The 10 Best Video Game Themed Valentine’s Day Gifts

valentine-heart-minecraft

Valentine’s Day is the time to show your significant other how much they mean to you. But if you’re not a fan of chocolate, flowers, and other traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, maybe game-themed Valentine’s Day gifts would be more fitting. If you’re in a relationship with someone who loves video games, you have tons of fun gift options to choose from. Here are some great Valentine’s Day gifts for gamers! 1. Super Mario Party Super Mario Party Super Mario Party Buy Now At Amazon $55.95 What’s a better gift for a gamer than a new game to enjoy? Getting one…

Read the full article: The 10 Best Video Game Themed Valentine’s Day Gifts

Valentine’s Day is the time to show your significant other how much they mean to you. But if you’re not a fan of chocolate, flowers, and other traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, maybe game-themed Valentine’s Day gifts would be more fitting.

If you’re in a relationship with someone who loves video games, you have tons of fun gift options to choose from. Here are some great Valentine’s Day gifts for gamers!

1. Super Mario Party

Super Mario Party Super Mario Party Buy Now At Amazon $55.95

What’s a better gift for a gamer than a new game to enjoy? Getting one that you can play together is even better, and Super Mario Party for the Switch is a perfect pick. It’s a lighthearted party game that anyone can enjoy, even if they don’t play many video games.

The latest iteration of Mario Party uses the Joy-Con controllers for a variety of minigames and adds some fun changes to shake up the established formula. You can compete against each other or team up to take down the competition.

If Mario Party isn’t your significant other’s style, the Switch has more great choices that you can enjoy together, like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. And if they don’t have a Switch, don’t worry. There are plenty of other games that can boost your relationship on other platforms.

2. Fangamer Jewelry

Fangamer Necklace Valentine's Day

Jewelry is a common Valentine’s Day gift, and Fangamer has several options to let your loved one show off their interests. It offers a few necklaces and sets of earrings from Nintendo franchises including Zelda, Mario, and Animal Crossing.

You can pick from key, Triforce, and rupee necklaces (or rupee earrings) from Zelda, a leaf necklace or earrings from Animal Crossing, or a question mark block necklace from Mario. They’re all high-quality and your lover will think of you all year while wearing them!

3. Funko Pop Figurines

Aloy Funko Pop

Funko Pop Games: Horizon Zero Dawn - Aloy Collectible Vinyl Figure Funko Pop Games: Horizon Zero Dawn - Aloy Collectible Vinyl Figure Buy Now At Amazon $9.95

You’re probably familiar with Funko Pops, the vinyl collectible figurines available in game and toy stores. What you might not know is that video games are well-represented in the Funko world. If you’re buying for someone who loves trinkets on their desk, or collects figurines, this is a perfect choice.

Funko Pops aren’t the highest-quality figures available, but they’re inexpensive and cute, so they make great gifts. We’ve highlighted Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn, one of the best PS4 exclusives, but you’ll find figurines from pretty much every game imaginable.

4. Overwatch D.Va Pillow

Overwatch D.Va Pillow

Official Overwatch D.Va Plush Pillow Toy from Blizzard Entertainment - 14" Dva Plushie Official Overwatch D.Va Plush Pillow Toy from Blizzard Entertainment - 14" Dva Plushie Buy Now At Amazon $14.70

Overwatch has become one of the most beloved online games thanks in part to its fun cast of characters and lore. Thus, it’s no surprise that Blizzard offers tons of Overwatch merchandise.

One of the best options for Valentine’s Day is this D.Va pillow. It’s in the shape of her bunny logo and is super soft. Whether you’re buying for a D.Va main or just someone who likes Overwatch, this is a fun gift that won’t get nerfed.

Speaking of Overwatch, have a look at our comprehensive guide to Overwatch heroes if you’re new to the game.

5. Video Game Art Books

Persona 5 Artbook

Persona 5 Official Setting Picture Guide Book [JAPANESE EDITION] 2016 Persona 5 Official Setting Picture Guide Book [JAPANESE EDITION] 2016 Buy Now At Amazon $39.99

A lot of games are filled with beautiful art. From background illustrations to enemy designs and character drafts, there’s a lot to take in. Many publishers thus release art books to collect all these drawings and behind-the-scenes goodies in one place.

We’ve highlighted this Persona 5 art book thanks to its unique and slick art style, but you’ll find art books for lots of other games too. Anyone who wants to mull over the artwork from their favorite titles will love receiving a book like this as a present.

6. Cuphead Ceramic Mug

Cuphead Mug

Cuphead 20 Ounce Ceramic Molded Mug - Licensed Collectible Gaming Accessories - Unique Novelty Kitchen Drinkware - Perfect for Collectors, Birthdays, Holidays, House Warming Parties Cuphead 20 Ounce Ceramic Molded Mug - Licensed Collectible Gaming Accessories - Unique Novelty Kitchen Drinkware - Perfect for Collectors, Birthdays, Holidays, House Warming Parties Buy Now At Amazon $18.99

Mugs are another generic gift that are made much better with some gaming flair injected into them. If your valentine loves the excellent indie game Cuphead, which has the graphical style and musical score of 1930s animation, this mug in the shape of Cuphead is perfect.

It’s 20 ounces and comes with a ceramic straw that’s removable. Any fan of the game will enjoy giving their mug cabinet a boost with this.

If Cuphead isn’t on their radar, you’ll find tons of other game-related mugs available as well.

7. Game T-Shirts

Fallout Vault Tec Tee

Bioworld Fallout Vault-Tec Tee Shirt T-Shirt-Large Bioworld Fallout Vault-Tec Tee Shirt T-Shirt-Large Buy Now At Amazon $14.95

Give your valentine more ways to show off their favorite series by gifting a classic T-shirt. As you’d expect, you’ll find dozens of shirt options from many popular series.

We’ve selected this Fallout shirt here. Remember that if their favorite game is not represented on Amazon, you may be able to find one on the game’s official site.

8. Raspberry Pi (Plus Retro Controllers)

Raspberry Pi

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (B Plus) Starter Kit (32 GB EVO+ Edition, Premium Black Case) CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (B Plus) Starter Kit (32 GB EVO+ Edition, Premium Black Case) Buy Now At Amazon $79.99

If your significant other loves retro games, a Raspberry Pi makes a great gift. It’s really easy to turn a Raspberry Pi into a retro emulation machine so you can enjoy games from decades gone by.

For best results, pair this with a retro USB controller, like the Buffalo classic gamepad. They’ll have everything they need for a nostalgia-filled evening.

Buffalo iBuffalo Classic USB Gamepad for PC Buffalo iBuffalo Classic USB Gamepad for PC Buy Now At Amazon $18.99

9. Gaming Posters

Pokemon Poster

Trends International Pokemon Mega Evolutions Wall Poster 22.375" x 34" Trends International Pokemon Mega Evolutions Wall Poster 22.375" x 34" Buy Now At Amazon $4.29

Help your valentine dress up their walls a bit with a cool gaming poster. As with most of these gifts, you’ll find many options for various series. A poster is an inexpensive way to add some flair to a room, and many of them have slick designs.

If you’re shopping for a Pokemon fan, check out this Pokemon Evolutions poster.

10. Digital Store Credit

Xbox Gift Card

$25 Xbox Gift Card [Digital Code] $25 Xbox Gift Card [Digital Code] Buy Now At Amazon $25.00

If you’re in a long-distance relationship, shipping one of the above gifts might not be practical. In those cases, you can still gift something your lover will enjoy. Amazon offers digital codes for Xbox, PlayStation, and the Nintendo Switch.

If you’re really struggling for a gift idea, or don’t have time to wait for shipping, these can help as they’re delivered in minutes. Your valentine will certainly appreciate the gesture and can use the money to get a game they’ve had their eye on for a while.

Valentine’s Day Is for Gamers Too!

We’ve taken a look at some of the great Valentine’s Day gifts to give a significant other who loves video games. Of course, we can’t possibly cover a specific gift for every gaming interest, so we recommend you use the above gift categories as guidelines.

With a bit of thought and knowledge of the games your valentine likes, you’re bound to get something they’ll love. And if you get them a game, playing it together is really special. And if you’re still short on ideas, here are some other great gifts for gamers.

Read the full article: The 10 Best Video Game Themed Valentine’s Day Gifts

3 Last-Minute Digital Gifts That Don’t Require Shipping

digital-gift

Are you still scrambling to get all your gifts together? Shipping may decide whether or not your present reaches you or its recipient in time. It may actually be too late to send a package already. So what can you do? We have prepared a list of digital alternatives to physical presence. On top of being guaranteed to arrive in time, these last-minute gifts also have a small ecological footprint. 1. Digital Gift Cards, Certificates, and Vouchers Do you know where your gift recipient likes to shop? Most stores offer digital gift cards for their online shops. If your giftee…

Read the full article: 3 Last-Minute Digital Gifts That Don’t Require Shipping

digital-gift

Are you still scrambling to get all your gifts together? Shipping may decide whether or not your present reaches you or its recipient in time. It may actually be too late to send a package already.

So what can you do? We have prepared a list of digital alternatives to physical presence. On top of being guaranteed to arrive in time, these last-minute gifts also have a small ecological footprint.

1. Digital Gift Cards, Certificates, and Vouchers

Do you know where your gift recipient likes to shop? Most stores offer digital gift cards for their online shops.

If your giftee enjoys gaming, you could get them an Xbox or Steam digital gift card. And what would the world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon, be without digital gift card options? Amazon offers both eGift Cards and Print at Home Gift Cards, which will buy your giftee anything Amazon has to offer, including Kindle Ebooks.

$20 Xbox Gift Card [Digital Code] $20 Xbox Gift Card [Digital Code] Buy Now At Amazon $20.00 Steam Gift Card - $20 Steam Gift Card - $20 Buy Now At Amazon $28.95 Amazon eGift Card Amazon eGift Card Buy Now At Amazon $50.00

Does your friend own a Mac or an iPhone? Get them an Apple Store or App Store and iTunes Gift Card (but don’t fall for the iTunes gift card scam), which will let them choose from a world of Apple accessories, apps, and entertainment. If you’re not an Apple user yourself, you can get this Apple and App Store gift card on Amazon.

Likewise, Android users will appreciate a Google Play gift voucher (also available on Amazon).

