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Product Type: Toys

 


2014 Award
Disney Get Better Talking Mobile
(Disney $49.99 Score:)

Forget the old black Doctor's bag that kids played with for generations. Young medics now have a van that is loaded with lights, sounds EKG, stethoscope, thermometer, and bandage dispenser to care for their ailing dolls or playmates. There is even a gurney and seat for the teddy bear or doll in need of medical attention. Oh, and yes, it even plays the Doc Mobile song. A very large piece of plastic, but for Doc McStuffins fans this is a play setting with lots of potential.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Disney Walk n’ Talk Doc Mobile
(Disney $35 Score:)

Fans of Doc McStuffins are going to clamor for this novelty version that features Doc walking with her Mobil van. It's pretty much a watching toy. You put the handle of the van into the hole in Doc's fist, push the button and off she goes, pulling her van behind her. There's music and action and your player will need to provide the drama. We suspect this will be a wow for a brief shining moment. Doc is made of rigid plastic—she needs a strong core. On testing she did fall on her face a few times, but with luck she will walk upright and sing at the same time. Not a must have buy unless it is on top of the wish list and then, only maybe.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Magformers 83 Piece Magnets in Motion Power Set
(Magformers $179.99 Score:)

Here is the super duper uber size Magformer set that includes gears, a generator, and all the shapes needed for building exciting constructions that move. A pricey set that will challenge and large enough for several kids to share. Like all Magformer sets, this involves science, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience and imagination. Kids are going to have good fun building machines that they can activate with the colorful gears and crank for getting all those parts moving or use the generator to get things going. There are big and little gears, colorful image plates that swirl when they turn, creating optical illusions. This primary colored set is gender neutral and comes with step by step instructions for making their models, though the pieces can be used in an open ended way for making their own creations.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Magformer 83 Piece Safari Set
(Magformers $149 Score:)

This is the super size Magformers set, big enough for several kids to share. The step-by-step instruction book has ideas for building an entire zoo. It comes with 12 different shapes annd iseas for building giraffes, flamingos, rhino, elephant, camel, lion, and more. A gender neutral set that should appeal to boys and girls. Like so many of the Magformer sets, this involves, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience and imagination. They say 3 & up, we think 3's will like playing with the pieces that are safe since the magnets are embedded in large plastic pieces. But making these complex builds is more like a task for 5- 6's and up.

Age: . Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Magformers 62 piece Classic Set
(Magformers $99 Score:)

This is where we started when Magformers were first introduced. It has all the basic pieces for making a dome, a square, a star and so many other geometric forms. We have to confess, we loved the dome that goes together like magic and remains a favorite at the toyportfolio. Like all of the Magformer sets, this involves, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience, science, and imagination. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Magformers 62 piece Inspire Design
(Magformers $99 Score:)

Designed to appeal to girls with hot pink, lavender, powder blue, pink and magenta pieces, this construction set had magnets embedded in plastic shapes, so it is safe, yet challenging, inviting kids to investigate in a hands on way how magnets attract and repel, how they can put the pieces together to make three dimensional designs. This big set comes with a step-by-step instruction booklet for creating all sorts of geometric constructions. Like so many of the Magformer sets, this involves, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience, science, and imagination. Do we think girls need special colors to entice them? No, but apparently it does appeal to some who might otherwise not do any construction play. That would be a greater loss, since developing spatial skills and this kind of thinking should not be reserved for boys only. It this is the ticket--we say go for it.  6 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Beige Soft Nurturing First Baby Doll
(Manhattan Toy $35 Score:)

A perfect first doll, this year's Baby Stella has a removable outfit, diaper and a magnetic pacifier. She wears a pink and yellow romper and headband with a pretty yellow bow, of course. Her features are stitched for safe play and her soft huggable 15" body has heft without being heavy for toddlers to enjoy. There are other Baby Stellas in the collection. This year the featured doll has a beige tone body and big brown eyes. There are a number of other choices in the Stella collection; some with peachy skin ton and with yellow tufts of felt hair rather than the brown on this one. Look also for made for Stella beds, chairs, and many accessories for dramatic play. 12 months & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Manhattan Toy Delightfuls Duffy Dog
(Manhattan Toy $18 & up Score:)

A delicious armful, Duffy Dog is a taffy colored pooch with dark brown floppy ears, velvety nose and tail. His furry coat is shaggy and his body has pellets to weigh down the bottom for sitting. He's huggable as a pooch can be and comes in two sizes, large 15" and medium 12".

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Manhattan Toy Snuggle Pods
(Manhattan Toy $18 and $25 Score:)

A sweet plush 8-inch doll that fits into its own plush pod like bed. This one is called Snuggle Bug, though it doesn’t really look like a bug. The satin lined pod has ribbons, embroidered spots and felt-like feelers; all interesting to the touch. The doll has all stitched features and a soft easy to grasp body. Designed as a first doll for little ones, this is more about the textures, and fun of pulling the doll out of the pod. Being able to put it back in will take longer, as will pretend play. Marked 6 months and up.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Magformers Magnets in Motion 37 Piece Set
(Magformers $59.99 Score:)

This is a mid size variation of the big Magnets in Motion set that combines gears and magformers to build some amazing machines. It has a snap on crank handle and plenty of big and small gears with colorful discs that create optical illusions in motion. Like so many of the Magformer sets, this involves, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience, science, and imagination. This interesting set comes with a step-by-step instruction booklet for creating all sorts of constructions with gears. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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