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Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers

 

 
2006 Awards
WaterWheel Table
(Step 2 $39.99 Score:) We had mixed reviews on this one. For stand-up water play this seems a great choice for the patio or terrace. It doesn’t take up a lot of room and allows for spilling, filling, splashing, and getting good and wet! But be forewarned, there seem to be problems with leaks! The plugs on the table are not water tight, so you will have to refill this and not use it indoors. That said, this is also a toy that needs total adult supervision. (800) 347-8372. See Preschool chapter for sand and water table, p. 100.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Mega Blok Lil' Cement Truck and Dump Truck
(Mega Bloks $9.99 Score:) These plastic vehicles are just right for 2s and up. They both come with a truckload of Mega Bloks. Just right for pretend construction sites. New for , Lil’ Train Engine ($12.99 ), a colorful engine that holds a stash of blocks. Still top rated, the larger Mega Bloks Wagon ($30 ). A tot-sized red wagon loaded with 50 oversized plastic pegged blocks is fun for making big, fast constructions. Pegs on side of wagon can be used for building up and over. (800) 465-6342.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Lamaze Spin n Stack Rings
(RC2/Learning Curve $24.99 Score:) This stacker has four big plastic rings decorated with interesting textured fabric and ribbons that spin when the music in the post is activated. We thought the big ring would be too big for little hands, but our 10-month old tester loved it and soon figured out how to hit the post to activate music and make the base spin. (800) 704-8697. Still top rated, the Classical Stacker (Fisher-Price $19.99 ) has a post with twinkling lights and sounds as each ring is put on. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Little Mommy Newborn Twin Dolls
(Fisher-Price $16.99 Score:) These bald-headed twin dolls have no moving eyes or small accessories. They’re truly toddler friendly. The realistic vinyl features are painted on. Both heavily scented dolls have soft bodies and the rompers they are wearing do not come off. Both come with a chunky molded bottle. Available now in girl/girl; boy/boy, and girl/boy combos. Also available in African American as well as Caucasian dolls. 18 mos. & up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Big Spunky
(Gund $59.99 Score:) Older toddlers love big dolls to lug about and flop down on from time to time. The trick is to find something large but light enough for these little ones. Big Spunky fills the order. He’s 22" big and available in blue or pink soft plush with patches of white and stitched features for safety’s sake. This is what you call a real armful that will get a lot of loving! For smaller but great choices, consider colorful 11" Tutti Frutti ($20 ) elephant, monkey, or cat, or the classic all-time favoite, Snuffles, a BLUE CHIP bear ($12 and $20 ). (800) 448-4863.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
S.S. Duckie and Up, Up and Away
(Gund $19.95 Score:) If you’re in the back seat with your toddler and you need to go five more exits, these playsets make great choices! These are toys for telling little stories to your tot and hamming it up. There are lots of choices this year! A little ship loaded with two quacking ducks, crinkly starfish, and squeaker fish; or choose a white, red, and blue jet with rattle sounds, male and female pilots, and luggage; or My Doctor kit with two medical play figures and stethoscope. Finally, consider the Lavender Backpack with My Little Baby doll in the carrier and accessories inside the pack. (800) 448-4863.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Roll-a-Rounds Swirlin' Surprise Gumballs
(Fisher-Price $17.99 Score:) Roll-a-Rounds Swirlin’ Surprise Gumballs is a ball drop with a lever that pops the gumballs out. It employs more direct cause and effect, but it does tip over easily. Either is a better choice than the Jungle Friends Treehouse, a frenetic ball drop with over-the-top sounds and twirling bases. We really like the big Drop & Roar Dinosaur best. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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Penguin Bowling
(Infantino $19.99 Score:) Cheerful and colorfully attired penguins are numbered and ready to be knocked down. Our parent testers had some difficulty getting the penguins to stand up before their kids lost interest in bowling. “Throwing” the penguins quckly became the name of the game. (800) 840-4916.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Triple Track Tower
(Playskool $14.95 Score:) Three little cars race down three parallel tracks that are like a giant slide. They can roll free, or be operated with the push of a button that also gives the sound effects of speeding vehicles. Kids can also turn the lever and stop them at the bottom. Good for repetitive action and dramatic play. Since the slides go straight down there is less tracking, or interest, than the typical ball runs with twist-and-turn action. 2 & up. (800) 327-8264.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Peek-a-Blocks Bucket o' Builders
(Fisher-Price $19.95 Score:) Fifteen interesting blocks with see-though sides and interesting objects inside come in a large bucket with a textured lid. Each of the blocks has a bristle-like surface that fits into the lid and into each other. Fun for filling and dumping games, and for tossing and tasting, too. 1 & up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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