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7 Coolest Buddy Toys for Your Child

  • Creature Comfort
    Puglee is another winner in the long line of crazy-captivating felt pals from Uglydolls. Her entertaining biography is part of the appeal: She doesn't want to grow up and get a job, so she figures racking up F's is the way to stay in school forever! Turns out she loves to read and write so -- drat! -- earns all A's anyway. ($20; babesta.com, 1 and up)

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  • Fringe Benefits
    The funny-looking Mr. X is a cross between Barney and cousin Itt from The Addams Family, with a special shtick all his own. He travels incognito, has a mysterious background (a spy, perhaps?), and longs to be a secret friend to kids everywhere. Toddlers will especially love to twiddle his yarn-covered face and gnaw on his jaunty top hat. ($34; blablakids.com, 1 and up)

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  • The Culture Club
    Not only are the Brownstone Buddies ideal for pretend play, these sweet fabric dolls also come with an international backstory stamped into their passports. Miko the Travel Scout has a Japanese-American mom and a Swiss dad and is adept at reading maps and a compass. Among the seven other buddies, you'll find a musician, a budding author, a dancer, and more. ($59.99, fao.com, 3 and up)

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  • Eye Candy
    Meet Mitchell M. Monster (Mitch to his friends), a Cyclops-inspired beastie made of plush recycled fleece. He's soft to the touch, making him super huggable, and his arms and lower half are weighted with beans so he can sit up nice and tall on a shelf or dresser. Also in pink. ($39.95, neonmonster.com, 3 and up)

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  • Knit Wit
    The charming hand-made toys from I Golfini Della Nonna are an offshoot of its alpaca baby clothes. Choose from a frog, owl, turtle, seal, rabbit, octopus, whale -- or this robot. He's a bit of a splurge, so drop a hint for whichever grandma likes to show off. ($60; golfini.com, 1 and up)

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  • Ghost Buster
    Bye-bye, bogeyman! Fearless Fred has Velcro on his long tail, to loop around doorknobs and curtain rods or hang down from between the mattress and the box spring. Position him so he's on guard, facing a closet or peering under the bed. There are six creatures in all, with names like Defender Dave and Protector Patty, so there's one for every scaredy-cat. ($24.99, scaremenot.com, 3 and up)

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  • BFF for Boys
    Who says dolls are "girl toys"? It'll be love at first hug for your little guy after he sees that sly grin. The Michael Doll has squishy arms and legs, so your babe can squeeze and chew on him to his heart's content. He'll likely want to tote him around on every errand all over town. And when he (almost certainly) drops him somewhere? Luckily, at this price, you can afford a spare. ($9.99, kskids.com, 1 and up)

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