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Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 

Roboreptile and RS Media
(WowWee $350 Score:) RS promises to provide all of your media needs in the package of an interactive robot. Comes with a small color LCD screen on his chest, tweeters and woofer, a USB connector, and music playback; you can input data from your PC. Comes loaded with four personalities (each with its own distinct animations and expressions). Comes with 50 MB of internal memory or you can use an external memory card (additional purchase required). Also new, Roboreptile ($120 4), the latest in the robo “creature” line, 21⁄4' long, is truly creepy in that Jurassic Park/Terminator kind of way, with 28 remote functions. We found him less responsive to commands than his predecessors. 8 & up. Still top rated, the less expensive earlier versions: Robosapien ($99) and Robosapien V2 ($250); and Roboraptor ($100 ), a scary 32"-long white robotic dino that thinks he’s in a scene from “Jurassic Park.” He hisses and snaps. For our older toy testers this was cool. (Some little siblings may truly be freaked out by his aggressive nature). 10 & up. (800) 310-3033.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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K'nex Vertical Vengeance Coaster
(KNEX $59.99 Score:) Here is the latest twist on a K’nex roller coaster. This one is over 5 feet high, with a motorized chain lift that takes two cars to the top—where they zoom down the loops and spiral turns of 33 feet of track. Our crack K’nex testers gave the directions very poor ratings. Ages 10 & up. For younger K’nex builders, Light ups! 30 Models Kit ($29.99) looks challenging with rods that light, but not available for testing; also Gear Action Building Sets ($29.99 3) that have gear-driven motion; these work, but directions are not clear. 7 & up. (800) 543-5639.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Mag XL Magformers
(Rainbow Products $16.99 Score:) Here’s the newest fun in magnetic toys! Choose a set of either 14 or 30 geometric squares and triangles that can be set down on a flat surface. Give them a lift and—abracadabra—you have a 3-D ball that clicks together! Kids will have fun exploring the countless ways to invent new connections and constructions. Safe enough to leave out on the coffee table with no small magnets to worry over. This will entice grownups as well as kids. 5 & up. (541) 826-9007.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Cosmic Catch
(Hasbro $24.99 Score:) A great game for the whole family! Everyone wears a different colored band on their hands and the ball then identifies each player by passing it around once. Our favorite game mode is much like Simon Says—the ball calls out the color that it should be passed to next. If you make a mistake, the game is over. There are more challenging games, in which you have to break the “code” the ball has in mind. 7 & up, but will also be enjoyed by older siblings and family members. 2–6 players. (888) 836-7025.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Scavenger Hunt for Kids
(Pazow $6.98 Score:) Here’s a great card game for a play date, birthday party, or sleep-over. Sure, you can write your own cards for a scavenger hunt; in fact, this comes with some blanks for that purpose. But this comes ready-made with a basic game, a race version, and a team variation. There are three items on each card and players must find all of them. Bonus points are also awarded for the first to put the found objects away. Designed for 8 & up. (415) 885-5006.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Tangoes Jr.
(3M $25 Score:) A handsome new game based on Tangrams, the classic geometric puzzle game. Seven puzzle pieces with magnets inside fit into a tray that stores under a magnetic playing board. There are two levels of play. Level one cards allow for matching geometric shapes on the card; level 2 shows only a silhouette that child builds on. So this grows more challenging. Excellent for travel or home. They say 4 & up; we’d say save this for 5–8. (800) 542-6375.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Roll 'n Multiply
(3M $24.99 Score:) Our testers agreed this is a good way to work on multiplication facts. Roll the dice and multiply, then take the disk with that number and place it on the board. Your objective is to get four of your color tiles in a row while blocking your opponent. Beginners check answers with multiplication table—more advanced players must multiply without the table. (408) 247-3298.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Sudoku
(Briarpatch $19.95 Score:) The object of this seemingly simple game is to put all the numbers in order from one to nine in a nine grid board. But this is a real brainteaser that calls for logic, problem solving, and patience. Unlike the book versions with lots of erasing, this elegantly designed board has Scrabble-like playing pieces printed in red on one side and black on the other. Set up the puzzle with red side chips and solve with black side showing. Comes with booklet of 100 puzzles waiting to be solved. Addictive! 7 to 77+. (800) 232-7427.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Create Your Own Books
(Creativity for Kids $15.99 Score:) Two blank books, one with a “window” cut out of the cover and pages that a photograph will show through. This could make a great book that’s all about one person or a pet or a special place. A second book is notebook-sized and has lined paper with spaces for illustrations, plus colored pencils and stickers. These are open-ended materials for the budding author/artist. Comes with some suggestions for creating rough drafts and a list of story starter ideas. Says 4 & up, but this is likely to be a better choice for 5–9s. (800) 311-8684.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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200 Award
Decoupage Diva Jewelry Keeper
(Creativity for Kids $21.99 Score:) Kids get a test run on decoupage with this mini-armoire with mirrored lid, doors that hold bracelets, interior for necklaces, and bottom drawer for pins and such. Comes with paper accents, sequins, and sparkle glaze. 8 & up. (800) 311-8684.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 200.

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