Need a special gift for that special geek in your life but not sure what to buy? No problem. Whether your favorite geek is into “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” Marvel comics, Harry Potter, tech gadgets or other such stuff, here are 10 cool gift ideas to help you shop.
You can buy all of these gifts online, but you’ll also find some of them in brick-and-mortar stores, so you can shop whichever way you prefer.
Amazon Echo - $139.99. A personal voice-activated assistant who goes by the name of Alexa, the Amazon Echo is a small cylindrical speaker that answers questions, responds to commands and performs a range of tasks. You can request music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora and other online services. You can ask Alexa for the latest news, traffic, weather and sports scores. You can control smart lights, thermostats and other supported devices and appliances via your voice. You can even ask Alexa to request a ride from Uber and pizza from Domino’s. The Echo can hear you from a fair distance across the room, so it makes a good home companion. You’ll find it at a range of sellers, but why not buy it direct from Amazon.
Batman boxer shorts - $13.49. Any guy, young or old, who’s into the exploits of the caped crusader may feel a bit stronger and braver wearing these. The famous bat logo shines front and center, while the Dark Knight’s handy utility belt appears at the bottom. Made of 100 percent cotton, Batman boxers sport a blue cape in back attached by Velcro, so your gift recipient can secretly pretend to be the caped crusader. The underwear can also double as pajama bottoms. You’ll find this unique brand of shorts at Superherostuff.com.
- For more tips on budgeting and spending for the festive season, see our Holiday Financial Guide
Captain America: Civil War Shield Backpack - $59.99. If you know someone who’d like to carry the famous shield of Marvel’s Captain America on his or her back, you’re in luck. Fashioned just like the shield of the red-white-and-blue Avenger, this item not only looks cool but also serves as a backpack. Inside are a large main pocket, two accessory pockets and a larger padded pocket for a laptop or tablet. It’s layered with hard plastic on the outside so it should hold up well. You’ll find it at ThinkGeek.
“Designed by Apple in California” - $199 for the 10.2-inch by 12.8-inch version; $299 for the 13-inch by 16.3-inch version. Nope, this isn’t an electronic device. Rather it’s a book by and about Apple. That sounds pretty pricey for a book, but this isn’t just any book. “Designed by Apple in California” is a lavishly produced 300-pager that tells the story of Apple’s design and devices over the past 20 years. A combination of text and 450 photographs celebrate the company’s products, from the Mac to the iPhone to the iPad to the Apple Watch and everything in between. Taking more than eight years to create, it’s printed on “specially milled German paper with gilded matte silver edges.” Anyone who wants to learn about and savor the impact that Apple has made in the tech world might like to unwrap this book for the holidays. You’ll find this item only at Apple itself.
EZ Robot Developer Kit - $229. How about letting that special someone build his or her own custom robot? With the parts in this kit and the right hardware and software skills, your favorite geek can do just that. Geared for beginners and advanced users, the kit contains all the necessary electronics to fashion a small robot, including a processor, speaker and camera. A fully built robot is capable of moving, detecting objects, distinguishing faces and colors and recognizing speech. Anyone yearning for a robotic companion should enjoy the challenge of fashioning one from scratch. You’ll find this kit online at Scientifics Direct.
Harry Potter Quidditch Robe - $23.99. Any young fan of Harry Potter would likely enjoy wearing a robe that looks like the uniform Harry wore when he and his Gryffindor team battled the competition at the challenging game of Quidditch. The robe comes in a bright crimson color with yellow letters and stripes and laces in front. The great Gryffindor crest appears in front, while the name Potter and the number 7 grace the back. You can buy the Quidditch robe at a variety of places, including Target.
Heromods - $99. What’s Heromods? It’s a process through which someone can be 3D-printed as a small superhero model. You pick the costume, color and other attributes. Then you upload a photo of your gift recipient. In return, Heromods designs a figurine with your geek’s looks and features but sporting the outfit of a superhero. The model even comes with a transparent capsule to protect it from the elements as well as from evil-doers. You’ll find this at Heromods.com.
The Millennium Falcon Drone - $199.95. This is the ideal present for a Star Wars fan who wants to own and fly his or her own remote-controlled drone. Built to resemble Han Solo’s famous spaceship, this drone glows from the back as it takes flight, just like the “real” Falcon. A built-in stabilizer keeps the ship flying straight and true as it travels as far as 250 feet away from you. Via a rechargeable battery, the Falcon drone can take to the skies for as long as 10 minutes. You can pick one up at Hammacher Schlemmer.
Amazing Spider-Man Poster, signed by Stan Lee - $399. This poster celebrates the very first comic book that featured your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man. It displays the cover of 1962’s Amazing Fantasy No. 15, in which the wall crawler made his debut. We see Spidey as he swings through the sky carrying a man and vowing that “the world will soon marvel at the awesome might of Spider-Man.” What makes this poster even more special is that it’s autographed by none other than Stan Lee, the man behind Marvel Comics and the co-creator of the web-slinger more than 50 years ago. You’ll find this item at the New York Times Store.
Tribble slippers - $24.99. Any Star Trek fan should love these slippers that look and sound like a tribble, the creature that adores everyone except your average Klingon. Put them on, and with each step you take, the furry footwear emits that wonderful cooing sound that proves irresistible. Don’t worry, though. If the cooing gets too annoying, your gift recipient can always switch off the sound. You’ll find these slippers at a variety of stores, both online and offline. But one cyberspot where you can grab them is Stylin Online.