The Netflix gift card is one of many PayPal Digital Gifts you can choose from, also including eGift cards from Best Buy and eBay. Like everything else, you can also buy a Netflix digital gift card on Amazon.

In short, if it’s online and selling things, it most probably has a digital gift option and you’ll probably even find it on Amazon. If you know a little about your friend’s hobbies, the devices they own, or their online shopping habits, you can select a gift card from a matching online store and they will certainly appreciate it.

Inspired Gift Cards: Giftly

Gift anything at any place with a Giftly gift card.

If you’re still at a loss what kind of gift card you should get, use Giftly to spur your inspiration. First, you choose what you want to give, with options ranging from anything to hot cocoa, then you choose a place. Next, you customize your voucher before you pay and either print it out yourself or have it sent to the recipient via email, text, or card. If you have absolutely no clue what your recipient might appreciate, you could select to give them anything at any place.

Be careful when purchasing a gift card for someone abroad or outside the US; not all gift cards work in all countries.

2. Premium Web Services

Like online stores, other online services offer pro memberships or subscriptions. Many people are somewhat reserved when it comes to investing in such services; it’s a luxury. And that actually makes these services a perfect gift.

What better gift could you make, than to improve your friend’s experience with their favorite online service. Find out which services they frequently use and surprise them with an upgrade. Should they already have a premium subscription, it only means you made a great choice and their expiry date will be extended. Below is a short list of options.

Media Streaming

  • Netflix: Unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows.
  • Audible: Gift an audiobook per month for three months for $45.
  • Spotify: Ad-free commercial music streaming gift cards starting at $10. While you can’t buy them online, you could just buy one at a local store and share the PIN with your recipient.
  • Hulu: One month of unlimited movie and TV series. As with Spotify, gift cards aren’t sold online, but you can just share the code.

If you want to give the gift of entertainment, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Other Premium Services

Our list of online subscription gift ideas contains even more ideas and details on the services suggested above.

3. Individual Digital Gifts

Gift cards and subscriptions can be boring and may seem uncreative. Here are options for those of you seeking less generic alternatives to a physical gift.

Apps

You can gift an iOS app and thus make your present a little more personal.

In the App store or on iTunes, navigate to the app you wish to gift, tap the Share icon in the top right, on the next screen tap the Gift icon, then sign in with your Apple ID, type the email address of the recipient, add a custom message, select a date and theme for the gift, and finally tap Buy and confirm your purchase.

How to gift an iOS app.

Music

If your friend is into music and if you know what genres or artists they like, you can probably find a great album for them on one of the many places that sell music. Several allow you to give music as a gift.

  • Amazon Music Unlimited has a Give album OR song as gift button when you expand More options. Also, double-check your friend’s Wish List.
  • iTunes has an option to gift albums, which works just like gifting an iOS app, see description above.
  • Bandcamp lets you send songs or albums as a gift.

Amazon Music Unlimited gift song or album option.

Audiobooks and Ebooks

Finally, everyone loves a good story or learning new things. Some people prefer reading, others have embraced audio books which are great gifts. Find out what camp your friend belongs to and what devices they own and you’ll soon be able to identify a compatible and individual gift.

Give the Gift of Consideration

Giftfluence automatic and free charity donations.

Whatever you decide to give as a gift, be considerate. Don’t gift just because you have to or to entertain yourself. Make your gift personal, meaningful, and useful for the recipient.

Note that whenever you do online shopping, you can donate to a charity of your choice—for free—by using a service like Giftfluence. Just visit Giftfluence, choose a cause, then use Giftfluence’s online store link/s, and do your online shopping as usual. Giftfluence also lists vouchers you can use to save on your online purchases.

And if you’re not sure which gift card to choose, simply gift money!

Digital gifts without shipping is a convenient way to go. But if you’re still up in the air and would like gift ideas for a Mac user in your life, check out these options.

Read the full article: 3 Last-Minute Digital Gifts That Don’t Require Shipping

10 Amazing Gifts to Buy for Nintendo Fans

nintendo-christmas-gifts

Are you still looking for a birthday gift, Christmas present, or stocking fillers for the gamer in your life? Fortunately, gamers are surprisingly easy to buy for. Nintendo enthusiasts are an especially dedicated fandom, and there’s a wealth of great gift ideas for Nintendo fans available out there. 1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Buy Now At Amazon $58.95 If you’re buying for a gamer, a real game must be top of the list. And if they own a Nintendo Switch, you can’t go wrong with the endlessly-entertaining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate….

Read the full article: 10 Amazing Gifts to Buy for Nintendo Fans

nintendo-christmas-gifts

Are you still looking for a birthday gift, Christmas present, or stocking fillers for the gamer in your life? Fortunately, gamers are surprisingly easy to buy for.

Nintendo enthusiasts are an especially dedicated fandom, and there’s a wealth of great gift ideas for Nintendo fans available out there.

1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)

Nintendo Switch fighting brawl game

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Buy Now At Amazon $58.95

If you’re buying for a gamer, a real game must be top of the list. And if they own a Nintendo Switch, you can’t go wrong with the endlessly-entertaining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The series began in 1999, and has gone from strength to strength across platforms like the GameCube and Wii U. This “Ultimate” instalment received universal acclaim, including enough elements from previous titles to please old-school fans while adding in plenty of new features.

Unlike many fighting games, Super Smash Bros. boasts a huge amount of content. 74 playable characters and over 100 stages mean this is a game that’ll keep gamers happy long into next year.

2. Duck Hunt T-Shirt

Nintendo NES apparel

Nintendo Men's Duck Hunt T-Shirt, Charcoal Heather, Large Nintendo Men's Duck Hunt T-Shirt, Charcoal Heather, Large Buy Now At Amazon $17.00

While the company continues to break gaming ground, it’s only natural to feel a nostalgic warmth when talking about Nintendo. Its history stretches back to the early 1980s—or 1889, if we take into account its years dedicated to toys and cards.

One of the highlights from those early years was Duck Hunt. This was a quirky shooter released as a launch title for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Its graphics were simple, but the packaging soon became iconic. This awesome Duck Hunt T-Shirt proudly displays that design in all its glory.

3. SNES Classic

Super Nintendo Entertainment System Mini Classic

SNES Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Europe), Not Region Locked SNES Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Europe), Not Region Locked Buy Now At Amazon $86.74

Speaking of nostalgia, Nintendo is digging into its past to relive a few glory days. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) Classic is a follow-up to the hugely-successful NES Mini, similarly a miniature replica of the original console.

The unit has 20 games pre-installed, plus the previously unreleased Star Fox 2.

These are some of the greatest titles ever made, including Donkey Kong Country, F-ZERO, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World, and Super Metroid. No, you can’t add more games to the SNES Classic, but with those already loaded in, why would you need to?

4. Pokémon Stylus Set

Pikachu Charizard Pokeball 3DS 2DS

Nintendo 3DS Pokémon Styluses – Charizard, Poké Ball and Pikachu – Fits Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, 2DS XL, DSi and DSi XL – Official Nintendo Licensed Product Nintendo 3DS Pokémon Styluses – Charizard, Poké Ball and Pikachu – Fits Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, 2DS XL, DSi and DSi XL – Official Nintendo Licensed Product Buy Now At Amazon $8.99

Searching for a stylus is like looking for a needle in a haystack. That’s why anyone with a 3DS or 2DS will thank you for getting them a spare.

Even better, this pack contains three brightly-colored styluses which should be easier to find when dropped.

Pokémon is one of the highest-grossing video game franchises of all time. Children of the 1990s will recall the hours spent on Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, and this fun Stylus Set includes two of the most recognizable characters from the series (Charizard and Pikachu), plus a Pokéball.

5. Super Nintendo Retro Art 2019 Wall Calendar

Retro Nintendo art

Super Nintendo Retro Art 2019 Wall Calendar Super Nintendo Retro Art 2019 Wall Calendar Buy Now At Amazon $9.06

You can’t go wrong with a good calendar; it’s a gift that lasts the whole year round.

Many video game-related calendars are full of boring 3D renderings of characters. They’re fine, but forgettable. Fortunately, this Retro Art 2019 Calendar is different, displaying the best designs of the 1990s.

Travel back in time by gazing at the art from five much-loved classics: Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Star Fox, and Super Metroid. They’re bright, bold, and will bring a smile to the faces of Nintendo fans every day.

6. The Legend of Zelda Travel Journal

Link diary notepad notebook

Vintage PU Leather Notebook for Diary, Travel journal and Note,card holder-Legend of Zelda Vintage PU Leather Notebook for Diary, Travel journal and Note,card holder-Legend of Zelda Buy Now At Amazon $12.99

This Travel Journal is ideal for those people who fell in love with Breath of the Wild and those who have enjoyed Link’s exploits since the mid-1980s.

It’s embossed with imagery from the ever-popular Legend of Zelda series, with a rustic charm that’s a definite winner for Link addicts. Its off-color pages and leather strap make this a durable companion for anyone trekking around Hyrule.

The center is a ring-binder, so it comes with three plastic sheets to hold cards (trading, business, or otherwise), but the recipient can easily pick up refill pads.

7. Amiibo Question Block Case

Mario question block case DLC

PowerA amiibo Question Block Case PowerA amiibo Question Block Case Buy Now At Amazon $19.99

Amiibos are supplementary figures with additional downloadable content, and they’re surprisingly popular. But even traditionalists should be won over by the likes of an 8-bit Mario, Toon Link, and Mega Yarn Yoshi.

While Amiibo display stands are available, they’re not always suitable, especially if whoever you’re buying for is a collector. That’s where this Question Block Case comes in. Modelled after the Question Blocks seen in all Super Mario titles, it can hold around 10 figures, depending on size, and is easy to carry around.

Naturally, it’s not solely useful for Amiibos. It can be used to store anything, from spare instruction manuals to controllers, cables to snacks.

And if you’re interested, we previously looked at the difference between Amiibo, Skylanders, and Disney Infinity.

8. Pokémon Ultra Sun or Ultra Moon

Pokemon Generation VII game 3DS 2DS

Pokémon Ultra Moon - Nintendo 3DS Pokémon Ultra Moon - Nintendo 3DS Buy Now At Amazon $31.95

Pokémon Sun and Moon were initially released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pokémon. The following year, these were followed up by Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon.

Think of these as refinements. The structure stays largely the same, but there are added quests, new Pokémon, and more customization.

