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Best toys of 2011

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Top toys of the year

We have checked out dozens of toys this year and here are some of our favorites for little boys and girls. Read on to find out our picks for the best toys of the year for 2011.

Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster

Nerf offers far more than just soft footballs these days. The Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster ($60) features an electronic scope, pulsating lights and rapid firing. This toy uses Xtra Long-Range (XLR) technology to hurl discs toward targets from its 20-disc magazine. The Vortex Nitron Blaster is best suited for kids ages eight and up. It requires six 1-1/2 volt C or LR 14 alkaline batteries, two 1-1/2 volt AAA or R03 batteries, and a small Phillips screwdriver for assembly. Available at Toys "R" Us.

Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster

Sesame Street Let's Rock Elmo

Every young kid loves Elmo. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, Sesame Street Let's Rock Elmo plays instruments and sings. This intuitive toy also magically knows when your kids are playing with his instruments and plays right along with them. Let's Rock Elmo comes with a microphone, tambourine and drums. He can also interact with the Elmo guitar, Cookie Monster keyboard or Grover microphone, sold separately. Available at Amazon Prime ($56).

Let's Rock Elmo

Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- Ultimate Optimus Prime

This warrior action figure morphs into a truck and features glowing weapons, dazzling lights, missile launching sounds and blasting battle sounds. The electronic robot warrior comes with a trailer that converts to the Omega Combat Armor. It also has extending wings and the Ultimate Super Cannon. Kids love the action hero Optimus Prime and this toy often sells out quickly. Available at Amazon ($73).

Transformers

Fijit Friends

Girls love Fijit Friends Interactive Robotic Toys. These fun toys have a soft skin and unique lifelike movements. Your kids will love how they dance, laugh, talk and interact. Your daughter can choose from the trend-setting purple Willa, adventurous green Sage, sweetie-pie pink Serafina or sporty blue Logan. You can find Fijit Friends at Walmart, Target, Kmart and other retailers. Available at Toys "R" Us ($60).

Fijit Friends

Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Dolls

Another toy that little girls love is the Lalaloopsy doll. These cute dolls, which come in various colors and designs, have silly hair that can be turned, twisted and styled as you please. Each doll comes with their own hairstyling tools and accessories, plus a little pet. Available at Kmart ($35).

Lalaloopsy Doll

We also love the Fisher-Price Disney Rock Star Mickey and the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Tablet -- perfect for your techie kid who wants his own tablet just like mommy. If you are looking for learning toys, you can't go wrong with any of the new stuff from LeapFrog or vTech.

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