Looking for that one awesome geeky toy for a perfect Christmas or birthday gift? Think it’s time to show the ones you love just how much you admire their nerdtasticness this holiday season?
We’re confident that you’ll find something perfect in this collection of 10 awesome geeky toys that you can buy for under $100 (prices correct at the time of writing) on Amazon today.
If you’re not aware of LEGO Dimensions, now is the time to get clued up. Essentially a LEGO version of Disney Infinity, this kit is ready to build, and links up with the included console game to deliver a fun LEGO video game experience – with a physical dimension!
It comes with a physical game board that you build, from LEGO, along with three starter pieces. When placed onto the Xbox 360/PS3/Xbox One/PS4/Wii U – connected board, these pieces (more can be purchased) unlock new areas of the game.
The magic here, however, is that the new pieces are from popular franchises, such as Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, The Simpsons, Back to the Future and even Doctor Who!
Check out our video review of the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack for more information.
Everyone loves cars, one way or another. Motor racing has long been the domain of rich kids with fast cars, and while video game car racing can be a fun and addictive diversion, there’s a lack of risk or jeopardy.
Bringing remote control cars into the equation is a happy medium between the safety of videogames and the gritty, edgy reality of petrolhead competition, and the Rev kit of two app-controlled racers is a superb option that enables you to race against up to 16 other players!
Capable of racing on carpet, hardwood and tile, there is also a single-player mode, useful for practicing, but note that slower phones or tablets may find the app (Android and iOS versions are available) a drain on resources.
Older readers may recall ViewMaster, the handheld stereoscopic 3D story telling device from the 1970s and 1980s. In the face of digital entertainment, the brand fell by the wayside in the 1990s, but is now back, better than ever, with this VR starter pack.
Like the classic packs, a reel is included, but these days you don’t load it up. Instead, you slot an Android or Apple smartphone into the viewer, where it sits as a VR device, Google Cardboard-style.
To enjoy the included reel or any of the experience packs that are sold separately, simply place the reel on a flat surface and “look” at it to begin your VR enjoyment.
This is the one I really want! This quadcopter is impressively affordable, and while only a small drone, it is equipped with a HD camera, comes with a 2GB microSD card, and has a 7 minute flight time.
Lightweight and easy to construct, its size and shape make it largely wind resistant, and capable of being flown outside and indoors. 6-axis gyro stabilization assists your control of the device, making this quadcopter particularly stable during flight.
Replacement parts are available and affordable, as are replacement rechargeable batteries. The HD camera gives surprisingly good quality footage, certainly good enough for use in an amateur video project.
Go on then, but only because it’s Minecraft (check our latecomer beginner’s guide)! That’s right – another LEGO/videogame mashup…
Featuring familiar characters like Creeper, Steve, zombie and a spider, this LEGO Minecraft kit includes a mine cart track with cart, a treasure chest, TNT, and even a rock face with explosion function!
This is one of a series of several Minecraft LEGO kits, and consists of 926 pieces. The main build (naturally you can use your imagination to take this in a whole new direction) measures 12″ (32cm) high, 15″ (40cm) wide and 9″ (25cm) deep.
Transformers have been around in their current form since 1984, and one of the most popular characters ever since has been Bumblebee, originally a Volkswagen Beetle (despite various movie appearances as a 1977 and 2008 Camaro).
To celebrate the character’s long history, this special pack contains three versions, from the classic toy/comic/cartoon range, from the Michael Bay-directed movies (other giant robot movies are available) and from the more recent animated series.
Fans of Transformer toys will find a whole host of top end, premium figures with classic elements on Amazon or further afield; unfortunately, the vast majority of these are over $100. This option isn’t.
An amazing 14 inches tall and designed by a Nasa scientist, Robosapien X is the latest update to the award-winning humanoid robot, with fast, full function arms and two gripper types. He can walk or run, and also turn, and path tracing enables you to plot routes for the robot.
Programming is simple via mobile app (iOS or Android), although a remote control is also included.
More or less identical to the original Robosapien, this is essentially a tenth anniversary celebratory release. If you’ve been wondering how the original could be improved, the answer is right here.
Yes, more racing cars. But bear with me.
This takes the toys and video game collision a step further, bringing an 8.5’x3.5′ track and Scalextric-style cars (but without the slot) and weaponising the experience with a full mobile app (iOS or Android, check for specific devices) to command and customize the cars with digital upgrades.
The result is a fast and furious tabletop or floor car game, almost always with a clear winner and certainly a lot of fun!
Strictly speaking, this isn’t a toy. But the approach it brings to developing electronics skills – small plastic components that click together with magnets – means that it is ideal for kids of all ages, and assists with the development of prototype circuits.
The cloudBit Starter Kit is a step down from the Smart Home Kit we reviewed earlier this year, and brings IFTTT integration and Internet connectivity to the basic littleBits concept. This can encourage any number of ingenious uses, from controlling HUE lights to feeding your pet with a text message.
A season toy guide is never complete without mention of the greatest sci-fantasy movie franchise ever, Star Wars. This Armada Game is a two-player miniatures game that plunges you into epic space battles.
Assemble a fleet, survey objectives, form a battle plan and plot a course to destroy your enemy. Tactical commands can decide the course of the battle and the fate of the Empire or the Rebellion!
As Armada pre-dates the new run of Star Wars films, there is no explicit tie-in, but this is a fun piece of gaming that is both thrilling and in-depth. This standalone game can be enhanced with numerous expansion packs.
Ten awesome toys for under $100 with a heavy tech/geek/nerd aspect to them. But does this selection work for you? Perhaps you have some experience with one or more of these, or there’s something you would rather see in the list? Tell us in the comments!
Image Credits:Happy nerdy man by InesBazdar via Shutterstock