you custom designed online. You and your child decide if her hair is blonde, brunette, curly, straight. You decide her skin tone and if she has freckles or wears glasses. You and your child can go online and custom-choose all the variables and then outfit her, too. Of course, you need a wardrobe budget and if price is not a limiting factor you can order up matching clothes for child and doll, not to mention all the furniture and accessories. There's even a manicure set and chair for a pedicure with a footrest - honest! Unlike the historic dolls this comes without a book as her story is one created entirely by the child she belongs to. Instead of a book, the company has created a website with games, quizzes, and activities that girls can enter via "Innerstar University" with an access code that comes with the doll. The games are designed for very young users. We have to confess that what has always set the American Girl apart from so many others was the quality of the dolls themselves, the book connection as well as the links to history. Their stories made history come alive with books by well know writers and the period clothes and crafts were a part of the package. This stripped down design-your-own-doll will surely have appeal to many, as will the website, but we hope that American Girl will not change its long standing mission.  

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010.

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2010 Award
Manhattan Toy Groovy Girl Knight Keanan
(Manhattan Toy $15.99 Score:)

Each year there is a boy doll in the Groovy Doll collection and this year is no exception. Knight Keanan has short blond yarn hair. He wears a purple royal satiny cape and a golden shield on his chest. His sword and boots are made of shiny silvery fabric. He looks ready for Camelot.

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

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Moses Basket
(Manhattan Toy $30 Score:)

This adorable fabric covered Moses Basket will fit up to 15" dolls. It is soft and lightweight. The padded carrying handles make it easy to tote. If comes with a blanket and pillow. Its yellow on the base and trimmed with green, white and yellow print. This new product is being introduced along with the new Stella Boy baby, but the handles of the basket have pink ribbons that you might want to remove. Although we could not spot any small parts, this is marked 3 & up.


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

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
The Adventure of Shen the Panda
(Arete $75 Score:)

This is the second character/doll introduced to the Zylie the Bear collection. Shen is a fashionable, 18" jointed bear doll who is a world traveler. He comes dressed in a leather-like bomber jacket and khaki pants. Though the clothes are so beautifully fashioned, this doll and the original Zylie looks like collectables, but both are designed for play. Each bear comes with book about the new adventures that will take Zylie and her little brother around the world. This one, begins in China. Be forewarned: The books are disappointing and not literary masterpieces, but the concept of a traveling bear that takes kids on adventures to many countries is fun. It is a playful way to introduce kids to maps, history and other cultures. We hope the books will eventually match the quality of the dolls themselves. A second doll and book, Zylie the Bear is also available. 6 & 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. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Manhattan Toy Lilydolls Astrid, Harper, and Josephine
(Manhattan Toy $50 Score:)

Lilydolls are a little bigger, older, and more fashion forward than the company's well loved, Groovy Girls. Like the Groovy Girls, this is a multi-cultural collection of fabric dolls that are soft and huggable, have stitched features, but stylish enough to appeal to slightly older kids. These dolls have more sophisticated clothes. This season, the newest arrivals are Harper, a light complexioned African American girl with reddish brown velvet hair. She looks dressed for school with a plaid jumper and lavender blouse, orange striped scarf and melon boots that look like Uggs. Astrid has bangs and long black velvety hair. Her turquoise skirt is trimmed with cotton lace and she wears a short orange poncho. Like Harper she is wearing boots in a buckskin color. Blue-eyed, freckle-faced Josephine is the fussiest of the three with a floral dress of pink flowers and a lavender and blue dotted sweater with a purple velvet bow. Shes wearing thong sandals on good-sized platforms. Her hair is blonde velvet with bangs and a flower in her hair-band. They are safe enough and marked 3 & up, but we think 4's, 5's, and even 6's will like these more.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010.

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2013 Award
Nursery Carriage
(Corolle $109 Score:)

An update of our 2010 Platinum Award Winner. The carriage, originally in red and pink, is now done in navy with accents of pink, white and navy.  Seriously stately and gorgeous. It not only collapses for travel, the soft fabric body of the carriage - the doll's bed - lifts out of the frame to become a carrier with straps for ease of toting about. This has white treaded wheels with pink hubcaps and a lift-up hood for giving dolly a sun-shaded nap. Marked 3 & up.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Barbie So in Style S.I.S. Dolls
(Mattel $19.99 Score:)

Here's a welcome new line of black dolls developed by an African American Barbie designer who wanted to create a doll that her two little girls and other children of color could relate to. There are three sets of sisters, a teenager and smaller child in each package. They come in three different skin tones and were molded with more authentic-looking facial features such as fuller lips, a wider nose, more distinctive cheekbones and curlier hair. Grace, Kara, and Trichelle are best friends, each with her own special interests-music, math, science, art, and oh, yes--cheer leading. Initial reaction has been quite positive. These are not Barbie dolls with tinted skin. Marked 3 & up, we think these will be hard for younger kids to dress and un-dress. Even 5's will need help, but the dolls are likely to have a lot of meaning to girls and their moms and aunties! 

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

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

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