Gift suggestions from the writers of GeekDad. Also be sure to check out our
previous guides for additional ideas.
The Swarmfire is an electrically powered, fully automatic Nerf gun in the vein of the Stampede: you pull the trigger, and darts shoot forth until it runs dry. The Swarmfire doesn’t have a clip; it has a Gatling-style bezel in front with openings for 20 darts. The most obvious benefit of this system is that you can load quickly and easily. Hastily shoving darts into a clip during a Nerf scrum is a recipe for a jammed blaster. With the Swarmfire, jamming is impossible.
Another bonus: you can use any kind of dart that you like. This is not true of all Nerf guns: Clip System models can only use CS darts, while the Maverick doesn’t seem to like CS darts and does better with suction-cup. The Swarmfire does it all — you can put any kind of standard Nerf dart in the blaster and it will shoot them forth as sweet as you’d like. Buy it from Amazon.
OpenDesign’s Streets of Zobeck
Gritty rogue adventures for gritty rogues in a gritty rogue-loving city. What’s not to like? This book is crammed with adventures, characters, locations for the Pathfinder setting, all focused on the dark dealings of rogues. OpenDesign’s patronage system is a fascinating way of creating RPG materials. The way it works is that a theoretical product is pitched to patrons, who buy in for the right to help brainstorm plot elements. Money raised is used to pay writers, artists, as well as the printing costs. Buy it from the Kobold Quarterly store.
Kleen Kanteen Insulated Mug
Is your Dad an avid coffee or tea drinker? The Kleen Kanteen insulated mug is just what he needs when on the go. It’s food-grade stainless steel means his afternoon tea won’t taste like morning’s coffee, and the double-walled vacuum insulation really works to keep hot beverages hot for up to 6 hours. It’s a low tech product that really works! Buy it from Amazon.
The title of the book Go the F*** to Sleep should make it pretty obvious why most dads would enjoy it. Is there any parent of either sex who’s never badly wanted to say that? We think not.
Toshiba Canvio USB 3.0 External Hard Drive
Light and handy portable drive for PC-heads whose storage needs are too elite for mere thumb drives. The USB 3.0 offers super quick transfer speeds but is backwards compatible to 2. Buy it from Amazon.
Rocking out at home can be a noisy affair. Especially as Dad relives his glory days in a ’60′s psychedelic rock band. Help keep the ‘wall of sound’ contained in a pair of headphones with the iRig adapter for the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. This plug enables you to jack in your guitar and when paired with the AmpliTube app for iOS, allows Dad to create his own effects and amp rig and turn things up to eleven from the comfort of his favorite chair. Hmm. Who’s this gift for, anyway? Buy it from Amazon.
Harman Kardon Sound Sticks III
A refresh of the now-classic computer speakers, the Sound Sticks III offer great sound with a sweet and distinctive look. You can put the big ole sub — suitably lit up with a white LED — on the floor for maximum shaking, but I put mine on the desk where I can see it. I like how the satellite speakers have a touch control to change the volume or mute altogether, or you can turn the knob on the sub. Buy them from Amazon.
Zoom H1 Portable Digital Recorder
If the GeekDad on your list is a musician, a podcaster or a fan of live music, the Zoom H1 Portable Digital Recorder makes an ideal gift. In an age where field recorders (both audio and video) have become outmoded by flexible, powerful smartphones, the H1 still stands out as a viable dedicated device. Its stereo microphone configuration captures crystal clear sound across a variety of WAV and MP3 bitrates, its microSD support makes it easily scalable based on individual projects and its diminutive size means it’s never intrusive or cumbersome. Perfect for recording live shows, interviews or song demos, the H1 costs under $100 via Amazon and comes bundled with all the necessary accessories for just a few dollars more.
Data Robotics Drobo Storage Array
Multi-drive enclosure with enough bays to keep Dad’s data stored securely. But wait! This isn’t a RAID, the drives are all hot-swappable. You shove standard 5.25″ drives into the bays, and magically all the data is backed up over all the drives, so if one dies, all the data remains. An elegantly simple way to manage your data backups. Buy it from Amazon.
This 18″ Technic car model is packed with all the options — Power Functions motors open the scissor doors, extend the rear spoiler, or pop the hood. Even the guts of the car are detailed: build the engine, suspension, and steering along with the chassis and body. And if the coupe is too laid-back, Dad can rebuilt the model into a hot rod! SupercarBuy it from Lego.com.
Contour HD Wearable Camera
Helmet cam records 1080p to a microSD card, making every big trip or go-kart race an opportunity for footage. The special feature that really impressed me about the camera is its method for determining the orientation of the shot. Two laser pointers shine out by the lens, and you turn the bezel to align the two dots with the horizon. The battery gives you 4 hours of juice, and if you get a big enough microSD card (it come with a modest 2-gigger) you can record the whole time. Buy it from Amazon.
Does the dad you’re buying for like a good cocktail every now and then? There’s no way to make cocktails any geekier than with the Molecular Cocktails Starter Kit from ThinkGeek. Just tell him he can make a martini that actually glows in the dark (but still tastes perfectly normal), and he’ll get to experimenting, we’re pretty sure. The kit comes with lots of recipes, including for virgin cocktails for those who don’t partake of alcohol for any reason.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage
Music geeks and geeks in general have a thing for Rush, the Canadian prog-rock power trio who trail only the Beatles and Rolling Stones for consecutive gold or platinum releases, yet maintain a status as the world’s biggest cult band. Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage includes over three hours of archival video, interviews and early performances from the band’s 40 year career. If you’ve always wondered what was up with the Kimonos onstage in the seventies, or want to hear Neil Peart explain the Ayn Rand thing, this is the documentary for you. The Blu-Ray edition adds 1.5 hours of exclusive footage including concert performances. I’ve watched Beyond The Lighted Stage multiple times with my 10 year olds, after which we rock out together, playing Tom Sawyer and Subdivisions on Rock Band. According to my wife, it’s a guy thing.
Definitely non-mainstream laptop and iPad sleeve covered in molded rubber shapes, reminiscent of some accessory a Death Star officer would carry. It’s a cool looking case that also protects Dad’s tablet or computer from damage. Buy it from Amazon.
Buying a gift for a dad who loves his food hot? Does his chili recipe start with five fresh habaneros? Put his taste buds to the ultimate test with Ghost Pepper Chili Flakes for only $11.99 from our friends at ThinkGeek. NOTE: GeekDad is not responsible for any hallucinations of coyotes speaking with Johnny Cash’s voice.
Casio Edifice EFA Series
Casio’s Edifice line is an upscale selection of watches designed to look great both in the office and just when hanging out. Time nerds will obsess over these watches’ absurd precision. The one we checked out has a stopwatch measures time to the thousandths of a second. Other features — like its 100m water resistance, 3-year battery life, auto LED light, calendar, and world time with 29 time zones — may seal the deal. Buy it from Amazon.
iFrogz EarPollution Ronin Headphones
DJ-style headphones with attitude, the Ronin line packs great 50mm drivers with durable construction and a cool style as well. One hidden benefit is that the earpieces fold into the head part for great transportability. Buy them from Amazon.