angry birds, dolls, elmo, fijit friends, Hasbro, hot wheels, knock on wood, lalaloopsy, leappad explorer, lego, mattel, monster high dead tired dolls, nerf vortex, ninjago, real mcqueen, silly hair, Top 10 Toys, Toys, wall tracks
Following is a list of Top 10 Toys of 2011 as rated by TIME magazine. The list is subjective and is not backed by any statistical data but these are no doubt the most popular and hot toys of the previous year.
Source : TIME
10. Real Lightning McQueen
Price : US $ 65
Manufacturer : Air Hogs / Disney
Lightning McQueen can teach you how to drive. Bump-detection sensors on this remote-controlled car’s front and back make for a highly interactive experience; one too many fender benders and McQueen will sit idle for a few seconds for a pit stop. Parents, think of it as corrective play — and the guardian angel of your floor-level cabinets.
Created using Air Hogs’ top-notch RC technology, the car really does make for an impressive plaything. Impulse-projection technology moves McQueen’s eyes and mouth as you drive, but the toy’s most convincing feature is the audio; the car is voiced by actor Owen Wilson, who played McQueen in Pixar’s two Cars films. An easy-to-use remote takes the guesswork out of driving, and the car operates in two modes: “Rookie” and “Race.” Cruise in “Rookie” and McQueen instructs you on how to drive, a helpful feature for younger kids. Switch to “Race” and like most other RC cars, you’ll send McQueen speeding around at the whim of your fingertips.
09. Angry Birds : Knock on Wood
Price : US $ 15
Manufacturer : Mattel
Your favorite app comes to life with Mattel’s Angry Birds: Knock On Wood board game. The blockbuster mobile game, a never-ending battle between circular, winged little grumps and nefarious, architecture-lovin’ swine, was the runaway digital hit of 2010, spawning a line of physical products, including this game. To play the analog version of the app, one player draws a construction card and builds the structure shown, while the opponent loads a bird into the launcher to demolish the newly built habitat. Yes, slinging those grouchy little birds with a catapult-like launcher across the room is just as satisfying as it is on your phone, which hopefully means those little hands always reaching for your device will be otherwise occupied.
Price : US $ 9.99 – 154.99
Manufacturer : Lego
New from Lego in 2011 is its Ninjago series, a cast of ninjas using the fictional martial art of Spinjitzu to save the world from evil. Traditional building sets cross paths with role-playing games, as figures fight on spinners to win weapons, power and bragging rights. An online component to further the story line helps inspire duels between characters, giving play options a few different levels. Expensive and complicated sets aren’t required to enjoy the fighting spinners, and traditional Lego block play is just as central to the Ninjago line as is the social-gaming angle. While Lego’s line of board games performed well last year, housing both gaming and building under one umbrella will keep kids interested longer — a smart move.
07. Nerf Vortex
Price : US $ 9.99 – 39.99
Manufacturer : Hasbro
The Hasbro Nerf brand has become iconic for backyard warfare, with a selection of plastic toy cannons. The latest in kiddie weaponry is the Vortex series, Nerf’s new line of disc shooters, which launches the ammo made from the “non-expanding recreational foam” made famous by the original Nerf ball in the early 1970s. The Vortex series includes four blasters, ranging in price and firepower. The lowest-rung is the Proton Blaster, a $10 handheld shooter. The Nitron Blaster, the company’s first fully automatic weapon, includes a clip holding up to 20 discs, a scope and a front handle to steady shots. (Battery alert: the Nitron requires six C batteries, which aren’t included.)
06. Monster High Dead Tired Dolls
Price : US $ 16.99
Manufacturer : Mattel
Since their debut in the summer of 2010, Mattel’s Monster High fashion doll series has become a must-have for preteen girls. Mattel introduced the characters of Monster High, the daughters of fiction’s well-known monsters, through a series of animated webisodes (think Barbie meets Twilight), and millions tuned in. A book series, apps and accessories have followed, but for Mattel, all roads still lead back to the titular dolls. With names like Draculaura and Frankie Stein, the Dead Tired line features each teenage monstress in sleepover garb. A fully articulated doll comes clad in pj’s and with her own overnight accessory.
05. Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Dolls
Price : US $ 24.99
Manufacturer : MGA Entertainment
For the second year in a row, MGA Entertainment’s button-eyed Lalaloopsy dolls are proving the enduring appeal of a simple rag doll. Think of it as Raggedy Ann’s second coming. Or the new Tickle Me Elmo. Last year, the toy was sold out at most stores before Thanksgiving. The craze stems from the dolls’ unique backstories. Basic materials act as a personality source for each one; an old farmer’s shirt gives one doll a love for animals, while scraps from a discarded sailor uniform give another a squeaky-clean attitude. The message of reusable materials appeals to parents (though the dolls themselves are not made of recycled products), and a “sewn-on date” usually coinciding with a dedicated day (like Old Farmers Day or World Ocean Day) inspires social awareness in their pint-size owners. There isn’t much not to love — unless you can’t find one.
04. LeapPad Explorer
Price : US $ 100
Manufacturer : LeapFrog
Does your child have iPad envy? Try Leapfrog’s LeapPad Explorer, a tablet for the younger set (about ages 4 to 9). Powered by four AA batteries, the LeapPad comes with a touch screen, microphone, gaming control pad and camera. Run on Leapfrog’s catalog of Leapster Explorer cartridges, the tablet allows tech-savvy kids to read books, play games and listen to music, and just might be interesting enough to lure kids away from Mom and Dad’s device.
03. Let’s Rock Elmo
Price : US $ 69.99
Manufacturer : Hasbro
For the first time, Hasbro has licensed a line of Sesame Streettoys, and its new Let’s Rock Elmo is an impressive effort. The robotic doll sings and plays instruments with his preschool-aged companions, and even recognizes his next task on the basis of what he’s holding (meaning there are no complicated settings). Hand him his microphone and he’s ready to sing. Hand him a guitar and he’s ready to strum. He knows only six songs, but kids can play along on the instruments he’s not using. The doll comes with a microphone, tambourine and drums — a guitar is sold separately — and requires six AA batteries, which are included.
02. Hot Wheels Wall Tracks
Price : US $ 29.99 (Wall Tracks), $ 59.99 (Video Racer)
Manufacturer : Mattel
While they’re great toys, racetracks are tough to assemble and take up too much floor space to leave set up. This year, Mattel took the modern toy-racing track up a level with its Hot Wheels Wall Tracks. Command Strips stick the track system securely to the wall, so cars can hit slopes, bumps and loops before riding down to the floor. The Starter Kit comes with an easy color-coding system for assembly, but the best part is the thought of not having to put it back together for each use. And if you’re raising young James Cameron, Hot Wheels’ new Video Racer will be a perfect Wall Tracks companion toy. A tiny camera embedded inside a standard-size Hot Wheels car can shoot up to 12 minutes of high-quality footage and be exported onto a computer and edited with Mattel’s easy-to-use video software. They’ve even got ready-to-go music, scene-transition clips and special effects to give the video shorts a little something extra.
01. Fijit Friends
Price : US $ 50
Manufacturer : Mattel
Your new dance partner is a soft plastic alien. Mattel’s Fijits use beat-detection technology to “dance,” with each doll performing a different set of movements based on the tempo of the song that is played — and they even come with four songs of their own. Haven’t danced with your doll in a while? It’ll remind you that it’s bored. Set to hit store shelves this fall, Fijits are essentially a plastic desk toy with Flubber’s personality. Though the personality chips vary among the four colors (purple, blue, pink and green), each will chat with its owner and is programmed to understand more than 30 verbal commands, responding to comments based on keywords and answering with one of 150 built-in phrases or jokes. It’s Siri meets Furby, but in a good way.