Sure, geeks love expensive gifts. But if you can’t afford a Hadron Collider for your geek this year, let alone a flying alarm clock or netbook, consider this: it doesn’t take much to entertain us. And for less than $10, here are ten gifts that are sure to make the geekdad in your life giddy this holiday season.
1. Rare Earth Magnets – For $8.99 at Amazon, you can purchase a space-age tube of Rare Earth Magnets. These incredibly strong little magnets have a multitude of applications, from household use to affixing different weaponry to a Warhammer 40K army. You’ll watch in wonder as your geek ambles around the house attaching and, with some effort, detaching the magnets from any possible surface. Warning, though: keep away from children, computers, and fingertips. Nothing spoils a good present like a visit to the ER… or the Genius Bar.
2. Buzz Magnets – Okay, two magnets in two suggestions, but bear with me. For $4.43 you can give your geek a pair of buzz magnets, magical and mysterious objects that, when tossed up into the air, buzz. Really, it’s absolutely amazing. Wow your friends, or at the very least entertain your geek long enough to be able to use the Xbox for twenty minutes.
3. Government Issued Zombie Survival Guide Poster – Because really, no one can ever be too prepared. When the impending zombie apocalypse finally happens, your geek will have a quick and easy reference right above his expansive D&D minis shelf that he can look to in order to stay alive… for a little while at least. And at $8.99, it’s a small price for peace of mind.
4. Darth Vader Gauntlets – For a particularly hard day at work. You’ll know that you gave your geek hours of trachea-crushing fantasies with these adult-sized Darth Vader Gauntlets. Now, during stressful conference calls, your geek can pretend he’s everyone’s favorite villain. Would be especially cool if they doubled as oven mitts, but hey, for $9 you really can’t go wrong. If the kids want a pair, they make child-sized pairs, too.
Hit the jump for 6 more geeky gift ideas under $10.
5. 20-Sided Fuzzy Dice Danglers
– Nothing says loving like a pair of fuzzy polyhedral dice for your geek’s car. He can ride his pride and joy around town letting all know that, yes, this is, in fact, how he rolls. A steal at
6. Minimates from Battlestar Galactica
– Personally, I think the Adama/Tigh combination is the one to get, because it’s all you need for high-tension re-enactments on top of your desk. You can growl in your best Edward James Olmos impression, "Launch the fighters!" But, at under $5 a set, you can easily afford a second pair—like Baltar and Caprica—for a full-out episode rehash. Or, yeah, you can just look at ’em, too.
7. Brunton Striker Magnesium Firestarter
– You might not think there are many applications for such a thing, but you’d be surprised. Many geeks are camping geeks, and matches are so last century. This modern take on flint and tinder is not only a great thing to have in case of emergency, but your geek will amaze their friends on their next camping trip by doing the most impressive of feats: starting a fire from scratch. For $8.24 right now at Amazon.com.
8. Belkin USB 2.0 4-Port Mini Ultra Hub
– These were so expensive a year ago, and here’s one for an unbelievable $8.13. If your geek is a gamer on the go, a blogger, or a laptop loomer, this is an essential little gift. To ensure all gadgets are properly plugged in and ready to go in any situation, you can give your geek the gift of organization and style. I particularly like the diamond shape on this. Kinda looks like a little robot. And robots are undeniably awesome.
9. Star Maps for Beginners
– It could be argued that star-gazing is what spawned geekery to begin with. The first scientists and mathematicians were those who charted the movement of the stars and broke new ground discovering, without modern technologies, the wonders of the universe. That’s not to mention, of course, that pondering these massive planets and stars also spawned everything from Star Wars to Battlestar Galactica to MST3K.
So, do your geek a favor and set him on the ultimate course with this book; for $9.60, you can’t really go wrong for knowledge that will last a lifetime.
10. Everything Kids Magical Science Experiments Book
– Every geekdad knows that the best part about being knowledgable is what you can get away with. With hoards of smarts comes full clearance to a number of otherwise restricted activities. This book is the perfect place to start. A few samplings include instructions on how to:
create invisible ink, build a genie in a bottle, make a fog chamber, and make a person stay seated just by using your pinky finger. For just under $8, there’s enough for a year’s worth of fun for the whole family in this one!
If you’re looking to spend a bit more cash, check out 10 Ridiculously Expensive Geeky Holiday Gifts. And for more great geekdad gifts, check out the GeekDad Holiday Gift Guides: