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Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2015 Award
Project Mc2 Doll Mckeyla and Lava Lamp Experiment
(MGA Entertainment $24.99 Score:)

One of a new collection of Mc2 dolls that comes with a different science experiment for each doll--experiments that really work! Fashionably dressed in patterned knee highs and boots, jean shorts and jacket and a stylish black fedora and long glorious brunette hair. Mckeyla is a beauty who also likes reading detective stories and doing science. She comes with directions and parts for assembling a a working lava lamp that really bubbles. Her kit does not include the food coloring, veggie oil or effervescent tablet (as in Polident or Alka-selter) she needs. That said, the little lamp is very cool! Like the other dolls in this line she's more than just a pretty face. A playful way into STEM learning. 6 & 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
Project Mc2 Doll Camryn and Skateboard Experiment
(MGA Entertainment $24.99 Score:)

One of a new collection of Mc2 dolls that comes with a different science experiment for each doll--experiments that really work! Fashionably dressed in patterned stretch tights, glitzy patterned shorts, a chartreuse knit top, and patterned headband on her long glorious red hair. Camryn, is a beauty who also likes science and the thrill of skateboarding. She comes with blueprint paper that magically reveals the directions for assembling a skateboard she will be able to use. Like the other dolls in this line she’s more than just a pretty face. A playful way into STEM learning. 6 & 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
Max Traxx Infinity Loop Set
(Skullduggery $119.99 Score:)

Here's the ultimate Max Traxxx Tracer Racers RC Set with a glow-in-the-dark dual loop, 6 dual glow-in-the-dark corners, over 46-feet of glow-in-the-dark track plus 2 remote control Tracer Racers. Kids can set up a variety of own customized racing circuits and then—let the races begin! Like previous Platinum Award winners, these Tracer Racers utilize Light Trail Technology as streak along leaving a trail of lights on the showy Glow-in-the-Dark track. Each Tracer Racer beams down purple light rays from its undercarriage onto the specially engineered track and leaves a glow long after the racer has passed. This is fun to use in light or dark, but they are the most fun when you turn the lights down and the racers and tracks light give off their drama! There are less costly and less complex sets worth considering. Check earlier listings for award winning Max Traxxx sets. The good news is the tracks are interchangeable, so you can combine old sets with new. This big set has a more complex track layout and may need adult assistance to get it set 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
MiP Robot Miposaur
(Wow Wee $119.99 Score:)

In terms of what they can do,these are the most elaborate of the year's dinos. The company says their MiP Robot has "evolving intelligence" for progressive play. Yikes. You can take him through his paces through hand gestures or using an APP that also allows you to make him go, dance, chase, etc. Comes with a "Beacon Sense" infused trackball so that Miposaur can't get lost.  8 & up.

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

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2015 Award
Skyrocket Chocolate Pen Kit
(Skyrocket Toys $29.99 Score:)

First we ned to confess; we are chocolahaulics. In spite of that, we usually avoid activity kits that are loaded with sugar. That said, we thought a few holiday sweets would be acceptable and besides--this is such an exceptional idea! Skyrocket's Chocolate pen kit lets you write in liquid confectioners chocolate. Kids can draw one-of-a-kind delicious shapes, letters, or use the molds to make designs. The chocolate melts simply by putting the pen kits in warm water; that's another feature we like a lot. No need to put things in the microwave oven with all the worry of someone getting burned from the hot liquid. The chocolate hardens at room temperature. You might even call this a STEM project, seeing how soldis turn to liquids and then back to solids again. Yes, it is educational and neat, too. The chocolate is self-contained and the melted candy never actually touches the pen; so clean up is pretty simple, too. The kit includes a half pound of premium confectioners chocolate in multiple colors, 50 candy molds, multiple pen tips, and gift bags specially made to share your custom candy creations. What a sweet way to learn your letters or make yummy chocolate gifts for friends and family. A fun family do-it-together project. Candy Craft refills and themed molds are sold separately. www.skyrockettoys.com

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
Goldie Blox Craftstruction Box
(Goldie Blox $39.99 Score:)

With this 275-piece construction set, kids can use the goodies in this box for all kinds of building possibilities; kids can build a Spring Car that really zooms, a flower with a stem that expands, a Leap Bot that actually leaps, a flyer that flings through the air and several other devices. They have a sense of humor as well as a basis in science, helping kids discover how many basic machines actually work. We like the poster that shows various models to build as well as proper names for many of the building parts. GoldieBlox pieces are compatible with all other GoldieBlox toys, as well as special craft items like pipe cleaners, string, and pretty papers. Add other items from around the house to extend the play and recycle materials. A great STEM toy that will enhance understanding and play. 

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
Thames and Kosmos Dimension Game
(Thames and Kosmos 49 $39.99 Score:)

Dimension is a handsome looking and fast paced game with players racing the timer and other players to arrange their balls to match the image on the task card. Everyone plays at the same time. Players get a point for every ball they use correctly and win a bonus if they manage to use all five. But watch out! You lose two points for any task card you do wrong. 1-4 players. Testers gave this a high five. 10 & up.

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

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2015 Award
Roominate Amusement Park
(Roominate $60 Score:)

Everything you need to build your own amusement park comes with this 282-piece set along with clear instructions for building a Ferris Wheel, a pirate ship that swings, a tea cup ride, concession stands, and more. The kit includes columns, wheels, axles, lights, wall panels, connectors, battery packs, screwdriver, stickers, a doll, a pet, and motor. It requires 6 AAA batteries, not included. The focus of Roominate sets is not just building but learning how to build circuits that will power the rides! The set can be made to work by remote control with what they call rPower (you control via your smartphone or tablet). rPower is sold separately. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
Zoomer Kitty, Midnight
(Zoomer $99 Score:)

It was love at first sight for our tester as Midnight, the magical kitty, showed off her tricks. MIdnight comes with a magic wand that will catch her attention when you wave it in front of her and she turns her head from side to side. Her eyes also change color while you play, her way of letting you know how she’s feeling. Midnight has sensors in her head, cheeks and ears and will purr with pleasure, just like a real cat. Unlike the furry kind, she can sing, dance and do tricks on demand (she is less independent and purr-snickety than any real cat. She is also an allergy free pet. 5-10

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
Zoomer Chomplingz Tiger Tail
(Zoomer $39.99 Score:)

Tiger Tail is a less costly and a smaller dino than Zoomer Jester. That said, he is always ready for a bite. Try Hot Hands; put your hand in Tiger's mouth and pull it out before he can pull his teeth down on you.
Watch Tiger Tail try to catch his Dino Bone! He's motion activated or push his tail down and see him take off. This is a fun choice for 5-10's.

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

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