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Product Type: Toys
Award: Platinum
Review Year: 2012

 


2012 Award
Zip Zap
(Gamewright $10.99 Score:)

This is a number sequencing game that is played quickly. No turn taking. Everyone plays at once and tries to be the first to put down the number that comes next that is of a matching color. If you happen to have a wild card, so much the better--you still need the right number, but it can be played on any color. So there are two attributes at play here. A good choice for 6 & up.

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

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2012 Award
Rosy Cheeks Big Sister Doll Blonde
(North American Bear Co. $32 Score:)

With her tiny pug nose and blonde yarn pigtails, this big 18-inch fabric doll is designed for preschoolers. The soft fabric knit body is huggable and the clothes are easy to get on and off. She has black Mary-Jane shoes, a floral printed corduroy jumper and striped knit shirt. There are several other Big Sister dolls in this collection; an African-American and a Caucasian red head. All adorable.

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

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2012 Award
Fitz It
(Gamewright $10 Score:)

Playing this word game is all about stringing ideas together and then selling your connected thoughts to other players. On your turn your object is to come up with an item that fills the description on as many of your cards as possible. For example: Suppose you have cards that say: "can be used in a shower," "can be rolled up," "comes in a variety of colors," and "made with fabric"-- you could put all those cards down if your word was a 'washcloth.' Now the next player can use any of the cards in play on the table to connect their own cards. It's a challenging and interesting game for 12 & up.

Age: Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Tiny Love Soothe n Groove Mobile
(Tiny Love $54 Score:)

A fairly gender free mobile that will fit in the nursery of boys or girls. The three fabric animals do look down on baby as they move about. They have dangly legs and big eyes. The mobile plays 18 tunes and will run for as long as 40 minutes. Of course, the mobile animals and armature need to be removed by five months but the music box, with electronic sounds, can remain on the crib side for baby to activate. It can also be removed and carried about as baby grows into toddlerhood.  So, this is a piece of equipment with a long life. Newborn-24 months.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Sassy Go-Go Bugs
(Sassy $9.99 Score:)

A set of three little fabric bugs, with big embroidered eyes and smiling mouths, that easily attach to an infant seat. They have bright colors, licks of black and white, and a wonderful chime sound as they dangle in view. You can easily reposition these from time to time, to give them new interest. These are ideal for newborns to stimulate hearing and gazing. Newborns & up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Quadefy
(Maranda Enterprises $29.99 Score:)

A beautifully crafted brain teaser for older school aged kids, tweens, teens and adults. Each player needs to use all of their pieces to create the cube but you canít go beyond the grid of the board. If you no longer can use your pieces, you lose the round. A great game for working on spatial relations. The game is done in two tones of wood - and is the type of wooden toy you won't mind having out on your coffee table. The game is marked 4 & up which feels way too low for us   - but if you're playing with an older four they may enjoy turning the pieces. We'd say more like 7 & up to feel satisfying and not frustrating. Rounds move quickly - also a plus.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
PlasmaBike
(PlaSmart $79.99 Score:)

A real beginning point for balance bikes.  Two wide wheels makes this a good choice for twos. We liked that it actually steers (most bikes for toddlers no longer have turning capability) and we also gave high marks for making it a gender-neutral red. Some of our 2s had legs that were too long - so as with any ride-on vehicles, we recommend that you bring your child to the store before you buy.  Marked 18 months & up, but as we noted really depends on your child. We still LOVE this company's Plasmacar.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Around the Yard Push Mower
(Manhattan Toy $42 Score:)

Our testers loved the clicky-clack sound of this old-fashioned handsomely crafted wooden push toy. This is intended for steady on their feet walkers who will enjoy their new found mobility. The three wooden balls are safely enclosed in the open slated drum. Can be used both indoors and out. Marked 12 months & up, but only if your one year old is completely steady on his feet.  It goes way to fast for children that are still wobbly.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Alex So Many Headbands
(Alex $29.99 Score:)

Our tester could hardly wait to try her hand at making the many headbands in this kit. It comes with 8 satin headbands in a variety of colors plus 2 stretchy headbands all waiting for the creative hands to turn them into unique hairgear. There are ribbons, fabric flowers, slide on as well as sticky gems, pieces of tulle to form into poufs and loops of felt and ribbon for attaching bows, felt shapes and more. A fully loaded kit with idea sheets for inspiration or techniques for making some of the attachments. Big enough for sharing for a party or play date. A great birthday or holiday present that kids can make and wear!

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

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2012 Award
Magformers Carnival
(Rainbow Products $79.99 Score:)

Welcome back! We have been long time fans of magformers but they were unavailable for a while. We like that the magnets in these sets are completely encased, so there is no danger of magnets going into kids mouths or beyond! Yet, they hold together well and this new set, has ideas and instructions for making mini spinning carnival like rides. This set comes with two play figures that can ride the Ferris wheel and cyclone type structures that kids can build. The set has 46 pieces and a stand.  6 & up.

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

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