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

 


2006 Award
Grande Mansion
(Playmobil $170 Score:) Part construction set/mostly pretend setting, Grande Mansion has two stories and a usable attic; this yellow house has an old world charm that will be a memorable gift. Younger kids will need help with assembly. This is a fun parent child project if you're so inclined!

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Roboraptor
(WowWee $100 Score:) As friendly as Robosapien was last year, Roboraptor is scary. A 32"-long white robotic dino, he acts like a predator! His sensors allow him to react to his environment which sometimes means he’ll hiss, snap, and generally creep you out. For our older toy testers this was cool. (Some little siblings may truly be freaked out by his aggressive nature). Easy to control, although “running” mode looks more like a fast walk. Also new for 2006, WowWee Alive Chimpanzee ($130) is a chimp head with “facetronics” that come alive with motion and sounds. Talk about creepy! Prototype was amazing, but it was not ready for testing. 10 & up. (800) 310-3033.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2007 Award
My Picnic Basket
(Alex $20 Score:)

We liked the sturdiness of this 18-piece set that comes with blue enamelware including plates, cups, spoons, forks, and tablecloth. Great for real picnics or pretend tea parties.   All stored in a lovely wicker basket that closes- just like the real thing.  5 & up.


Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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D REX Interactive Dinosaur
(Mattel $149.99 Score:)

D REX is the most ferocious of the new dinos on the market. He walks, charges, chomps, roars and will respond to your voice and commands. He is covered with a reptile-ish skin to make him more life like than the recent crop of robotic dinos. When we first saw D REX at toy fair, it was clear this was the dino that you would scare your little sister with. He also promises to have a room guard mode. We look forward to testing him. For a slightly less scary dino, look at Fisher-Price's Spike and for the preschool set, Playkool's Kota My Tricertaops.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
HexBug Micro Robotic Creatures
(Innovation First $14.99 Score:)

A late arrival--but well worth the wait! These very small robotic creatures delighted our testers both young and old. Available in several colors (our favorite, red!) The Crab has light and sound sensors and will change direction based on both. The Inchworm comes with a small remote control and moves back and forth and in circles...lots of fun to play with. We LOVE that they come loaded and ready to play with right from the start. A great gift for older kids, teens and even grown ups. They make great office toys!

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2005 Award
Castle of Morcia
(Lego Systems, Inc. $89.99 Score:) If all things medieval intrigue your builder, bring home this satisfying new castle from the new Knights' Kingdom series. Each component fits onto a plastic base, there are lots of moving pieces, and as our tester commented: "just a lot of pieces—but it wasn’t hard!" There’s also a new Hogwarts Castle ($89.99/928 pieces), "smaller than the original." "Neat, the way you build several towers that then connect." Experienced testers found it difficult to make the wind-up motor for the clock tower work, but gave overall high marks (they especially like the moving staircases). Also a hit, the Knight Bus ($29.99/242 pieces), straight out of the pages of Book 3. 8–12. (800) 233-8756.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Hogwarts Castle
(Lego Systems, Inc. $89.99 Score:) Our testers wrote: "smaller than the original, but neat the way you build several towers that then connect." Experienced testers found it difficult to make the wind-up motor for the clock tower work, but gave overall high marks (they especially like the moving staircases). Also a hit, the Knight Bus ($29.99 ), straight out of the pages of Book 3. 8–12. (800) 233-8756.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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