Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products - 1999 Seal

Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products - 1999

Winners List

10 Best Lists

Toys for the New Millennium:

An Overview of the 100 Best Children's Products of 1999 with a Look Towards the Future of Play for the New Millennium

To assist you with your gifts giving this holiday and into the new year we have a great selection of new products for you to consider. We have reviewed over a thousand toys and children's products over this past ten years. It has been exciting and rewarding to see many new and innovative companies emerging, while many new and interesting improvements have been made among many established companies. Our 1999 products range across many different levels.

There is more to choose from today than ever before. It may also seem that way when you seek the right product for your child. By using Dr. Toy's Guide, you will find helpful guidance as you look for that perfect product, the one that will benefit your child the most.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Know your child and his or her interests;
  2. Understand what she is studying in school and what she needs to learn;
  3. Expand his interests and help him to develop a well-rounded approach to play;
  4. Give her new experiences that stimulate and that challenge different abilities;
  5. Help him develop both sides of the left and right sides of the brain, and help him to think and to be creative;
  6. Challenge and build her strengths and help her to learn new information.

Dr. Toy's selected toys this year have come from a wide diversity of excellent companies. By setting a limit on the number of products that receive our "Dr. Toy's Best" award, we provide special recognition, and a seal of approval to a select group of products. Plus, we give you some new ideas to consider.

In our final report, I prepare toy evaluations to help you find that perfect new toy. I know it's not easy with all the many choices that exist in Toyland. You can imagine how frustrating this process can also be for me as there are so many wonderful possible products to consider in each category. We try to narrow down the options to give you a wide and wise selection.

Dr. Toy selects 10 products for each of the following categories:

I hope our report and the rest of the resources we provide on our award winning web site will assist you in many ways. We hope that these great products will help you focus on the type of great products available to help your child get the most from play.

We all hear about the "hot" toys these days. Some of these are fun, silly or otherwise amusing. Others you may have to investigate further to question their ultimate value, cost, and even potential negative qualities. There are no "easy" answers when your child is pressuring you for that "hot" product, but in the long run we believe that children need toys that involve them in play, and are not passing "fads." You must make the final decision. I can advise you, however, that it is worthwhile to think about your child's needs and then decide if there is a match.

Dr. Toy's Best Classic toys are also posted on our website. These are toys that have endured for many generations and are well worth the investment. If you appreciate classic toys as much as I do. Please review and consider adding to your cherished books our new book,Toys for a Lifetime, published by Rizzoli and FAO Schwarz. You will find wonderful toys that you played with as a child and a preview of toys of the future.

We also have many products among the "Best Vacation" winners that are excellent choices to take along when you're traveling with children at any time of the year. There are plenty of excellent products to choose from.

May I remind you, once again, that play encompasses everything your child does. They need you to play with them. They need to learn simple games, and to have plenty of conversations. They need you to read stories to them, and they need to sing songs, play with puzzles, do crafts, and have fun. Whatever you and your child enjoy doing together is perfect.

Play is an integral part of the way children learn. Play should be a natural part of your family's activities every day. Certainly, when you travel this holiday, or at any time, you want to make sure that travel is as much fun as possible. And while you are traveling your child can learn. Look for some of the interesting tapes we have listed in our "Best Audio."

Look for creative products to prepare for those times when there is a snow storm or rain fall and children are house-bound. This is the time to bring out those great creative products that have been packed away in storage. Open them on a bad weather day and the storm passes away while children are enjoying something satisfying.

Children can only focus on one toy at a time. Make toys something that you select year round to make their time interesting and challenging. Don't forget the products that help children with their activities, whether they are enjoying active play outdoors, or learning to do yoga or some other kind of physical activity.

Even play with pick-up sticks or marbles is physical and requires dexterity; the smallest activity brings the body into motion. Children like a variety of physical activity, so don't forget to add hula hoops, balls, and a bean bag toss.

Children also need time to play games, to think, to create, to use their imagination, and to learn strategy and how to figure things out. They need time to create, to play with dolls and puppets, and to use their skills.

As we move into the new millennium, we want to think again about how to prepare children for the future. You will want to find products that will help them become socially responsible and that will help them to understand themselves. Children should also learn how to get along with each other, how to cook and use other skills, and how to understand the world and the environment. Children should be able to play with products that teach them, and they should work closely with animals, science, their habitat, geography, and space exploration.

