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Product Type: Toys
Age: Infants
Categories: The Vertical Infant

 


2000 Award
Ambi Ted Triple Teether
(Brio $5.99 Score:)

The body of this teddy bear teether has three different colors and textures for baby to feel and taste. Just right for little hands.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2000 Awards
Tolo Activity Cube
(Reeves International $10 Score:)

Glad to see this line back in the market place. We awarded the collection a Platinum Award in 2000. We're now adding them to our Blue Chip Classics award winners. What we wrote in 2000: We were really impressed with this new but classic-looking line of baby toys, crafted of sturdy primary-colored plastics. An Activity Cube for little fingers to activate has a mirror, squeaker, roller and spinning ball. The Gripper Ball has four easy-to-grab rounded handles and a see-through hourglass in the middle with beads that roll from side to side. Also highly recommended: Triangle Rings, Abacus Rings, Roller Rattle Ball ($5 each) with a jolly sound, and Reflector Rattle ($16) with colorful marbles that look almost liquid as they spin around a mirrored triangular well.

SNAP INFO: To develop two-handed play, kids need a variety of manipulatives with interesting payoffs. Tolo's Activity Cube has a mirror, squeaker, roller, and spinning ball for little fingers to activate. The Gripper Ball has four easy-to-grab rounded handles and a see-through hourglass in the middle with beads that roll from side to side. New for 2000, Play Triangle with spinning mirror and big beads.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2000 Awards
Lamaze My First Fish Bowl
(TOMY $19.99 Score:)

Babies can explore the interesting textures and sounds of a rattling star fish, a crinkly crab, a jingly fish, and a squeaky crab. All come in a fabric fish bowl with clear vinyl sides for filling and dumping.  EDITORS' NOTE: This toy has been slightly downsized since we first reviewed it. The product is now trimmed in yellow, not blue.

SNAP INFO: There's an assortment of textures and sounds built into the rattling star fish, crinkly crab, jingly fish, and squeaky crab. The clear vinyl sides of the fabric fishbowl make it easy to see what's inside and the big opening make for good filling and dumping games. ACTIVITY: Use the fishbowl for other fill and dump games. A bunch of colored socks will fit in easily and be fun to pull out one by one. Put several little toys inside and count them one by one as your tot pulls them out. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Mozart's Magic Cube
(em-bry-on-ics $34.99 Score:) Too bad they forgot the volume control on this musical block. Babies are supposed to press the sides of the block to hear a French horn, flute, violin, piano or the whole orchestra. This is cheaper than Neurosmith's Platinum Award winning Musical Blocks but the latter are far more versatile, playing many kinds of music and have sound quality that is worth the price. These are a pale imitation.

Age: Infants. Award Year: .

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1995 Awards
Babys First Blocks
(Fisher-Price $12.99 Score:)

Technically this is a shape-sorter, but the 10 blocks will be used to fill, spill and throw long before the baby can fit them into the three-place shape-sorter lid of the container. Put the lid away for now. A no gimmick classic that is neither complicated nor expensive. We much preferred this toy when it only had three shapes (circle, square and triangle)--the addition of the other shapes and more openings makes this less elegant and user friendly...but still a good basic toy.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 1995. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Ring Rattle
(Sassy $7.95 Score:)

Refreshed in new colors, this remains a good choice for sitting up babies. They will be able to pass this from hand to hand and investigate the colors, sounds and textures of the rattle rings on the bigger ring. Texture on the big ring and beads that roll in the see through plastic add visual interest as well as interesting feel and sound. 


SNAP INFO: There's so much to interest the senses in this colorful rattle/teether. Talk about the colors and sounds and feel as you use the rattle and baby examines it. Clip this to car seat with a few links so tots can pull it to them.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2009.

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2011 Awards
Tolo Gripper Rattle
(Reeves International $10 Score:)

We're delighted that this previous Platinum Award winning toy is back in the market. What we wrote in 2000: This rollable rattle has four easy to grip handles and an hour glass shape inside with tiny balls that roll from side to side with a sound that is interesting without a jarring startle. This is a good one for two handed play as well as crawling go get it games.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011.

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2002 Award
Tolo Play Triangle
(Reeves International $10 Score:)

A spinning mirror and large beads invite baby to use two hands and individual fingers to activate this handsome rolling rattle. Also top rated: Tolo Acitvity cube, Roller Ball or Gripper Rattle, all beautifully crafted in sturdy primary-colored plastic with interesting action for baby to manipulate.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2002.

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Pull Up Ball Blast
(Fisher-Price $19.99 Score:) Designed for tots to pull up and stand at, this ball drop with a spiral chute looked promising. Trouble is, it's not weighted, so it doesn't hold still for tots who are still unsteady on their feet and the ramps don't connect smoothly for the ball run. Finally, like too many toys this season, the sound and lights are intrusive and loud. This is no substitute for the Tomy Ball Party toys. Marked 9 months to 3 years, we think it's too old for infants, too unsteady for young toddlers and not interesting enough for older toddlers.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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Whoozit Activity Spiral
(Manhattan Toy $ Score:) This spiral toy wraps around a crib rail or stroller bar and has dangly toys to explore. The problem is that older babies may take this off the rail since there's no way to Velcro or strap it in place. Our concern is that once it's off the rail this is a toy that an older baby may wrap around his neck. It's fine for newborns gazing or batting at but not for babies who can pull on it or explore it with two hands!

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2002.

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