Nothing quite defines geeks like their affinity for gadgets and toys. Regardless of our specific geekdom, we often find ourselves ogling some cool new tech toy or handy gadget to make our lives more fun. This year it appears that our contributors have been wooed by a plethora of items. Below we present part two of our gadgets and toys guide.
Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. This means that the contributor (or GeekDad) may make a small amount of commission if you click through and purchase the item at no extra cost to you. We may have also received the item for review from the manufacturer, and this in no way influences our opinions. If we don’t like something you will not see it here.
Victrola Canvas 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player
Suggested By: Dakster Sullivan
Purchase: Victrola Canvas 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player
Give the gift of music with the portable, 3-speed, Bluetooth record player from Victrola. You can play via the built-in Bluetooth speakers or hook it up to your existing sound system. Comes with 50 retro stickers, so you can get a jump start on decorating or use your own favorite band stickers. It’s easy to set up and get going right out of the box, and the built-in speakers sound great as well.
If you need an external or separate monitor but don’t have room to keep one set up, the Vissles-M is a great option. Packing easily away in its included sleeve, this one Just Works and has several different ways to connect to devices. Though it works best when you have a USB-C connection, HDMI and USB-A are also available. There’s also a headphone jack that works for speakers as well. Read my full review.
Based on her appearance in Batman: The Animated Series, this 1/6 scale Catwoman figure comes packed with accessories, including alternate heads, hands, and whips, as well as gems and jewelry for this master thief to pilfer and a feline companion.
The figure is available in both a standard edition for $160, or for $165 you can pick up the exclusive edition, which includes a reclining black cat and a maskless alternate Selina Kyle head.
Based on artist Mike Mitchell’s “Treehugger” art print, this vinyl and PVC figure set features Rocket Raccoon and Groot from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy expressing their friendship through a hug. This exclusive set also includes a potted Baby Groot figure.
Yogibo, creators of furniture and convenience items, has introduced a new line of gadget-toys called Jogoball. Each Jogoball comes with a sleeve, games, exercises, and activities, but attaching more sleeves to your account gets you even more content, plus cute outfits for your Jogoball to wear! The Jogoball’s blue androgynous sleeve attaches to your smart device and has activities for Active play, Mind games, Music activities, and Social activities. This is a great toy for kids you want to do group play, get to know each other better, or (in the case of the Active category) just wear themselves out through vigorous play.
The only downside to this toy is that it is not accessible for all kids, in that there is no sound-free mode for play. The games are meant to be screen-free, so there’s no closed caption for the instructions, the tutorials, or the gameplay itself.
From Universal Studios and LEGO comes Dom’s Dodge Charger, a 1077-piece recreation of the 1970s Dodge Charger R/T from The Fast & Furious movies. It’s a Technic kit, which is a more detailed, challenging build than standard LEGO kits. As such, it’s for kids 10+.
This model features moving pistons, suspension, steering system, and air blower. You can even show off the model in a wheelstand position. When completed, the model car is 15″ long.
COBI produces construction kits that allow you to build a wide array of vehicles from plastic blocks. The vast majority of their models are war-themed, with specific product ranges for various conflicts including WWII, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War, but there are also a number of other ranges including Maserati, Boeing, and a Smithsonian collection.
We absolutely loved building the COBI models we received. They are easy to build with great instructions and solid final construction. The finished models are stunning to look at, have great play value, and wouldn’t look out of place on the shelf of any collector.
Fresh Dolls from World of EPI are a fantastic new line of fashion dolls that feature a wide range of representation without being super expensive! With a variety of skin tones, hairstyles and textures, and genders, every kid can see themselves in Fresh Dolls. And on top of that, while all of the Fresh Dolls we sampled have the same body type, it is a more realistic body (wider hips, bigger bottoms) than traditional dolls. Our daughter loves hers!
This year has seen many new obsessions in our house. One unexpected one is fishing. Having not fished in over ten years, I was surprised, but it was not real fish that my daughter wanted to catch but every toy in the house, using magnets or string or catching virtually in Animal Crossing. She became enraptured with this idea. Always one to encourage the varied passions of our kids, V-Tech provided the solution with the Jiggle and Giggle Fishing Set. It comes with seven magnetic sea creatures, a magnetic fishing pole, and a handy storage basket. It handily helps her catch the sea creatures it comes with, almost everything in daddy’s garage, and our metal Risk figures. Daddy’s board game kit has actually become a prime fishing spot in our house.
Being V-tech, of course there is smart technology attached. The bobber recognizes which creature you have caught and responds with appropriate (and appropriately ear-wormy) songs and catchphrases. Three modes teach basic lessons on numbers, colors, and animals, all of which she has already mastered but are fun nonetheless. We are big V-tech fans in our house—there is always something for everyone, and the quality is always great. Though I fear my husband and I will be singing V-tech songs in our dotage, they are well worth it for the joy they bring. The recommended age for this toy is 2-5, so my daughter is on the latter end of the age range. However, her brothers, at eight and eleven, have found great joy in playing with this. None of them are happy that I won’t let them take it in the bath, but everyone has been disappointed by something in 2020. All in all, this is a great toy for any pre-schooler.