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HOLIDAY TOY GUIDE

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by Rebecca Forbes

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Learning Express has its list of the best toys for 2006.  To find a store or purchase items, go to learningexpress.com:

Infant Toddler

  Taggies - Created by an early childhood educator and mother of three, TAGGIES are based on the idea that babies and kids love to rub satin edges, clothing labels and tags. No two tags are alike as each tag has either a different print or texture. Available in blankets, books, preschool toys and new for 2006, Plush Ponies – a Learning Express EXCLUSIVE.
  Zoom Around Garage - This garage will bring a lot of excitement to a child’s car-racing play. Hear "Zooming" sounds as cars race down track and the air pump and gas pump also make noises. The elevator lights up when it goes up and down and the magnetic cars can be used together or separately. From 12 months.
  Lace EM’ Up Dragon – A lacing dragon with 12 beads in snappy shapes, colors and patterns. Oversized beads are easy for little hands to thread. Wooden tip on the lace makes threading a breeze. Create a dragon from head to tail to engage the imagination. From 18 Months                              

Preschool


Plasma Car – Plasma Car is made from state-of-the-art, high-quality ABS plastics, rugged and durable. Kids will like its looks because it’s sleek and aerodynamic, just like a racecar. No batteries, no power cells, no liquid fuel are required. It’s so easy to operate; all it needs is a driver and a smooth, flat surface. Ages 3+
  Thomas the Tank and Friend – Thomas Wooden Railway brings the beloved stories of Thomas & Friends to life and will provide children with a rich world to discover and explore. Ages 3+.  
  Ghost Ship with Papo figures - A 2-mast ship with fabric sails, a stern that opens, rope ladders, working anchor, 2 removable jail cages and an on-board prison. Figures sold separately. Ages 3+
  Folding Trampoline – A perfect exercise for preschoolers, the Folding Trampoline will keep kids jumping all year ‘round. Weatherproof mat and tubular steel frame make it safe and ideal for indoor or outdoor fun. Legs fold down for easy storage. Ages 3+
     
Dolls and Dollhouses

  Groovy Girls – Groovy Girls know that fun & friendship never go out of style. With lots of new dolls, accessories, pets, gear, furnishings and more, Groovy Girls should be more popular than ever. This year, Learning Express is introducing Lexanne – a 2006 Limited Edition exclusive. Clad in her sparkly satin pink dress, coordinating chic handbag, valor pink gloves and a dazzling tiara Lexanne is just ....FANTABULOUS! Ages 6+
  Olivia Dollhouse - The Olivia Dollhouse is perfectly pink and pretty – the most fabulous place for little girls to play and imagine in.  With three floors finished in a whimsical interior design, young girls will have just about everything they could wish for in a dollhouse, including a working elevator with hand crank to travel speedily from the bottom floor to the top. Includes 18 pieces of wooden furniture with satin fabric accents including a bedroom suite, kitchen and living room furniture, bathroom fixtures and patio furniture. Perfect size for Groovy Girls or Barbie. Ages 3+                               
  Calico Critters Townhouse with Lights - There is lots of room for Calico Critter families to live and play in this charming town home. The downstairs has 2 large rooms, with an expandable floor to create even more space. The upstairs has 2 large rooms.  There's even an outside porch on the second floor. The moveable staircase can be positioned in different areas of the home, and with the flick of a switch, 2 overhead lights shine a warm glow into the rooms. This Townhouse opens and closes, for easy and fun decorating! Ages 3+

