The following gift suggestions were carefully selected by the GeekDad writers. Need more ideas? Be sure to check out the part one of our list.
Here’s essential reading for fathers who love Star Wars. Cartoonist Jeffrey Brown has envisioned a hilarious world in which Darth Vader has custody of little Luke. He’s still Darth Vader, mind you, but he’s also a dad, with all that it entails: Vader trying to have a conversation with the Emperor while Luke pokes at him, trying to get his attention; “When I was your age, we didn’t even have Star Destroyers”; the awkward response when Luke asks why it’s called a “Death Star.” Buy it at Amazon.
In the age of GoPro cameras, everyone is looking for the next tough and durable thing. A contender may very well be the Olympus TG-1 iHS. This point and click, which is releasing this month, has the credentials to take on anything from motocross to mountain climbing. And, while many of us will never do these things, the same qualities that make a camera tough enough and durable enough for extreme sports also equate to a good camera for an active family. The Olympus TG-1 iHS, aside from having a quick, ultra-bright lens and an impressive display, is waterproof, crushproof, shockproof, freezeproof, and dustproof. Take that, toddlers! Buy at Amazon.
Satechi iFit-2 Portable Rechargeable Speaker Stand
The Satechi iFit-2 is an ultra-portable speaker system that combines great big sound and a tiny price tag. Ruggedly constructed with its own integrated stand, the iFit-2 features a rechargeable lithium ion battery that can provide around six hours of play time. And because it uses a 3.5mm input (instead of the proprietary 30-pin connecter) it works equally well with both Android or iOS phones and tablets. It makes for a wonderfully affordable solution for listening areas, like poolside or in dad’s garage, where pricier speakers fear to tread. Buy it at Amazon.
Review materials provided by: Satechi
If dad has a funny bone, he will love either of these heirloom-quality collections of comic genius. Each collection is complete with all syndicated comics from its respective series and, while neither Gary Larson nor Bill Watterson are creating comics anymore, these books will take dad back to the days when their wonderful brands of humor were on display on a daily basis. Plus, dad will love spending a lazy Sunday afternoon introducing the kids to these grandmasters. Buy The Complete Far Side at Amazon or buy The Complete Calvin & Hobbes at Amazon.
Dead simple app-and-lens that lets you take 360-degree videos with an iPhone 4 or 4s. It’s super quick and easy! It takes the amount of time it’d take to download an app and pop on a case. Shooting is easy, too — just lay the phone down face first and press the “volume up” button to start shooting. The output is pretty neat, too — it’s a video, but you can drag your finger across the picture to scroll around to see the entire room. Buy it from Amazon.
Thunderstone combines deck-building and dungeon crawling, allowing for deeper strategy than Dominion but built on similar gameplay. Thunderstone Advance is a great set to get you started — and once you’re hooked, there are plenty of expansions to be had. Buy it at Amazon.
My number-one tool at home is a DeWalt 18v drill that I use for driving screws as often as actually drilling holes. It’s an amazing tool but is completely eclipsed by this DeWalt impact driver that I had a chance to play with. It’s more powerful than my old drill, the battery is smaller, and the driver packs LED lighting in the business end. The only thing it’s missing is the ability to drill holes — it doesn’t have a chuck. Good news, you can buy a chuck separately to turn it into a drill. Impressively light and powerful. Buy it from Amazon.
Dexter Industries Mindstorms Accessories
Dexter Industries sells add-on sensors for Lego’s blockbuster Mindstorms NXT robotics set. Their Compass Sensor, for example, sends directional information to the NXT brick, so your robot always knows which way’s north. Their Wifi Sensor enables your robot to connect to your wifi network so you could, for instance, send out a tweet with it. Check out their products at dexterindustries.com.
Just released for the awesome Playstation Vita, Resistance: Burning Skies is a prequel to the immensely popular Resistance: Fall of Man game on the PS3. Its fun storyline of aliens invading during the 1950s is sure to captivate sci-fi minded dads and the FPS action will be fun for all gamers. (Resistance: Burning Skies is a “M” rated game.) Buy it at Amazon.
While the typical GeekDad tracks his fitness using his phone, the Striiv Smart Pedometer brings contemporary app-style stats and gamification to the classic step counter. Distance, calories and activity duration are all recorded by this discreet device, and its 3D motion sensor factors out “false movements” like driving. But its brilliant color screen isn’t just for number crunching; the Striiv Smart Pedometer turns your movement into magic. Personalized goals, addictive world-building gaming and an integrated walkathon system that donates to any of a trio of charities – clean water, polio vaccines and rainforest conservation – really help set the Striiv apart from more pedestrian options. Buy it at Amazon.
Review materials provided by: Striiv
Still plugging your camera or SD card reader into the USB drive to download photos? That’s so old-school. Pop an Eye-Fi card into the camera instead, and now whenever you’re in wi-fi range, your photos will be downloaded to your computer, as if by magic. (Note: it’s science, not magic.) You can set up other options like automatic uploading to various photo-sharing sites, or have it send photos to your smartphone or tablet when you’re not near a hotspot. The Pro version also lets you import RAW files and includes geotagging. This tiny little device will save Dad a bunch of time in the long run.
You know dad’s been itching to get some real streaming video into the house, but there are so many choices available. One of the easiest is the Roku box. All you have to do it hook it up to your TV, log it onto your wifi, and everything works. There’s a ton of free content available through the Roku, but it’s also the great way to get the services you may already have on your computer up on your TV. And, especially for Father’s Day right now, there’s a special deal between Roku and Hulu Plus: Get a Roku HD box and 6 months of Hulu Plus for $79.99. Check it out at the Roku site.
Ken Denmead reviewed these more fully a couple weeks ago, but we wanted to make sure folks don’t forget about them. These high-quality, wood headphones sound great, feel great, and look great. We guarantee you get a huge grin out of dad when he sees these. $270 (for the Classic 88s), available at the Meze site.
The idea is simple, but so much fun. The Firefly is a green laser with a refraction lens inside a portable housing. It can run off a wall outlet, or (better yet) AAA batteries, making it a portable light show to take out in the woods, or to a party. It makes for an awesome nightlight, too. $39.95, available from the Firefly Laser website.