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Need a gift? Try these top toys for toddlers

In part one of the week-long "Today Toy Test 2004" series, consumer specialist Herb Weisbaum previews the top selections for toddlers.
/ Source: TODAY

It’s America’s biggest and most comprehensive toy test. Thousands of kids across the country tested hundreds of this year’s new toys to see which ones they like the best. And for “Today’s Toy Test 2004,” contributor and consumer specialist Herb Weisbaum has the winning results, which he shares in a special report on “Today.” First up is a look at the toddler category. Children 18 months to three years can be a tough group to shop for, but there are some great options this year. Read more about the top winners in the toddler category below, and be sure to check out the complete list of winners.

We tested 71 toddler toys this year. For us, toddler means toys appropriate for children from 18 months to about three years. Toys with small parts (which could present a choking hazard to a toddler) and those recommended for children three and up were tested in preschool classrooms. Here are the top toys for toddlers:

Love to Walk Baby Pooh (Fisher-Price Friends, $25)
This adorable baby Winnie the Pooh doll is designed especially for toddlers. Just like them, Baby Pooh is learning to walk. Squeeze his hand and Pooh starts to move and music begins to play. Pooh starts off slowly and a little wobbly at first, but before long he starts to pick up speed, as does the music. Finally he asks, “Want to run with me?” Then he really takes off! Baby Pooh is voice-activated, so he starts to walk and talk when he “hears” his friends call out to him. If he should fall down, Baby Pooh asks for help … and then a hug. (Requires four AA batteries.)

Consumer expert and “Today” contributor Herb Weisbaum has been helping people across the country for more than 25 years. His award-winning reports have exposed everything from quack medications to bogus investments. Since 1990, his Toy Test has helped millions of parents and grandparents select the best toys for their kids. To learn more about Herb Weisbaum and his latest consumer reports, you can visit his Web site at: