2018 GeekDad Father’s Day Gift Guide

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Father’s Day is upon us and while it may be too late to acquire some of these items in time, here’s a list of things we as parents would appreciate giving or receiving on this special day.


Watershed & Knockmealdowns

Watershed and Knockmealdown, single malt Irish whiskies from Tipperary

Watershed & Knockmealdowns
Suggested By: Dave Banks
Mfg: Tipperary Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Price: $60-90
Purchase: Watershed & Knockmealdowns

It’s a long way to Tipperary, as the song goes, but dad won’t have to travel that far to get a taste from this nook of the Emerald Isle. A new distillery in the rolling pastures of the Golden Vale has a couple of expressions to make Father’s Day just a bit more relaxing. Watershed, released without an age statement, has been aged in first-fill bourbon casks and presents a balanced and crisp blend that is rich with woods and grains and a spicy finish. Each bottle is numbered so each visit to Watershed will be a bit unique. Watershed’s older brother, Knockmealdown, wears a 10 year badge, is also aged in first-fill bourbon barrels and has a really great nose and taste. There’s some honey and fruitiness and definitely more complexity in its flavor, which finds its way nicely into a lingering finish of pepper and ginger. Both are non-chill filtered, so sensitive palates may pick up a few more flavors and those lovely rich oils that other, more processed whiskies lack. Irish whiskey is the fastest growing segment in the world’s whiskey markets and Tipperary’s offerings are a great introduction to Irish single malts.


My Ravensburger Photo Puzzle

Avengers, Assemble!

My Ravensburger Photo Puzzle
Suggested By: Will James
Mfg: Ravensburger
Price: $34-50
Purchase: My Ravensburger Photo Puzzle

My Ravensburger puzzles are very high quality puzzles that you use your own photo for, come in a nice metal tin, and are available in 100, 200, 300, 500, 1000, and 1500 piece versions. You can check out my full write up and see what photo I used!


BEAM

BEAM dynamic badge

BEAM
Suggested By: Z.
Mfg: BEAM Authentic
Price: $119
Purchase: BEAM

Practically everything I own has a pin or patch or sticker on it. I’d like to think that this tendency comes from my hard-fought iconoclast aesthetic, but it’s just as likely tied to my inability to simply leave well enough alone. Regardless, the ultimate cyberpunk accessory for your particular pop is easily the BEAM wearable. This Bluetooth-enabled AMOLED badge can display anything from his personal brand to his favorite band to his most cherished memes. Battery life varies—from around 12 hours for a rotating slideshow of static images to about half that for a nonstop GIF loop—with an onboard ambient light sensor and accelerometer to help make the most of its juice. There’s even a “panic button” feature that can send the wearer’s GPS location to up to four recipients with a single push. So whether your dad wants to raise awareness or just have a handsome conversation starter for his next fan convention or Maker Faire, the BEAM is sure to be his new favorite accessory. [Review material provided by: BEAM Authentic]


RPG Crate

June’s RPG Crate theme is Wondrous Power

RPG Crate
Suggested By: Z.
Mfg: Lost Tomes / RPGCrate
Price: $33.89/month
Purchase: RPG Crate

I have a love/hate relationship with monthly mystery box services that skews heavily towards the latter. Earlier this year, though, I managed to find one that easily captured my dungeon-crawling heart. Whether your system of choice is D&D fifth edition or Pathfinder, RPG Crate is a monthly subscription service that promises big adventure for under $34 per box. In addition to things like gaming miniatures and t-shirts, you can also expect quality roleplaying modules, DM aids—I ended up with a fantastic set of Dungeonmorph Dice—and more. What other mystery monthly would include mini-map cards that double as snack recipes with names like “Slime Pit Munch” and “Gelatinous Crunch”?! If your dad’s a tabletop gamer (and especially if you game together as a family), RPG Crate promises exactly the kinds of minis, campaign settings, and other gaming treasures that assure this is a Father’s Day he never forgets. [Review materials provided by: RPG Crate]


Make: Tips and Tales from the Workshop: A Handy Reference for Makers

Cover of ‘Make: Tips and Tales from the Workshop: A Handy Reference for Makers’

Make: Tips and Tales from the Workshop: A Handy Reference for Makers
Suggested By: Andrew Terranova
Mfg: Maker Media, Inc.
Price: $21 to $25
Purchase: Make: Tips and Tales from the Workshop: A Handy Reference for Makers

This is a great gift for your favorite GeekDad who is into DIY.
Every handy or crafty dad can benefit from workshop tips and tricks. This book pulls in some great ideas from experienced makers, builders, and craftsmen on many subjects. Quoting from the book’s Amazon description, you’ll find tips on “measuring and cutting, gluing and fastening, clamping and joining, drilling, shop organizing, maintenance and repair, and more.”


