(Hasbro $59.99) Platinum Award
This season's interactive Elmo is larger and softer than usual, which makes him cuddlier than Elmos of the past. There are two modes of play: a setting for toddlers with simplest games and another for preschoolers, a nice feature, although his speech tends to be less clear than previous Elmo dolls. There are no accessories to put on and take off. All the action is built into the doll. To activate, just squeeze Elmo's big soft orange nose and he plays eight games. Of course, Elmo is "the boss" of all, telling kids let's play pat-a-cake, hop and count, freeze dance, guess colors, red light/green light, and animal sounds. Elmo also takes naps and sings a lullaby before he goes quiet until someone is ready to wake him up and play some more. Marked for 18 months to 4 years. The sweet spot ages are probably just between those-- as in 2's to late 3's. Award Year: 2015.
Ages: Toddlers, Preschoolers
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