An Original Everlasting Gobstopper
One of two known to exist, this target of Slugworth’s confectionery espionage is up on the auction block this summer. This Gobstopper was the sample given to Veruca Salt and comes with a notarized letter that certifies its authenticity. The sweet is from the collection of Julie Dawn Cole, who played Veruca, and is just one of many objects in this Willy Wonka-specific auction.
Estimated cost: $20,000-$30,000
How Not to Kill Your Baby
First-time parents have it tough. There’s the crying and the feeding and the many, many stinky diapers. With all of this going on, it’s easy to lose track of simple things like the fact that this healthy sized book is a choking hazard — “if your child has a large, book-shaped mouth.” How Not to Kill Your Baby is a funny parody of parenting books and a must-have for new dads or dads-to-be. Buy it at Amazon.
Ryobi TEK4 AllPlay Job Site Music Player
Brad Moon reviewed the Ryobi TEK4 AllPlay Job Site Music Player back in 2010. It’s one of the uglier looking MP3 players out there, but he uses it constantly. Why? “When I’m working outside, I don’t want to put my iPod or iPhone in danger. When I’m camping, I don’t want to recharge a battery every few days,” says Brad. The AllPlay is virtually indestructible and consistently delivers a solid week or more of heavy use between charges. It plays AAC files (as well as MP3, WMA and WAV), has a replaceable battery and costs under 40 bucks. Buy it from Amazon.
Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a family-friendly cooperative board game about firefighting: rescue victims from a burning building before it collapses. It’s in a similar vein to fan favorite Pandemic, but (like fire) can be a bit more volatile and unpredictable. A fantastic game, whether you play with your kids or your adult gamer friends. Read the review or buy it from Amazon.
The iRig Mix from IK Multimedia is an amazing piece of complementary hardware designed for use with their DJ Rig mobile music solution. This compact mixer lets iPad DJs easily cue up and crossfade tracks between two devices and helps mirror other in-app controls, like volume and EQ, via a solidly-constructed physical interface. It allows for the integration of outside instrument/microphones via a third input channel, and its X-Sync features lets you synchronize beats even with non-iOS audio sources. Better yet, the mixer also works with all of dad’s other music-making apps. Buy it from Amazon.
America’s Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America’s Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants
Stereotypes have taught me that in many families, the backyard barbecue is dad’s domain. Generalizations aside, barbecue is a wonderfully delicious food with a history as rich as the tangy rubs and sauces on a slab of ribs. If your dad is a barbecue fan, he’ll be fascinated by this guide to the best recipes for from pulled pork to coleslaw is a slow-smoked masterpiece. Inside, you’ll find recipes you can try in your backyard, obscure joints to seek out when you travel, and a healthy serving of BBQ history. Buy it at Amazon.
RC Mario Karts
I’ve loved playing Mario Kart since the very first version back in the day and ever since Ninty started licensing the brand I’ve been dropping subtle hints about how cool these mini R/C Mario and Yoshi karts are, but to no avail! Now, thanks to the nice people at Goldie, we can all have our very own kart races across the kitchen floor. The karts charge up in 15 minutes from the 3 AAs in the controller and are good for about another 15 minutes of whizzing around the crazy tracks you make up. There are also larger karts, collectible figures (series 3 is out soon) and a host of other cool products in the range too. Buy it at Amazon.
The Batman Files
While The Dark Knight Rises won’t hit theaters until a month after Father’s Day, dad can brush up on his Batman knowledge with this gorgeous, in-depth collection of detailed vehicle schematics, police reports, and journal entries that are sure to impress even the most hardcore Batman fans. There are newspaper clippings, business cards, and even death certificates – some of which you can remove from the book – all of which help complete the complicated life of Batman. Buy it at Amazon.
Classic Battleship Movie Edition
Based on the new motion picture, this movie-themed version of the classic Battleship game brings to life all the excitement of the big screen. Sink your opponent’s fleet before he sinks yours in this action-packed naval combat game. Choose to command the navy or the alien fleet, and defeat your enemy with new special ops cards that allow you to fire out complete columns of coordinates, fire as many shots as you have ships, or force your opponent to reveal un-hit coordinates. The classic “hit” or “miss” game comes in two folding hard-cases that make it convenient to transport and store all of the pieces for easy play. Buy it at Amazon.
Doubleclicks: Chainmail and Cello
The Doubleclicks sing awesome songs about Dungeons & Dragons and the proper use of apostrophes. Their new CD Chainmail and Cello has 15 tracks of geeky goodness. (Note: it’s not all kid-safe, though. For your kids you’ll want to steer them toward the Worst Superpower Ever EP.)
Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson
A novel about first contact with aliens, from the point of view of a videogame developer and blogger. Richardson’s keen observations of human behavior combined with his sharp sense of humor make Constellation Games a terrific read. By the end you’ll be ready to welcome some alien overlords. Read the review or buy it at Amazon.
Satchi BT Portable Speaker
The Satechi BT (Bluetooth) is a tiny portable wireless speaker with a big sound and a built in mic. It works with most Bluetooth enabled devices, including Mac, iOS and Android. Measuring only 68.5mm square and 42mm tall, it weighs in at a slight 94g. Still, this packs 3W power output and an amplifier frequency range of 280Hz–16KHz. Not too shabby. Once you pop open its expandable bass tower, this thing can really pump up the volume. You can daisy chain multiple speakers together for an even bigger sound. Buy it at Amazon.
littleBits Electronics Starter Kit
If you’re reading this blog, chances are that much of your day involves interacting with electronic devices of one kind or another. But do you really understand how they work? LittleBits is a great way to get a fast and fun education in basic electronics. These modular, magnetic (no soldering or programming required!) components are the epitome of pick-up-and-play; simply start connecting components and discover what works and what doesn’t. If you like Lego, you will love LittleBits. Buy it at LittleBits.cc.