Once upon a time, Father's Day gifts meant ugly ties and colognes they would never wear. (Sorry, Dad!) Thankfully, those days are gone, and us fathers now usually get stuff that we actually like.
If the dad in your life is really just a grown-up kid, then this geeky Father's Day gift guide is the perfect list to pull from, with ideas ranging from virtual reality and retro-tech to Japan-shipped snacks and wooden bow ties.
LEGO Simpsons House ($229)
The tradition in my family has been to get me a high-end Lego set that my son and I build together. We started with The Simpsons House, which has 2,523 pieces. The year after, we built the Kwik-E-Mart with 2,179 pieces, and then last year we stepped up to the Ferris Wheel, which has 2,464 pieces and a battery-operated motor you can buy separately.
"Farpoint VR" Bundle ($99.99)
Sony's entry into virtual reality has helped the technology finally break into the mainstream. If your family already has PSVR, then you can't go wrong with the "Farpoint" Bundle, which amps up the acclaimed sci-fi shooter's immersion with the optional two-handed Aim Controller, making you feel like you're really taking down alien hordes. And if you're planning to get a PSVR for Father's Day, "Farpoint" is one of the console's must-buy experiences along, with the Batman game "Arkham VR."
Japancrate ($30 a month)
If your dad is into Japanese culture, consider a Japancrate, which puts together a package of not-available-in-Canada items and mails it to you every month. You can buy ones with sweet treats and savoury snacks or an astonishing array of dried noodles. (Other options in this vein: The Roasters Pack for coffee lovers; Canada Craft Club for beer lovers.)
Wooden Bow Tie ($69)
I know I made fun of ties above, but these Prosac bow ties from Italy are amazing statement pieces. They have a number of wooden variations, as well as a stunningly subtle lucite bow tie. Bo by Mansori also makes handcrafted "plaid" wooden bow ties. Oh, and the best part is, you don't need to feel bad about not knowing know how to tie a bow tie.
Impossible Polaroid Camera ($179)
Fuji may have brought Polaroid-like cameras back into popular culture with their Instax line, but you can still get the real thing thanks to the Impossible Project. This crowd-funded start-up refurbishes and sells old Polaroids. While bigger than modern competitors, you just can't beat their retro goodness if you want to shake it like a ...
Marvel Unlimited ($69)
For $10 a month or $69 for the year, Marvel Comics' Netflix-like service lets you stream over 20,000 comics to your tablet or smartphone, where they look as the paper versions — especially the older comics. The collection dates back to Captain America's pre-Marvel Hitler-punching 1940s adventures and updates weekly.
This might seems like a gift for a kid, but if you've had to listen to the terrible tunes known as "children's music," you'll get that this is really for grown-ups. Initially an Urban Outfitters limited-run exclusive, you can pick it up on sites like Discogs nowadays. It's a double album that compiles the hipster kids' show's greatest guests, from Weezer, Cut Copy and MGMT to The Killers, The Roots and The Flaming Lips.
Tile App ($30)
Does the dad in your life constantly lose his things? Well, you can shut that down with Tile. These small devices — $30 apiece, or four for $90 — can be attached to your keys, phone and whatnot and then be used to track those same things down. They can also be customized with cool skins, ranging from personal photos to animal prints to fake wood and brushed steel.
Personalized Star Chart ($60)
You don't need to be super into astrology to appreciate the beauty of stars. This gift lets you create star charts of the nights your kids were born, as seen from your specific city or town. Star charts look cool all on their own, but the personalized nature makes these pretty much the coolest wall art you could give to a geeky dad.
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