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Product Type: Toys

 

 
2015 Awards
Manhattan Toy Lovies Payton Puppy
(Manhattan Toy $12 Score:)

You can find this adorable black and white pooch in three sizes, each with a slightly crooked face and angular ears that stand up and make him all the more appealing. He's done in silky plush, has pellets inside so he can sit on his lightly weighted bottom. We have the 5.5 handful and the one marked large. Either will be a perfect huggable to take wherever your toddler is off to. This is one of those classics that both boys and girls like to take wherever they go. They have no agenda or tricks Like a good old teddy bear ot floppy bunny, Payton Puppy will listen to whatever a child has to say and do whatever heís told. Heíll be completely loving with no questions as to who is the boss.

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

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2015 Awards
Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Boy Doll
(Manhattan Toy $35 Score:)

In his deep aqua blue and white one-sie with licks of bright yellow and a dinosaur, this all fabric huggable with stitched features and a tuft of yellow fabric hair on top, is a sweet first birthday gift. Like all Baby Stella dolls he comes with a pacifier that has a magnet sewn inside so it sticks on with little effort and no danger. He's part of a line of adorable first dolls. This season there is also a Sweet Dreams Stella ($45) in Lavender print pajamas. Ready for bed, this doll has a big fabric bottle and a small cuddly lamb in her arms. She has a matching Bunkie with a magnet sewn inside and unlike others, this one is scented with lavender, which may be pleasant, but we usually avoid scented toys since they can tick of allergies for some. 12 months and up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Vtech Baby Lil' Critters Soothing Starlight Hippo
(V-Tech $24 Score:)

Our tester loved the multiple ways this baby toy works. It can light up the nursery ceiling with tiny stars and rocket ships. It has soothing nature sounds, a voice sensor that will play when baby cries, and dozens of songs and nursery rhymes. There is a timer and volume control. This does require 2AA batteries. It's not really designed for baby to handle, but it has fabric head, legs and tail with a hard plastic body where all the controls are for you to set.Older kids are going to want to make things happen thmselves. For starters, it's a good diversion that just might sooth your wide awake baby and lull him to sleep. Newborns & up

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Play-Doh Crazy Cuts
(Hasbro $14.99 Score:)

Chances are you had a set that looked a lot like this old favorite play-doh hair styling kit. But, wait! We bet your set did not have the option for a Mohawk haircut. For the 21st century child, this updated classic comes with a three thimble heads, six cans of play-doh, a scissors for trimming and a tall barber chair with a crank that turns and makes the clients hair grow. It's a fun toy that many children will enjoy returning to often. Turning the crank calls for some muscle power and choice making, too. 3 & up

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Guidecraft 74-piece Organics-Powerclix
(Guidecraft $80.00 Score:)

Colorful translucent plastics in interesting new magnetic shapes give kids a new range of possibilities for creating some amazing constructions with 74-pieces in eight different shapes. There are instructions for reproducing some 3-D constructions and following those pictorial instructions will challenge kids to stay with a task and use visual clues as they hone their eye hand skills. But it's not just about reproducing a model. These pieces allow for discovery and open-ended creations. This is one of those STEM toys that gives children hands on experience with symmetry and spatial concepts and will be interesting to both girls and boys. 5 & up.

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

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2015 Award
Gamewright Dragonwood
(Gamewright $14.99 Score:)

Billed as a game of dice and daring, we have to say, enter the mythical forest at your own risk! Dragonwood is the frightful habitat of all manner of nasty ogres, goblins and firebreathing-you-know-whats. Our test family gave it high grades for entertaining fun for kids and adults alike. When asked, 'What did you like about it?' they said, 'Everything!' What didn't they like? Their answer was 'Nothing!'

Youíll need to collect adventurer cards to earn dice to out-toss your opponents. It takes strategy to make your way through and a good dose of courage will help, too. There are a lot of rules to master here, but this is the kind of game that goes on for at least 20 minutes and will capture the imagination of 8's and up.

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

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2015 Awards
North American Bear Little Princess, 14-inch Doll
(North American Bear Co. $25 Score:)

A charming Little Princess Ballerina with a hot pink torso and lighter pink satin tutu. Her clothes do not come off, so she is right for toddlers who will appreciate the feel of the fabric and the bows on her pink slippers. Her brownish velour hair is not comb-able but is sewn in place in the shape of an up-sweep. With her long legs and arms, stitched-on features and lack of complications, she makes an easy to take along huggable for all ages.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Awards
Lincoln Logs 100th Anniversary Set
(KNEX $73 Score:)

A giant size tin container holds a 111-piece set of Lincoln Logs; truly a collector's item with all wooden pieces. This is you dad's all wooden Lincoln Log set...if he is old enough. In any case, it is just the way today's grandparents remember their Lincoln Logs days before premade plastic eaves and roof pieces came along. A great set for multiple kids to enjoy together. Pull this out if you have frequent visiting grandkids. It will keep them busy or get down on the floor and build a village of log structures with them. Labels on Lincoln Logs are often marked for 3 and up. Forget that! All a three year old can do is watch you build, knock them down or be frustrated trying to build them up. Save this for your older 5, 6 and 7 year olds and be prepared to work with them until they get the hang of how the logs fit together and how to stack the roof pieces so they donít all clatter down. Kids get a real sense of accomplishment from learning how to do this and trying to assemble different structures. It calls for visual discrimination as well as dexterity and problem solving. This is no instantaneous toy. It takes patience and thinking.

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

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2015 Award
Lincoln Logs Oak Creek Lodge
(KNEX $39.99 Score:)

This season's mid size Lincoln Log set has 137 pieces and a relatively simple build. A lodge built of traditional wooden logs with plastic door, windows and roof. Not quite your classic log cabin, by any means. Marked for 3 and up, this is simply not for 3's or most 4's. Getting the logs in place takes more visual and manual dexterity than any three year old can bring to it. You may have loved this toy, but if you are doing the building for them, you are simply diminishing of the real worth of this timeless building set. Save the Lincoln Logs for 5's, 6's and even 7's. That is when they can really figure out how these logs work and have the pleasure of making a house stand. For 3's bring on the wooden blocks or duplo blocks.

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

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2015 Awards
Manhattan Toy Groovy Girl Suki
(Manhattan Toy $14.95 Score:)

With her black straight hair and bangs threaded through with touches of pink, Suki is wearing an aqua glitter halter top dress with a flowery pink and aqua skirt. Her two tone pink shoes add the finishing touch. With stitched features and no small doodads, Suki is a soft fabric doll that girls of 3 and up will love taking wherever they go. Also new this season, Reagan, a Groovy Girl with reddishyarn ponytail laced with some blue threads to match the trim on her dress and flowery tights. She wears an aqua tulle skirt with her yellow and white shell blouse. Her light tan skin tone makes her blue stitched eyes stand out on her happy grinning face. Those silver shoes do not come off, but add a flair to this lovable newcomer in the Groovy Gilr collection. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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