awesome present for an awesome kid?
July 15, 2008 9:54 AM   Subscribe

What present should my mother get for her 13/14 year old nephew? Complications within.

Mom is visiting Russia tomorrow for a month. She hasn't been there or seen the family since 4 years ago and she doesn't really know his interests (other than that he likes chocolate). Also, his parents give him everything he wants/needs generally.

She needs to buy this present today and I'm guessing wants to spend less than $60 (she rejected my iPod suggestion). Any ideas, metafilter?
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel to Shopping (10 answers total)
Fashion forward? Pick up some surf-related shirt or Abercrombie. At least here in Armenia, those seem to be all the rage with the teen set.
posted by k8t at 10:02 AM on July 15, 2008

Does the nephew speak English?
posted by frieze at 10:02 AM on July 15, 2008

Response by poster: Last time I was there he spoke English, though I don't know if he kept that up because he was starting to learn French.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 10:10 AM on July 15, 2008

Where is your mother coming from? The US? I'd say bring T-shirts - the more outrageous, the better. My son at that age was truly fond of fake vintage band shirts from that horrible place in the mall - I can't recall the name offhand but there's one in every American mall; they sell pleather spiked armbands and t-shirts and hideous Metallica wall hangings. If she doesn't want to go to the mall (and who could blame her?) the fake vintage band shirt has jumped the shark to Target & WalMart, as has the cute saying shirt. Failing that, weird local candy and chips with incomprehensible labels are also always a big hit with that demographic.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:46 AM on July 15, 2008

Best answer: That's a notoriously finicky demographic; you really need to know what he likes. I think the only thing that would be universally approved is cash. Keeping it in US dollars (or whatever non-Russian currency your mom uses) might make it just special enough.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:54 AM on July 15, 2008

Response by poster: Coming from the US. I think cash isn't a great idea because the kid has money.

Google isn't really the answer here because, uh, my mom does know Russian culture and also some of those things are kind of insulting: pens? movies? you can get dvds for, like, 60 rubles on the side of the street if you want movies.

Weird local candy and goofy shirts might be good. I will wander around with her trying to find some of that.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 11:19 AM on July 15, 2008

mygothlaundry: I think you're referring to Hot Topic
posted by chiababe at 11:31 AM on July 15, 2008

hal_c_on, that list is aimed very specifically at business and government travelers from the state of New Mexico. I think the western wear, Georgia O┬┤Keefe, Nambe, and calendars with New Mexico scenes are probably suggested to be gifts from the area of the US where Sandia National Labs is located, not because people in Russia are desperate to get their hands on some Nambe.
posted by yohko at 1:24 PM on July 15, 2008

Best answer: Itunes card (even if he doesn't have an ipod, he can download tunes to his computer) or T-shirt is excellent, but most teens like t-shirts with their favorite bands on them, so that makes it tough.

If he likes chocolate, he might be disappointed in US chocolate, which is universally considered sucky by anyone who has ever had the real, unwaxy stuff they serve anywhere else.

She may not like the idea of cash because she thinks he has money--but how much money is his parents' cash, that he has to ask for, and how much is HIS money, to blow on whatever he wants? Even if his parents are indulgent, a little extra pocket cash is intoxicating to most teens I know.
posted by misha at 1:59 PM on July 15, 2008

Itunes card (even if he doesn't have an ipod, he can download tunes to his computer

I don't know, this probably runs into the same issue as DVDs -- isn't Russia where all those two-cent-per-song download sites originate? (Unintended consequence of actually having copyright law: easier gift-buying!)

I think the idea of American knick-knacks is good, especially if he hasn't been here lately/ever. Even if his parents get him everything, there's probably some stuff that you just can't (easily) get in Russia. But it does depend on the kid's personality and tastes. Can she not ask his parents if they have any thoughts?
posted by SuperNova at 4:04 PM on July 15, 2008

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