Toys for the 30-something guy (me).
December 1, 2006 9:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm a single 30-something guy and need some toys to fill out my Xmas wishlist. What are some fun & inexpensive gifts/gadgets/toys that I haven't thought of?

My family does the wishlist thing each year because we're all impossible to shop for. This year not even I know what I want.

I count myself lucky that I have so few wants, but I'd like to give my family some suggestions of fun things to give me. I've looked at some of the "top gift" guides on the web, but these are all big ticket items like PS3s and such.

Basically I'm looking for toys for under $50 for the over 30-year old.
posted by justkevin to Shopping (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by jellicle at 9:36 AM on December 1, 2006

hit and browse about -- if you want something genuinely useful it might be harder to find, but in the realm of fun and frivolous they've got a bunch to choose from.

I also check as sometimes they throw out some links to really neat stuff I wouldn't have expected.
posted by devbrain at 9:37 AM on December 1, 2006

A leatherman, or if you prefer more portable, I love my Utilikey.
posted by chrisamiller at 9:37 AM on December 1, 2006

It is, perhaps, completely obnoxious to suggest this, I know that. But at the risk of being annoying I'll do it anyway. If you have so few wants, why not ask people to donate instead? Pick a few charities for cool causes, or go buy fun toys for kids and donate them. I like Doctors Without Borders and the Seva Foundation for charities, and for toys, most towns have some organization doing a toy drive.

However, if you want to open something under the tree, do you cook? There are hundreds of cool cooking gadgets, or you could ask for a really good knife (makes a big difference), or you could upgrade some crappy tool you currently use--a nice coffee maker, for example, or some fancy spices. A Leatherman is a great idea, too--I have a tiny one on my keychain I use all the time for little things, and then a bigger one for projects.
posted by min at 9:55 AM on December 1, 2006

Response by poster: is a great suggestion, I've already poked around there. Anyone have experiences with particular items on that site that were more or less "cool" than they expected?
posted by justkevin at 9:56 AM on December 1, 2006

Response by poster: Totally not obnoxious to suggest a charity, I usually give one "a donation has been made in your name" to my family a year. But I'd still like have some toys on my wishlist, so keep the materialistic suggestions coming.
posted by justkevin at 10:01 AM on December 1, 2006

Best answer: I've been trying to come up with similar type gifts for my husband and brother-in-law. I suggest you brainstorm possible accessories for toys/items you already have.

Have an iPod? You'll need a case, fm transmitter for the car, new headphones, etc.
Have a laptop? How about a wireless mouse, clip-on usb lamp, usb port/hub, laptop carrying sleeve/case?

Your sports/hobbies often have lots of gadgets in this under-$50 price range, too. Like min mentioned above, cooking gadgets abound for amateur chefs. Even if your only exercise is running or walking, you could get a pedometer or some weights.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 10:04 AM on December 1, 2006

If you like planes, those AirHogs planes are tough to beat. I recommend the bi-plane, you can get them at toysrus for around $30.

Along the same vein is the Pico-Z mini helicopter. Hell, you can even fly it indoors.
posted by dr_dank at 10:50 AM on December 1, 2006

You can always find interesting gadgets/tools/toys at Gizmodo and Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools.
posted by plokent at 11:30 AM on December 1, 2006

I totally second Cool Tools and ThinkGeek. Both are GREAT.
posted by richmondparker at 11:40 AM on December 1, 2006

Also have a look at
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:44 AM on December 1, 2006

Check out the Edmund Scientific for all sorts of nifty sciencey stuff...
posted by mzurer at 11:57 AM on December 1, 2006

It also depends on what your family is like and who's buying for you. For example, in my family, my father absolutely loves to shop for and buy kitchen gadgets. So I'll always give him some sort of vague suggestion (e.g. "I'd really like some good kitchen shears" or "I need a knife sharpener") and let him go to town on it. He has a good time doing all the research and shopping, and I get something that I can use and probably wouldn't have had time to buy myself. We all do this (I tend to get vague electronic or computer-related gift requests) and it makes the gift giving fun.

So if other people in your family are really "into" certain things, it might be worth asking for something in that vein but not being too specific. That way they'll be able to shop for and buy something that they know about, and you'll be able to use their experience and get an item you wouldn't have even known existed.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:12 PM on December 1, 2006

I recommend The Red Ferret for your gadget-browsing needs.
posted by krisjohn at 2:18 PM on December 1, 2006

The marshmallow blaster on Thinkgeek is significantly less cool than you would expect.

For useful toys, how about The Sharper Image?
posted by scission at 2:28 PM on December 1, 2006

Also try the green head

It has cool stuff aplenty. Though I second "Think Geek"

They've got a video playing watch right now for 100 bucks
posted by rileyray3000 at 10:41 PM on December 1, 2006

Ooh...thanks for the plug krisjohn. :-)
posted by Duug at 4:10 AM on December 2, 2006

Fry's has some really cool stuff. Don't know if this counts but I bought a great four-way pen screwdriver (two phillips, two slotted) from there for $2 the last time I was in Glendale, CA.
posted by ostranenie at 8:15 PM on December 2, 2006

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