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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Vehicles

 


2014 Awards
Story Time Safari Train Set
(Janod $70 Score:)


After spending part of April on Safari, it's no surprise that this little painted train set with ranger, tourist, lion, zebra, elephant, rhino, crocodile, monkey, swinging bridge, and other accessories are most appealing to your reviewer! The train cars and tracks are compatible with other wooden train sets. There are sixteen pieces of track that can be assembled in multiple ways. Our three year old tester agrees. His mom reports:

"He is still playing with it for extended periods of time (over one hour) and finding new ways to interest him.  He likes to assemble the track in different ways and then the train and animals in different ways.  We are amazed at how long this toy held his attention.  He has played solidly with it for 4 days for several 1+ hour sessions each day.  I would say the is longer than any other toy we have seen him play with."

She added that "At first he liked playing with individual figures and then assembling the track in many different ways.  He liked that he could do it himself with the easy to put together tracks.  After a couple of times playing with it, he liked to stack the animals into the train cars in different ways and even balance them on top of each other.  This toy also had him using his imagination with the people looking at Safari animals."

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

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2014 Awards
Tobo Toy Track Set
(Tobo Toys $40 Score:)

Our testers liked this versatile and unusual new track that comes with only one small wooden car, but will be used with other vehicles and wooden train track set-ups. The twelve wooden pieces have multiple interlocking tabs in several shapes that are imprinted with numerals to match up. There are a variety of ways to make these connections, so in spite of the numerals, it is a pretty open-ended track that is compatible with Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends, Brio and other car and train tracks. A fun accessory for problem solving, matching numerals, fine motor skills, creative thinking, and giving old track toys a new possibilities. 3 & up.

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

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2013 Award
Thomas & Friends Trackmaster Motorized Railway Castle Quest Set
(Fisher-Price $59.99 Score:)

Fans of Thomas will enjoy playing with this large track set that includes an elevated circular track portion, a castle turret, a collapsing mine tunnel, a break way stone wall, a broken track that has a swinging crane to replace the track with and a gate that drops down in the castle. Thomas is on the search for the King's missing crown (included). The collapsing mine is super fun as Thomas passes through it. Comes with the battery-powered Thomas and attached cargo train. You can buy additional trains.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Sesame Street Elmo Junction 2 in 1 Car and Train Set
(Hasbro $44.99 Score:)

We're not usually big fans of plastic train track sets, but this one is really fun and right on target for fans of Sesame Street. The set comes with both Elmo in a train and Grover in a little car. Elmo, the train conductor, speaks (powered by batteries). The train itself is not battery-powered so kids have to move him around the track -  a good thing in our book. It makes the toy more engaging and less about watching something happen. The other really positive aspect of this toy is that you can fold up part of the track to make an elevated roadway for Grover. There's also a ramp for Grover to reach the ground level. At the center of the track is a Sesame Street train station with a clock on top. Lots of pretend possibilities here. A winner for the older toddler/preschool crowd. 2 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Dino Construction T-Rex Skid Loader Vehicle
(Educational Insights $39.99 Score:)

Construction trucks and dinosaurs--what a winning combination! The T-Rex Skid Loader has an action neck, movable jaws, and a smashing tail. This is one of a collection of dino trucks, made without metal parts, so it will work in the sandbox, at the beach, in snow drifts, or indoors with blocks. It leaves dino footprints in the sand and needs no batteries. Also fun, Boom, Brachiosaurus Backhoe, Spike, the Ankylosaurus Steam Roller, and the Wrecker.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Automoblox X9 Fire SUV
(Automoblox $45 Score:)

Much bigger than the original Automoblox, this has an extended center block, snazzy big wheels with red treds, and has bold rescue graphics. The roof holds a light bar that appears to be illuminated. Take it apart and rebuild it, this is part puzzle/construction toy, part vehicle for pretend play. The wooden parts are smooth and beautifully finished and the wheels have rubbery treads. Combine parts with other automoblox for creative designers. 3 & up

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Automoblox T900 Rescue Truck
(Automoblox $50 Score:)

Much bigger than the original Automoblox, this has an extended center block and bold graphics. The roof holds a light bar that appears to be illuminated. Take it apart and rebuild it, this is part puzzle/construction toy, part vehicle for pretend play. The wooden parts are smooth and beautifully finished and the wheels have rubbery treads. Combine parts with other automoblox for creative designers. 3 & up

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Automoblox S9 Police Car
(Automoblox $45 Score:)

Much bigger than the original Automoblox, this one has an extended center block and has bold police graphics. The roof holds a light bar that appears to be illuminated. Take it apart and rebuild it, this is part puzzle/construction toy, part vehicle for pretend play. The wooden parts are smooth and beautifully finished and the wheels have rubbery treads. Combine parts with other automoblox for creative designers. 3 & up

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Neat-Oh Hot Wheels Crash Racer Backpack
(Neat-Oh $20 Score:)

A small backpack that is shaped like a racing car and unzips to become a race track. This is not a backpack for carrying lots of school books and such. It is more like a fun carry along to a play date. It comes in several color choices and with one hot wheels racing car to use on the small ramp. 3 & up

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Dino Construction Spike, Ankylosaurus Steam Roller
(Educational Insights $39.99 Score:)

Construction trucks and dinosaurs--what a winning combination! This is one of a collection of dino trucks, made without metal or electronic parts so it will work in the sandbox, at the beach, in snow, or indoors with blocks. Spike, Ankylosaurus the Steam Roller, moves on big tough rollers, has a moving studded tail that is segmented, a body that pivots, a swiveling head, and jaws that snap! It needs no batteries. Also fun, T-Top the Bulldozer, Boom Brachiosaurus Backhoe, and Wrecker the T-Rex Skid Loader. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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