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Playskool Love2Learn Elmo

(Hasbro $59.99)

Testers were pretty unanimous about this year’s Love2Learn Elmo, a novelty doll that learns your child’s name and can play dozens of games. You’ll need to use the Elmo app to personalize the doll and select the subjects, level, and games that Elmo will then play with your child. It has 350+ responses, 10 songs, laughs and plays three different games. Love2Learn Elmo app works with select iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices. One tester loves squeezing his nose to make noises. Another carries Elmo wherever she goes and listens to what he has to say. A very young tester was a little put off by Elmo at first meeting. But when her mom put Elmo on her own lap and clapped his hands, the fun became apparent. Now they play with Elmo together, enjoying the songs and games. It’s powered by 4x 1.5 AA alkaline batteries that are not included. Like all electronic dolls, this is no substitute for the soft and silent doll that says whatever your child imagines. Novelty dolls like Elmo generally have a shorter play life than the old fashioned kind since they have an agenda supplied by others. Just saying, children will enjoy interactive talking dolls like Elmo, but a teddy bear they can snuggle and talk to will interact in very personal ways. Ages 18 months to 4 years.

Ages: Toddlers, Preschoolers

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2016

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