Construction

  The Batmobile – Lego’s Ultimate Collector Edition- Ultimate size! Ultimate detail! Ultimate power! It's the ultimate Batmobile! With moving engine turbines and rotating booster flames, this is one vehicle of justice that no villain can escape! Ages 7+  
  Rokenbok - Drive, Stack, Load & Sort! The RC Forklift is incredibly functional and life-like. Use it in your Rack’em & Stack’em Warehouse to stack, load and sort all of your beams, barrels and ROK balls!  Your Warehouse comes with six Pallet Racks and ROK Bins, two Barrel Skids, eight Barrels, and two Beam Racks -- over 100 pieces! Requires Start Set and three AA batteries, Ages 6+
  Erector Design R/C Hummer H2 Building Set -   Based on the popular off-road car, the Erector Design RC Hummer H2 Building Set comes with over 600 pieces that allow kids to construct 3 exciting vehicles with the detailed assembly instructions, including the classic Hummer H2. Kids can use the included tools to build one of these vehicles, and then send the 6V motor rolling with the hand-held remote with built in tool handles that allows the model to go forward, backward, right and left. And since the 6V battery pack can be recharged, there is no end to where these models will take kids - but, 50' is the remote range! Age 8+

Games

  Hide N Seek Safari -The classic childhood game of “Hotter, Colder” just got a high-tech twist! Turn on the Tiger and then hide him somewhere good. Another player will use the Seeker wand to try to find the tiger. Lights will flash to show when that player is getting warmer, and the Seeker will sound when the Tiger is near! The game can be played indoors or outdoors, and with as many Seekers and animals as you and your friends might have. One 9V and 2 AA batteries required, and are included. Ages 7 and Up. Ages 7+
  Blokus Trigon - It's a "chip off the ol Blokus," but with a super-challenging twist! A new dimension of triangular-created Trigon pieces must be fit, tip to tip with your own pieces, on the hexagonal game board. Angles jut in every direction, so new strategies are always evolving. It's the Bermuda Triangles (486 in all) of strategy games. Think carefully! You can block-and be blocked-at any moment! Quick to learn, challenging to master. Includes recessed game board, 88 Trigon pieces in four bright translucent colors, and guide. For 2-4 players. Ages 5+ 
  CooCoo the Rocking Clown - CooCoo, The Rocking Clown, just loves to juggle. But his big curved green shoes make him wobble and keep throwing him off balance. A simple and entertaining game with one basic rule: keeping COOCOO on his rocking feet. It will depend on each player to pick up the right ball and place it on that cute, colorful little clown and after a few seconds of balancing back and forth to see what happens. Will COOCOO be able to bear that new weight? You'll find out that it's not as easy as it looks like and breathtaking to the very end. Have fun whether you play alone or with friends and family any time and anywhere you can find a flat surface to place COOCOO. Ages 3+

Tweens

  Snap Circuit Rover - The Snap Rover is easy to assemble and comes with a colorful manual. Once completed you will be able to navigate your surroundings with the easy-to-use Snap Rover remote control. Age 8+
  Virtual Distance Football - Throw with the pros. Take football to the extreme. Grab hold of the football's super comfort grip and test your throwing skills. Advanced electronic register a distance redout upon impact of the throw. Digital LCD Display. Read-out to 1 yard. Batteries included. Ages 5+ 
  Beacon Street Girls Sleepover Bags - A très chic way to arrive at any sleepover. These velvet duffels are lined in pink BSG fabric with zippered closure, complete with BSG medallion zipper pull, is high fashion, even down to its rhinestone lettering.  Ages 8 +
  Warminators - Ballerinas and Fashionistas alike will want to make these ultra cool leg warmers... we have included the "Leg Warminator Tool" for quick and easy completion of your first pair of leg warmers. Packaged in a vinyl knitting tote for easy storage and display on your shelves    Ages 8+ 
      
All Ages

  Webkins - Through the miracle of modern technology, today’s parents can teach their children to take care of a pet before they ever visit the animal shelter or a breeder. Webkins are interactive pets that children care for and play with via the Internet.
 
Enthusiastically endorsed by parents, Webkins come with an identification code that kids enter when they accesses the Web site. The child can name the pet, build it a virtual play yard to frolic in, play games to earn points for food and will receive a birth certificate in the mail.  The website teaches Science, English and Math, as well as to provide interaction with other children’s virtual pets.

Webkins come in many different species including dogs, cats, hippos, cows, pigs, frogs and more. As each additional pet is brought home, kids can add it to their on-line profile and can play with all these virtual pets on the site.





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