Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Award: Gold
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Review Year: 2013

 


2013 Award
Mega Bloks Barbie Build 'n Style Pet Shop
(Mega Bloks $24.99 Score:)

If you have a reluctant builder, the pink world of Barbie may be appealing.  In a head to head test with Lego’s Friends, the Lego directions got higher grades as being clearer to follow. That said, there were still some who liked the allure of their old pal Barbie. As one mother put it, "I am simply eager to get her working with construction sets that she has otherwise avoided." She really enjoyed building with this smaller set in the collection, although a larger set in the line was less than stabile and frustrating. They say 4 & up, but it will need a lot of help form an adult. Our tester was 8.

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

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2013 Award
LEGO Galaxy Squad Warp Stinger
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:)

We thought this was one of the most unusual LEGO builds we've ever seen. Comes with 310 pieces, including three minifigures. When built it's over 8" high and 10" wide. It was less flexible than we imagined (we thought a wasp would have a flying position.) Our testers agreed that the colors were pretty amazing. It comes with one ball that shoots out of the bottom of the tail (they thought it should come with more).  The set includes many really small pieces that require greater fine motor skills as well as strength to make happen.

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

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2013 Award
Franklin Sports Classic Series Volleyball Set
(Franklin $79.99 Score:)

A multi-generational game for family fun. With younger players use a soft beach ball that is easier to hit. Use it at the beach or in the backyard. This is mid-priced volleyball set that includes poles, spikes, net, a hand pump, and a soft spike ball. Stores in a convenient carrying case that is easy to take along. Available at Target. All ages.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Guidecraft 4-in-1 Flipping Tabletop Easel
(Guidecraft $55 Score:)

A versatile tabletop easel flips from chalkboard to magnetic dry erase board and holds a paper roll, as well. A good size tray holds chalks, markers or other art supplies, depending on the media they are using. This is basic for creative fun and will be used for years. 3 & up.

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

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2013 Award
Scavenger Hunt For Kids Board Game
(University Games $10.99-19.99 Score:)

There are two versions of this game. The more elaborate board game version comes with a two-minute timer, a playing board, pawns, and 100 cards. Turn over two cards and race to be the first to find the objects pictured. Players get to move their pawns on the game board for each object found and extra moves are awarded for returning the object to where it belongs. (Say yea, for neatness!) First player to move across finishing line wins. This is a good game for indoor fun for the family or play date. A simpler version of the game, with more than 100 cards, comes without the timer and playing board. Use your own timer and keep score as the game progresses. First person with X number of cards wins the round. 2-4 players.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Plus Plus 300 Piece Basic Assortment
(Geared for Imagination $$19.99 Score:)

One of the most addictive new building sets we've ever tested. Pleasingly open-ended, this Danish-based company  has just come to the states. There are two different sizes of the shape, the mini (20 mm) and the midi (50 mm).  Each size come in different color schemes (basic, neon, pastel).  The pieces are made of soft plastic (that doesn't hurt your fingers) and can be used to build whatever your child wants them to be- which is why we love them. A fun way to build fine-motor skills. There are also themed sets that we have not yet reviewed.

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

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2013 Award
Lego Friends Rehearsal Stage
(Lego Systems $19.99 Score:)

Stephanie wants to be a superstar. She works out in her rehearsal studio with a revolving platform. She has a guitar, keyboard, and microphone. For dancing she has a ballet bar and mirror and before she goes on stage she puts on her make-up at a dressing table. A 198-piece set with one mini-figure. 5-12

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

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2013 Award
Janod Underwater World 100 Piece Puzzle
(Janod $19.99 Score:)

Handsomely packaged in a sturdy cardboard carrying case, this big 100-piece puzzle is challenging. The pieces are not overly large and there are lots of creatures in the sea. The horizon will offer good starting point clues, as will the bigger fish in the sea. They say 5-8. We think 5-6 will need a lot of help and the upper range will enjoy this more.

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

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2013 Award
Lego Creator Power Mech
(Lego $19.99 Score:)

One of the clever 3-in-1 building sets. Our tester liked making the action figure, a robot and then converted it to a helicopter and then to a pick-up truck. Makes a good birthday party gift for school age kids. A versatile construction set with 223-pieces and clear directions for 7-12.

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

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2013 Award
Lego Creator Power Mech
(Lego $19.99 Score:)

One of the clever 3-in-1 building sets. Our tester liked making the action figure, a robot and then converted it to a helicopter and then to a pick-up truck. A versatile construction set with 223-pieces and clear directions for 7-12.


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

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