The Gadget Guy’s Geeky Gift Guide for Christmas 2011

For some people, this time of year is all about peace and goodwill to all.  But for the rest of us, Christmas is all about the gifts! Big, lovely, gadget-y gifts.

So if haven’t already sent your e-mail or letter to Santa and you are looking for inspiration this is the post for you.  Here are some of my favourite new toys of the season (for parents as well as kids).

Best Gift for Young Kids – Airswimmers Remote Control Flying Clownfish
This helium filled flying fish has become THE hot toy of the year after its promotional video became a hit on YouTube.

With the ability to fly up or dive down and turn in circles, you are guaranteed to have hours of fun with this crazy toy. Also available in a shark shape.

Be warned if you open this on Christmas morning – it will take at least an hour to put together and you MUST follow the instructions carefully. All of them.

Product Website: http://airswimmers.com/
Price: from $71.95 at www.airfish.co.nz to $99.99 at The Warehouse Online with a tank of helium (enough for three fills) and 119.95 at fishpond.co.nz.  The airfish.co.nz and fishpond prices do not include the cost of helium which can be purchased from party stores or florists at about $30 a fill.
Rating:3 out of 5

Best gift for Older Kids – Skylanders Spyros Adventure game for Xbox, PC, PS3, 3DS and Wii.
Skylanders Spyros Adventure is a revolutionary new computer game which brings collectable figures to life in the game using the portal of power. Players journey into a world where they will explore lands, battle creatures, collect gold and treasures, and solve puzzles while on a quest to save their world from Kaos, an evil Portal Master, who they must defeat.

A safe, fun game for kids which is actually receiving positive reviews from hardened gamers for it’s very involving gameplay.

As well as the game you get a Portal of Power which plugs into your console.

Pop a figurine on the portal and hey presto, they appear in the game. There are 32 figures to collect (you get 3 with the starter pack) and they can help you progress in the game, though you don’t need to buy them all to have fun.

Available from: Leading retailers such as Dick Smith, Noel Leeming and the Warehouse.

Product Website: http://www.skylanders.com/
Price: Starter kit with disc, portal of power and three figurines, $129.99. Additional characters $19.95 each or $39.90 for a pack of three.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Best Gift for Mum – Moshi Moshi 03i Curve White Bluetooth Wireless Handset and iPhone Dock
Designed by the French designer David Turpin the MM03i is a contemporary styled Bluetooth handset, finished in a luxurious black or white high- gloss texture, it has an integrated iPhone charging dock.  Manufactured with a high quality speaker and microphone, it supports Bluetooth 2.1 multipoint technology, which lets you pair and answer calls on two different Bluetooth devices.

This means that you can quickly and easily connect the Moshi Moshi 03i to charge and synch your iPhone and a Smartphone or any other Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a laptop for use with VOIP Internet calls such as Skype.

And is that why you should buy one?  No, you should buy one just because it’s bloody gorgeous.

Available from: Ubertec in Auckland.
Recommended Retail Price: $259.00
Product website: http://www.ubertec.co.nz/main/product/29954.html
Rating: 3 out of 5

Best Gift for Dad – TomTom App for iPad
Make getting to the holiday home a breeze this Christmas with the TomTom app for iPad. The satellite navigation system has been optimised for the iPad, creating a higher resolution for a sharper display and an enhanced user interface to fit the larger screen.  It’s bigger but is it better? Well yes it is, and although you do feel a tad ridiculous sticking an iPad to your windscreen, that feeling soon wears off.

The full-screen display shows both driving view and advanced lane guidance at the same time. Drivers can also switch to driving view with one touch from anywhere within the App, and can access guidance options in a tap.

As with most TomTom systems you can also purchase celebrity voices such as Homer Simpson or Darth Vader to give you directions.

Available from: The Apple iTunes store.
Recommended Retail Price: $94.99
Product website: http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/tomtom-new-zealand/id326148055?mt=8
Rating: 3 out of 5

All prices correct at time of publishing. Products subject to availability.