It’s no secret that most geeks are hard to buy for…myself included. I figured a list of fun things you’re not going to find at the local department store might be useful…with plenty of lead time to buy them online.
In no particular order:
- Lomokino & Lomoscope (~$100, Lomography)
I love the concept of this retro film movie making camera from Lomography that uses 35mm film stock to shot about 60 seconds of footage. Sure you can probably fake it with half a dozen iPhone apps but that’s not nearly as fun. Get the bundle as it comes with a projector as well.
- Star Wars peppermill ($20, Think Geek)
Think Geek has some of the coolest stuff that you won’t find anywhere else…and this R2D2 peppermill is one of those things. I recently got this for my birthday from my girlfriend and can confirm that Droids DO in fact make the best pepper.
- Arduino! ($30-$100, multiple places)
As regular readers here know, I’m a big fan of Arduino microprocessors and there are no shortage of fun projects and kits to check out, regardless of age or skill level. It’s also the brains of my 3D printers. SparkFun has a great starter kit, as does Solarbotics who also has a couple awesome robot platforms to put those microcontrollers to work. Adafruit also has some great kits and lots of other fun stuff. In Vancouver, you can get Arduinos from Lee’s Electronics on Main Street and they also have the SparkFun kits
- A 3D Printer – ($500 and up)
A little higher up the $ scale but I definitely know a few people that would love to unwrap a 3D printer. I’ve written extensively about my experiences with 3D printers. This is a kit from Mixshop in Toronto that is only missing the plastic printed parts which can be bought from ebay for around $75 (I also print/sell them). Definitely for those geeks that like to build things from kits and aren’t afraid of a little soldering. Of course you can also go the route I went and get a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic which is a bit easier to build with a higher price tag ($1,324) or you can spend a little more and get it fully assembled ($1,624). Not sure if MakerBot can deliver to Canada with their lead time + customs but the previous links are for Canadian reseller that has them in stock.
- The F-Stop Watch ($35, PhotoJoJo)
This is a pretty slick and inexpensive watch for any photographer. PhotoJoJo has lots of other great stuff for the photo geek.
- Xshot Extendable Hand Held Monopod (~$25, multiple)
I bought one of these a few years ago and they now have a newer version that is even more compact. I primarily use it with my GoPro to help me get above or below the action. It works with just about any kind of compact still or video camera, you know, when you’re ziplining through the trees in Whistler. Great for taking self portraits as well. I got mine at London Drugs but I can’t find it on their site but it’s definitely in stores. Photojojo also has them.
- Gift Cards – (various)
Don’t be afraid to give a gift card to a geek…if you know they have a favorite place to shop for their stuff, they’ll appreciate a gift card more than you trying to guess what they may need.