Hey kiddos! It’s that time of the year again, where people panic because gamers are difficult to shop for. Where moms go “MY CHILD IS SUCH A RECLUSE AND I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT THIS POCKET MANS IS DOING WITH A SWORD AND WHY THERE’S A SEPARATE BOX WITH A SHIELD BUT NONE OF THE PICTURES ON THESE BOXES SHOW MEN IN POCKETS!! WHY ARE THEY DOGS! WHAT DO I DO!”
Don’t worry, Exaggerated Ignorant Mom. I’ve got your back! Sure you can grab the hottest gaming titles like Pokemon Sword and Shield, or Borderlands 3 (hint hint to the spouse), and if your little nerd specifically requested those things, definitely buy them! Don’t think my list trumps theirs! But if you have no idea whatsoever about what’s cool and hip these days in the geek world, that’s what this list is meant to help you with.
Without further ado, here are some of 2019’s coolest gifts:
elago W3 Stand for Apple Watch – $12
For those who are into retro everything, may I introduce the elago W3. The stand for your Apple Watch that brings the early years of technology back to the present. Charge your watch in style, while still having access to the key functions of your ancient Apple monitor– I mean wrist-size super computer that we couldn’t conceive as being possible when Apple monitors like this one were even a thing! It’s made from silicone, so it won’t scratch or move around on the table or night stand.
“What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” book by Randall Munroe – $12
We all know that nerds and geeks are big on knowledge, and we also know that they have crazy minds that connect dots we didn’t even think were on the same playing field. If you know someone who thinks like this, this book is sure to be a winner. With actual scientific answers to insane questions like “What would happen if the Earth and all terrestrial objects suddenly stopped spinning, but the atmosphere retained its velocity?” you can keep your little weirdo occupied for some time, and very likely inspire them to come up with even more unique questions about the universe and its inhabitants.
Escape Room Journal – $18
Boy of boy do we nerds love puzzles. Puzzles in board games, puzzles in video games, puzzles in boxes, puzzles with foxes. Puzzles on a boat, puzzles that lead to a moat. With a castle. And a prince or princess to save. Maybe a dragon? Or a zombie apocalypse or a mad scientist? And you’re stuck in a room and have to find the key or you die! Escape rooms. That was my point this whole time. But what if you and your friends already did all the local ones and the experience is lost because you already know how it’s solved? What next? Journal29 has a pretty sweet option for you! This successful Kickstarter campaign has created an escape room in a book! What does that even look like? The craziest puzzle ever! Write, draw, fold pages, and do other stuff to solve these riddles. Right now there are 63 riddles over nearly 150 pages. Solve with your friends or solve them alone, but this book is guaranteed to be an amazing addition to the collection of anyone who loves to challenge their ability to do mental acrobatics.
FreezerBoy Fridge Magnet – $20
I’m an adult and if I want to decorate my fridge like a Game Boy, I can and I will. Also doubles as a dry erase board, so you can draw Ghosts ‘n Goblins characters or I dunno, maybe a grocery list because I mean, yeah I have a Game Boy fridge, but like… I’m also an adult.
Supershelf – $26
This is only one of several cool concepts by Artori Design. An invisible shelf that looks like it’s being held up by Superman? I’m down! Made from metal cut outs, simply attach it to your wall, then stack books on it to make it look like the Man of Steel’s only obligation today is to make sure your graphic novels don’t end up in a pile on the floor! Seriously, don’t stack your comics on the ground. That’s step one of dying in your home, you hoarder.
Legion M Gift Shares – starting at $34.54
Legion M has a really intriguing option available this year! You get to own a piece of the company! Legion M is the first entertainment company that’s made by and for and run by actual fans in the industry, and one of the only companies that don’t just say that for the prestige, but actually live by it. Proof in in the pudding is this amazing gift share. When you buy it for your recipient, you still get something to wrap. It’s not like, here have a sheet of paper that says you own this item but it’s completely intangible why are you making that face? You’re handed a welcome kit to give to your loved one, and they become an integral part of Legion M’s secret master plan. “What’s their secret master plan,” you ask. “Doesn’t that sound like they’re doing something underhanded?” Well, let me tell you a bit about that. Legion M is fan-owned and run. Members, like your recipient, get to have a hand in selecting content that gets made, in addition to having the potential to actual earn returns from it. Yeah. Movies from greats like Kevin Smith get made at the whim of your little geek, and they actually get the chance to make money from it. But that’s a whole thing that would take forever to explain, so here’s more info if you’re interested. In my humble opinion, it’s definitely worth it, and it’s probably one of the coolest things on this entire list.
