Odds & Ends

Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Gifts For (Cool) Nerds

best gifts for geeks
Photo by Oliver Gutfleisch/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock
Photo by Oliver Gutfleisch/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock
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* Show that you’re a savvy gift-giver this year
* These products offer something useful and unique
* Tech gifts, home decor, collectibles and accessories at all price points

You’re not just a nerd — you’re a cool nerd.

If there’s anything pop culture has proven this year, it’s that being a geek isn’t so bad anymore. From shows like hacker drama, Mr. Robot, to the revival of Philip K. Dick’s Blade Runner project, it’s clear that good smarts can often outweigh good looks.

Celebrate the techies, smarty pants, and yes, great geeks in your life with these SPY-approved gifts. We’ve found decent picks for every budget, and for every person to nerd out to — no matter their age, gender, or level of geek-dom.

1. Star Trek Spock Oven Mitt

Live long and bake! Not only does this Star Trek Oven Mitt protect your hands, it also greets you with a warm Vulcan sign of peace. An easy gift at under 10 bucks, this oven mitt is made from heat-resistant materials on the outside and a comfortable padding on the inside. One size fits all. Grab a couple of these as surefire standby gifts — from your foodie friends to the sci-fi fans on your list.

star trek oven mitt Image courtesy of ThinkGeek

  

2. Legend of Zelda Master Sword Letter Opener

This officially-licensed product is an inexpensive and memorable gift for Legend of Zelda fans. Made of metal with a resin pedestal, the “sword” is sturdy enough to open your mail but not so sharp that it’ll slice your fingers. The total set measures just under 7″ tall on display — and you should definitely display it.

zelda sword letter opener Image courtesy of ThinkGeek

  

3. Multi-functional Bluetooth Smartwatch

This is probably one of the best deal we’ve seen on a brand new smartwatch. This one allows seamless access to your phone’s music and videos, and syncs to contacts, calls, texts and social media sites.

Compatible with both iPhones and Android phones, the smartwatch also offers wireless calling capabilities, a touchscreen display (that lets you “write” and respond with your fingertips) and high-def photography with its camera function. Other applications include a pedometer, calculator, clock, voice recorder,and more.

This $40 package includes 1 smartwatch, 1 USB charging cable and 1 user manual. The watch is available in black, gold, and silver, making it an easy choice for anyone on your list.

best smartwatch Image courtesy of Open Sky

  

4. Star Wars Death Star Popcorn Maker

Whether you’re feeding a battalion of Stormtroopers or just prepping a holiday party, you’ll want this Star Wars popcorn maker for your kitchen — or for your White Elephant gift. You won’t need oil, butter or the Force to create your healthy snack. You’ll just need the 1100 watts that this popcorn maker generates to create hot air. The top of the Death Star doubles as a bowl. Then, simply use the enclosed scoop to measure out the kernels, plug in the device, turn it on, and watch as the Death Star shoots fluffy, hot kernels out of the spout, directly into the waiting bowl.

One run  yields about eight cups of popped popcorn (look up some unique popcorn flavors to try here). The popcorn maker measures about 12.5″ high and weighs just under 4 pounds, making it a sturdy, worthy addition to your holiday gift-list.

star wars death star popcorn maker Image courtesy of ThinkGeek

  

5. Technomancer 2.0 Digital Wizard Hoodie

Cast a spell with this light-up hoodie from Think Geek. The sleeves of the Technomancer “Digital Wizard” Hoodie contain accelerometers which sense the movements of your hands. Move them in one of the pre-programmed spell sequences and the sleeves of the hoodie light from within, the internal speaker booms, and the hood illuminates your face in an eerie glow.

The Technomancer Hoodie offers nine different spells including fireball, restore health, and thunderbolt. Each spell is accompanied by unique light and sound effects powered by the embedded speaker and over two dozen bright multicolored LEDs. (Use the included spell chart to learn all the moves).

This fantastical hoodie runs on 6 AA batteries (not included) and is machine washable. Just make sure you remove all electronic parts before washing. The hoodie is unisex and sizing is generous, running from small to 2X.

technomancer digital wizard hoodie Image courtesy of ThinkGeek

  

6. Star Wars Darth Vader Teapot Set

Drink from this Darth Vader Teapot — if you dare. An officially-licensed Star Wars item (I.e. no fakes or imitation merch here), this set features a 20 oz. teapot, two 6 oz. mugs, two saucers and 1 cup/sugar jar with lid.

The Vader-inspired pieces are all crafted from high-quality ceramic and look great as display pieces, or for actual tea (black tea or dark and smokey blends, we presume?). It’s an ideal gift for all ages and might just be the driving “force,” to get your friends to ditch coffee and start drinking tea again. Our suggestion: use it to make boba tea and keep the Star Wars puns pouring right out.

darth vader teapot set Image courtesy of ThinkGeek

  

7. Iron Man Wallbreaker

If you had to have a superhero as a neighbor, who would you want? Think twice before picking Iron Man, unless you want him breaking through your wall like in this foam hanging from Marvel and Think Geek. This officially-licensed piece measures 24″ wide x 28″ tall x 1 1/2″ thick and is super lightweight and easy to hang. No fancy tools or installation required.

Great for the dorm room, bedroom or games room, it’s a fun surprise for the Marvel and superhero fans on your list this year.

iron man wallbreaker hanging Image courtesy of ThinkGeek

  

8. Star Trek Phaser Remote Replica

Watch TV in a whole new dimension with this Star Trek Phaser Remote Replica. This is a fully-functioning programmable remote control that looks just like a phaser from Star Trek: The Original Series. This remote works with virtually all home entertainment systems and can store up to 36 programmable features. A vibration motor lets you feel the power of the phaser every time you press a button to change channels. You can also select a range of different phaser firing founds.

Made from high-quality nickel and brass-plated die-cast metal parts, the remote comes with a metal display stand with hidden magnet. It runs on a built-in lithium polymer battery that recharges using an included USB cable.

star trek phaser remote replica Image courtesy of ThinkGeek