These two games introduce new ways of playing and caring for Pokémon. You still battle and collect monsters, but also enjoy a slew of fresh ideas introduced for this generation. The releases are the most accessible for years. They’re a great buy for newcomers and old fans looking for something different from the franchise.

9. Super Mario Chess Collector’s Edition Tin

board game video gaming

Chess Super Mario Chess Super Mario Buy Now At Amazon $39.99

Forget poring over a video games console for hours: let’s go traditional for a minute.

Board games always prove a winner for bringing the family together. A game of Monopoly can take up a whole day. UNO can eat up half an hour. But there’s nothing like chess when it comes to an intense one-on-one competition. It’s especially fun when you’re playing on behalf of Bowser. Everyone loves a bad guy, right?

This Super Mario Chess Collector’s Edition Tin comes with well-crafted models of all your favorites, like Kamek, Birdo, and, naturally, an inanimate gold coin. They all fit in a sturdy tin so it’s a sizeable, quality gift to give someone.

10. Nintendo Game Boy Alarm Clock

Nintendo Gameboy watch timepiece

Nintendo Game Boy Alarm Clock with Sound Nintendo Game Boy Alarm Clock with Sound Buy Now At Amazon $19.07

After a busy night playing Splatoon until 2am, it takes a lot of effort to get up for work or college.

At least this Nintendo Game Boy Alarm Clock will remind the recipient that, at the end of a long day, Tetris beckons.

It’s modelled on the original 8-bit handheld console, released in 1989-90. Sadly, the likes of the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance have been entirely superseded by the 3DS family. Nonetheless, this was the unit that introduced so many of us to portable gaming. You can trace the success of the Nintendo Switch back to this sturdy, cherished console.

Festive Favorites for Nintendo Fans

It’s a great time to be a gamer. Stockings will be bursting with treats for Nintendo aficionados.

Hopefully, we’ve helped cast your net wider. But if you think a game will better keep a loved one occupied throughout the festivities, check out our list of essential titles for the Nintendo 3DS.

Read the full article: 10 Amazing Gifts to Buy for Nintendo Fans

10 Gift Ideas for the Arduino Tinkerer in Your Life

arduino-tinkerer-gifts

Wondering what to get the tinkerer in your life for their birthday or the holiday season? Whether they are a young inventor in training or a lifelong hardware hacker, Arduino boards and accessories make for perfect creative gifts! In this article we will cover various Arduino-related gift ideas. Whether the person you are buying for is a total beginner, or a seasoned microcontroller expert—there is something here for all ages and levels. 1. Start With an Arduino Starter Kit Elegoo EL-KIT-003 UNO Project Super Starter Kit with Tutorial for Arduino Elegoo EL-KIT-003 UNO Project Super Starter Kit with Tutorial for…

Read the full article: 10 Gift Ideas for the Arduino Tinkerer in Your Life

arduino-tinkerer-gifts

Wondering what to get the tinkerer in your life for their birthday or the holiday season? Whether they are a young inventor in training or a lifelong hardware hacker, Arduino boards and accessories make for perfect creative gifts!

In this article we will cover various Arduino-related gift ideas. Whether the person you are buying for is a total beginner, or a seasoned microcontroller expert—there is something here for all ages and levels.

1. Start With an Arduino Starter Kit

dfrobot kit

Elegoo EL-KIT-003 UNO Project Super Starter Kit with Tutorial for Arduino Elegoo EL-KIT-003 UNO Project Super Starter Kit with Tutorial for Arduino Buy Now At Amazon $35.00

An Arduino is a perfect gift for anyone creative, as they can be used in so many different ways. The simplest way to get someone started is to buy a pre-made starter kit which provides all of the components needed—along with the Arduino board itself.

2. Doing It by the Book

arduino project book featured

If someone is new to tinkering with microcontrollers, it can sometimes seem a little overwhelming, and while there are many great online beginner tutorials and beginner Arduino projects, there are also some great books out there too.

The Arduino Project Handbook is a perfect beginner’s guide to all things Arduino. Clear photographs and wiring diagrams take the reader through 25 different projects, and easy to follow steps start with simple projects through to more complex systems.

Next up we have the near ubiquitous Arduino For Dummies. While it also begins with the very basics, some of the later projects are a little more ambitious. With clear photographs of examples throughout, it’s another great choice for people new to the world of tinkering.

Arduino For Dummies Arduino For Dummies Buy Now At Amazon $24.99

The third choice here is for the smaller inventor in your life. Sylvia’s Super Awesome Project Book is an Arduino guide aimed at children aged 8-12 years old. Full of great projects, the book also explains the basics of what microcontrollers are, along with vibrant drawings and characters to guide the reader through their early days of building. A book for the future family inventor!

Sylvia's Super-Awesome Project Book: Super-Simple Arduino (Volume 2) Sylvia's Super-Awesome Project Book: Super-Simple Arduino (Volume 2) Buy Now At Amazon $10.51

3. Add a Screen to the Mix

adafruit resistive touch screen

A great addition to an Arduino toolkit is a screen to get feedback directly from the board, and there are many display options to choose from.

If you want to take it up a notch, Adafruit make a full colour touch screen shield compatible with most full sized Arduino boards. Capable of complex vector graphics, displaying photos, and touchscreen painting, it also has a microSD slot to load images directly.

4. Improve Prototyping With Protoboards

Prototyping boards for Raspberry Pi

Uxcell a14041800ux1143 25Pcs Double Sided Protoboard Prototyping Pcb Board 4cm x 6cm Uxcell a14041800ux1143 25Pcs Double Sided Protoboard Prototyping Pcb Board 4cm x 6cm Buy Now At Amazon $5.69

Prototyping using a breadboard is perfect for trying new things out and testing that they work, but what happens when you’ve settled on your design and it works? Protoboard is a great stopgap between breadboard prototyping and etching your own printed circuit boards.

A packet of small yet practical boards are available on AliExpress, or if time is of the essence and you need it quicker, Amazon sell protoboard bundles as well.

If you are worried about what size Protoboard to buy, why not let the receiver choose? Sparkfun sell a snappable protoboard which allows the user to cut the board down to whatever size (or shape) they desire.

While a little more expensive than the other boards listed, the flexibility these boards give make them unique, and the board can be broken into various pieces to suit different projects.

5. Adeept Smart Car Kit

Adeept Smart Car

Adeept Smart Car Kit for Arduino, Remote Control Car Based on NRF24L01 2.4G Wireless, Robot Starter Kit, Arduino Robotics Model, Arduino Learning Kit with PDF Guidebook/Tutorial Adeept Smart Car Kit for Arduino, Remote Control Car Based on NRF24L01 2.4G Wireless, Robot Starter Kit, Arduino Robotics Model, Arduino Learning Kit with PDF Guidebook/Tutorial Buy Now At Amazon $89.99

Remote control cars are the ultimate toy, and lovers of these pint sized racers spend hours upon hours tweaking and tuning them. Why not take that process even further and let your loved one build their own?

The Adeept Smart Car Kit provides the building blocks for a car which can be either remote controlled, or left in an automatic mode which avoids objects in its path using its front mounted distance sensor.

The kit also comes with pre-prepared code so it is perfect for beginners, though more experienced DIY-nicks can get involved and create their very own programming too. Who knows, maybe your home will house a truly smart car!

6. Dancing Sloth Arduino Robot

SunFounder Dancing Sloth Robot

SunFounder Arduino Robotics Kit, 4-DOF Dancing Sloth Programmable DIY Robot Kit for Kids and Adults with Tutorial SunFounder Arduino Robotics Kit, 4-DOF Dancing Sloth Programmable DIY Robot Kit for Kids and Adults with Tutorial Buy Now At Amazon $59.99

For many people, robots are the coolest things in the world, and these people are clearly correct. The SunFounder Dancing Sloth is a two legged robot suitable for beginners.

Th Dancing Sloth stands on two legs and is easy to program using visual programming blocks. Sold as a complete kit with the Arduino included along with instructions, it covers many fundamentals of robotics.

As well as moving, the distance sensor in the kit adds another dimension of sensing and control. This kit is easy to scale up in complexity!

7. Make It Wireless!

NRF24L01 Wireless Module for Arduino

There are a wide range of Arduino boards to choose from. One thing many of them lack is the ability to communicate wirelessly. Happily, there is a very cheap solution to get Arduino boards to talk to one another: wireless transceiver modules.

These modules are fantastic value, but to give them as a gift you would have to know that the recipient already owns several microcontrollers to use them with. There is however an alternative; the NodeMCU, the Arduino killer.

The NodeMCU (also known as the ESP8266) is fully Arduino compatible, and comes with Wi-Fi connectivity built in. It’s small enough to use in almost any project, and cheap enough to buy several of for connected projects.

HiLetgo New Version ESP8266 NodeMCU LUA CP2102 ESP-12E Internet WiFi Development Board Open Source Serial Wireless Module Works Great with Arduino IDE/Micropython HiLetgo New Version ESP8266 NodeMCU LUA CP2102 ESP-12E Internet WiFi Development Board Open Source Serial Wireless Module Works Great with Arduino IDE/Micropython Buy Now At Amazon $8.39

8. Smart Home Relay Module

Relays are a great way to automate your home.

SainSmart 4-Channel Relay Module SainSmart 4-Channel Relay Module Buy Now At Amazon $8.99

Smart homes are gaining in popularity, with devices appearing in hardware stores worldwide and in popular culture. One of the strengths of microcontrollers such as the Arduino is that they allow us to affordably create DIY smart home systems.

At its simplest a home automation setup requires a relay to allow control over larger powered items (such as lights, wall switches and appliances), and a way of accessing these things via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

For under $20 you can buy both a relay module and a Bluetooth transceiver which can be accessed from a smartphone to control almost anything.

9. Making It From Scratch

photo finished

While most of these ideas have been for beginners, what would be a good gift for someone who has already been working with Arduino for some time? Building an Arduino from scratch is a great project, and much cheaper than you’d imagine.

There are many benefits to building a “DIYduino”. As well as gaining a deeper understanding of how the platform works, you can design the board any shape you like, and integrate parts of your system directly into the board rather than having separate modules.

Our DIY Arduino guide outlines all the parts you need along with how to put it all together to create a totally unique Arduino.

10. You’ve Got the Skills, Now Show Them!

Finally, if you know someone is already working with Arduino, why not let them show it off? As well as a huge range of components and development boards, the Arduino store has T-shirts, mugs, and buttons for sale at a variety of prices. The perfect gift for the Arduino lover in your life!

This guide should help you choose a gift for any curious mind, and allow you to give the gift of creativity to someone! Arduinos are great for learning and tons of fun.

Read the full article: 10 Gift Ideas for the Arduino Tinkerer in Your Life

10 Great Gifts for Photographers You Can Give This Year

Buying gifts for photographers can be tricky. Enthusiasts generally know their gear well, have a clear idea of what equipment they need to buy next, and when to upgrade their camera bodies. So instead of spending hundreds on a new piece of glass you’re not sure about, play it safe with an accessory or gadget that will help them get more enjoyment out of their hobby. Here are some ideas for great gifts for photographers, whether they’re enthusiastic amateurs or hardened professionals. 1. BlackRapid Breathe Curve Camera Strap BlackRapid Breathe Curve Camera Strap (1pc of Safety Tether Included) with 1…

Read the full article: 10 Great Gifts for Photographers You Can Give This Year

Buying gifts for photographers can be tricky. Enthusiasts generally know their gear well, have a clear idea of what equipment they need to buy next, and when to upgrade their camera bodies.

So instead of spending hundreds on a new piece of glass you’re not sure about, play it safe with an accessory or gadget that will help them get more enjoyment out of their hobby.

Here are some ideas for great gifts for photographers, whether they’re enthusiastic amateurs or hardened professionals.

1. BlackRapid Breathe Curve Camera Strap

BlackRapid Curve

BlackRapid Breathe Curve Camera Strap (1pc of Safety Tether Included) with 1 Extra BLACKRAPID FR-5 Fastener BlackRapid Breathe Curve Camera Strap (1pc of Safety Tether Included) with 1 Extra BLACKRAPID FR-5 Fastener Buy Now At Amazon Too low to display

The problem with the camera straps that come with most cameras is that they feel cheap and are uncomfortable to wear. So why not give the gift of comfort this year? The BlackRapid Breathe Curve (and the Sport version) consistently top the recommendations for comfortable and functional camera straps.

This is a strap aimed at right-handed shooters since it fastens to the left shoulder. When not in use the camera is suspended upside down at the hip, with the strap attaching to the included BlackRapid fastener in the tripod mount. A moisture-wicking breathable shoulder pad helps the photographer carry their rig and stay cool at the same time.

2. Moment Superfish Lens for Smartphones

Moment Superfish lens

Moment - Superfish Lens for iPhone, Pixel, and Samsung Galaxy Camera Phones Moment - Superfish Lens for iPhone, Pixel, and Samsung Galaxy Camera Phones Buy Now At Amazon $99.99

Most photographs are captured on smartphones these days, and one company that’s making quality smartphone lenses is Moment. The Moment Superfish snap-on lens is the widest the company produces, offering a 170º angle of view with edge-to-edge clarity.

Remember: If you go for a Moment lens, make sure you also pick up the relevant Moment case so that you can attach it to your smartphone. Moment makes cases for common smartphones like the iPhone X/XS, Pixel 3 XL, and Galaxy S9.

3. SanDisk Extreme PRO 256GB SDXC

SanDisk Extreme PRO 256GB

SanDisk Extreme PRO 256GB up to 95MB/s UHS-I/U3 SDXC Flash Memory Card - SDSDXPA-256G-G46 SanDisk Extreme PRO 256GB up to 95MB/s UHS-I/U3 SDXC Flash Memory Card - SDSDXPA-256G-G46 Buy Now At Amazon $124.95

Buying a memory card for a photographer can be tricky if you’re not sure what camera system they’re using. But if you know the recipient has purchased a camera within the last few years that uses SD cards, something like the SanDisk Extreme PRO 256GB SDXC card is a safe bet.

Photographers can never have too many memory cards, whether for backing up on the move or shooting with dual card slots. This Class 10 UHS-I/U3 card has write speeds of up to 95MB/sec which should be enough for recording superior 4K video or shooting high-quality RAW photos.

4. Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home

Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home

Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home MD-04-14A Camera Bag Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home MD-04-14A Camera Bag Buy Now At Amazon $99.00

Most photographers have a camera bag that can house all of their stuff, but what about a camera bag for travelling light? The Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home is a minimalist camera bag designed for day trips, rather than carting around everything you own.

The bag includes 1 external pocket and two internal side pockets, with an internal mesh zipper and Crumpler’s “Super Stealth” velcro designed to make opening your bag quiet. The shell is made from water resistant nylon with a ripstop lining, and the whole package is guaranteed for life.

5. GoPro HERO7 Black

GoPro HERO7 Black

GoPro HERO7 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization GoPro HERO7 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization Buy Now At Amazon $394.99

GoPro cameras have many uses beyond the obvious “strap it to your head while you jump off a building” extreme sports applications. The GoPro HERO7 Black is the premium offering of the current generation camera, with standout features like HyperSmooth Video Stabilization to offer gimbal-like footage with no gimbal required.

The HERO7 is primarily a video tool, so if the person you’re buying for doesn’t care for video, you might want to give this a miss. But with features like stabilized time lapse videos, intelligent high dynamic range on stills, voice control, tons of GoPro accessories worth buying, and the 4K60p video and 12MP stills; it’s a wonderful gadget to have at your disposal.

6. Altura Photo Thick Protective Neoprene Lens Pouches

Altura Photo Thick Neoprene Pouch Set

(3 Pack) Altura Photo Thick Protective Neoprene Pouch Set for DSLR Camera Lens (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic) - Includes: Small, Medium and Large Pouches (3 Pack) Altura Photo Thick Protective Neoprene Pouch Set for DSLR Camera Lens (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic) - Includes: Small, Medium and Large Pouches Buy Now At Amazon $11.99

Expensive photo gear needs protecting. The covers that come with most lenses often fall short, which is where the Altura Photo’s Protective Neoprene Pouch Set comes in. These pouches use a super soft interior lining with a 5mm padded base and water resistant neoprene to keep what’s inside dry.

They fasten snugly, with a clip for attaching to your camera bag (either inside or out). This set contains three covers in small, medium, and large which fit lenses up to 3″, 4.5″, and 7″ respectively.

7. Loupedeck+ Plus Photo and Video Editing Console

Loupedeck+ Plus Editing Console

Loupedeck+ Plus Photo and Video Editing Console and Keyboard for Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop CC, Premiere Pro CC, Skylum Aurora HDR and More Loupedeck+ Plus Photo and Video Editing Console and Keyboard for Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop CC, Premiere Pro CC, Skylum Aurora HDR and More Buy Now At Amazon $249.00

Some find photo editing cathartic, while for others it’s a necessary evil. Almost all photographers would appreciate a smoother editing workflow, which is where the Loupedeck+ Plus Photo and Video Editing Console comes into play.

It works with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, Capture One, and Adobe Premiere Pro CC, allowing you to customize any of the dials, knobs, or buttons to control virtually any setting.

8. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer

HP Sprocket

HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer, X7N07A, Print Social Media Photos on 2x3 Sticky-Backed Paper - White HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer, X7N07A, Print Social Media Photos on 2x3 Sticky-Backed Paper - White Buy Now At Amazon $99.95

Portable photo printers are all the rage, and the HP Sprocket is one of the latest to hit the market. Like other models, it uses zero-ink “ZINK” paper refills, rather than toner or cartridges. Charge the printer via USB and print wirelessly anywhere you go.

At the core of the experience is printing and displaying your smartphone and social media images via the HP Sprocket app for Android and iOS. This isn’t a replacement for a full-blown photo printer, but a fun toy that photographers of all skill levels are bound to appreciate.

9. Datacolor SpyderCube

Datacolor SpyderCube

Datacolor SpyderCube SC200 Datacolor SpyderCube SC200 Buy Now At Amazon $45.00

The Datacolor SpyderCube is a reference tool for photography enthusiasts who want to get their processing time down to a minimum. It allows the user to achieve accurate color without too much messing around in Lightroom or Photoshop.

Put the cube in your frame and you’ll get reference points for white balance, overexposed areas, absolute black, shadows, and highlights in one handy tool. Learn to use it and you’ll wonder how you functioned without it!

10. Camera Lens Coffee Mug

Camera Lens Coffee Mug

STRATA CUPS Camera Lens Coffee Mug -13.5oz, SUPER BUNDLE! (2 LIDS + SPOON) Stainless Steel Thermos, Sealed & Retractable Lids! Photographer Camera Mug, Travel Coffee Cup, Coffee Mugs for Men, Women STRATA CUPS Camera Lens Coffee Mug -13.5oz, SUPER BUNDLE! (2 LIDS + SPOON) Stainless Steel Thermos, Sealed & Retractable Lids! Photographer Camera Mug, Travel Coffee Cup, Coffee Mugs for Men, Women Buy Now At Amazon $15.95

The Camera Lens Coffee Mug is the novelty gift that keeps on giving! With styling based on Canon’s 24-105mm EF lens, this one’s made from stainless steel with a thermos seal. It features two retractable lids and a spoon, plus insulation keeps your drinks hot or cold for longer.

It’s perfect for photographers who venture out early to capture landscape sunrises, who’ll appreciate 13.5oz of hot caffeinated creativity served in a vessel that resembles a beloved piece of glass.

What Great Gifts for Photographers Will You Buy?

If you don’t see anything on this list you fancy buying, it might be easier to ask the photographer in your life what they want for Christmas, their birthday, or whatever the occasion may be. Don’t forget that if you do order from Amazon but pick the wrong gift, returning items is usually a fairly straightforward process.

If photography gifts aren’t your thing, consider playing it safe with one of these perfect gift cards instead.

Read the full article: 10 Great Gifts for Photographers You Can Give This Year

10 Great Gifts for Gamers You Can Give This Year

gifts-gamers

Whether it’s Christmas or someone’s birthday, it can be tough to figure out which gifts for gamers you should buy. If you want to know what to get the gamer in your life, it can be tricky—everyone is different. You could get them extra controllers, gift cards, or subscriptions to various services. But there are also more creative options out there. With that in mind here is our list of great gifts for gamers based on the type of player you’re buying for. 1. For the New Gamer: PS4 Slim PlayStation 4 Hits Console Bundle PlayStation 4 Slim (1TB) PS4…

Read the full article: 10 Great Gifts for Gamers You Can Give This Year

gifts-gamers

Whether it’s Christmas or someone’s birthday, it can be tough to figure out which gifts for gamers you should buy. If you want to know what to get the gamer in your life, it can be tricky—everyone is different.