Super Mario Thwomp Pillow – $40
It’s a pretty self-explanatory gift for fans of one of the greatest games out there. Thwomps are a constant in the Mario universe, and everyone loves pillows. But I’m going to suggest that you get several of these. Why? Probably the best pillow fight in history. You can also do stuff like this:
MIDDLE OF THE ROAD ($50-$150):
Adjustable Laptop Stand – $58
This one speaks volumes for people like me. People like many nerds who spend way too much time on their laptops. Work, gaming, Reddit, or just general tomfoolery on the internet. But you want to lie down because sitting for so long is just the worst! Or you live in a studio apartment in the city and don’t really have things like chairs. Your bed is your chair. And also your dining room table. Laying down makes life hard for those with laptops, because you can never get the screen how you want it, and you definitely can’t see right because you also have glasses on. Solve that issue with this simple accessory. A laptop stand that can adjust to any strange pose you want to put your body in, including laying on the sofa with your legs hanging over the back.
SunFounder Arduino Robotics Kit, 4-DOF Dancing Sloth Programmable DIY Robot Kit – $59
This is for all those aspiring coders out there. Not only build your robot, but also program it! Using one of the easiest and friendly coding languages out there, Arduino, you can build this biped and have it respond to commands with lightning speed and accuracy. The eyes are sensors that help your little guy avoid obstacles, and probably the best part is that it can play with other robots, with the right code. This baby sloth boi can dance, kick a ball, or even race or battle other bots. Robotics is a growing field, and anyone even remotely interested in learning would love this gift!
Gunnar Intercept Gaming Glasses – $75
We talked about the importance of Gunnar glasses last year. Blue light hasn’t stopped being an issue, and these glasses are still necessary. Friends don’t let friends go blind. Gunnar is probably the most trusted in this field, offering 65% blue light filtering, and 100% UV protection, these glasses will be a big help in preventing horrifying things like macular degeneration or cataracts. This year, give the gift of a love for the eye health of your friend. Give the gift of Gunnar.
Mad Catz R.A.T. 8+ Gaming Mouse – $78
Mom is probably looking at this thing like “Is this an alien probe?” No, Mom. It’s only one of the better programmable gaming mice you can get at a decent price. If your little gamer is smarter than they look, or loves to pull things apart and put them back together, or can’t stop modding stuff that honestly had no business being modded, this gaming mouse will be a big hit. It’s got so many knobs and dials and whatsits and whosits that you probably shouldn’t let them toss the manual like you know they’re going to. Highly customizable, the owner of this mouse will be able to get the most out of their gaming experience. Every nanosecond counts in this world, and this mouse might just be that edge that takes them from good to great.
Bone Induction Headphones – $80
Bone conductivity in headphones is relatively recent technology, and definitely one of the more interesting additions on the tech radar. This is perfect for those who love music, but also need to keep themselves aware of their surroundings. Don’t get snuck up on by ninjas, or, more realistically, hit by a car, while getting deep in your beats. The best part is that the sound quality won’t suffer from going through your bones instead of your ear holes! Built for long-term wear and made to resist some of the crazy stuff we do, you can rest assured that your gift recipient will be able to listen in comfort, whether walking to class, exercising, get some work done, or chat on the phone for hours.
Droid Invention Kit – $100
Coding and robotics company, littlebits (not to be confused with the restaurant that makes tiny food for people with tiny mouths) has done it again with this droid kit. Your new best friend is R2D2, but all glammed up with lights and stuff! And coded to perfection, because you coded it! Through the app, do over 22 missions with arguably the best character in all of Star Wars, and teach him new skills and abilities. The missions also help kids learn to get creative and help the droids develop a unique personality that they can really enjoy. This gift is perfect for little nerd and fully grown adult nerd with a nostalgia problem.
USB Kill Switch – $103
For the paranoid nerds out there (you know who they are), this little keychain accessory will give them peace of mind. You’ve given them the gift of cyber security. Kind of. We tend to have things on our devices that no one should ever see, and if it seems like someone might be coming for it, this USB dongle will allow us to completely brick that device. Or, more realistically, we can test out our builds’ surge protection circuitry with this, and make adjustments accordingly. Having the ability to test this easily will save us some heartache down the line. Or give an anarchist a tool to really mess with an ex.
