2009 GeekDad Holiday Gift Guide #5: Miscellaneous!

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This is my favorite of the guides, because of all the weird stuff that’s in it: T-shirts, posters, video games… even a little mystery! Check it out, and if you’re looking for more, don’t hesitate to click on the graphic above which will whisk you to a web site chock full of additional gift guides we’ve run.

Ultra Hoodie*
This elite hooded sweatshirt packs advanced features like magnetically-closing pockets, earbud loops, an MP3 player pocket loop, a secret pocket and more. If you rock a hoodie, this is the logical conclusion of your look. Buy it on ThinkGeek.com.

be.ez Laptop Bag*beezbeez
My MacBook Pro loves its be.ez bag: silver on the outside and lime green inside, and packed with tons of padding to keep everyone safe. As protective as that one square dude’s laptop bag but about 8,000 times as charismatic. Buy it on Amazon.

NXZT Avatar Gaming Mouse*avataravatar
Excellent gaming mouse. If your friends aren’t impressed by the Avatar’s 2600 dpi optical sensor and customizable seven-button controls, then they’ll surely be wowed by the cool blue LED ground effects and sweet streamlining. Note, doesn’t work on Macs. Buy it on Amazon.

Skeleflex*
Awesome bone-based plastic toy. You assemble skeletons of aliens, centaurs, giants, dinosaurs and so on into the original creature or combine two or more sets to build a new monster of your own creation! Buy it on Amazon or WildPlanet.com.

Advanced Mastermind advanced-mastermindadvanced-mastermind
In Mastermind, one player creates a ‘code’ of colored marbles, and the other player uses the power of deduction to figure it out. It seems impossible, but once you try it it’s relatively easy and satisfying to solve. I saw Mastermind recommended over and over by mathematicians, but could never find it in a store. Finally, we picked up an old set at a garage sale. This season Target has the four-marble version — great for young players. But if you’ve got older kids or want to play with other adults, try this 5-marble version with 59,000 possible combinations!
Buy it on Amazon.

A Boy and His Blob
Retelling of the classic NES game of the same name. Awesome side-scrolling action as you play the role of a boy and his all-powerful blob friend, who can assume various forms depending on what jelly beans he eats. Packing four beautiful worlds of ten levels each, this is a great game even if you never played the original. A Boy and His Blob

TechShop Membership
Have unlimited tinkering dreams but all-too-limited facilities for making those dreams a reality? TechShop may be the solution for you. It’s a chain of fully-stocked workshops (one site each in Menlo Park CA, Beaverton OR & Durham NC) packing every tool you could imagine. Membership is normally $125 a month but for a limited time you can give someone a guess membership for only $39! Buy it on Techshop.ws

New Era Comic Book Character Capsxmencapxmencap
Created by Buffalo, New York’s New Era Cap Company, these high quality hats are emblazoned with images of your favorite Marvel and DC comic book characters. The scope of New Era’s online selection is nothing short of staggering, but those hoping to pick up one of these amazing creations will likely find many of them as close as your nearest shopping mall, as the Lids chain is an authorized dealer of the product line. Whether you prefer a simple logo design or skillful crop of a classic comic cover in a contemporary fitted or old school trucker style, New Era has got you (and your bald spot) covered.

Custom T-Shirt via Zazzle*
Can’t find the right t-shirt that’s uniquely you? Perhaps you need to design and print your own! This slick process works on your desktop, and no graphics experience is necessary — though you can do some cool stuff if you have those design chops; Zazzle will keep up with your elite skills. Design one on Zazzle.com.

Jedi Robe*jedirobejedirobe
Show your neighborhood Padawan Learner who’s boss with this authoritative robe. Comes with a deep hood that can be dramatically flung back when entering your local tavern. Great for a LARPing, a Halloween costume or simply to show off your extreme geekness. Buy it at ThinkGeek.com.

Sparkle Labs Electronics Kit
Do you have a budding electricical engineer in your house? Or perhaps just a curious child who wants to learn about electronics? The Discover Electronics! Kit from Sparkle Labs is a great gift choice for them, or even for a grown-up who wants to learn or re-learn a few things. It comes with a wide variety of electronics components to make anything from a basic “Ooo it lights up!” circuit to much more complicated projects.

Kobold Quarterly Subscription
Small but fierce, this independent D&D magazine is known for scurrying out of tunnels and ambushing far more dangerous publications. We’re still looking for that hapless copy of Guns N’ Ammo that vanished in kobold territory last week. If you’re a D&D player and want a print zine penned by some of the hottest talent in game writing right now, you want KQ. Get a PDF or print subscription at koboldquarterly.com.

