Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011: fun stuff!

Welcome to the Engadget Holiday Gift Guide! We're well aware of the heartbreaking difficulties surrounding the seasonal shopping experience, so we're here to help you sort out this year's tech treasures. Below is today's bevy of curated picks, and you can head back to the Gift Guide hub to see the rest of the product guides as they're added throughout the holiday season.

For some, it's easy to forget about having fun -- fretting over buying the "right" tablet, e-reader or DSLR can strip the joy of unbridled silliness that Christmas allows you. This is your handy guide to stuff you can kick back and enjoy some crazy fun with. There's no ecosystem wars here, no desire to have the loudest or fastest plug-in gadget; just things you'd prefer to give and receive instead of a Sharper Image motorized tie rack... or back-hair shaver. So join us past the break, if you will, for a look at this year's collection of fun stuff!

On the cheap

Blade Runner Umbrella

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 fun stuff!

The post-Christmas slump normally begins with jeans that no longer fit, and dreary, wet winters. But what if the latter wasn't such a bad thing? With this light-up umbrella right out of Blade Runner, you too can pretend you're living in Los Angeles circa 2019. Suddenly dealing with drizzle doesn't seem so bad as you wait to be hassled about the off-world colonies. The future-brolly comes in a choice of blue or white, powered with just three button batteries. Now only if we knew which direction the next Nexus VI attack was coming from.

Price: $25 at ThinkGeek

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Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 fun stuff!

Kymera Magic Wand

Halfway through a Harry Potter marathon and you need to pause the action. Whip out your Kymera, say "televisio siste!" and with a swish and flick of your wrist, make everyone think you've got powers. The secret's in the wand, a motion-sensing remote control that learns up to 13 gestures and plays nicely with nearly all home audio equipment. If you live in a Twilight-loving household, tell them it's a wooden stake with Laurent's name on it -- they won't know the difference.

Price: $65 at Amazon

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 fun stuff!

Lego Architecture: The Farnsworth House

You can still be geeky without a smartphone in your hand -- while the rest of 'em settle down to watch A Christmas Story, you can get stuck in some Lego. The architecture series recreates landmarks in Denmark's famous brickwork. You can grab the White House, Space Needle or Sears Tower, but for our money, it has to be Mies van der Rohe's pioneering space-age Farnsworth House from 1951. If cynical relatives sneer at the thought of you playing with Lego, remember: it's educational.

Price: $60 at Amazon


Adafruit iCufflinks

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 fun stuff!

Showing one's geek credentials in a lounge suit or stroller usually entails sporting a ridiculous necktie down to your chest: anathema to the Put This On enthusiasts that we are. That's why we're in love with this classy and tasteful pair of glowing IEC 5009 (okay, power button) logos that don't scream for attention as they hold your double-cuffs in line.

Price: $130 at Adafruit

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Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 fun stuff!

Nike+ SportWatch GPS

To some, exercise is fun -- it's the only rational explanation for joggers. Why not add a gadget to the most... natural of activities with a GPS watch? The wrist companion tracks your speed and route, letting you share it with like-minded workout buddies online. Oh, and if you're buying it for someone else, a tip: be very careful the recipient doesn't take it as an inference they're getting a bit hefty.

Price: $199.99 at Amazon

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 fun stuff!

Saga build your own Banjo Kit

The festive jigsaw puzzle often makes you hanker for something that challenges your engineering and craftsmanship skill rather than being able to match bits of sky together. That's why this build-your-own Banjo Kit is the gift that keeps on giving. Once you've fiddled, pulled and tweaked the parts into place, the end-product is a fully working musical instrument you can annoy parents and children with all the way through to January 1st.

Price: $349 from Maker Shed

Money's no object

Grace One City e-motorbike

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 fun stuff!

Imagine the look on your face if you unwrapped this on Christmas Day -- the fun you'd have speeding past sweaty, lycra-clad commuters as you enjoy your electrically assisted journey. Our biggest gripe with the Grace One is its high price, but we couldn't deny the bike's prowess as a luxury fun machine.

Price: $6,000 from Grace (import)

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Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 fun stuff!

Sony HMZ-T1

Most TV rooms can't hold a 150-inch screen, which is why it's amazing you can experience owning one by strapping one of these to your head. Two HD OLED displays project movies, television and games with simulated 5.1-surround while you rock that Geordie LaForge headgear.

Price: $800 from Sony

Engadget's holiday gift guide 2011 fun stuff!

MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer

What do you buy the nerd who has everything? The power to make anything. With the magic of open-source 3D printing, you can produce anything your imagination can conceive (so long as it'll fit on the plate). Soon after setup, you'll be producing jewelry, prototyping inventions or never buying birthday gifts ever again.

Price: $1,300 from MakerBot