Educational products will help your child learn many of these skills. I have included a range of products. From learning to dress with the Let's Learn Basic Dressing cube, to products that will help your child learn the basics of phonics, science, chemistry, and business, there is something for every child and for every child's interest.

With our 100 Best Children's Products, we have tried to create a balance of types of items that provide something for every child's interest, from the baby stacking links and rings to racing a car, to a new form of paper dolls with Woodkins, to soft, plush toys, from a different kind of kaleidoscope to a space phone. Traditional products like the Thomas the Tank Engine layout to the Fire and Rescue Set give children something that transports their imagination into the realm of fantasy play.

In the high-tech area, there is an abundance of new products. Some really excellent products to look for include the outstanding Multimedia Encyclopedia by Grolier. Also, JuniorNet will provide your child with an open and safe door to the world of the Internet. New advances in the technical developments of LEGO and Neurosmith are outstanding. To help your children be comfortable at the computer keyboard consider the Little Fingers Keyboard; it is a perfect new tool. There is something for everybody, including a robot, Emiglio.

These are the products we have looked for this year. We were looking for products with the potential to provide your child with learning and joy. During the next year, your child will have an opportunity to play and experience some of these toys directly. Be sure to look at our online review of toy buying services to find an array of different ways to purchase these products.

Search through our site, come back often, and have a fun, playful year!

Please be sure to examine a copy of our new book,Toys for a Lifetime, that highlights over 50 classic toys from the past as well as the toys of the future. And look for ourDr. Toy's Smart Play: How to Raise a Child with a High P.Q.(Play Quotient) to help you with ideas from baby to older children, plus 166 great ideas of ways to have fun with your children. What is most important is to have fun together as a family. Have a wonderful time with your child this holiday (and every day in the new year!).

Let's play!

Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products - 1999 (alphabetized by manufacturer)
Company Item Type(s) Ages Price Phone
Company Item Type(s) Ages Price Phone
Action Products Logiblocks Electric City 1 Kit co cp es ty 9-12 $59.95 800-772-2846
Alex Stained Glass Clock cp 7-12 $13.00 800-666-2539
Amerigames Intl Quick Checkers bg es tr 4-12 $9.95 800-344-4241
Ampersand Press Wild Seed Game bg es sr 4-10 $21.95 800-624-4263
Aristoplay Mars 2020 es ty bg sr 8-up $30.00 800-634-7738
Babyscapes Miracle of Mozart vt 8 mos - 5 yr $14.99 888-441-5437
Backyard Productions Baby Songs ABC, 123 Colors & Shapes vt cp fp es ml 2-6 $12.98 800-745-1145
Binary Arts Hoppers es pz ty tr 8-12 $12.00 800-468-1864
Binney & Smith Crayola Model Magic Make & Keep Critters ae ac cp ty 4 -8 $15.95 800-272-9652
Branbec Kidtown Kids Island Playmat es cp fp pl 2-6 $29.50 800-553-5988
Briarpatch Where the Wild Things Are bg es pz 4-8 $19.95 800-232-7427
BRIO Fire and Rescue Set co ty fp 3-6 $68.00 888-274-6869
Bruder Toys Loader Backhoe tr ty co es 3-5 $39.99 877-450-5152
CHICCO Planet Discovery co cp es fp ty 3-6 $19.99 877-424-4226
Chronicle Books Rubberneckers tr 5-12 $12.95 800-722-6657
Corolle Calin bp es sr ty 8-12 $30.00 800-668-4846
Curiousity Kits Wind Machine ac cp es op 8-12 $24.95 800-584-5487
DaMert Mini Space Phone ty 8-12 $8.00 800-231-3722
DataDesk Little Fingers Children's Keyboard ae cp es eq cp 3-8 $99.95 888-355-4448
Discovery Channel Discovery Channel Art Lab ae ac cp es 9 up $52.50 212-751-2120
Discovery Communications 3-D Camera Kit ae cp es eq op ty 8-12 $59.00 877-324-7867
Discovery Toys Fascination Station ae ty 30 mos - 5 yr $27.95 800-426-4777
Dr. Pearson's Wonderful Toy Company Peaches d b t esp cp 24 mos- 9 yr $49.99 416-233-7776
EDC Publishing World History Series bo es 8-12 $22.95 800-475-4522
Edmark Travel the World with Timmy co cd es sw 4-7 $29.95 800-691-2985
Educational Design Kaleidoscope Science es ty 8-12 $9.95 800-221-9372
Fanny's Play House Circus Friends do fp ty 3-8 $44.00 516-822-3752
Folkmanis Finger Puppet Theater pu 6-9 $14.00 800-443-4463
Frank Schaffer Publications Fun Pack es 4-6 $9.95 888-285-5118
GP Toys Emiglio the Robot ty 4-10 $100.00 800-338-1850
Great American Puzzle Factory Uncle Milton's Ant Farm Game bg 5-8 $14.95 800-922-1194
Grolier Interactive Year 2000 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia es cd sw 9-12 $59.99 203-797-3530
Harvest Hill Press Hey Kids! You're Cookin' Now! A Global Awareness Cooking Adventure bo 7-12 $19.95 888-288-8900
Hasbro Playschool Kick Start Gym ae ty birth - 24 mo $34.99 800-752-9755
Hasbro Interactive Tonka Raceway CD-ROM cd 5-8 $29.95 800-683-5847
Hoberman Designs Expandagon Construction System co ac cm cp es 8-12 $39.99 888-229-3653
Hot Off the Press Scrapbooking for Kids bo ac cp fp sr 7-12 $6.95 800-227-9595
Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta-Music Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta-Spooky! at bo cd fp ml no 6-12 $15.95 800-289-6923
Imaginazium Yoga Kit for Kids ae at bo cp fp 4-12 $19.95 800-800-7008
Immuel Toys Sweel ho es cp ae 6-12 $13.95 800-870-6903
Inspiration Software Inspiration cd cp es sw 6-12 $69.00 800-877-4292 x72
Instructional Fair Group NumberStart bg es 3-6 $15.95 800-443-2976
International Playthings Thomas the Tank Engine - Big Set cp eq ty 3-5 $50.00 973-316-2500
Judy/Instructo Bugs-See Inside Playtime Puzzle pz 3-5 $10.95 888-285-5118
JuniorNet JuniorNet cd ac cp es sw 3-12 $9.95 800-952-7709
K'NEX Millennium Edition Challenge Set ae co ty 7-12 $44.99 212-777-2220
Kids II Discovery Bug Play Gym ae ty 1 mo -12 mo $29.99 770-551-0442
Leapfrog Toys Phonics Writing Desk es eq 3-5 $29.99 800-701-3327
Learning Materials Workshop Carosello ae co cp es fp 3-8 $89.95 800-693-7164
Learning Passport Neighborhood Townhouse dh fp sr ty 2-7 $99.00 800-853-2762
Learning Resources Life Science Kit ae es 8-12 $13.95 800-222-3909
LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Discovery Set co cp es ty 9-12 $150.00 800-453-4652
LEGO Toy Company LEGO Technic Indy Storm ae co cp es 9-12 $39.99 800-233-8756
LEGO Toy Company LEGO DUPLO Deluxe Harbor Highway ae co cp es 2-5 $29.99 800-233-8756
