The Top 20 Hot Toys of 2011

Every year there are thousands of new toys created by numerous toy manufacturers. It can be difficult for parents to cut through the clutter and find the best toys for their kids. 2011 is no different. We are here to help. We’ve done the research, we’ve made our list and checked it twice. Each year certain toys become the “must have”, “can’t find it anywhere”, “hot toys” of the holiday season. Our goal is to help get you pointed in the right direction with a focus on quality toys that have a high fun value. Happy toy hunting!

Fisher-Price TRIO Hot Wheels Stunt Ramp Builder

Fisher Price TRIO Hot Wheels Stunt Ramp
The Fisher Price TRIO Hot Wheels Stunt Ramp Builder is a new toy in the TRIO line for 2011. If you haven’t seen TRIO building sets before, they are pretty cool. TRIO is targeted for kids 36 months up to around 7 years old. The TRIO blocks click and snap together with blocks, sticks and other shapes. The TRIO series is a bit more complex than “large LEGOS” that toddlers use, but is still much easier for younger kids who are too young for the standard (tiny) LEGO blocks. This TRIO set is co-branded with Hot Wheels and allows kids to build a small stunt ramp. It comes with the car and some barrels for the car to “crash through”. The TRIO blocks in the set are standard size and would be compatible with any other TRIO sets.

Fur Real Friends Cookie Puppy

Fur Real Friends Cookie Puppy
Fur Real Friends have been popular for a couple years now.  The “Cookie Puppy” is the newest in this line of toys and sure to be a big hit this season.  Suggested for kids 4 year old and up, this cute little pup is “real” enough to provide lots of fun for young kids.  The puppy will interact with your child by moving her head, wagging her tail, barking and more. This toy provides lots of “puppy cuteness” with out any of the annoying chewing on the furniture and other hazards of real puppies. This toy is a sequel to last years FurReal My Walkin’ Pup – we gave the Walkin’ Pup to my 4 year old girl and she has really enjoyed the toy.

Playskool Poppin’ Park Bounce and Ride

Playskool Poppin Park Bounce and Ride
Perfect for your 1 year old is the newest ride on toy from Playskool. This toy can be used as a stationary bouncer for kids who just want to bounce. (Have you ever met a 1 year old who doesn’t love to bounce!). When your child is ready to be mobile, you can flip the kickstand up and let them scoot around with the wheels down. Music will play as your child bounces and rides – fear not though, this music box has an “off” switch for “quiet play” ;)

LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket

Leapfrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket
Kids love to learn through “pretend play” and the Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket is a new toy from LeapFrog that is a top pick. Perfect for kids from 6 months up to around 36 months old, this toy let’s your baby and toddler pretend to have their own picnic. Since it’s by LeapFrog, there’s an additional educational element to this toy. The toy talks with over 30 audio responses. It encourages good manners by saying “please and thank you”. With Shape sorting and music, this toy is sure to entertain.

Lalaloopsy Dolls

Lalaoopsy Dolls
Lalaloopsy Dolls have been catching the hearts of young girls everywhere. Designed for kids age 4 year old and up. The story is that Lalaloopsy dolls were once rag dolls who have magically come to life and they now take on the personalities of the fabrics that were used to make them. Each doll has her own unique personality. Very cute.

Fisher Price Big Action Construction Site with Remote Control

Fisher Price Big Action Construction Site
The Big Action Construction Site is a great toy for kids 3 year old up to around 7 year old. It comes with a very simple 4 button remote control that lets kids control the dump truck. This toy is all about hauling rocks. Use a crane to load them up, fill the dump truck, drive the truck around and dump the load. If you have a little guy who is into playing “construction”, then this may be the toy for you.

Fisher Price Dora the Explorer Fiesta Favorites Kitchen

Dora Fiesta Favorites Kitchen
This new “Dora” kitchen is great for kids 2 year old and up. This kitchen set includes all the standard features you would expect plus a few extras. This set includes a couple recipe cards (4 recipes total). Put the recipe card into the window and press the button to hear Dora talk you though how to cook each recipe. This kitchen set even includes some play food so your little one will be ready to start cooking right out of the box.

Barbie Designable Hair Extensions Doll

Barbie Designable Hair Extensions Doll
This is a toy and a fashion statement for girls age 6 year old and up. Girls go online to pick from one of hundreds of hair extension designs or upload their own. Then they print out their design on the special included “hair paper” on any standard inkjet printer. Next, just clip the print out with the included barrette clips and you can start your own fashion trend. Younger girls may need some assistance with the design and printing, but girls young and old will love making a fashion statement with the new hair extensions.

Air Hogs Hyperactives Pro Aero GX

Air Hogs Hyperactives Aero Pro GX
New in the Air Hogs series of RC vehicles is the Hyperactive Pro Aero GX. Designed for kids 12+, it is available in a few different color options. This car is small but FAST! Race indoors or outside. With 2.4 Ghz controller, it has a good range and allows for many of these cars to be raced together without worrying about controller interference.

Bop It XT

Bop It XT
Many of the top toys for Christmas this year are updated versions of popular toys from previous years – and the new Bop It XT is no exception. Building on the brand and popularity of the original “Bop It”, the new XT version is quickly becoming a best seller. Designed for kids 8 year old and up (while equally addictive for adults!), the game can be played alone or with a group.

Playskool Poppin’ Park Elefun Busy Ball Popper

Playskool Poppin Elefun Busy Ball Popper
Designed for kids 9 months old and up, Toddlers will love the new Poppin’ Park Elefun Busy Ball Popper. This Elephant plays 10 different songs. Watch the ball pop up and see where it goes. It’s a very simple concept, but it’s cute and perfect for toddlers.

FIJIT Friends

FIJIT Friends
There are 4 different FIJIT friends, each with their own personality. Marketed toward girls age 6 years old and up, they are kind of cute in a strange way. The friend can detect keywords and respond appropriately with over 150 recorded phrases. FIJIT friends love to perform their own songs or she will dance along if you play your own tunes. Girls love these things.

Barbie Collector 2011 Holiday Doll

Barbie Collector 2011 Holiday Doll
Each year Barbie offers a new collector holiday doll. Some say this is a great toy for girls, others would say the doll is too beautiful and detailed to be a toy and should be thought of as a collectible. Some will buy this doll for play, some to keep as a heirloom to be treasured for years to come. Whatever your motivations, this is a beautiful and very popular Barbie.

Razor eSpark Electric Scooter

Razor eSpark Electric Scooter
Scooters have been popular for the past several years. This year Razor introduces the electric “eSpark” scooter. This is a real battery powered scooter capable of up to 40 minutes continuous use with speeds up to 10mph. One you get it going, step on the “sparks bar” to watch sparks fly behind you as you ride. Designed for kids 8+ years old and up to 120 lbs.

Simon Flash

Simon Flash
“Simon” is a classic game for a reason – it’s fun! The new Simon Flash brings a fun new twist to the classic game by offering 4 Simon games in one. These 4 colored cubes have some smart technology that can tell which order they are in. It’s a high tech take on the classic game with 4 different types of game play. Kids 8 years old and up can play solo or challenge their friends.

Fisher-Price Disney Rock Star Mickey

Disney's Rock Star Mickey
Rock Star Mickey is the sequel to last year’s Dance Star Mickey. Rock Star Mickey will be fun for young kids around 24 months old and up. Press Mickey’s foot to hear him perform a couple classic rock songs. Then kids can press Mickey’s nose and Mickey will teach them his rock moves including the head bop, the kick step and more.

Sesame Street Let’s Rock Elmo

Sesame Street Lets Rock Elmo
What “Holidays Hot Toys” List can be complete without some variation of an Elmo toy? Well have no fear, not to be out done by Rock Star Mickey, Elmo is here this Holiday season to show us that he can R-O-C-K! Let’s Rock Elmo comes with a microphone, tambourine and drum set. Your child can pick which instrument they want Elmo to play and Elmo will “magically” recognize which one they gave him and start to play. This toy is even more fun if you buy separately the Let’s Rock Elmo Guitar or the Let’s Rock Cookie Monster Keyboard. If your kids play either the Let’s Rock Guitar or Keyboard, Elmo will recognize those instruments and start to play along. This is a Rockin’ good time for kids 18 months old and up!

Fisher Price Kid Tough See Yourself Camera

Fisher Price Kid Tough See Yourself Camera
If your kids are like my kids, then the only thing they love more than taking pictures is taking pictures of themselves! Compared to other kid friendly toy digital cameras available, this camera has a rotating lens so that kids can easily take a picture or even video of themselves. It’s built by Fisher-price, so you know it’s designed to survive dropping and all the other abuse that young kids bring. Great for kids age 3 year old and up.

Nerf Vortex Nitron

Nerf Vortex Nitron
Nerf introduced a new line of toy guns this year, the “Vortex”. All the Vortex Blasters feature XLR long range disc technology to launch discs an ultra long distance. This is battery powered long range Nerf shooting at it’s best. All kinds of fun stuff here that boys like, stuff like a electronic scope, a 20 disc magazine and storage to hold even more magazines and discs (sold separately). For kids 8 year old and up – Game On!

LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet

Leapfrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet
This may be one of the hardest to find toys on the list this year—it’s been sold out for most of the Fall so far and is definetly a best seller on Amazon while bringing in lots of very high customer ratings. It’s like an iPad designed for kids age 4 years old up to around 9 years old (although a tech savy 2 or 3 year old who is accustomed to “borrowing” your iPad or iPhone may be able to do quite a bit with the LeapPad Explorer also). As with all LeapFrog products, learning and fun is the focus here. It’s a storybook reading eReader, art studio, photo and video recorder with a built in camera, and gaming device. The LeapPad comes with a few games included such as “PetPad”, “Story Studio” and “Art Studio”. Beyond that, there are about 100 other games and apps available for download or in cartridge format. It’s way cheaper than buying an actual iPad for your kids. If you do already have an iPad and your kids want to play with it all the time (this is the program my kids are on), then you may want to consider getting the kids a LeapPad so that you can have a turn again using the iPad that you bought for yourself ;)

So you browsed our entire list of the Top Toys of 2011 and still didn’t find “just the right toy”… hmmm… maybe you should browse our list from last year showing the Top 20 Hot Toys of 2010.