Gunnar Optiks Computer/Gaming Glasses*
If your loved one works and/or plays at the computer for hours at a time, it surely takes a toll on their eyes. Gunnar Optiks makes glasses that relieve digital eye strain, but still manage to look cool. They’ll even make them to fit an existing eyeglass prescription, making them a useful second pair for already-bespectacled folks.

GeekDad Shirt
The only flaw of our new GeekDad t-shirts is they are just a little bit too sexy. Packing the lovable robot logo on front and the blog’s ill tagcloud on the back, this shirt is both a fashion statement and a guide to all the cool topics we cover. You. must. buy. one. on ThinkGeek.com.

Mystery Boxmystery-boxmystery-box
Geek dad and friend of the blog John Edgar Park designed this puzzle box to test both the cunning as well as the self control of the recipient.
First you assemble the box and fill it with notes and fascinating, intriguingly-rattling (curse you, Park!) goodies, then seal it up. Your unwitting recipient can only imagine the contents of the box, unless he or she gets naughty and figures out how to open it. Torture someone close to you today. Buy it at ThinkGeek.

Processing T-Shirtprocessingprocessing
The coolest computer language out there now has gear. Processing makes some of the most beautiful computer graphics around — iTunes’ visualizer is based off a Processing program — and not unexpectedly it also makes a fine shirt as well. Support a great open-source cause, get cool threads. Buy it at the Processing shop.

Playmobil DVD
The Secret of Pirate Island, the new interactive DVD from Playmobil, comes complete with catchy tunes, incredibly cute characters and scenery, and an adventurous storyline with plenty of spots where you can choose how to guide the story. This movie can be watched over and over and can be a little different each time.

D20 Socksd20socksd20socks
Roll a critical hit vs. foot odor with these nerdtastic socks from R Stevens (of Diesel Sweeties) and Sock It To Me. Made of 75% Cotton, 20% Polyester, 5% Spandex and just a hint of adamantine, these bad boys are worth every bit of their $6.99 price tag. Where else could you possibly find a product capable of both geeking out your formal wardrobe and injecting a little class into your weekly tabletop sessions? Buy them on DieselSweeties.com.

Tornado Outbreak*
Play a tornado and careen through the world, hovering up everything in your bath. You can simply participate in challenges (best time, etc.) or you can follow the cheesy plot where you’re battling the forces of evil! Available on Wii, PS3 and XBox 360. Buy it on Amazon.

Chop Shop Robots/Aliens/Vehicles T-Shirts
3 awesome kid and toddler sized t-shirts, each featuring silhouettes of either Aliens, Robots or Vehicles from classic sci-fi movies and TV for only 45 bucks. Hours of fun can be had trying to name all 50 or so pictures on the kids ones – toddler sizes only have 25 as all the ‘nasties’ have been taken out. Did we mention that the Aliens one glows in the dark? And for the perfect GeekDad/Offspring bonding moment, go for the Robot Tin Pack, containing one adult size and one kids, plus a print and 3 badges, all in a cool tin box for only $37.

Bill Gurstelle’s Project Posters*flamethrower-poster-with-notesflamethrower-poster-with-notes
You’re confronted with two problems: Just how do I make a flamethrower? And whatever shall I do with this blank wall? Luckily, Bill Gurstelle has a solution for both: a series (currently just 2, but many more planned) of beautiful 24×36 posters showing off two of his excellent projects: spud gun and flamethrower. These posters, which feature diagrams, instructions and parts lists, provide information as well as being the perfect decoration for your clubhouse or hackerspace. If you don’t know Bill, he wrote the book (actually several books) on various types of catapults and gadgets. Buy Project Posters on Ballisticom.com.

Beating Heart*
This plush heart beats at a specific rate that will help calm you down when your pulse rate is up — ah, blessed relaxation! The fact that the heart is anatomically correct can only help calm you down. Buy it on ThinkGeek.com.

Gamersgate Downloadable Games*
You’re probably already familiar with Steam, but they’re not the only player in the digital game download business, and Gamersgate has several points to recommend it: It has some games Steam doesn’t (though admittedly the reverse is also true); it has better prices on a lot of games than Steam; it has more reliable ratings with regard to age-appropriateness; and it doesn’t require you to install client software on your home computer. They make it very easy to give any game they have as a gift to someone, or to give someone “Blue Coins,” which can be used to purchase any game — all the recipient needs is an email address.

I Void Warranties T-Shirt*
The secret’s out — those precious warranties the manufacturers preach about aren’t there to protect the consumer, but to keep you from opening up your gadget and seeing its guts. It’s never been easier to fix, hack, mod or simply break your toys, and why not? They’re yours! Let everyone know with this awesome t-shirt. Buy it from ThinkGeek.com

*Indicates the reviewer who wrote that gift suggestion has received a free sample of the item described.

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