NO MORE KID STUFF
Why should kids have all the fun? Being an adult shouldn't condemn you to a holiday season full of yawn-inducing gifts like socks and sweaters. From nostalgic games to unexpected gadgets, we've tracked down 25 cool toys that have plenty of appeal for the young at heart.
Prices and availability are subject to change.
Price: $400 | Buy it from Target
This colorful little drone has a body that almost fits in the palm of an adult's hand, but it's much more than a toy. Its features include intelligent flight modes, a 12-megapixel camera, GPS, obstacle sensing, face recognition, and a 16-minute flight time. It can be controlled with a phone, a remote controller, or even hand gestures.
Price: $200 | Buy it from Amazon
Let your favorite cook wow overnight guests by waking them up with rocket pancakes (or dinosaur pancakes, or Eiffel Tower pancakes, or any other design imaginable). PancakeBot lets users upload designs to an SD card (or even draw their own), load a bottle with pancake batter, and watch edible design come to life.
LEGO STAR WARS DEATH STAR
Price: $500 | Buy it from Target
Lego lovers and Star Wars fanatics will adore his intricate Death Star set, which features over 4,000 pieces, a detachable TIE fighter, moveable turbo laser towers, spring-loaded shooters, and even a trash compactor. There are also 23 minifigures, including Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader.
PIRASTA REALLY BIG COLORING POSTER
Price: $30 | Buy it from The Grommet
Have some grown-ups who are bored with all those mandala-filled adult coloring books? Tell them to get out the best markers and take on a bigger challenge with Pirasta's painstakingly detailed 36-by-63-inch posters. Choose from five designs, including landmark-studded maps of the United States, the world, and New York City.
Price: $120 | Buy it from Amazon
Everyone's favorite stacking game gets a gets a super-sized twist with Jenga Giant. The 54 hardwood pieces stack to over 5 feet tall, making it an ideal grown-up party game, whether indoors or outside. A heavy-duty bag is included for easier cleanup and storage when the fun is over.
OCULUS RIFT + TOUCH VIRTUAL REALITY SYSTEM
Price: $400 | Buy it from Best Buy
Virtual reality offers new thrills for even the hard-to-impress gamer, and the Oculus Rift+ Touch hand controllers makes it easy to interact with a virtual world. Six games are included with the system, which requires a newer Windows PC with an updated operating system to run.
UGEARS MECHANICAL 3D PUZZLE SAFE
Price: $60 | Buy it from Amazon
This plywood safe starts out as an elaborate 3D puzzle that can be assembled without glue or tools, and becomes a conversation piece that can keep small valuables away from prying eyes. It even features a working 3-number combination lock.
FLASHFORGE FINDER 3D PRINTER
Price: $300 | Buy it from Amazon
Finally, there are affordable 3D printers for hobbyists and anyone who just wants to create. The FlashForge Finder has a novice-friendly color touchscreen; a slide-in, non-heated build plate; and a seamless WiFi connection that means users don't have to fuss with wires or cords when pairing the printer and their computer.
Price: $34 | Buy it at Amazon
No one's ever too old for a Spirograph, and this 75-piece kit is the ultimate gift for an artsy grown-up who might be bored with adult coloring. Interchangeable spiro tracks allow the creation of all kinds of new patterns, and there's even a die-cast wheel that commemorates the toy's 50th anniversary.
SUPER MAGNETIC PUTTY
Price: $14 | Buy it at UncommonGoods
Want to give a type-A adult a more creative spot for thumbtacks or paperclips? The iron-based particles in this non-toxic putty can be charged up with magnetic powers to attract all sorts of small objects. Left to its own devices, the putty can even swallow an entire magnet.
SPHERO OLLIE APP-CONTROLLED ROBOT
Price: $67 | Buy it from Amazon
A smartphone or tablet will send Ollie on a journey at up to 14 mph. The robot's polycarbonate shell and nubby tires can handle any sort of terrain, rough or smooth. There are hundreds of trick combos to master, and users receive real-time feedback in the app. Ollie is easy to charge with a USB cable, and can go for an hour on a charge.
NERF RIVAL NEMESIS MXVII-10K
Price: $97 | Buy it from Amazon
You don't have to be a kid to enjoy Nerf guns, especially souped-up models like the Rival Nemesis. This blaster forgoes darts in favor of foam balls that can be shot at blistering speeds thanks to a high-capacity hopper and battery-powered motor.
