2018 GIFT GUIDE: TOYS & GAMES
BOOKS GADGETS & GEAR TOYS & GAMES STOCKING STUFFERS
Welcome to this year's Gift Guide: dozens of great ideas for stocking stuffers, brain-hammers, mind-expanders, terrible toys, badass books and more. Amazon Affiliate codes are used where possible to help us make ends meet at the world's greatest neurozine

Nintendo 2DS - Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D

This low-cost, high-fun game system plays 3DS and 3DS XL games as they should be played - in 2D. This special edition has an attractive green case and comes preinstalled with Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D. — Mark

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Amazing Tales

Martin Lloyd's storytelling RPG is played between a grownup games-master and one or more kids. It has a very streamlined mechanic that uses just enough dice-rolling to indulge the polyhedral pleasure of hoping for high rolls, but primarily relies on kids to tell the grownup how the story should go. (review) — Cory

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Wildlands



Game-design super star Martin Wallace's latest is a grand and glorious departure: gorgeous, easy-to-learn, fun to play, and vastly replayable. Designed for up to 4 players, Wildlands is a card-driven fantasy skirmish board game with 20 beautifully-detailed miniatures. Four factions set out to collect “arcane crystals” scattered over the two-sided game board while action cards determine what each can do in turn to vanquish foes. The mechanics are elegant, the action, relentless and tense. Best of all, it's a great way to introduce timid newbies to the world of fantasy miniature gaming and light dungeon delving. — Gareth

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Bulk Generic Lego

You can get 1000 random pieces of off-brand building bricks for less than $30, guaranteed to "fit tight" and come with "less filler" than the even-cheaper bulk buys. — Rob

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Copic Ciao Marker Set

At about $200, a full set of 72 Copic markers is a pricey proposition. But that's because they're the absolute best, with perfect colors, easy blending, and a big brush tip good for detail and wash alike. Dip an elbow in the water with a relatively inexpensive 12-marker set; great deals on partially-used sets can also be found haunting eBay. — Rob

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Arduino Clone Starter Kit

This is a really good starter kit for getting to know the Arduino electronics protyping platform. It has an Arduino Uno clone, a bunch of resistors, a capacitor, a photo resistor, a capacitor, pushbuttons, jumper wires, a speaker, a solderless breadboard, and a shift register integrated circuit (handy when you need more output pins than the Arduino supplies). — Mark

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LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Millennium Falcon

Now that we've seen the whole Kessel Run thing, I'm a big fan of the LEGO Millennium Falcon. This Ultimate set has 7541 pieces and would take the rest of my life. — Jason

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Bring Your Own Book



A casual, fun party game in the spirit of Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples, this has each player choose a book. Each round, a judge selects one of two prompts from a drawn card (e.g. Rap Lyrics or Fashion Magazine Headline). Each player looks through their book in search of a response that best fits the prompt. The judge decides which choice best answers the prompt and awards that player the card. Besides being a marvelous social game, it’s a great way to get people to peruse your library. I have an amazing home library and no one but me ever pays any attention to it! — Gareth

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Maker Dad, by Mark Frauenfelder

Maker Dad is the first DIY book to use cutting-edge (and affordable) technology in appealing projects for fathers and daughters to do together. These crafts and gadgets are both rewarding to make and delightful to play with. What’s more, Maker Dad teaches girls lifelong skills—like computer programming, musicality, and how to use basic hand tools—as well as how to be creative problem solvers. — Mark

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Mendini Student Snare Drum Set with Gig Bag, Sticks, Stand and Practice Pad Kit

This is the gift to give the 8 to 11 year old niece or nephew you love of the sibling you hate. What kid won't love a SNARE DRUM? Who says gift giving can't be fun and vengeful... — Jason

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New Shoes

Sarah Varon's deceptively simple kids' book is simultaneously a primer on biology, a redemption tale, a road-trip story, a buddy story, and a celebration of crafting and creative problem-solving. It is imbued with so much charm and sweetness that it will capture young readers (and their grownups) from the first page -- it's destined to be a beloved favorite for any of the young people in your life you give it to. (review) — Cory

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Tickle Me Elmo

This horrifying toy was once extremely popular. Give Elmo to a loved one and act excited! You just dropped the most exciting gift of the year... if the year was 1996. — Jason

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Rainbow Slime

A glittery additive mixed with kid-safe Elmer's glue, Rainbow Slime is what you make of it. Fun when forming and flexible when dry, the results are beautiful, weird and extremely cheap at $6 or so. — Rob

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