While our days of playing with toy soldiers and action figures are long gone and our tastes have matured a bit, there’s still a part of all of us that likes to let go of our adult niceties every so often. No, we don’t want to abandon all the things we love about being grown-ups. We just appreciate the fact that life doesn’t have to be all bills, hard work, and responsibility all of the time. And we’re sure that some of you – and your friends and family – can relate.
This collection of gifts are perfect for those times when it’s appropriate to let your imaginations run wild and your youthful side to take over. Whether your gift recipients like to have all-out Nerf wars, still believe somewhere deep inside that they might be a Jedi, or just want a healthy distraction from everyday life – there’s something here for everyone. These 20 items are the best gift ideas for your friends or family who don’t always want to be adults and understand that, sometimes, that’s ok.
Hog Wild Micro Blaster X-Bow
Fact: crossbows are cool. But they’re also extremely dangerous. Not this one, however. This tiny one-hand variety is designed to fire cotton swabs over 20 feet. And, while you could still argue that this one is dangerous (you’ll shoot your eye out), it’s certainly less lethal.
Dan & Dave Camp Cards
While your average deck of cards is probably more closely associated with Vegas Texas Hold’em, these Camp Cards take a much more youthful spin. Created in association with Bradley Mountain, each card features 1924US artwork – and the court-cards are all woodland creatures. Even the interior of the box is adorned with a hand-drawn map of Yosemite National Park, which can actually be used if you take them camping there.
Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition
This card game, which was created Matthew Inman (known for creating and curating comic site The Oatmeal) is suitable for “people who are into kittens and explosions and boob wizards and sometimes butts.” It was also the most backed Kickstarter project ever, at the time of its campaign. As the title suggests, this game is not safe for work, but it is certainly a lot of fun.
SimpleShot The Scout Slingshot
As used by characters such as Dennis the Menace and Bart Simpson, the slingshot is the tool of choice for juvenile delinquents. It’s also a much more effective and efficient take on an ancient hunting tool. This one is the most highly rated of all SimpleShots lineup for its strength, durability, and versatility. It’s also made right here in the USA.
Bug-A-Salt 2.0 Insect Eradication Gun
Both an effective tool and a very fun to use device, this shotgun style projectile weapon – we’re stretching the term “weapon” here a bit – is extremely effective at ridding any space of annoying flies, gnats, or otherwise. And it won’t leave a bunch of unsightly bullet or buckshot holes in all your stuff like a normal gun. That being said, it is still considered a weapon by Amazon, so verify that you can legally purchase it wherever you are beforehand.
If you were to combine volleyball and basketball, you’d have some idea of what Spikeball is. This fun campground, beach, or backyard game is an effective high energy means of proving ones athletic prowess in nearly any outdoor venue. And it has a very easy learning curve, so nearly anyone can play with little to no prior experience. Just make sure you’re not playing with too many sore losers.
Pocket Shot Arrow Kit
Like a pared down bow and arrow or the logical evolution of shooting a rubber band, this clever device is a compact means by which to fire projectiles. An excellent low-cost gift idea for anyone that fancies themselves a modern day Robin Hood, this arrow-firing tool is as simple as it looks. Just load, pull, and release.
Nerf N-Strike Mega Mastodon
In the world of office warfare, there’s only one thing better than a Nerf gun: a Nerf gun with a higher capacity. This one features a motorized rotating drum that holds up to 24 foam darts. And it fires up to 100 feet. Anyone can rule the battlefield with this beastly gun.
Prometheus Lights Lambda Top
Tops are one of the oldest oddities known to man. Yet, people are still finding ways to change their design for the better. This impressive spinning top features a solid brass construction, a synthetic ruby tip, and can spin uninterrupted for over 10 minutes. Fidget toys don’t get much cooler than this.
Anki Overdrive Starter Kit
When we were kids, we loved slot car racing. It put us in the shoes of our favorite drivers before we could drive ourselves. Little did we know that years down the line, our love would be revived by this super impressive robotic slot-inspired kit. Using modern tech, this kit ditches the slot track in favor of high-tech computing power, giving the drivers the ability to traverse the track in more than just a set path. And it opens up the option to run other drivers off the road.
Combining the fun of Lego with the modernity of aerial drones, these kits give anyone the ability to build their own remote controlled drones. That means you not only get the satisfaction of completing an intricate building-brick device, but you actually get to fly it around when you’re done. And that, to us, is better than playing pretend.
Cinebody S6 iPhone Camera Mount
In a world where so many folks fancy themselves amateur smartphone filmmakers, there is a shocking lack of phone camera mounts. This cleverly designed one resembles the camcorders of old, but incorporates the modern tech of your personal iPhone. Just slide your device into the housing, point, and shoot. At the very least, it’s cooler and less self-indulgent than any selfie stick.
Sphero Star Wars BB-8 & Force Arm Band
When the remote controlled BB-8 droid was released last year, it was one of the most popular gifts of the holidays. Now, the same brand that created it has made an add-on device that allows you to control the little robot as if you could manipulate the Force like a Jedi. Using Bluetooth and Force-gestures (like push and pull) anyone can control this bot like they’re a warrior from that galaxy far, far away.
MekaMon Fighting Robots
These remote controlled droids are reminiscent of the old show Battlebots, except that they operate in Augmented Reality. That means they won’t actually receive damage and can be safely played with in the comfort of your own home. And they come either as a solo purchase or in a pack of two.
Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS
We never grew out of our love of Lego. If anything, we wanted more challenges out of them as we got older. This complex set offers one of the best challenge to reward ratios of any building brick set out there, as the end result is a scale model of a Porsche 911 – one of the greatest cars of all time. This is the perfect gift for anyone who likes to work for their payoff.
Berg Toys Compact Jeep Adventure
As it turns out, pedal cars aren’t just fun for kids – as evidenced by this one from Berg. Based on a Jeep Adventure, this well-styled cart both looks good and is very enjoyable to tool around in. In fact, it even has a swing axle for uneven terrain and a durable powder coated finish for extra durability.
Arrma Fazon 6S BLX RC Monster Truck
Guess what? RC cars aren’t just for kids, either. This one from Arrma is incredibly badass. It can hit up to 60 mph and is just as capable on- as it is off-road. We just wish it were big enough for us to actually drive it.
Ever since we saw Back to the Future 2, we wanted a hoverboard. Unfortunately, technology hasn’t quite gotten there yet. But this futuristic electric-powered skateboard is a pretty killer substitute. With a 10 mile per charge range and a top speed of 10 mph, this board promises to be perhaps the most fun anyone can have on one wheel.
ScooterX Drifter Trike
Fitted with a 6.5 horsepower 4 stroke OHV engine, this big wheel is the motorized trike of our dreams. In fact, it can hit speeds of up to 40 mph. So, this is definitely more of a grown-up toy than one for kids. And the low center of gravity promises a much smaller risk of spills. This trike is great for any adrenaline junkie.
DJI Mavic Pro Drone
Drones really epitomize the idea of a “toy for grown-ups.” And this one from DJI is one of the best available right now. It folds down into a compact size for easy storage, has a flight time of up to 27 minutes, can hit speeds of up to 65 mph, and comes equipped with a self-stabilizing camera capable of shooting 4k video.