Star Wars X-Wing Knife Block – $110
Utility paired with nerdy design, Star Wars fans will love this knife block. It comes with a chef, bread, paring, carving and utility knives in high grade stainless steel, and the base is shaped like a star fighter. Perfect for little nerds that are branching out on their own, college grads, or if your 30 year old is finally moving out. Rest assured that they will be able to dice a chicken with the correct knife. Just hope they know to cook it thoroughly!
Mario Kart Toy Car – $272
This thing should be made for adults. Or maybe not, because we would probably treat the 405 like Rainbow Road. Definitely a good idea that it’s made for kids, you’ll want to also have set up your back yard to be an intricate course that doesn’t involve running over your prized roses, because your kid will go bonkers if you get this for them. Bonus points if you throw the Thwomp pillow at them as they race by.
Pancake Printer – $299
For the aspiring chef geek who loves tech, this is a 3D printer for pancakes! Or as 3D as a pancake can get. Draw what you want the pancake to look like using the provided software, and watch it make you some pancakes shaped like penises or whatever. Probably exclusively penises.
Piper Computer Kit, build your own wooden computer – $300
A secret learning toy, teach your kids how to build computers by grabbing this for them. A computer can be built in a pizza box, and kids should know that. Not everything needs to be perfectly made in tiny black boxes and these tiny black boxes aren’t keeping even tinier aliens prisoner to send you memes and the answers to test questions. It’s clearly a rock we filled with lightning and tricked into thinking. Also great for grown ups who want to build a PC in a weird container but don’t really know where to start. There’s no shame in learning, old guy!
Star Wars Millenium Flacon Drone – $300
I don’t know if this really needs explaining. This is very much a “shut up and take my money” type of gift. The type of gift you get for yourself even though you were explicitly told to stop buying things on this article that’s supposed to help the internet choose gifts for others and was never supposed to end up being a personal shopping list.
Voice Controlled R2-D2 – $500
So the last R2D2 that was on this list takes a back seat to this one. This droid is already built and programmed. It will respond to voice commands, bring you drinks, follow you, move around on its own, dance, spin, play music, play games with you, and more. If your kid wants R2D2 as a BFF but feels weird building him, this is a better option.
Wacom Cintiq 16 – $650
For the art nerds out there, this is the time to pick up a new Wacom tablet! From now until November 27th, the Cintiq 16 will be $100 off and come with a free year of Clip Studio Paint Pro. Incredible additional gift bonuses for your loved one! Maybe now you can get them to finally draw that comic since they no longer have the excuse of having the wrong materials.
iView Picasso Smart Latte Printer – starting at $1800
One of the coolest innovations out there, and perfect for people who love to show off or own a small business, the iView Picasso Smart Latte Printer is better than similar pastry printers in that you can shoot images from your phone directly to the printer rather than carting around a laptop whenever you want to print stuff on your latte or cupcake. There’s a full review of this device here with tons more info. This device will label you King of the Gifters this holiday, so if you can swing it, do it. And also note that there are wholesale options available if you’re going to buy several and be Ultimate King of the Gifters. You’re also going to want to get a crown.
Gita Cooler – $3250
I first saw this thing at the Los Angeles Coffee Festival. I don’t really know why it was there, since it’s not specifically coffee-related.. but my first thought was that this would be an amazing gift for people who go crazy on gifts. It’s definitely not cheap. It’s basically a Vespa. But it’s like if a Vespa was also a Star Wars droid. This little guy doesn’t look like much, but it packs huge personality and utility in a small package. It beeps and boops like R2D2 to communicate what it’s going through, it can carry up to 40lbs of stuff, play music on built in Bluetooth speakers, charge up your devices, keep drinks cool, keep your stuff safe by locking it up, and maybe even be capable of loving you. In all seriousness, the little cameras scan you and learn who you are and will be able to follow and keep up with your various adventures (up to 6 mph and on mostly flat terrain). Holy cow this thing is cool.
That isn’t everything cool on the internet, but it was for sure a list of some of my favorites that I’ve ran into this year. You can always default to gift cards, if you don’t think any of these things fits the personality of your loved ones. Gift cards may seem impersonal, but they’re actually preferred among many of us nerds, so don’t feel bad. Also, it never hurts to ask for a list!
What are you hoping to get this season? Leave a comment, below!