Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: Construction Toys

 


2015 Award
LEGO Star Wars Poe's X-Wing Fighter
(Lego Systems, Inc. $79 Score:)

Once this is built there is plenty of action for recreating scenes from the Force Awakens. A 717-piece build Poe's X-Wing Fighter has amazing working parts such as: a 4 spring-loaded shooters, 2 stud shooters, retractable landing gear, opening wings, opening cockpit with space for a mini-figure and space behind for the BB-8 Astromech Droid. It has a loader with weapon rack, extra missiles and ammunition, and a seat for one of the three mini-figures. 8-14  Both our parent and child testers consistently give high marks for the great instructions that come with LEGO sets - that have really set the bar for other construction sets. The STAR WARS sets thrilled our testers who are a new generation in love with the galaxy far, far away. [Our recommendation remains the same: start small with building sets. Resist the temptation to buy the biggest set for a beginning builder. The idea is to build your child's confidence and enjoyment whether it's as a independent build or something you do together. The worst scenario - you building and your child watching.]

Also award-winning from the new collection: Millennium Falcon (1329 pieces) for kids 9-14.  Comes with Kanjiklub Gang Member, Tasu Leech, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Finn, Rey and BB-8. A big build that would make a great parent child project. Smaller, Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle (1005 pieces) for kids 9-14. Comes with First Order Officer, General Hux, Kylo Ren, First Order Stormtrooper Officer, 2 First Order Crew. First Order Transporter (792 pieces) for ages 9-14 with Captain PHasma, 4 First Order Flametrooper and 2 Resistance Soldiers. First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter (517 pieces) for ages 8-14. Comes with First Order Officer, First Order Crew and 2 First Order TIE Fighter Pilot.

 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
LEGO Star Wars Death Star
(Lego Systems, Inc. $79.99 Score:)

If you saw the movie, this set will remind you of one of the most amazing moments in the story. It happens when Luke battles with Vader and Palpatine in the throne room. They will love the collapsing stairs and bridge, opening doors and much more. The setting is there for them to play out the final duel in Palpatine's throne room! Emperor Palpatine's throne room has an amazing swing-out side sections with opening entrance doors. Our tester loved the collapsing stairs and bridge plus the reactor shaft, and detachable throne section with rotating throne and secret Lightsaber pop-up function. The set includes an authentic 2-part helmet for Darth Vader and 5 minifigures with assorted weapons: Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and 2 Royal Guards. Ages 8-14 Also in the 2015 Star Wars collection, a 500 piece AT-DP(49.99) with an amazing range of motion. The twin-legged LEGO Star Wars AT-DP military walker patrols the streets with two minifigures on the look out for two Rebels in the area! Hurry! jump into the cockpit, close the hatch, load the twin spring-loaded shooters and get ready to escort Agent Kallus and the Stormtrooper in their hunt for the rebels. Includes 4 minifigures with assorted weapons: Agent Kallus, Stormtrooper and 2 AT-DP Pilots. 8-14
Also, consider Lego Star Wars Naboo Starfighter 75092 (49.99)
The Naboo Starfighter set has an opening cockpit, spring-loaded shooters, eject function, access ladder, fueling station, stand and more. Kids can recreate scenes from the movie Then fire the twin shooters.DestroyeFeatures a Naboo Starfighter with rotating stand, access ladder, fueling station and 2 Destroyer Droids and a lot more. Naboo Starfighter features an opening cockpit, spring-loaded shooters and R2-D2 eject function. 8-14
 

 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
K'nex Mighty Makers: Up, Up and Away Building Set
(K'nex $19.99 Score:)

Designed to appeal to girls, this is one of many models that K'nex has packaged with a female character and pastel building pieces. Though we think girls should not need gender specific building toys, we take seriously the fact that learning from building is a basic and too long overlooked. This up, up and away set comes with clear instructions for building a small but satisfying airplane. Build it four different ways with directions for optional vehicles. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
K'nex Mighty Makers Inventor's Clubhouse
(KNEX $49.99 Score:)

Designed to appeal to girls, this is the top of the line building set complete with motor and over 528 K'nex pieces and parts. Along with the motor it comes with pulleys and gears, wheels, star snaps, graphic panels and color coded intructions for many kinds of mechanical builds. Although we think many girls enjoy gender free building sets, we know from research that they are less often chosen or gifted to girls. We are happy to see the options in play expanding as more building toys are being marketed to girls and such toys will hopefully help enable them to develop spatial skills and enthusiasm for engineering and problem solving. This is a set that that develops S.T.E.M. skills and gives girls the tools for building from the instructions and then going on to build their own creations. Keep in mind that K'nex requires strong hands and is not always easy for beginners. Marked for 7 and up, we think 7's will need lots of help to get started. We also suggest it will be enjoyed more by slightly older girls.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
LEGO CREATOR Rainforest Animals
(Lego Systems, Inc. $14.99 Score:)

We're big fans of the LEGO Creator series - each non-licensed set comes with instructions for three different builds. A good place to start with beginning builders. New for 2015, the Rainforest Animals (with instructions for building a parrot, fish or chameleon). Comes with 215 pieces.  If vehicles are more your speed, there's the new Vehicle Transporter (264 pieces) where you can build a transporter truck and two smaller vehicles. And for future architects, there's the new Beach Hut (286 pieces) - a fun build with two action figures and lots of props (including a surf board!).

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
LEGO CITY Swamp Police Station
(Lego Systems, Inc. $89.99 Score:)

Each year LEGO has a police setting and this year the focus is on Swamp Police.  This 707 piece set has a structure to build (the police setting) as well as a police boat, an air boat, a police Jeep-like vehicle and a motorcycle. There is of course a jail cell (to break out of), an alligator, two bad guys (with stolen loot) and four police officers.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
LEGO CITY Water Plane Chase
(Lego Systems, Inc. $34.00 Score:)

Our testers liked that this set came with both a police Water Plane and a jeep (with the requisite bad guy) to chase. There's also stolen money and an alligator to add to the drama. With 263 pieces, this is a good beginning - intermediate set.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
LEGO CITY Snowplow Truck
(Lego Systems, Inc. $19.99 Score:)

A great beginning set for new LEGO builders - with only 196 pieces, this is a satisfying build. Comes with a municpal worker, shovel and snow (a first we believe). The plow portion of the truck can be removed just like the real thing. We're hoping next winter we see the real thing a little less often! Also fun in this category this year, Pickup Tow Truck (with 209 pieces), you get the truck, a car to tow, a stranded driver and a tow truck operator.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
LEGO Speed Champions Porsche 911 GT Finish Line
(Lego Systems, Inc. $66.99 Score:)

An engaging build that has plenty of play value once you're done with the construction. The set comes with two Porche racing vehicles (complete with corporate sponsors!), a starting line structure, a winner's area and a pit area. There are two racers (of course), a team worker and a reporter (female).

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
LEGO Pirates The Brick Bounty
(Lego Systems, Inc. $99.55 Score:)

Ahoy! We love when LEGO brings back their Pirates! With 745 pieces this is a more advanced build - would make a very good parent/child project together. The ship comes with four sails, a whole crew, three good guys, pirate treasure, flag, a rowboat and a menacing shark! We love the droppable anchor - your builders are likely to enjoy the cannons that fire! A smaller set, Soldiers Fort ($19.99) is a good add-on - it's a small multi-level structure with a jail cell (pirates can break out of it without too much trouble), a cannon and rowboat.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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