NAPPA 2005: Toys for Ages 8 and Up
By Ellen Metrick

Nappa Gold Winners
There's no doubt about it, kids love toys and play is a great way for children to learn new skills and to express themselves. This year's Gold Award-winning toys are sure to provide endless hours of fun while stimulating children and giving them a sense of mastery. Better yet, many of these toys will appeal to adults as well as kids, so join in the fun and enrich your child's playtime!

Gold Award Winners

Anagramania! Junior Edition; $29.97; Karmel Games Inc. Anagramania is word play at its finest. Play this intriguing new board game by rearranging letters in words to create new words. The answers lie in the cleverly written clues that include the anagram word. Up to six players can compete to be the first to reach the winner's circle.

Cranium Family Fun; $19.95; Cranium Inc. This team-played board game is simple to learn and a hoot to play! Players use drawing, molding, acting, humming and thinking to travel the path on the board to win. The game cards combine unique activities using various media so that players of all ages and creative abilities get to shine throughout the game.

Dragon Shoulder Puppet; $50; Folkmanis Inc. This mythical dragon perches on a puppeteer's shoulder and comes alive with a plastic hand grip that rests behind the puppeteer's shoulder and arm. The bright, scaly material and piercing eyes framed by bushy black brows will enchant children of all ages.

Honors Award Winners

Baffle Gab, Word Salt Inc.; $29.95;; for ages 8 and up. In one minute, each player composes a story using the same five word cards to earn bucks to win this quick, creative writing game.

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Bumparena, Cranium Inc.; $16.95;; for ages 7 and up. A manipulative maze pinball game that incorporates simple strategy as you play a card to add/pivot bumpers and add/release balls to score points.

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0in 0pt">Domination, Patch Products, Inc.; $24.99;; for ages 8 and up. Strategically place dominoes on the game board to conquer spaces and gain the most territory.

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Elizabeth Doll & Book, American Girl Inc.; $87;; for ages 8 and up. Dressed in Colonial attire, this well-crafted doll is accompanied by a charming book recounting the life of a girl during this historic period.

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Fashion Angels: Fashion Design Sketch Book, The Bead Shop; $14;; for ages 8 and up. Tweens can practice for a fashion career with this sketchpad and style guide combo. While learning the proper terms for various clothing styles, budding designers can draw future haute couture creations on sketch paper featuring “croquis,” or line drawings of a female.


Itty Bitty Ballerina, The Bead Shop; $16;; for ages 8 and up. Kids can make exquisite, intricate ballerina charms using beads, wire, sequins, pom-poms and their dexterity!


Maya & Miguel Word Scramble, Briarpatch; $19.99;; for ages 7 and up. Race against time to slide letter tiles around to make words in English or Spanish.


Perpetual Commotion, Goldbrick Games LLC; $18;; for young teens and up. Multiple players, multiple decks of cards and multiple playing piles make for a fast-paced competitive game of simultaneous play in which players compete to put cards in numerical order and be the first out.


Professor Noggin’s Card Game Series, Outset Media Corp.; $9.99;; for ages 7 and up. This straightforward game of trivia helps children learn and retain information about a particular topic through fun game play.


Reading Roadway USA Reading Comprehension Game, Learning Resources; $19.95;; for ages 8 and up. Travel throughout the United States and answer state trivia questions – that increase reading, comprehension and memory – to collect souvenirs.


Roboraptor, Wowwee; $100;; for ages 8 and up. Sensitive to touch and sound, this dinosaur-like robot performs various movements, depending on his mood, and is remote control-activated through touch sensors and  infrared visual sensors.


Robotic Hornet, Silver Dolphin Books; $17.95;; for ages 8 and up. Learn how hornets inspired the design of robots through this thought-provoking book  that includes a step-by-step guide to building a battery-operated hornet.


Rush Hour Jr., ThinkFun Inc.; $15.99;; for ages 8 and up. Using strategic thinking and sequential processes, move gridlocked cars to drive your car out of traffic.


Time’s Up, R&R Games Inc.; $19.99;; for ages 12 and up. A progressively difficult, impressively exciting game of guessing fictional, historical and present-day figures in areas such as entertainment, literature and mythology.


20Q Challenge, Radica; $29.99;; for ages 8 and up. Electronic dome magically asks questions to find out what you are thinking. 20Q Big Screen ($19.99) is the handheld version and also deserves an honor award.


Ellen Metrick is with the National Lekotek Center, a national nonprofit organization working to make play accessible and successful for children of all abilities. As a toy specialist, Metrick works with agencies and companies on the development and evaluation of high-quality toys. Learn more about the National Lekotek Center at

Return to NAPPA 2005 Award Winners: Toys to see winning toys for other age groups.

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