X

Best stocking stuffers for Christmas

Sometimes all you want is a small, fun toy. These are those things.

michellestarr2.jpg
michellestarr2.jpg
Michelle Starr
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
gss_1.jpg
1 of 18 Moleskine

Lego Moleskine

Sometimes all you want is a small, fun toy. These are those things.

From AU$22.95

These Lego-themed Moleskine notebooks have a flat Lego brick attached to the front and come in two sizes and ruled and plain. When you're not making notes or doodling, you could have a lovely, relaxing session to see what you can make from the single tile on the cover.

gss_2.jpg
2 of 18 ThinkGeek

Da Vinci inventions

From US$12.99

Da Vinci invented a lot of things that were far too advanced for his time — a helicopter, a tank, even a robot. We firmly believe that he had one of the greatest minds that human history has produced — so anything Da Vinci related is pretty cool in our books. Especially these — four desk-sized kits to build desk-sized models of four of Da Vinci's inventions: a bridge, a catapult, an ornithopter and a helicopter. They're available individually, or you can grab all four for just US$69.99.

gss_3.jpg
3 of 18 Theo Jansen

Strandbeest assembly kit

From €40.00

Artist Theo Jansen is known for his Strandbeests — giant kinetic sculptures that he lets loose on beaches, moving ponderously along under nothing but the power of natural air currents. Obviously, you can't get one of those, but these miniature build-you-own kits are pretty great — and, if you have a hamster, the entertainment value never ends.

gss_4.jpg
4 of 18 Robert Christopher Jewellery

Pi necklace

From US$285

Some things are endless. The universe. True love. Pi. This sterling silver, gold or platinum necklace only has the first 100 digits strung along its 18 inches, but the intent is clear.

Or, to be a little more geeky, there's also a bracelet available from US$135. The number of digits it displays? 42.

gss_5.jpg
5 of 18 Bathsheba

Klein bottle opener

From US$78

Ponder the complex problem of the surface with no boundaries over a nice cold bottle of your favourite beer.

gss_6.jpg
6 of 18 krukrustudio

TARDIS laptop bag

AU$175

We don't think this TARDIS bag is, in fact, bigger on the inside — we Earthlings are bound by the laws of physics, after all — but it's capacious enough for a 14-inch laptop or a bunch of gear and even has a zippered pocket for valuables.

gss_7.jpg
7 of 18 Made with Molecules

Seratonin necklace

US$90

Serotonin is the brain chemical believed to be primarily responsible for feelings of happiness and contentment. An appropriate gift for someone you love.

gss_8.jpg
8 of 18 ThinkGeek

Minecraft torch

US$24.99

Sick and tired of having to craft your torches in the dark? This one comes pre-made to keep the mobs (read: toe-stubs) at bay.

gss_9.jpg
9 of 18 Black Milk

Black Milk geekwear

From AU$85

For that special lady in your life, you can't go past Australian clothing designer Black Milk's geekwear. Its officially licensed clothing ranges include Harry Potter, Star Wars, Adventure Time, The Lord of the Rings and Mass Effect across swimsuits, dresses, leggings and T-shirts — something for everyone.

gss_10.jpg
10 of 18 Sugru

Sugru

From £6.50

Sugru is a wonder material. It's like Blu-tack in that it can be easily shaped with your fingers, but it air hardens like clay to a lovely rubbery texture. It can be used for repairs, decoration, home improvement, modification — anything you can think of. For the compulsive DIYer in your life, Sugru could be the best thing that happens under their tree.

gss_11.jpg
11 of 18 Photojojo

Camera lens mug

From US$24

Every photo enthusiast needs one of these: a lifelike mug that looks startlingly like a camera lens. Available in Canon and Nikon from a regular mug size to a thermos, they could easily be mistaken for the real thing. On second thoughts, maybe giving these to a photographer would be a bad idea...

gss_12.jpg
12 of 18 Uncommon Goods

Magnetic Putty

US$15

Earlier this year, we thought magnetic putty looked like amazingly good fun. This offers you the chance to try it out for yourself. Each tin of putty comes with a strong neodymium magnet, so you can watch the putty swallow it up again and again and again.

gss_13.jpg
13 of 18 Suck UK

USB Mix Tape

£20

Sometimes the most meaningful gifts are the ones you spend time on — personalising them to say something about you, your friend and how you feel about each other. The original mix tape may have gone the way of the dodo, but in the USB, its spirit lives on.

gss_14.jpg
14 of 18 MaKey MaKey

MaKey MaKey

US$49.95

MaKey MaKey is one of the coolest toys for sheer experimentation we've ever seen. Using alligator-clip cables and a board that connects to your computer, you can turn any object that can conduct electricity into a touch-based input device. Any object. Take a look at the video below if you don't believe us. Piano stairs, you guys!

gss_15.jpg
15 of 18 ThinkGeek

Ferrofluid

US$29.99

These little glass bottles contain around 50 grams of magnetic ferrofluid, or liquid magnet, suspended in water (mostly). As you move a magnet around the bottle, the ferrofluid will react like a small, startled animal. It has a whole bunch of fancy, practical applications in the wild, but we think keeping us amused is by far the best. Check it out in the video below.

gss_16.jpg
16 of 18 chainofbeing

Solar System necklace

AU$40

Someone already has the moon? We're willing to bet they don't have wearable planets. These beaded necklaces let you wear the solar system around your neck! Obviously, the planets aren't to scale, but the distances are as proportional as the maker, Chain of Being, could get them. If you look carefully, you can even see tiny white beads representing moons.

There are a bunch of versions available, too: a more chunky one, if you don't like the dainty look; a kit, so you can put it together yourself; a bracelet; and an anklet. Heck, just check out the entire store — it's a treasure trove of space-related and meteorological adornments.

gss_17.jpg
17 of 18 Michiel Cornelissen

A bit cross

From US$38.36

Even if you're not religious, you have to appreciate the symbolism here ... and the extraordinarily handy utility. Seriously, there's never a screwdriver handy when you need one. You could be everyone's best screwdriver buddy! The screwdriver bits include a hex key, a Phillips head and a flat head, so you can handle (almost) any situation — and look stylish in between.

gss_18.jpg
18 of 18 Cabling Group

Utili-key

US$14.95+GST

Everyone carries keys. The utili-key looks like a key and hangs off a keychain like a key, but it does a lot more than a key. It opens up to reveal a micro screwdriver for eyeglasses, Phillips-head and flat-head screwdrivers, a straight blade, a serrated blade and a bottle opener.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra
magic-v2-2024-foldable-1383

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites
img-0368.jpg

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
17 Hidden iOS 17 Features You Should Definitely Know About
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features You Should Definitely Know About

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?
img-1599-2.jpg

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos