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Product Type: Toys

 


2014 Award
Gravity Maze
(ThinkFun $29.99 Score:)

A fun twist on Think Fun's usual brain teasers. The game board comes with spaces for placing plastic cubes that make up towers of different heights. The goal is create a maze (using the towers) that gets the marble from point A to point B on the board. The challenges (there are 60 in the set) becomes increasingly more difficult. A good choice for parent/child gaming. 

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

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2014 Award
Disney Fire & Rescue Piston Peak Air Attack
(Mattel $34.99 Score:)

Oh, Oh! There's a fire up there in the peaks and the only way to put it out is with an air attack. Take off by pulling the charger handle and watch that Firefighter Dusty go! This is typical of all one trick toys that do the same thing again and again. It requires an adult to assemble and like most track toys this is a closed system with no possibility for variation. That said, for fans of Planes, it will probably be a wowee gift for a little while, although probably not for long. One advantage over normal race track sets, the plane is tethered so it won't go lost. A novelty toy that will have a short play life--just saying. If you have a limited budget you might want to look further for something more open-ended. 6 & up

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

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2014 Awards
Kids Preferred Socks Rock Dolls
(Kids Preferred $21.99 Score:)

Designed for toddlers, these big-eyed fabric dolls with stitched features have just the right heft for a good sized armful. They have fabric hair as a safety feature, since two's are not ready for fine haired wigs on dolls that they might mouth. You can choose from a yellow haired, blue-eyed doll in s pink outfit with patterned pink socks or a brown haired and brown eyed gal in yellow blouse and pink skirt with an overlayer of netting or there's a pink haired doll in lavender blouse and plaid skirt. All of these dolls have non removable dresses with high socks AND they come with a matching pair of socks that your child can wear. With long legs and arms that are easy to grab and take about, these are child-friendly dolls for beginners. THis is one of many that come in different colors.  2 & up.

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

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2014 Awards
Fur Real Friends Get Up & GoGo, My Walkin' Pup
(Hasbro $59.99 Score:)

Newest take on Fur Real Friends: A very cute Furry White pooch on a bright pink leash. Use the remote to take her for a walk or make her sit. If you talk to her she responds with little barks that will not scare anyone. There is also an free app that you can down load with more ways to play. For the child who longs for a puppy who may be allergic to real fur or live where pets are not possible, this is the next best choice. It's not going to take the place of a real pet, but it can be quite satisfying for a while, and doesn't need house-breaking, either. 4 & up.

SNAP: A good toy too motivate active and interactive play. Getting the puppy to move motivates kids to use fine motor skills to use the remote and large motor skills to walk the pup around. The pup also responds to your talking, so this is a toy for all kinds of active learning and play. Even recalling how to make the pup bark wag its tail tilt her head and walk involve curiosity, discovery and memory.

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

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2014 Awards
Fur Real Friends Pom Pom, My Baby Panda
(Hasbro $49.99 Score:)

A new player in the FurReal Friends line, PomPom, a baby panda walks when you shake a rattle, slurps when fed with her special bottle and will wiggle, giggle and talk back. Like all electronic dolls, she's not especially soft and cuddly, but she is interactive and if you own GoGo, My Walkin' Pup they can talk to each other--just sayin' Both are pure novelty items.

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

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2014 Award
Crayola Shadow FX Color Projector
(Crayola $24 Score:)

Kids can use this innovative color projector in a number of different ways. They can draw designs on a see-through panel and project their original images on the wall with the three colored lights that pivot and allow kids to change the colors and brightness. Kids can place objects or themselves between the light and the wall to make shadow puppet shows or use the shapes provided in the kit. The projector has telescope arms so you can widen the projections. This is one of those fun art kits with a scientific edge, inviting kids to discover in a hands-on way how shadows, lights, and colors can create all kinds of images, large and small. It is also fun for storytelling and artistic expression. Kit includes special FX Gel Markers that can be stored in the base.  Testers preferred this projector to Crayola's new ceiling model. Requires 3 AA batteries. 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 Award
Crayola Virtual Design Pro-Fashion Set
(Crayola $38.99 Score:)

This is the deluxe version of the Crayola Virtual Pro-Fashion Design kit, one of the most innovative activity kits to come down the pike in a long time. Kids can create their own fabulous fashions in the 20 page Sketch Book by coloring the front and back of the images in the booklet. Next they take photos of their designs with their device, meaning smart phone or i-pad. Using the My Virtual app to customize the models looks and accessories, they create models ready for the runway. Once the designing is done, they can watch their original fashions come to life as 3-D models walk up and down the runway, showing front and back of their fashion. Their creations can be saved on the device to view again and again. Instead of giving over your device, most of the designing is done on paper and then viewed on the device. Now, this is technology they gotta love if they are into fashion! They say 6 & up. Wed say slightly older girls will put more into using this as more than a coloring book. The more design elements that older girls can add, the more impressive this will be. This deluxe kit comes with more tools than the Crayola My Virtual Fashion Show. It includes Design portfolio case, a 20-page design book, 36 colored pencils, pencil sharpener, 20 Super Tips markers, 4 stencils and My Virtual Fashion Show App.

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

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2014 Award
Alex Do-it-Yourself Mustache Jewelry Kit
(Alex $14.99 Score:)

Mustaches are in style this season. This jewelry kit has fifteen ways to make mustache rings, necklaces, bracelets, and other novelty pieces. Our testers loved the kit, especially the extra stick-on mustaches to add to photos. 6 & up.

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

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2014 Award
Zoomer Dino
(Spin Master $100 Score:)

Boomer is a wild Zoomer Dino that players can activate with their remote controller or by using your hands to calm or anger him. He can be trained to dance, spin, roar, and chomp. Watch his eyes because they tell a lot about Boomer's mood. His eyes turn blue when he senses your hand. They turn purple when hes being trained. They go red when hes mad. Want to make him happy? Pat his nose and his eyes will turn green.
Takes 3 AAA batteries. He's a fun pre-historic pet for kids 5 & up.

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

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2014 Award
Spin master Shark Mania
(Spin Master $19.99 Score:)

Our testers laughed as they raced to be the first to get to safety. It is a shark-infested gameboard with pop-up sharks ready to chomp and take you out of the race! The backstory is your pirate ship has run aground and you and your gold are overboard. Getting to the safe island you can collect some of your gold, but watch out! There are hungry sharks that mean to get you before you reach that island. The novel gameboard adds to the fun. 6-11

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

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