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Lifelike Doll, Electronic Girl Friend Top 'Let's Pretend' Toys

Posted November 16, 2005

— For this year's Great American Toy Test, about 12,000 expert toy testers in 101 daycares in 64 cities checked out toys in all sorts of categories. They played and played until they came up with these picks for the best "Let's Pretend" toys.

Among the "Let's Pretend" toys on the "Fabulous 14" list include the Pixel Chix, from

Mattel

, a hand-held high-tech interactive miniature dollhouse.

An electronic "girl friend" asks for children's advice about life decisions, such as what to wear or what to have for dinner. In return, children get feedback, fun, games and other surprises. And it connects with another Pixel Chix for interactive fun.

For children 6 and older, Pixel Chix costs $30.

From

Fisher-Price

, the

Little People A to Z Learning Zoo

play set, for $35, helps toddlers learn letters, animals, animal sounds and matching as they play on an interactive zoo mat. With a figure for each letter of the alphabet, children also answer questions for a total learning experience.

With the

Shake and Go Speedway

, also from Fisher-Price, children actually shake the cars to rev them up. The play set actually counts laps and determines the winner. Through infrared technology, the track announcer gives a play-by-play of each race.

For children 3 and older, the Shake and Go Speedway costs $40.

Baby Annabell

, from

Zapf Creation

, is an incredibly lifelike doll for children 3 and up. The doll demands love, care and responsibility while it babbles, laughs, cries and sleeps. It also opens and closes its eyes in reaction to sounds around it and children can sing it to sleep.

Zapf Creation's Baby Annabell is also $40.

The kid testers also liked these toys: Bob the Builder's Talking Tool Belt for ages 2 and up. For $14.99, it comes with a hard hat, five tools and a talking tool belt.

They also liked Wild Planet's Spy Night Patrol Listener. For $13, it comes with night vision spyglasses and a listening device that lets children, ages 6 and up, hear from "far away" in the dark.

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