Price: $95 | Buy it at Best Buy
Paired with an iPad Pro, the pressure-sensitive Apple Pencil can turn a tablet into a sketch pad or a fine-art canvas. Pressing harder or softer can produce thicker or thinner lines, and tilting the pencil allows users to create shading. It also has an impressive 12-hour battery life, and just 15 seconds of charging allow a half-hour of use.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PRO SERIES METAL DETECTOR
Price: $160 | Buy it from Amazon
This lightweight, easy-to-use metal detector will locate coins, jewelry, tools, and other items. It has a pinpoint detection feature to help distinguish items of value as deep as 12 inches down. It also comes with a two-year warranty.
WALIKI TOYS HOPPER BALL FOR ADULTS
Price: $50 | Buy it from Amazon
Is that special someone looking longingly at your toddler's hopper ball? Get them their own. The 29-inch Waliki Toys Hopper Ball is specially made for grown-ups, with a sturdy handle. Made from PVC-free rubber, it includes a double-action pump for quick inflation and comes in several colors. Want to ride a horse or a unicorn? Nab the plush version and to make some dreams come true.
K’NEX FERRIS WHEEL
Price: $500 | Buy it from Amazon
Building-toy fans who want something more interactive than Legos will be wowed by this massive set, which features 8,550 pieces. The resulting Ferris wheel is 6 feet tall, and includes a plug-in motor with an AC adapter. The kit comes in two boxes with easy-to-follow full-color instructions. K'Nex is among a handful toy companies that put an emphasis on making its products in the U.S.
Price: $420 | Buy it from Amazon
Self-balancing scooters didn't quite revolutionize personal transportation like early buzz predicted, but they sure are fun. The hoverboard-like miniPRO has a knee control bar for steering, shock-resistant air-filled tires, automatic headlights and taillights, and a 28-pound alloy frame that is light enough for easy carrying and storage.
SLYDE HAWAIIAN BULA HANDBOARD
Price: $128 | Buy it from Slyde
For those who can't quite get the hang of a surfboard, body surfing goes to the next level with a handboard. The Slyde Hawaiian Bula handboard has a Velcro hand strap to keep it from floating away in rough surf, and a GoPro camera mount allows recording of all adventures. It's also small enough to stash in a suitcase.
Price: $80 | Buy it at Sharper Image
Introduce a new generation to the joys of Pong in a more interactive way. Virtual Pong lets players bounce a ball of light from the walls and ceilings with electronic racquets. The center console keeps score and includes slots for easy racquet storage.
CAPTURE THE FLAG REDUX
Price: $60 | Buy it at Vat19
This high-tech reboot of Capture the Flag is guaranteed fun for any age. Instead of flags, chase glowing orbs after the sun goes down. Colored markers let players mark playing territory and jails for members of the opposing team, while glow bracelets make it easy to figure out who's who.
WOW WORLD OF WATERSPORTS INFLATABLE FLOATING WATER WALKWAY
Price: $160 | Buy it from Amazon
Available in five colors, this floating 10-by-6-foot platform allows the party to travel off the pool deck or boat and onto the water. Made of heavy-duty PVC, each platform can hold up to six adults and allows standing or walking. More than one platform can be zipped together for even more room, too.
TRAXXAS STAMPEDE 4X4
Price: $170 | Buy it from Traxxas
Give a grown-up the Traxxas Stampede 4x4 so the kids' remote-control cars can be left alone. This one-tenth scale monster truck can hit up to 30 mph. It has waterproof electronics and interference-free controls that can withstand the elements, high-torque steering, rugged oil-filled shocks, and a rechargeable NiMH battery.
Price: $35 | Buy it on Amazon
Know a puzzle master? It's time for them to prove their skill with the 500-piece, 18-by-24-inch Gradient Puzzle. There are no pictures to guide completion; just a gradual, maddening shift from red to gold.
VURTEGO V4 PRO POGO STICK
Price: $420 | Buy it at Vurtego
A guaranteed head-turner, the Vurtego V4 Pro is a serious pogo stick for adults who want to show off. Available in three sizes — medium works for riders up to 5-foot-11, large is best for 6 feet and beyond — the V4 Pro can let users bounce more than 10 feet in the air. It's best to grab a helmet, too.