Once again it is time for the GeekDad Holiday Gift Guide. We’re running a little late this year, but have a decent collection of things we’ve come across this year that would make great additions to anyone’s holiday shopping list. Below you’ll find a list of toys that have piqued the interest of our writers.
LEGO Creator 3-in-1 sets are my favorite sets. Though free-building is nice, I prefer to follow a set of instructions. And these 3-in-1 sets allow several options in one kit! Ideal for building, taking apart, and rebuilding as often as you like. The Park Street Townhouse set has options for city living, and not-so-city living, along with two minifigs, a scooter, and plenty of charm. Read my review on GeekDad.
The perfect stocking stuffer, each one of these LEGO Classic Quad Packs is affordable, and small enough to tuck out of sight. Choose one of four different colors, or buy the whole set. Each box comes with enough bricks to build three different tiny builds, including an animal, a building of some kind, and a mode of transportation. Fun for all ages! Read my review on GeekDad.
If there’s a Transformers fan on your list, this is the toy they want. Full stop. Just like last year’s Fortress Maximus, Trypticon is a city bot of the ridiculously large order. Just in case all the purple didn’t tip you off, this one’s stomping ‘bots for the Decepticons. It stands just a little bit shorter than Fort Max, but what it lacks in height, it more than makes up for in playability. He’s a robotic T-Rex in his main mode, which already gives him an advantage. His companion bots transform into a deluxe-sized car, whose Titan Master head activates Trypticon’s head canon. He has an action feature where he can “eat” Titan Masters (don’t worry, you can retrieve them from his stomach). His base mode is perfectly sized for all those wee-little head bots and has a great ramp for launching vehicles. His spaceship mode (which was laughable in the G1 iteration) is actually a worthwhile third mode. It’s the kind of toy that will keep them guessing while the (giant) box is under the tree and will get played with a lot after it’s been unpacked and assembled (there are stickers, they’re not necessary, but you’ve been warned if sticker placement drives you or your kids nuts). Especially if they already have Fortress Maximus, Transformers Titans Return Trypticon is a must have.
At the age of six, my daughter confided in me that she is, in fact, a mermaid. (I’m assuming that it comes from her mother’s side of the family, but, hey, who knows?!) Her fascination with these women of the sea has been a comfortable constant, even as she’s grown into her tumultuous tween years. And her Blankie Tail has grown right along with her. Part costume toy, part blanket, and all snuggly fun, the original Blankie Tails line has now expanded to include ombré and My Little Pony designs, sharks (for kids who are into more mundane forms of sea life), rockets (for the sci-fi set), and even adult sizes. [Review product provided by: Blankie Tails]
“Daddy, Guess Which Pokémon I’m Thinking Of!” is my family’s longest-running and, if I’m being honest, most exhausting car-ride game. Thankfully, Pokémon Trainer Guess has arrived to provide me with a little much-needed backup. Simply turn on this electronic Pokéball, pick any of the original 151 Kanto Pokémon from the handy guidebook, and press the button. Pokémon Trainer Guess will ask a series of yes/no questions and, as your kids respond verbally, will eventually “guess” the Pocket Monster in question. Just like magic! (Or, you know, via the process of elimination.) [Review product provided by: The Bridge Direct]
Transformers: Robots in Disguise Combiner Force Team Menasor
Suggested By: Anthony Karcz
Purchase: Transformers: Robots in Disguise Combiner Force Team Menasor
If you have younger Transformers fans on your list, or are looking for something that is a little less devastating (on your wallet as well as your floor space) than Trypticon, the Combiner Teams from Robots in Disguise are a great gift. Hasbro sent over the Menasor Combiner Team for me to check out and they’re a fun, easy way to get an entire group of bots in one shot. Similar in concept to the Power Core Combiner line from 2010, the Combiner Teams have one central bot that is a fully-transforming and articulated bot. The limbs consist of four less complicated Transformers with simpler articulation. That didn’t keep Hasbro from giving them standout decos and tons of personality. The transformation is simple enough that it won’t frustrate younger Transformers fans. At the same time, it’s not so simple (like the movie-line one-step-changers) that it will be dismissed by older fans. Plus, Hasbro nailed the look of the Robots in Disguise animation models. Perfect for gifting – grab a set of Decepticons and a set of Autobots for instant Transformers battles.
I pretty quickly fell in love with the BB-8 Sphero put out after the release of The Force Awakens, but as cute and awesome as it is, it doesn’t hold a candle to R2. This one is appropriately scaled to the same size as BB-8 (which is to say, it’s about 2x as large). The new app, which can be used to control all of Sphero’s Star Wars droids, makes it very simple to start controlling your droid. You can “pilot” him directly, or draw a path you’d like him to follow and watch him go. Patrol mode, where you can simply set him free to roam, is also still there. And, he even has that third leg that pops out when he needs it. This is easily in my top five all-time favorite Star Wars toys. Check out a full review of R2, BB-8, and the new addition to the ‘family’—BB-9E—by my fellow GeekDad Randy Slavey for more details.
With the recent release of Thor: Ragnarok, MARVEL fans are out to have the best toys to celebrate the return of their heroes to the big screen. Bring home the epic story for your Geek who loves to build their worlds of their heroes and bring the story to life.
I own entirely too many toys and collectibles. I keep trying to cull the herd, but they continue to accumulate on desks and windowsills, shelves and bookcases. My current favorites are from PDP’s Pixel Pals collection. Featuring light-up, pixelated designs of characters pulled from classic video games, comics, and more, they’re just too adorable (and, I might add, affordable) for me to pass up. [Review materials provided by: PDP]
The Star Wars: Forces of Destiny line of toys, books, and shorts is our favorite thing to hit Star Wars in a long time. The show, books, and toys all focus on the strong powerful women of Star Wars. I actually have a strong attachment to ewoks from my childhood so the Endor Adventure set with Wicket and Leia is one of my favorites, but there are tons more available including Sabine, Rey, Jyn, and Ahsoka to name a few!
Form Voltron! The Legendary bundle of Voltron: Legendary Defender is the most amazing Voltron set you can get. Each lion is huge and super articulated, and black lion features lights and sounds. But it doesn’t end there. As you form Voltron, additional sounds and phrases are unlocked. Add all of this to the fact the the assembled Voltron is ginormous, this set is a great value for your money and a must have for any Voltron fan!