You could get them extra controllers, gift cards, or subscriptions to various services. But there are also more creative options out there. With that in mind here is our list of great gifts for gamers based on the type of player you’re buying for.

1. For the New Gamer: PS4 Slim PlayStation 4 Hits Console Bundle

playstation 4 slim gaming hits bundle

PlayStation 4 Slim (1TB) PS4 Hits Console Bundle includes God Of War, GT Sport, Uncharted 4 PlayStation 4 Slim (1TB) PS4 Hits Console Bundle includes God Of War, GT Sport, Uncharted 4 Buy Now At Amazon $429.95

So you’ve got a young gamer or a newbie that has recently started dipping their toes into the gaming world. Help them take the plunge with a console bundle that includes some great games.

You could technically get them a gaming gift card, but this can feel a bit impersonal. That’s why the Playstation 4 Slim Game Hits Bundle is a great option. Not only does it give the recipient a powerful console, but it also packs in three of the console-exclusive hits that have made the PS4 the dominant console of this generation.

If they prefer playing on PC, you can get some pretty great deals on game bundles. Awesome games are the perfect way to expand their horizons. You can find gaming deals and bundles on digital storefronts such as Origin and Steam.

2. For the PS4 Gamer: Seagate 2TB Game Drive for PS4

seagate ps4 game drive

Seagate 2TB Game Drive for PlayStation 4 Portable External USB Hard Drive Seagate 2TB Game Drive for PlayStation 4 Portable External USB Hard Drive Buy Now At Amazon $84.48

While the PlayStation 4 comes with ample storage, a few games and video captures can quickly fill up the console’s drive. PS4 owners can update their console by adding extra storage with an SSD, but this requires some technical knowledge.

The plug-and-play capabilities of the Seagate 2TB Game Drive for PS4, however, make it easy for anyone to upgrade their PS4 console storage. The drive is compatible with the standard PS4, the PS4 Slim and the PS4 Pro. You don’t need to format it and Seagate ensures compatibility. All you need to do is plug it in and follow the instructions of the built-in software.

If you’d like to get something different, have a look at these gift ideas for PS4 owners.

3. For the Xbox One Gamer: Fosmon Xbox One/One X/One S Controller Charger

fosmon xbox one charging dock

Fosmon Xbox One/One X/One S Controller Charger, [Dual Slot] High Speed Docking/Charging Station with 2 x 1000mAh Rechargeable Battery Packs (Standard and Elite Compatible) Fosmon Xbox One/One X/One S Controller Charger, [Dual Slot] High Speed Docking/Charging Station with 2 x 1000mAh Rechargeable Battery Packs (Standard and Elite Compatible) Buy Now At Amazon $32.99

While the Kinect is dead, there are plenty of other Xbox One accessories that make great gifts for your favorite gamer. You’ll want something that’s useful—and there are few accessories as handy as the Fosmon Xbox One Controller Charger.

The lack of native charging capabilities is a pet peeve for many owners of Xbox consoles. However, Fosmon’s charging dock removes the need for disposable AA batteries and provides a handy way of keeping your controllers charged. The charger includes its own battery packs which can be recharged using the dock.

It is also compatible with Xbox One, Xbox One X, and Xbox One S controllers.

If you need more ideas for Xbox-related gifts, check out our list of gift ideas for Xbox owners.

4. For the PC Gamer: Razer DeathAdder Chroma Mouse

razer deathadder chroma mouse

Razer DeathAdder Chroma - Multi-Color Ergonomic Gaming Mouse - 10,000 DPI Sensor - Comfortable Grip - World's Most Popular Gaming Mouse Razer DeathAdder Chroma - Multi-Color Ergonomic Gaming Mouse - 10,000 DPI Sensor - Comfortable Grip - World's Most Popular Gaming Mouse Buy Now At Amazon $51.15

PC gamers are a selective bunch. Buying them hardware might be tricky if you don’t know their brand preferences, but a capable mouse makes a great gift.

Of the PC accessory brands on the market, Razer has a great reputation among gamers. The Razer DeathAdder Chroma Mouse is one of the brand’s most popular products. The Chroma is a good mouse for any PC gamer, from casual gamers to gaming enthusiasts. Even if the gamer in your life already has a mouse, they will appreciate having a reliable and proven backup.

It has proven dependability, some simple customizable lights to add to its aesthetics, and some extra mouse keys that gamers can bind to different functions.

For more ideas, see our list of gift under $100 for PC gamers.

5. For the Social Gamer: Corsair Void Pro Surround Gaming Headset

corsair void pro surround gaming headset

CORSAIR Void PRO Surround Gaming Headset - Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound Headphones for PC - Works with Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android - Carbon CORSAIR Void PRO Surround Gaming Headset - Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound Headphones for PC - Works with Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android - Carbon Buy Now At Amazon $49.99

With so many multiplayer games out there, gaming is more social than ever. For the gamer who loves voice chat, the Corsair Void Pro Surround Gaming Headset is a perfect way to interact with friends and other gamers online.

The wired headset is compatible with PCs and consoles alike—even the Nintendo Switch. In fact, if your smartphone has a headphone jack, you can even use it with the mobile Discord app and other voice clients.

With Dolby Surround functionality and a quality microphone, the headset has both a great audio output and voice input experience.

6. For the Mobile Gamer: GameSir G3s Bluetooth Wireless Controller

gamesir gs3 android controller

GameSir G3s Bluetooth Wireless Controller for Android Smartphone Tablet VR PC TV BOX - PS3 GameSir G3s Bluetooth Wireless Controller for Android Smartphone Tablet VR PC TV BOX - PS3 Buy Now At Amazon $33.99

If you know a serious mobile gamer with a diverse library of games, you could vastly improve their experience with the right controller. The GamerSir G3s Bluetooth Wireless Controller is perfectly suited for mobile gaming and can also be used on other Android platforms.

Controllers for mobile games are more in-demand than ever, thanks to mobile ports of major games such as PUBG and Fortnite. Yes, there are ways to pair controllers to mobile devices, like connecting a PS3 controller to an Android phone. But this often comes with some tedious setup.

That’s why a device like the GameSir G3s is so useful. It’s compatible with a variety of Android devices, including tablets and some Android televisions. For smartphone gaming, players can simply clip their phone into the bracket and connect via Bluetooth. Whether you’re emulating retro games or checking out the latest releases, a controller will make play sessions way more comfortable.

7. For the Nintendo Switch Gamer: Hori Nintendo Switch Multiport USB Playstand

hori nintendo switch playstand charger

HORI Nintendo Switch Multiport USB Playstand - Nintendo Switch HORI Nintendo Switch Multiport USB Playstand - Nintendo Switch Buy Now At Amazon $38.23

The Nintendo Switch has a variety of useful accessories that you can buy as gifts. While many owners of the console have already kitted themselves out with controllers and carry cases, the Hori Nintendo Switch Multiport USB Playstand is a useful accessory that improves the Switch’s portability.

The stand not only acts as an adjustable dock for hands-free gaming, but also as a hub for USB devices and a charger for the Switch.

8. For the Hardcore Gamer: J+S Vision Blue Light Shield Gaming Glasses

blue light shield gaming glasses

J+S Vision Blue Light Shield Computer Reading/Gaming Glasses - 0.0 Magnification - Anti blue light 100% UV protection Low color distortion, classic matte black frame - Essential Gaming Gear J+S Vision Blue Light Shield Computer Reading/Gaming Glasses - 0.0 Magnification - Anti blue light 100% UV protection Low color distortion, classic matte black frame - Essential Gaming Gear Buy Now At Amazon $24.99

For some, gaming is an all-consuming hobby or even a job. But professional gamers and those who love to play as often as possible are unfortunately at a high risk of eye strain. A new monitor can reduce eye strain, but the most cost-effective and portable solution is simply getting glasses that prevent eye strain and its side effects.

J+S Vision’s Blue Light Shield Computer Reading/Gaming Glasses are a great option. Not only do these glasses cut down harmful blue light emitted by screens, but they also has minimal tint and distortion compared to some other brands. This helps reduce eye strain while making sure that users can still appreciate the colors and definition of their game visuals.

9. For the Nostalgic Gamer: The Nintendo Super NES Classic

nintendo super nes classic

Game console makers have really been leaning into the nostalgia factor in recent years, releasing a variety of retro gaming consoles that emulate the classics. While some haven’t been well-received, the Super NES Classic has been a hit among nostalgic gamers.

It’s loaded with 21 classic games and its two included controllers mean that gamers can enjoy the console with their friends.

10. For the Gamer Who Has Everything: Killabee Massage Memory Foam Gaming Chair

killabee memory foam massage gaming chair

KILLABEE Big and Tall 350lb Massage Memory Foam Gaming Chair - Adjustable Massage Lumbar Cushion, Retractable Footrest and 2D Arms High Back Ergonomic Racing Computer Desk Leather Office Chair (Black) KILLABEE Big and Tall 350lb Massage Memory Foam Gaming Chair - Adjustable Massage Lumbar Cushion, Retractable Footrest and 2D Arms High Back Ergonomic Racing Computer Desk Leather Office Chair (Black) Buy Now At Amazon $199.99

What do you get for a gamer who seems to have it all? Well, a rarely-bought but highly coveted gaming accessory is the indulgent gaming chair.

Finding a gaming chair that balances both style and ergonomics can be difficult. The Killabee Big and Tall Massage Memory Foam Gaming Chair manages to do this, which is why it has highly favorable reviews.

Whether using a PC or a console, gamers need a comfortable chair for long play sessions. They also appreciate luxurious features such as footrests and massage pillows that really get them in the zone. Killabee’s chair is designed for users who weigh up to 350 pounds. Since many gaming chairs’ racer styles create a narrow space to sit in, a larger chair makes sure that your gift recipient doesn’t have to worry about trying to squeeze in.

With the right gaming chair, you can make someone’s gaming experience a luxurious affair. And the gamer in your life will be sure to appreciate the extra comfort.

More Great Gifts for Gamers

Now you know some of the best devices and accessories you can buy for your gamer friends. But what about the games themselves?

Many of the best games are those that you can enjoy with friends across different platforms. Luckily, there is no shortage of great games available on multiple consoles. Make sure to check out our list of the best cross-play games for more ideas for yourself and your fellow gamers.

Read the full article: 10 Great Gifts for Gamers You Can Give This Year

8 Brilliant Gift Ideas for Music Lovers

gifts-music

Are you having a hard time finding gifts for friends and loved ones this year? Are you looking for a gift for someone who is always tapping their foot and singing in the shower? Music-related gifts can be real crowd pleasers. It could be the gift of music itself, something to improve your listening experience, or a toy that lets you get creative. Here is our list of gift ideas for the casual and not-so-casual music lovers in your life. 1. Music Streaming Subscription Just 10 years ago, if you wanted to buy someone music, you’d probably have picked up…

Read the full article: 8 Brilliant Gift Ideas for Music Lovers

gifts-music

Are you having a hard time finding gifts for friends and loved ones this year? Are you looking for a gift for someone who is always tapping their foot and singing in the shower?

Music-related gifts can be real crowd pleasers. It could be the gift of music itself, something to improve your listening experience, or a toy that lets you get creative.

Here is our list of gift ideas for the casual and not-so-casual music lovers in your life.

1. Music Streaming Subscription

Just 10 years ago, if you wanted to buy someone music, you’d probably have picked up an iTunes gift card (or even physical media). These days we’re used to subscription-based streaming technology from the likes of Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music.

applemusic-logo

The most important thing to remember when considering a subscription is which service the recipient is using, and their platform of choice. There’s little point in buying someone a Spotify membership if they’ve built up an Apple Music library and they’re happy with the service—so do some research first.

In terms of cost, this really varies and depends on what you’d like to spend. Apple Music uses iTunes credits, so you can purchase a standard iTunes gift card for this purpose. Apple Music membership costs $9.99/month, so you’re looking at around $60 for a 6-month membership, or $120 for a year.

Spotify Logo

You can buy a Spotify gift card which provides enough credit for three months’ use in the US store. Pandora also offers a one-year subscription to Pandora Plus.

Important: If you’re buying a gift card, make sure the currency matches the recipient’s store. As an example, US iTunes gift cards can only be used in the US iTunes Store.

2. Vinyl Turntable

It’s no secret that vinyl records are popular once more. It’s the only physical audio medium that’s experiencing rising sales and the number of quality turntables available continues to grow.

There’s something to be said about listening to music on vinyl. Purists argue that sound quality is unparalleled, or that pops and crackles only serve to add character to recorded works. Others prefer the physical aspect of owning music on record, and take pride in supporting artists by buying LPs straight from small labels.

However, there’s no right turntable for everyone. For those starting out, or anyone who appreciates portability and the novelty of battery power, the Crosley Messenger Turntable offers serious flexibility.

Crosley Messenger Turntable

Crosley CR8016A-GY Messenger Portable Battery Powered 3-Speed Turntable, Gray Crosley CR8016A-GY Messenger Portable Battery Powered 3-Speed Turntable, Gray Buy Now At Amazon $66.91

For the wannabe DJ who must have it all, the Audio Technica LP1240 provides more starting torque than the Technics 1200 series, with USB output, a pre-amped line stage and all the speeds and functions you’d expect from a $1500 Stanton.

Audio Technica Turntable

Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct-Drive Professional DJ Turntable (USB & Analog) Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Direct-Drive Professional DJ Turntable (USB & Analog) Buy Now At Amazon $449.00

Don’t forget to brush up on the things you need to know when buying a turntable.

3. Framed Vinyl Records

If your chosen recipient already has a record player, why not splash the cash on something else related to vinyl? After all, vinyl enthusiasts can’t get enough of the stuff.

Art Vinyl is a company that specializes in frames for vinyl records. Starting at around $50 for a single frame, or around $130 for a three pack, the convenient design allows you to effortlessly switch out records when you want to listen to them (or simply want to change up the decor).

You could pair a frame with something from your recipient’s Discogs wishlist, or a brand new vinyl pressing for a thoughtful gift that looks and sounds great.

4. Smart Home Speaker

Smart home speakers offer both wireless sound and a smart assistant to help you out around the house or office. You currently have three top choices: Apple HomePod, Google Home, and Amazon speakers that come with Alexa.

If sound quality is your primary concern, the Apple HomePod (our review) won’t let you down. It’s a highly capable smart speaker that works with Apple Music natively, or via AirPlay for use with iOS devices. That means the recipient will need to be using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac (and an Apple Music subscription wouldn’t hurt).

Apple HomePod

Google produces a few different Home-branded products: the basic Google Home, the smaller Google Home Mini, and the best-sounding option: the Google Home Max. Unlike HomePod, Google Home can use YouTube, Pandora, Spotify and more to play music.

Amazon seems to be building Alexa support into just about anything, but the best sound-focused offerings are the basic Echo, the smaller Echo Dot, and the Amazon Echo Plus. Amazon’s offering is the only third-party smart home speaker that includes Apple Music support.

All-new Echo Plus (2nd Gen) Bundle with Philips Hue Bulb - Charcoal All-new Echo Plus (2nd Gen) Bundle with Philips Hue Bulb - Charcoal Buy Now At Amazon $119.99

5. “Dumb” Bluetooth Speaker

You don’t need to buy into the smart home hype to give the gift of wireless sound. Bluetooth technology has come on leaps and bounds since speakers first hit the shelves. It’s now possible to buy some surprisingly punchy, room-filling solutions to suit all budgets.

For a go-everywhere Bluetooth speaker, check out the JBL Flip 4. It’s waterproof, contains a 3000mAh rechargeable battery, and can connect two smartphones at once to share the sound. You can also wirelessly link over 100 JBL speakers together, should you ever want to do that.

JBL Flip 4

JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker (Black) JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker (Black) Buy Now At Amazon $74.95

If you’re looking for something a little more substantial for at home, Bose produces a range of portable speakers like the Bose Soundlink. If you’ve ever listened to one of Bose’s small-yet-mighty speakers, you’ll know the company packs a surprisingly good punch into such a tiny package.

Bose Soundlink

Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth speaker II - Soft black Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth speaker II - Soft black Buy Now At Amazon $129.00

If your budget can stretch a little further then check out the Sonos One. It comes with built-in support for Amazon Alexa. The Sonos One can fill a room despite its modest size, and it’s humidity resistant so you really can belt out some Meatloaf in the shower (Meatloaf not included).

Sonos One

All-new Sonos One - Smart Speaker with Alexa voice control built-In. Compact size with incredible sound for any room. (black) All-new Sonos One - Smart Speaker with Alexa voice control built-In. Compact size with incredible sound for any room. (black) Buy Now At Amazon $179.00

Still not sure which Bluetooth speaker to go for? Check out the best Bluetooth speakers for smartphone users.

6. High-Quality Wired Headphones

Much of the time your choice of headphones depends on your musical preferences, but that’s arguably an industry invention. Bass-heavy cans are great for modern electronic music but turn classical, rock, and metal into a muddy and inaudible mess. The best headphones you can buy are those that don’t try to change the music, but provide a faithful reproduction of the original recording.

Grado SR60e

That usually means opting for studio-grade headphones or monitors, which don’t try to augment the bass or add unnecessary punch to the treble. One such company that’s made a name for itself with quality, hand-assembled, American-made headphones is Grado Labs, based out of Brooklyn, New York.

Even its most basic of models—like the SR60e and SR80e—provide a much sought-after, balanced response, and exceptional clarity for their price range. What’s more, they ooze style with an iconic, adjustable design and fake leather headband that ensures a comfortable listening experience.

Grado SR60e Headphones Grado SR60e Headphones Buy Now At Amazon $79.00

7. Wireless Headphones

Not every music lover is an audiophile, and even those who are can appreciate convenience when they see it. Wireless headphones don’t sound as good as wired ones, and you’re far more limited in terms of which models you can go for when cutting the audio cord.

Apple Airpods

For iPhone, iPad and Mac users, Apple’s W1 headphones are arguably the best. The Apple AirPods (our review) are a wireless version of the company’s iconic white in-ear freebies. While the sound is pretty good, there’s no noise isolation or tight-fitting silicon for comfort—so they aren’t perfect for everyone.

Also best suited to Apple devices are the BeatsX (our review), Apple’s other small wireless in-ear headphones. Since they carry the Beats name they’re also fairly bass-heavy, but they sound good and are very comfortable. Both the AirPods and BeatsX are super-easy to pair, with fast charging, and a built-in microphone for talking on the phone or chatting to Siri.

BeatsX Earphones

BeatsX Earphones - Black BeatsX Earphones - Black Buy Now At Amazon $99.95

For Samsung users, the company’s own Level U Pro wireless earphones really hit the mark, at around half the price of the BeatsX. For everyone else, the Phiaton BT100 offer noise canceling technology in an in-ear headphone style for a decent price.

Phiaton BT 100 NC Wireless and Active Noise Cancelling Neck Band Style Earphones with Mic Phiaton BT 100 NC Wireless and Active Noise Cancelling Neck Band Style Earphones with Mic Buy Now At Amazon $74.01

8. KORG Miniature Synths

For the music lover who’s not content with simply listening to music, KORG’s latest range of Volca mini synths could provide hours of fun. For beginners, look at the KORG analog rhythm machine, KORG looping synth, and KORG mini sampler.

KORG Volca

Korg Volca Beats Analog Rhythm Machine Korg Volca Beats Analog Rhythm Machine Buy Now At Amazon $159.99

More Last-Minute Gift Ideas!

While this list was intended for people buying music-related gifts for other people, maybe you want to buy some of these goodies for yourself instead. If so, that’s OK, you’re allowed to treat yourself every once in a while.

And if you’re looking for last minute gifts, check out our last minute shopping gift guide!

Read the full article: 8 Brilliant Gift Ideas for Music Lovers

The 7 Best Online Shops for Ugly Christmas Sweaters

ugly-christmas-sweater

When Christmas time rolls around, there is plenty to do. You have decorating, baking, wrapping, and of course, shopping for ugly Christmas sweaters! This trend has become and remained popular for years. There’s even a National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on December 21 each year. So, whether you’re buying for yourself or the whole family, you need to know where to go. Here are the best online shops for ugly Christmas sweaters to help you find the craziest, silliest, or most obnoxious sweater you can. 1. Ugly Christmas Sweater.com With ugly Christmas sweaters this common at this time of year,…

Read the full article: The 7 Best Online Shops for Ugly Christmas Sweaters

When Christmas time rolls around, there is plenty to do. You have decorating, baking, wrapping, and of course, shopping for ugly Christmas sweaters!

This trend has become and remained popular for years. There’s even a National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on December 21 each year. So, whether you’re buying for yourself or the whole family, you need to know where to go.

Here are the best online shops for ugly Christmas sweaters to help you find the craziest, silliest, or most obnoxious sweater you can.

1. Ugly Christmas Sweater.com

Ugly Christmas Sweater.com 3D options

With ugly Christmas sweaters this common at this time of year, you shouldn’t be surprised that there’s a website dedicated to them. Ugly Christmas Sweater.com is your one-stop shop for sweaters that bring the “ha, ha, ha” to “ho, ho, ho.”

You can browse by categories like men’s, women’s, or new sweaters. But you can also go all out this year with a naughty or 3D sweater. That’s right, 3D sweaters bring even more holiday cheer because they pop when you walk in as well as when you leave. These hilarious wearables offer stuffed characters like a moose, dinosaur, unicorn, or Santa in a chimney.

Ugly Christmas Sweater.com offers items for kids, pajama jumpsuits, ugly socks, adult humor sweaters, and much more. So, if you’ve been searching for a light-up sweater with the leg lamp from A Christmas Story, this is your shop.

2. Tipsy Elves

Tipsy Elves Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Who better to come up with an ugly Christmas sweater than elves who’ve had a little too much eggnog. Tipsy Elves offers a great variety of sweaters for the entire family from the adults to the kids to the pooches.

You can browse by category and filter by gender, size, and type to narrow down your options. Are you ready for an interactive sweater with a stocking for your wine bottle? Or, maybe Santa Claus wearing a thong is more your speed? How about decorating yourself instead of a tree with garland and ornaments? Tipsy Elves has all of these options and more.

Tipsy Elves has more than just ugly Christmas sweaters. You can check out products for Hanukkah, clever Christmas gifts, ski suits, and items for holidays like Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s Day too. If you’re looking for something nice, naughty, or even in between to wear this Christmas, the Tipsy Elves have it.

3. Ragstock

Ragstock Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Ragstock has an interesting selection of ugly Christmas sweaters that range from new to vintage. So, if you’re looking for something a little different this year, this online shop is worth a look.

With a drunken Santa or a mug shot of Rudolph, the new sweaters have a good amount of humor. If you decide to go the vintage route, you can wear a Santa holding a Pepsi-Cola or just don some good old-fashioned snowflake patterns.

Ragstock also offers accessories, jackets, pajamas, hats, and other products you can wear year-round. And for a really cool stocking stuffer for your pal, pick up the Ragstock Christmas Sweater Coloring Book when you shop (proceeds go to Toys for Tots, a charity for children).

4. Amazon

Amazon Mens Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Now, if you happen to be doing some Christmas shopping on Amazon, then head to the Ugly Christmas Sweaters section and pick out something for yourself.

While the options may be a bit cleaner in humor than other sites, you can still grab that sweater with a dog peeing on a snowman if that’s your style. You can make yourself look like an elf or have a cat in a Santa hat leaning on a shelf. And yes, Amazon does have some light-up sweaters to brighten up your holiday.

There may not be endless possibilities of ugly Christmas sweaters on Amazon. But if you’re already there shopping, take a peek because you never know when that perfect sweater may pop up.

5. Kohl’s

Kohls Mens Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Kohl’s is another great spot to check for ugly Christmas sweaters if you’re already buying holiday gifts there.

Browse through men’s, women’s, juniors, and kid’s apparel. You can get the Budweiser Christmas sweater for him, Santa Claus riding a bike for her, and Mickey Mouse or Mario at Christmas time for the kids.

Along with ugly Christmas sweaters, there are short- and long-sleeved T-shirts for those in warmer locations and pajamas for those staying in this holiday season. Kohl’s may not have the ugliest Christmas sweaters you can find, but they get the job done in a tasteful way.

6. Macy’s

Macys Womens Ugly Christmas Sweaters

One more spot you might already be shopping at is Macy’s. Their ugly Christmas sweater collection is definitely worth a look.

There are about a dozen options for men and over 50 for women, so just filter the sweaters by gender. Then, take a look at holiday-decorated spaceships, dinosaurs, sheep, and Darth Vader for your tasteful but ugly sweater this Christmas.

If you want Santa on a skateboard, wearing sunglasses, or hanging out on a beach chair, you’ll find your ugly Christmas sweater at Macy’s.

7. Party City

Party City Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Get the supplies for your ugly Christmas sweater party and what you’re going to wear at the same time at Party City. You’ll find a cool collection of sweaters for men, women, and kids tucked into its own section.

Many sweaters are complete with pictures and words, which makes for a jollier time. Show everyone your spirit with a cat and “Meowy Christmas,” let the party know you’re “Too Lit to Quit,” or pretend you’re Cousin Eddy from the movie Christmas Vacation with a “That There’s an RV” sweater.

Party City also has decorations for your noggin like tinsel headbands or garland glasses. You’ll even find hats, scarves, skirts, ponchos, and T-shirts with the same ugly Christmas sweater themes. So, get that partially eaten gingerbread on your sweater with your head as the cookie over at Party City.

Go Get Ugly With a Fun New Sweater!

If you’re ready to get downright ugly this Christmas season, then these online shops are just the Santa’s little helpers you need! And remember, check out the shipping options and order soon so that you don’t miss out this Christmas.

Read the full article: The 7 Best Online Shops for Ugly Christmas Sweaters

5 Secret Santa Apps and Ideas for Great Gift Exchanges

secret-santa

It’s that time of the year, folks. These are the apps and sites you should check out if you’re looking to host a Secret Santa, join a community’s gift exchange, or have a whole new spin on the annual tradition. Secret Santa, in case you didn’t know, is an anonymous gift exchange. People are randomly matched with a “Santa” who will buy them a cool Christmas gift. And the Santa’s identity is kept secret till the gift is given (and sometimes afterwards too). Naturally, now that everyone has phones, apps, and the internet, technology makes it easier to do Secret…

Read the full article: 5 Secret Santa Apps and Ideas for Great Gift Exchanges

It’s that time of the year, folks. These are the apps and sites you should check out if you’re looking to host a Secret Santa, join a community’s gift exchange, or have a whole new spin on the annual tradition.

Secret Santa, in case you didn’t know, is an anonymous gift exchange. People are randomly matched with a “Santa” who will buy them a cool Christmas gift. And the Santa’s identity is kept secret till the gift is given (and sometimes afterwards too).

Naturally, now that everyone has phones, apps, and the internet, technology makes it easier to do Secret Santa. And if you’re not part of one, you can join online communities to get in on the tradition.

Not Santa (Web): Simplest Secret Santa Match Generator

Not Santa is the simplest Secret Santa match generator

No one needs to draw names out of a hat anymore. Technology makes it easier to set up the matches so that you don’t have to.

Not Santa is a remarkably simple web app that also works great on mobile screens. Give your Secret Santa group a name, add your name, and then add the names of all the other participants. There doesn’t seem to be any limit on how many people you can add.

Once you’ve filled up the list, click Make It Happen to generate the randomized matches. Share the link with all the participants so they can see who their matches are.

Not Santa works on an honor system. If anyone wanted to, they could click on each person’s name and find out who got matched with whom. But do that and the real Santa is going to drop a lump of coal in your stockings.

Simple Secret Santa Generator (Web, Android, iOS): Matches and Wishlists

For the next level of Secret Santa hosting, try Simple Secret Santa Generator (SSSG). There isn’t any honor system in this one. Only the Santa will know who they have to get a gift for.

You can use it online or with the mobile apps. Create a group, and add the names and email addresses of participants. You can also generate a link so that participants can sign up to the group, rather than you adding them. Once the list is ready, generate the Secret Santa match-ups.

It’s a good idea to also write other details in the description, like the gift budget and when you will exchange them. To make the gift-giving a little easier, SSSG lets you add a wishlist of items you’d like.

The only flaw with SSSG is that it is free for up to five users only. After that, you need to pay to unlock more users.

Download: Simple Secret Santa Generator for Android | iOS (Free for 5 Users)

Secret Santa Team (Web): For Slack and Discord

Play Secret Santa in your Slack or Discord with secret santa team bot

Slack and Discord are two of the most popular chat apps for offices, teams, and shared-interest groups today. If you’re an administrator in one such group, you can set up Secret Santa in a jiffy.

Click the button for your preferred chat app and this Santa bot will be ready to spread the cheer. Add the people who want to participate in the exchange. And draft a custom message that will be sent out to all participants, along with their match. As usual, include rules like the budget.

Note that the bot matches people randomly. In case you are a remote, distributed team, the bot doesn’t care about which country you are in.

Elfster (Web, Android, iOS): The Most Powerful Secret Santa Tool

Elfster is the most powerful secret santa app

Elfster really takes its Secret Santa business seriously. This is a powerful tool for anyone who wants to exert plenty of control over the process, which might be necessary when you’re dealing with a whole office.

It’s best to use the web app and not the mobile apps for Elfster. Through a series of steps, you will set the gift exchange rules (budget, reveal time, reveal place, sign-up deadline, and so on). You can invite people from your Gmail address book, which is a tremendous help, or you can generate a link that people can visit and register for.

Elfster adds a bit of a social media angle to it. Within your created event, you get a “wall” where all participants of the Secret Santa can talk to each other.

The app also lets a Secret Santa talk to their recipient anonymously. It’s a nice way to find out more about someone so you can get them the perfect gift. And yes, you can set up wishlists too.

Download: Elfster for Android | iOS (Free)

Conspiracy Santa (Web): A Fun New Take On Secret Santa

Conspiracy Santa is a better secret santa for teams

The team at Zapier have a slightly different version of Secret Santa, and have made a tool where you can play it their way too. The idea here is to not match one person with one Santa. Instead, a whole team comes together to get a gift for each individual.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say there is a team of five people, named A, B, C, D, and E. E’s gift is decided in an email exchange between A, B, C, and D. Similarly, A’s gift is decided in an email exchange between B, C, D, and E. Each person gets a gift not from one Secret Santa, but a collective effort by the whole rest of the team.

