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Product Type: Toys
Award: Platinum
Age: Toddlers
Review Year: 2013

 

 
2013 Awards
BlaBla Pom the Apple Dolls
(blabla kids $44 & up Score:)

Newest of the BlaBla huggables, 12-inch Pom the Apple comes wrapped up in a scarf, big sweater, and leggings for chilly days ahead. Or for a bigger 18-inch version ($55) choose her look-alike big sister. If you prefer green apples, check out their Apple the Apple doll. Totally safe with no hidden snags, this is one of a charming collection of knit dolls that are washable. All ages

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Blabla Mini London Dog
(blabla kids $44 Score:)

We like this black and white pooch with high contrast eye appeal for babies. This will be more of a gazing toy for little ones at the start. Part of the BlaBla collection of handmade toys that are washable and have no hidden chocking hazards. All ages.

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Corolle Babicorolle Babipouce Pink Cotton Flower Doll
(Corolle $36.99 Score:)

We're often asked what kind of doll to buy for a toddler. Corolle's line of Babipouce fills the bill as a great place to start in doll land. With all a soft fabric, huggable body and soft vinyl face (with painted featured), this is a safe choice for older babies and toddlers. The pink romper and coordinating velour hat (with knotted top) will be pleasing to the touch. Very sweet. Also available in all blue, 2010 Platinum Award winner, Babipouce Sky.

 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Corolle Babicorolle Miss Pink Cotton Flower Doll
(Corolle $23 Score:)

Miss Pink comes dressed in dreamy pink velour and has a soft plush body. With all stitched features, the Babicorolle makes an ideal first huggable. We loved the bright, cheerful colors of her outfit.  As you would expect from a little French doll, she is very stylish.  For older babies and toddlers, this vanilla-scented armful will be a favorite.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Babicorolle Elf Pink Cotton Flower Doll
(Corolle $21.99 Score:)

A first delicious huggable that has a soft easy to grasp body. The painted eyes also makes this a safe choice for older babies and toddlers. The ever soft velour body and pink elf hat are pleasing to touch. The doll makes a jingle sound that's also just right for this age group and has the signature Vanilla scent of this doll line. Very sweet! Also top-rated, Corolle Babe Elf Grenadine Heart Doll.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Chicco Sit 'n Ride Train
(Chicco $54.99 Score:)

Low to the ground for young toddlers to push or ride on. There's a lift up seat that holds treasures and the steering device on the front end really does steer! That is not a given on most ride-ons these days. A sound device also fits in the steering mechanism. You can turn the sound totally off or turn it down. It has multiple sounds - a train tooting, a bell, dog, goat, and some less than thrilling music. Still, toddlers will like pushing the buttons and making things happen and may even begin to see the connection between the images on the buttons and the sounds they activate. They will also love the handles on either side of the train that activate a squeaker on one side and a twirling black and yellow barbershop-post on the other. They say 12 months & up. We'd say this is a good choice for tots who are fairly steady on their feet and that will vary from one child to the next. Some will be ready at 12 months -  others not till 16-18 months.

 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Big Hugs Elmo
(Hasbro $59.99 Score:)

Elmo is back this year and ready to give your child a big hug. This oversized version asks for hugs, tighter hugs and then says "too tight." Preschoolers will love the hugs. He encourages kids to pretend. Some of the choices seem off..."let's pretend to be rabbits...let's pretend to be astronauts"...not two things that jump to mind as the most interesting. Do toddlers/preschoolers even know what an astronaut is anymore? The body is a blend of soft red fur and a hard core (where the batteries are stored). The arms do bend so that they can be placed around a neck for a proper hug.  You will feel the mechanism in the arms - the equivalent of doll bones?  Elmo says over 50 phrases, sings songs and best of all, he goes to sleep after a pretty cute bedtime routine. Not clear whether Elmo will be as popular this year given the scandal, but as a straight forward novelty doll, he is pretty cute.

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

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2013 Awards
Infantino Stack, Sort & Ball Drop Elephant
(Infantino $25 Score:)

Sitting up babies will love the fill and spill action of this clever elephant with a shape sorter as well as a ball drop. Put the pieces in the big opening at the top or match the shapes on the side and ab-ra-ka-dab-ra they set off music or elephant trumpet as they come rolling out. Or, show baby how to stack the rings o the elephants trunk or press the big button and set the wheel spinning. Best news is the volume control lets you turn the sound down. This well designed activity center is not random as so many electronic toys tend to be. Baby can actually begin to understand that his actions cause reactions - with repetitive lessons of cause and effect babies gain an empowering sense of making things happen.

SNAP  Unlke so many electronic toys, the connection between actions and reactions is clear. Children can actually connect their actions that cause reactions - so repetitive lessons of cause and effect empower the child's sense of making things happen. The actions also involve dexterity and refining fine motor skills.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Fisher-Price Musical Walking Lion
(Fisher-Price $24.99 Score:)

A great push around toy for toddlers who still feel more secure holding on as they begin to let go and toddle. The back end has some give, so as baby pulls up it is less likely to go flying, though it is not weighted. For sit and play time, the front end has a jolly looking lion with lots of moving parts that give sensory feedback--a peek-a-boo mirror, musical keys, colorful beads, and a butterfly that slides. A gender-free toy that helps develop both gross and fine motor skills. They say 6-36 months.  It will fit better somewhere between that time--say for beginning walkers of 12-24 months, depending on when your child begins to walk.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Manhattan Toy Turn & Discover Rattle
(Manhattan Toy $10 Score:)

A new look and interesting shape for baby to explore with almost all their senses. Unusual vibrant colors and patterns to look at, bumpy edges to chomp on for teething and touching, three different clicking sounds to hear when the bug knobs are turned, and a rattle sound when the toy is shaken. Turn all the keys in one direction and then spin it to make it look like a flying saucer. Marked for 3 months and up, but this seems more like a toy for sitting up babies who are getting into two handed play.

SNAP: A good choice for developing hand muscles to twist and turn the three oversized"keys" give kids three different rewarding sounds. This will be of interest to children well beyond the age marked on the box.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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