Top Christmas Toys for 2011

Here is the 2011 list of Best Toys that we recommended last year.  Many of these toy brands continue to play a strong role in coming up with new toys each year.  Though these toys may not have made the 2012 List of the Best Toys they are still great ideas for not only Christmas presents but also birthdays and any other occasion you want to put a smile on a child's face.

FROM 2011:

We have come up with our list of our Top 2011 Christmas Toys that we hope will give you a jumpstart on findng the right toy gifts for the kids on your Christmas and Holiday shopping list.  This year continues a trend of toy companies integrating technology and interactivity to many of the strongest toy brands that we are all familiar with.  The evergreen brands of Hasbro and Mattel continue to extend their brands with interactive toys and the "newer" brands of SpinMaster and FurReal continue to add new spins to their strong offerings in collectible toys and interactive pets. 

The recommendations on this page are our top recommendations for 2011 but there are more toys out there that may be a good fit for the boy or girl on your list.  We advise looking at our list of 2010 Top Christmas Toys which we moved to it's own page since they are still great choices too.

Best Toys List 2011

FurReal Cookie Pup  Fijit Friends  Dora Dress Up Doll

Zoobles Nursery  Lalaloopsy Dolls

Our picks for Top Toy Gifts for Girls in 2011 have this year's pick from FurReal Friends - Cookie the Playful Pup which is a popular follow up to last year's top pick of GoGo My Walking Pup which is still available and popular as well.  In the doll category there are 2 that continue to be popular brands.  The LalaLoopsy Dolls with the twisting, bendable hair and the Dora Dress Up Doll capitalize on the ever fun activities of playing with doll's hairstyles and dressing dolls.  Keep in mind there are other outfits that can be purchased for the Dora doll that are not included with the doll itself. 

Lastly Fijit and Zoobles are cute little toys that girls just love.  The Fijit Friends are interactive toys that respond to phrases and move to music as well.  The Zoobles nursury is a Mama and Baby set that part of SpinMaster's girl's collecting toy(versus Bakugan for boys). It includes 2 baby Zoobles that the Mama has to take care of.

 Dance Star Mickey   Let's Rock Elmo

LeapPad Explorer   IPad2 by Apple   InnoTab by VTech

We have lumped together our picks for Top Preschool Toys for 2011 and the Top Educational Toys for 2011 primarily because the tablet offerings are mainly for preschoolers and younger kids.  The classic offerings with updates are the Mickey and Elmo Toys.  Dance Star Mickey and Let's Rock Elmo offer young kids a chance to dance or sing with their favorite characters. 

We have identified the top tablets that are available for kids today.  Both the LeapPad Explorer and the VTech Innotab are interactive learning tablets that model after the popular IPad.  We have also identified the IPad2 as an option here because there are education apps for the IPad that are being used for children.  It is amazing but sometimes they have an easier time with using something like the IPad than we do.  The IPad2 is at the higher end of tablets though so if you don't want to make the leap in terms of technology or price something like the LeapPad Explorer is a great starting point. 

P.S.  As of this writing the Amazon Kindle Fire has not been released but that may prove to be a cheaper entry point to a full tablet for your kids and/or your family.  If we get our hands on it we will definitely post a review.

 Dragonoid Destroyer Bakugan   Ultimate Optimus Destroyer  

 HotWheels Video Racer   Star Wars FX Light Saber   Lego Ninjago Fire Temple


The Top Toys for Boys for 2011 were picked from offerings that have performed quite well in the past.  Both Bakugan and Transformers had popular toys last year and with the Dark of the Moon Movie from Transformers and the new Mechtogan series of toys from Bakugan we knew that there would be some some hot offerings.  No Bakugan offering would be complete without a dragonoid and this year we are recommending Dragonoid Destroyer.  The Transformers Ultimate Optimus Prime is quite a detailed action figure which Transformers fans will love.  Star Wars continues to be popular because of the Cartoon Network's Clone Wars and have come up with a series of FX LightSabers that hope to bring the fantasy of light saber duels as close to what we imagine as possible.

HotWheels and Lego are also evergreen favorites but this year they have taken it up a notch with a car that is a video camera and a new series Ninjago for Lego.  Video toys have become popular in the last couple of years with Barbie Video Girl and Spy Gear's Spy Video Car just to name a couple.  The HotWheels Video Racer adds a video camera to a race car where you can record a race from the point of view of the little racecar is pretty cool.  It can also be mounted onto something like a bike for even more recording fun.  The Ninjago Fire Temple building set offers not just a building experience but interactive play with the setting of the Fire Temple where the ninjas fight for control of the Dragon Sword of Fire.

 Mechatars Robots   Nerf Vortex 

  Huffy Green Machine   TechDeckSkate&Go

This year we decided to break out the Top 2011 Toys for Older Boys into it's own category.  Though some of the other offerings like the Bakugan and Transformer toys may break the age barrier there is definitely a shift in attention for many boys as they get older.  Mechatars combines so many of the things that have made boys toys like Bakugan popular.  Mechatars are robotic toys that can also be played in a free online gaming environment.  The Nerf blasters continue to be popular as a safer way to channel boys need to for shooting toys.  The new Vortex line of blasters shoot out discs with high speed and accuracy.

Last year we highlighted the RipRider 360 which continues to be popular but this year we have chosen to add the Huffy Green Machine because though it is similar it offers a different style of sliding action that older boys can master better.

Our last pick for older boys this year is in the finger boarding arena.  You can see how some boys can be obsessed with SkateBoarding but did you know that not only are there finger boarding toys but also a whole scene devoted to the "sport"?  Tech Deck is the major player in this space and their Skate & Go Park is a great pick for older boys who love skateboarding or have thought of trying skateboarding on a mini level.