New LEGO Sets: Open-Ended and Architecture Sets

The LEGO Architecture Shanghai set and the LEGO Classic Bricks on a Roll set. Images: LEGO

New LEGO Sets: Open-Ended and Architecture Sets
Suggested By: Jenny Bristol
Mfg: LEGO
Price: Prices vary
Purchase: New LEGO Sets: Open-Ended and Architecture Sets

It’s always a good time to give LEGO as a gift. Whether your favorite father in your life loves building LEGO himself, or he has a great time building kits with his kids, it’s always LEGO season. This year, there are some interesting new sets. LEGO Architecture has the new Shanghai set, with almost 600 pieces! It uses pieces in innovative ways, using rubber rods to allow one building to twist while holding it steady. It’s great fun to build, and the instruction book also takes you on a tour of the real-life buildings represented in the set. It’s also still the 60th anniversary of the brick—the LEGO brick—so one of the anniversary sets, such as the Bricks on a Roll set, would be perfect for joint play with parents and kids who are always on the move. There are so many bricks (442 in all colors of the rainbow), you can build the included set suggestions and have probably over 100 pieces left. Then take them all apart and build more wheeled masterpieces, again and again. Build a food truck, or a wheeled robot, or invent something wholly new. But if your favorite dad is more into the multi-hour, intense LEGO build, check out the brand new LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron or the drool-worthy Roller Coaster set from LEGO Creator. Or save the project up for Independence Day and build the LEGO Architecture Statue of Liberty!


Lander Cairn XL Smart Lantern + Powerbank

Left: Controlling the intensity of light from the lantern. Middle: The Lander Cairn XL lantern and powerbank. (Image: Lander) Right: Useful options in the Lander app.

Lander Cairn XL Smart Lantern + Powerbank
Suggested By: Jenny Bristol
Mfg: Lander
Price: $99.95
Purchase: Lander Cairn XL Smart Lantern + Powerbank

Father’s Day comes near the beginning of summer vacation for most people, and summer is the perfect time for camping trips, odd projects, and outdoor adventure. And, though it does stay light fairly late in most places, it’s also warm enough all night to go wherever your heart takes you. Light your way with the waterproof Lander Cairn XL Smart Lantern + Powerbank, a new model of this fantastic, app-enabled lantern with 350 lumens and 250+ hours of light time. This lantern is the best one I’ve ever seen. You can control many of its operations with a button switch on the side, but you get fine control by using the Lander app: dim the light, scroll through the full RGB spectrum, turn on strobe mode (for safety or for parties in the woods), turn on Smart Proximity or Proximity Battery Save to dim or turn off the lantern when you’re not nearby, set the sleep/wake timer, or turn on Find My Cairn, which causes your lantern to make a distinctive noise to allow you to find it. Additionally, the Cairn XL works as a 10K mAh power bank for when you don’t need all of its power to light your way. It’s got a 2.1 amp output and can recharge your mobile device up to 4 times. I can think of all kinds of creative uses for this lantern because of its clever fancy bungee cord anchor system. Put it in your tent while camping. Strap it to your backpack on a hike. Use under your desk when fiddling with your computer’s connections. Attach it to the inside of your car’s hood when doing car maintenance. The possibilities are endless.


LEGO Star Wars Han Solo's Landspeeder

Image: LEGO

LEGO Star Wars Han Solo’s Landspeeder
Suggested By: Rory Bristol
Mfg: LEGO
Price: $29.99 USD
Purchase: LEGO Star Wars Han Solo’s Landspeeder

From the epic and trouble-filled chase scene, Han Solo and Qi’ra find themselves fleeing Moloch with his Corellian hounds. This kit allows Dad to relive the epic flight in Han’s stolen Mobquet M-68 Landspeeder. There are wheels tucked away underneath to create the hover effect, along with hidden compartments, spring-loaded shooters, and ammo for the various unused weapons.
In your Father’s story, though, perhaps Han doesn’t get stuck in a narrow alley, praying for the squeeze-through. Of course, the Landspeeder is probably Dad’s must-have dream car, but this kit will do in the meantime. Outlaw dice not included.


Lenovo Yoga 920

Lenovo Yoga 920 on the oak table my father refinished after Hurricane Ike.

Lenovo Yoga 920
Suggested By: Anton
Mfg: Lenovo
Price: $1150 and up
Purchase: Lenovo Yoga 920

I was skeptical on how well this little machine would perform but I am duly impressed.

The Yoga 920 is both a capable laptop and tablet that switches effortlessly between the two modes. The hinge is mechanically interesting and much sturdier than any other convertible I’ve tried. The keyboard folds completely behind the screen leaving you with a clean and thin tablet. The only thing I found awkward was the keyboard becomes the back of the tablet and feels a little weird. The keys and touchpad are disabled in tablet mode so it does no harm if they are pressed.

Overall this is very capable and portable laptop and would make a great gift for the Father in your life.

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