To facilitate this, Zapier released the Conspiracy Santa tool. Add a name and an email address for each person who is part of the Conspiracy Santa. Once everyone is added, group emails will be sent out to discuss each person’s gift to everyone but that person. Start replying, decide a gift, and have a great holiday!

Give, And Give More

Secret Santa is an amazing way to form new bonds or strengthen old ones, without the pressure of looking like a fool with what you give someone. Hopefully, these apps make it a stress-free and enjoyable experience for everyone.

But don’t forget, the holiday season isn’t just about giving to someone you love. It’s about giving. If you’re buying gifts for loved ones, also consider Christmas charities that offer online help for low income families.

Image Credit: pressmaster/Depositphotos

Read the full article: 5 Secret Santa Apps and Ideas for Great Gift Exchanges

10 Awesome Toys Under $100 That Are Perfect as Gifts

toy-gifts

You’re looking for a geeky toy to buy someone for their birthday or the holidays, but don’t know where to start. How can you possibly find something suitable on a budget of less than $100? Don’t worry, we’re certain you’ll find something ideal in this collection of awesome toys all priced at under $100—and all available on Amazon! 1. LittleBits Marvel Avengers Hero Inventor Kit littleBits Marvel Avengers Hero Inventor Kit – Build Super Hero Gear & Code Your Own Super Powers – Kids Ages 8+ littleBits Marvel Avengers Hero Inventor Kit – Build Super Hero Gear & Code Your…

Read the full article: 10 Awesome Toys Under $100 That Are Perfect as Gifts

toy-gifts

You’re looking for a geeky toy to buy someone for their birthday or the holidays, but don’t know where to start. How can you possibly find something suitable on a budget of less than $100?

Don’t worry, we’re certain you’ll find something ideal in this collection of awesome toys all priced at under $100—and all available on Amazon!

1. LittleBits Marvel Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

The littleBits Avengers kit

littleBits Marvel Avengers Hero Inventor Kit - Build Super Hero Gear & Code Your Own Super Powers - Kids Ages 8+ littleBits Marvel Avengers Hero Inventor Kit - Build Super Hero Gear & Code Your Own Super Powers - Kids Ages 8+ Buy Now At Amazon $83.99

Who doesn’t want to be an Avenger?

The 50 percent chance of being turned to dust aside, you get to be a hero, and save the world on a regular basis. While those things aren’t available to mere mortals, the littleBits Marvel Avengers Hero Inventor Kit nevertheless lets you code (and decorate) an Iron Man-style gauntlet.

Never seen littleBits before? They’re a collection of electronic components that can be easily hooked up into a basic circuit. Connection simply requires the components be placed in the right order, and magnets do the rest.

This kit features 10 authentic Avengers sounds, the tools to record your own, and hours of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) activities. An iPhone (iOS 10 or above) or Android (5.0 or later) is required to get the full benefit from this kit.

2. 3Doodler Create 3D Pen

3Doodler 3D printing pen

3Doodler Create 3D Pen with 50 Plastic Strands, No Mess, Non-Toxic - 3Doodler Create 3D Pen with 50 Plastic Strands, No Mess, Non-Toxic - Buy Now At Amazon $51.45

3D printers are expensive; the handheld 3Doodler Create 3D Pen is not. While not a 3D printer replacement by any stretch of the imagination, these pens are superb artistic devices.

As well as enabling you to build your own 3D art in layers, the 3Doodler pen also draws upwards! This means that you can create cubes, chairs, pyramids, and other shapes.

To help your builds, you can print out various templates. But all you really need for your own designs is a piece of paper and a pencil.

Simply trace over with the 3D printer pen, pull the dry design away, and glue together. Our 3Doodler Create 3D Pen review is worth reading if you’re tempted. Although the company products a child-specific version, we recommend you try the main 3Doodler Create.

3. Dropmix Music Gaming System

Dropmix Music game

DropMix Music Gaming System DropMix Music Gaming System Buy Now At Amazon $47.50

Developed by Hasbro and Harmonix, the Dropmix Music Gaming System is a fast-paced music-mixing game, where the best random song mixes win. In the pack are 60 cards from various top artists, such as Bruno Mars, Flo Rida, and Evanescence.

The results are sometimes unnerving, but also brilliant!

Not only does the game combine music, it also mixes traditional card-based gameplay with a mobile app. The card tray even comes with a slot into which you can place your tablet (Android or iPad).

With the game underway, you then use the free app to play the results of your mix. Great for evenings in or parties, the Dropmix Music Gaming System is aimed at the 16+ age group.

4. Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn

Civilization: A New Dawn tabletop game

Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn Buy Now At Amazon $27.35

There have been many board game versions of this perennial PC gaming favorite, but Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn might just be the best.

With multiple paths to victory—which makes it ideal for newcomers and experienced tabletop gamers alike—you get the chance to guide your civilization from birth as a small tribe, to becoming the most dominant empire on the planet.

Become one of history’s great leaders: build, explore, trade, engage in diplomacy, and even battle with rivals for global supremacy.

However, beware: while an engaging video game-to-tabletop experience, A New Dawn takes a bit of setting up, and isn’t suitable for under 11s.

5. Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit

Snap Circuits Electronics Exploration Kit

Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit | Over 100 STEM Projects | 4-Color Project Manual | 30 Snap Modules | Unlimited Fun Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit | Over 100 STEM Projects | 4-Color Project Manual | 30 Snap Modules | Unlimited Fun Buy Now At Amazon $20.99

Looking for an electronics gift for kids but find littleBits too expensive? This affordable Snap Circuits Electronics Exploration Kit features 30 components that can be used on 100 STEM projects, with projects including a photo sensor, flashing light, and adjustable-volume sensor.

The beauty of Snap Circuits kits is how components snap into place on the plastic breadboard, with no soldering required.

This award-winning kit is suitable for children aged 8+ and features a detailed manual to aid in the creation of each project.

6. Star Wars: Armada Game

Star Wars Armada board game

Star Wars: Armada - Core Set Star Wars: Armada - Core Set Buy Now At Amazon $65.99

Star Wars: Armada is a two-player miniatures strategy game that plunges you into epic space battles.

Assemble a fleet, survey objectives, form a battle plan, and plot a course to destroy your enemy. Tactical commands can decide the course of the battle and the fate of the Empire or the Rebellion. Just pick up the core game from Amazon to get started.

As Armada predates the new run of Star Wars films, this is no explicit tie-in. However, this is a fun piece of gaming that is both thrilling and in-depth.

Although sold as a standalone game, you can enhance it with numerous expansion packs, also available on Amazon. If you prefer video games, check out games all Star Wars fans will love.

7. Ugears Mechanical 3D Safe and Puzzle

Ugears 3D Safe

Ugears Mechanical 3D Safe, Valentine's Gifts, Adult Puzzle, Wooden Brain Teaser, Kids And Teens IQ Game Ugears Mechanical 3D Safe, Valentine's Gifts, Adult Puzzle, Wooden Brain Teaser, Kids And Teens IQ Game Buy Now At Amazon

This unusual gift idea is made almost entirely of wood. If you buy the Ugears Mechanical 3D Safe and Puzzle, you can check yourself—it’s a DIY build.

In the box you’ll find several high-quality plywood sheets. The components are laser cut, ready for you to press them out.

The instructions will guide you through building the safe, creating tumbler wheel locks, and manipulating spindles and fences to operate the lock.

In short, this is a two-in-one experience. First, build the safe, then challenge people to unlock it successfully. The manufacturer suggests you could also use it to hide a different (smaller) present inside, which is a pretty fun idea.

8. LEGO Creator Expert Volkswagen Beetle 10252

Lego VW Beetle

LEGO Creator Expert Volkswagen Beetle 10252 Construction Set LEGO Creator Expert Volkswagen Beetle 10252 Construction Set Buy Now At Amazon $99.95

No list of awesome toys can be complete without mention of LEGO. This 1960s Volkswagen Beetle build comes from the Creator Expert series, and like the real car, features a spare wheel under the hood.

You’ll also find an opening trunk and doors, moving wheels, engine, and plenty of other elements of the original vehicle.

Like a previous VW build (the world-famous camper), this LEGO kit also features some nice accessories. The roof rack accommodates a surfboard and cool box, while a beach towel is also included.

Creator Expert kits are not easy builds. You’ll need to put plenty of time aside to build this, but it will be worth every minute!

9. Rogue Making Deluxe Wearable Tech Kit

Rogue Making DIY wearables kit

Rogue Making Deluxe Wearable Tech Kit Rogue Making Deluxe Wearable Tech Kit Buy Now At Amazon $50.66

Fans of wearables will love this kit; a compact collection of lights, batteries and conductive thread. After prototyping with crocodile clips, you’ll be able to create your own wearables while you travel.

Like many such kits, the Rogue Making Deluxe Wearable Tech Kit is suitable for newbies and experienced wearable creators alike.

Simple, and with endless possibilities, you could illuminate a hat with LEDs, or add glowing eyes to a teddy bear. Full details of the possibilities can be found at the manufacturer’s website, Rogue Making.

We particularly like the fact that this kit is so portable, and comes packaged in a small, resealable plastic box.

10. ANI-Mate Clay Animation Movie Maker Kit

Make your own claymation films!

NPW-USA ANI-Mate Clay Animation Movie Maker Kit NPW-USA ANI-Mate Clay Animation Movie Maker Kit Buy Now At Amazon $36.40

Interested in animation? Then the ANI-Mate Clay Animation Movie Maker Kit is the perfect toy. This is essentially an affordable animation studio featuring modelling clay, eyes, four backdrops, and even a stand for your phone.

With a stop-motion animation app installed, you can make your own movie.

Aimed at kids aged 8 and up, this kit also features a book full of tips and ideas for making a stop-motion Claymation movie.

This is a great kit that promises hours of fun, and a new appreciation for animation.

What Are Your Favorite Tech Toys?

We’ve shared some awesome toys for under $100 with a heavy tech/geek/nerd aspect to them. Hopefully, one of these will appeal to whoever is on your gift list this holiday season. And if not, tell us what you ended up buying instead.

Before you head out to get Christmas gifts, check out the best iPhone apps to help with holiday shopping.

Read the full article: 10 Awesome Toys Under $100 That Are Perfect as Gifts