Let's Learn Educational Toys Multi Dressing Cube cp es eq op pl pz 24 mo - 5 yr $19.95 800-675-0090
Lyrick Studios ABC Baby Bop e ml pl ty 1-4 $19.99 800-418-2371
Manhattan Toy Enchanted Finger Puppet Theater Set ae cp fp pl pu 3-5 $50.00 800-541-1345
Mattel Mt. Laurel TMH Super Rebound ty 5-10 $59.99 800-524-8697
Mega Bloks Build N' Go Easel ae co cp es op ty 2-5 $19.99 800-465-6342
MGA Entertainment Virtual Car Racing ty 5-12 $19.99 800-222-4685
Milton Bradley / Hasbro Pooh Candyland 100 Acre Wood Picnic Game bg 3-6 $9.99 888-836-7025
Neurosmith Music Blocks cp es ml ty 3-5 $69.95 800-220-3669
North American Bear Muffy VanderBear Sarter Set do fp pl ty 4-10 $30.00 800-682-3427
Oregon Scientific Zip the Robot Learning PC es cp 5-8 $49.95 800-853-8883
Pamela Drake Woodkins ae cp do es fp sr ty tr 3-11 $13-$25 800-966-3762
Parallel Universe Castle Pattern ae co ac cp fp sr ty 1-12 $12.00 888-877-5556
Peaceable Planet Peaceables es pl sr ty tr 6-12 $7.99 877-473-2232
Perfection Enterprises My First Business ac cp es ho 6-14 $19.95 315-689-7891
Playhut Space Shuttle ae cp fp op ty tr 3-5 $29.99 888-752-9488
Polaroid I-Zone Instant Pocket Camera ae cp es ho no tr 9-12 $24.99 800-343-5000
Quadro Universal II ae co es op 3-12 $389.99 877-478-2376
Quincraft Makit & Bakit Decorative Bowls ae ac cp es ho no 9-12 $10.99 - $11.99 800-342-8458
Rand McNally Children's Millennium Atlas-World bo tr 8-12 $16.95 800-234-0679
Rokenbok Toy Action Factory Starter Set ae co cp es fp 6-10 $199.99 888-476-5265
Roylco Piles of Puppets ac cp ty 4-7 $15.99 800-362-8656
Rumpus Toys Monster in My Closet with Book bo do fp pl 3-5 $19.99 Out of Business
Sassy Tote & Tinker Activity Center ty tba tba 800-323-6336
Scholastic I Spy Junior cd es sw 3-5 $29.95 800-724-4718
Scientific Explorer Lightning Machine ae cp es ty 8-12 $19.95 800-900-1182
Scientific Learning Away We Go! cd es sw 4-7 $49.00 510-665-9700
Selecta-Spielzeug Dollhouse dh 4-8 $198.00 518-273-0726
Small Fry Productions Brainy Baby, Left and Right Brain vt 6 mos - 36 mos $15.95 / volume 800-521-5311
Snappit Toys Snappit Train Set co es ts 6-8 $19.99 609-802-6202
Sony Wonder Wimzie's House: It's Magic Time! vt 2-5 $12.98 800-221-8180
Soundprints Dancing in the Sand: Story of Atlantic Blue Crab at bo pl sr 3-8 $19.95 800-541-2205
Sphere Kiddie Car Tunes at ts tr 1-4 $69.99 888-543-4886
Straight Edge Wheels on the Bus Rub a Dub Bath Book bo 3-5 $5.00 800-732-3628
Street Gold Records Doo-Wop Yule Pop at cd ml 2-12 $15.95 / CD 800-720-5152
Team Concepts CD Audiomaster cd es ty 8-12 $139.99 800-486-0898
TEDCO Snapshots Across America bg 8-12 $19.99 800-654-6457
Tiny Love Tiny Love Stacking Links & Rings ae es ty 6 mos - 36 mos $17.95 888-TINY LOV
Tivola Electronic Publishing Oscar the Balloonist Discovers the Farm cd es sw 4-8 $19.99 212-674-5842
Toys to Grow On Young Explorer's Backpack es op 5-10 $19.95 800-542-8338
Uncle Milton EM3 Robotic Extender Arm ae eq fp op ty 8-12 $24.95 800-869-7555
VTech E-Power es tr 8-12 $99.99 800-521-2010
Whacky Music Boomwhackers Tuned Percussion Tubes ae cp es ml no op 3-12 $24.98 520-282-3860
Wild Goose Company Leonardo Di Vinci es 8-12 $21.99 888-621-1040
Wild Planet Toys Mega Dome Chemistry Chamber ae fp ty 8-12 $25.00 800-247-6570
Wrebbit Mini Puzz 3-D pz 4-8 $5.99 800-973-2248
Zometool Zome System Explorer Kit co cp es sr ty 6-12 $64.95 888-966-3386

Key to Item Types:
AC - Arts & Crafts AE - Active Toy AP - Activity Product AT - Audio Tape
BG - Board Game BO - Book CD - CD CE - Children's Entertainment
CG - Card Game CM - CD-ROM CO - Construction Toy CP - Creative Product
CR - Computer-Related CS - Costume DH - Dollhouse DO - Doll
DV - DVD EG - Electronic Game EL - Electronic Product EQ - Equipment
ES - Educational Skills Product FP - Fantasy Play GE - Game HO - Hobby
ML - Musical MM - Multimedia NO - Novelty OP - Outdoor Play
OT - Other PL - Plush Toy PT - Pool Toy PU - Puppet
PZ - Puzzle RS - Rubber Stamp SC - Science SR - Socially Responsible
ST - Stamps SW - Software TR - Travel Item TS - Transportation
TY - Toy UN - Unique Product VG - Video Game VT - Video Tape
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