What do you give the geek who has everything? For the Trekkie, Whovian or maker on your gift list, we've got some suggestions that'll knock your Spocks off — without breaking the bank. From a "Star Trek" spatula to a tiny hovercraft, here are some of our favorite picks for the Who-lidays.
Zombie plant grow kit
The nerdy botanist in your family may enjoy this gift, which bills itself as "the plant that plays dead when you touch it and then comes back to life!" Also known as the sensitive plant, sleepy plant or touch-me-not, the Mimosa pudicacloses its leaves when touched or shaken.Growing this plant is as simple as just adding water; the peat pellets will expand to form both pot and soil. It makes a great houseplant year-round, and is sure to wow your party guests. But don't plant it in your garden — this plant is actually a weed!
"Star Trek" U.S.S. Enterprise spatula
If you know a Trekkie who's also a foodie, this spatula is the perfect gift. A slightly warped replicate of the starship USS Enterprise from "Star Trek," this pancake flipper is a twist on the popular, similarly themed Enterprise pizza cutter. The spatula is an officially licensed "Star Trek" collectible. Made from Zinc alloy metal & BPA-free silicone, the utensil lets you "Boldly flip food like no one has flipped before," according to the folks at ThinkGeek, which sells the implement for an affordable price. Kirk and Spock not included.
Multi-colored fiber-optic LED 4.5-ch quadcopter
This gift will satisfy the inner pilot in everyone, without the cost of flying lessons. The sleek and colorful Skyflyer quadcopter is remote-controlled, and best flown in large, indoor areas. The price is at the higher end for basic quadcopters, but the Skyflyer's 4 neon, fiber-optic LED lights give it a groovy look. The toy is recommended for intermediate-level RC users, though beginners could probably hack it. Powered by 4 AA batteries (not included) and a rechargeable battery, users will get about 8 to 10 minutes of flying time on full charge.
Printrbot Simple Maker's 3D Printer
Do-it-yourselfers will appreciate a gift that lets them make their own shower curtain rings or geeky anime figurines in the comfort of their own home. With Printrbot's Simple Maker Kit, even those new to 3D printing can create a slew of fun and useful plastic products themselves. The printer is small (11 x 10 x 8 inches, 9.3 pounds), making it the perfect size for a desktop or kitchen counter. It's also easy to put together, so anyone who owns a screwdriver should have no trouble getting this nerdy toy up and running.
Doctor Who River Song's Future sonic screwdriver
Have a Whovian in your family? Now you can satisfy his or her obsession with this "Doctor Who" sonic screwdriver. This versatile device is a replica of the one used by a mysterious woman named River Song from an episode from the fourth series called "Silence in the Library." In the episode, River Song claims to know the Doctor from the future, and wields a sonic screwdriver even more advanced than his own. The 7-inch-long (18 centimeters) device can't pick locks or track aliens, but it produces light and sound effects, and comes with interchangeable red and blue LED tips. Follow me…
Levenhuk 50L NG microscope
For the geek who happens to be a kid at heart, Levenhuk's children's microscope may just be the perfect gift. This colorful scientific tool — it comes in orange, green, blue, pink or purple — is a reminder to take time to enjoy the smaller things in life. The scope is equipped with a 16x eyepiece and three objective lenses (4x, 10x and 40x), and comes in a sturdy, adventure-ready case. Brine shrimp, yeast and several other sample slides are also included with the kit, which means science nerds can start exploring the world around them as soon as this gift is unwrapped.
4M hovercraft kit
It might not be the futuristic hoverboard on everyone's wish list, but this build-your-own-hovercraft kit is still worth taking for a spin. The kit comes with a propeller, motor wires and everything else physics geeks need to build their own small, floating sources of amusement (except the four AAA batteries that are not included). The nerds in your life won't be able to stand up on this 11 x 8 toy, but they will learn a thing or two about hovering technology. Who knows? Maybe they'll even be inspired to develop a hovering skateboard of their own…
Kinetic light Newton's cradle
A Newton's cradle sculpture is not only mesmerizing to watch, it's a great way to learn about conservation of momentum. So how could the classic desk toy get any cooler? Try replacing the balls with glass spheres containing neon, color-changing LEDs! The lights change hue from blue to red in time with the balls' movements. "Fair warning: If you get this, you'll have to cancel all meetings at your desk, because no one will be able to pay attention to what you're saying," warns ThinkGeek, which sells the device. The price is a little steep, but we think it's worth it for the endless hours of amusement people will get while pretending to work.
Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Kit
Even the biggest fans of electronic gizmos and gadgets might not understand how these tech tools work. Why not give the tech geeks in your life a toy that brings the science of electronics to life? Snap Circuits come with user-friendly instructions that let anyone — kid or adult — create fun electric do-dads. From a do-it-yourself burglar alarm to a flashing laser light, this snap-together set is many geeky gifts in one box.
"Game of Thrones" dragon egg flash drive
What do you get the tech geek who has everything? This "Game of Thrones"-inspired flash drive, of course. With 8 gigabytes of storage space and a waterproof exterior, this egg-shaped device would make even the most stoic of dragon mothers swoon. The drive comes with a pull-out O-ring, so you can carry it with you on a keychain. But the best thing about this geeky gift? You don't have to light it on fire to get it to crack open; just unscrew the top to unleash the dragon … er, data, within.