Written by

Chris Gonzales


Braydon Anderson

As the years go on, we’re building quite a collection of holiday gift guides. Last year, we introduced a new category to the family with our 2016 novelty gift guide, featuring “unexpected gifts for those lovable oddballs in your life.”

In what we hope will be an ongoing tradition, we’re pleased to bring you this year’s collection of novelty gift ideas. If the person you’re shopping for has weirder tastes than our 2017 Christmas Catalog can accommodate, then this guide should help you out.

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Elago W3 stand for Apple Watch. ($10)

Elago W3 stand for Apple Watch. ($10)

Elago W3 Stand for Apple Watch »

Elago’s retro-style W3 charging stand makes your Apple Watch look like the original Macintosh. So awesome.

Once you’ve placed your own charging puck in the designated slot, you simply slide your Apple Watch into the top of the soft silicone stand, where the watch display lines up perfectly with the “monitor” position to appear as a miniature Macintosh display. It works with all Apple Watch models and is compatible with watchOS’ Nightstand Mode.

Comes in white and black.

The Fondoodler "hot glue gun" for cheese. ($30)

The Fondoodler “hot glue gun” for cheese. ($30)

The Fondoodler Cheese Gun »

The BuzzFeed-licensed Fondoodler is…well, it’s a hot glue gun, but for cheese.

Ridiculous? Yes. Necessary? Also yes.

In the box you get the Fondoodler body, a cheese canister, a push rod, and a cleaner brush. Load up any cheese you want — string, shredded, block, sheet, whatever you got — plug it in, wait a few minutes for the cheese to melt, then have fun drawing, designing, decorating, and building any cheesy creation you can dream up.

When you’re done, the removable parts can all be tossed in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

And Then You're Dead by Cody Cassidy and Paul Doherty. ($11 paperback)

And Then You’re Dead by Cody Cassidy and Paul Doherty. ($11 paperback)

And Then You’re Dead by Cody Cassidy and Paul Doherty »

Physicist Paul Doherty and writer Cody Cassidy teamed up to write a gleefully morbid book called And Then You’re Dead: What Really Happens If You Get Swallowed by a Whale, Are Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling over Niagara, which is about all the most outlandish, cartoonish, and impossible ways people can die.

From the duo’s Reddit AMA:

We looked into questions like what would happen if you swam out of a deep sea submarine, were swallowed by a whale (surprisingly possible), your elevator cable broke (don’t jump. It won’t help), if it’s even possible to die from magnetism (it is, yay!), if sticking your hand in the CERN particle accelerator is lethal (probably) and many more.

This book really answers all the important questions:

How long could you last if you stood on the surface of the sun? How far could you actually get in digging a hole to China?


Can you die by shaking someone’s hand? Answer: Yes. That’s because, due to atomic repulsion, you’ve never actually touched another person’s hand. If you could, the results would be as disastrous as a medium-sized hydrogen bomb.

And Then You’re Dead isn’t for the faint of heart. We wouldn’t hand it to a kid to read, even if they love weird facts; the descriptions are just a bit too gruesome for that.

The Thinket fidget toy. ($36–$150, depending on model)

The Thinket fidget toy. ($36–$150, depending on model)

The Thinket »

As seen in our “Fidget and Click” EDC guide.

This fidget toy — designed by David Weinstock of Chessmate.com — is one of those things that’s hard to put down once you start playing with it. Click it, twirl it, spin it, do tricks with it, whatever you like. The rare-earth magnet mechanism inside gives a satisfying “bounce” as you play.

+ Another great gift idea for fidgeters is, of course, the official Antsy Labs Fidget Cube.

Captain Marvel-inspired Nike running shoes. ($150)

Captain Marvel-inspired Nike running shoes. ($150)

Captain Marvel-Inspired Nike Running Shoes »

Did you know you can use the NIKEiD system to customize shoes inspired by your favorite comic book superheroes?

After actress Brie Larson — who is set to play the lead role in the March 2019 film, Captain Marvel — posted on Instagram to show off a pair of Captain Marvel-inspired shoes Nike sent her as a gift, Reddit user u/henrybddf went to the trouble of sharing the NIKEiD design so you don’t have to. They even sport the same “CAPT. MARVEL” text on the heels. A great gift for anyone in your life who loves comics and fitness.

Side note: The particular shoes used for this design are Nike’s Metcon 3 training shoes, but the NIKEiD system has seven other models you can play with to achieve similar results — or model after your own favorite superhero(es), which it’s super easy to kill a few hours doing. You’ve been warned.

Zencix's "Trisqule" scissors. (£18 / ~$25 USD each)

Zencix’s “Trisqule” scissors. (£18 / ~$25 USD each)

Zencix “Trisqule” Scissors »

These oddly shaped scissors by Japanese company Zencix are…well, oddly shaped. Made from stainless steel and available in three shapes — circle, triangle, and rectangle — we guarantee these are some of the most unique scissors you or your gift recipient will ever own.

The sides of the triangle and rectangle scissors each have a four-inch ruler, along with some circle-shaped stencils cut into their frames. The circlular scissors also have the circle stencils, but sport a 90-degree protractor ruler in place of the straight-edged one. Each shape comes with rubber-edged handles in your choice of yellow, green, red, or black.

Color Squared pixelated color-by-numbers book by Lee Meredith. ($11 paperback)

Color Squared pixelated color-by-numbers book by Lee Meredith. ($11 paperback)

Color Squared — A Pixelated Color-by-Numbers Book »

Lee Meredith’s coloring book, Color Squared: Color, Dot, Dash, or Stamp Your Way to Awesome Pixel Art, riffs on the idea of paint-by-number by showcasing pixelated images of cool and quirky nostalgia objects — cassette tapes, a rotary phone, rollerskates, a vinyl record player, a Rubik’s cube, etc.

As the name implies, you don’t have to completely fill each “pixel”; you can fill them with circles, lines (in various orientations and combinations), hashtags, starbursts/asterisks, gradients (if you’re feeling fancy), or whatever other patterns you like. Whatever you choose, it’s all a great way to relieve stress and/or challenge the part of your brain that loves puzzles.

Mokoyubi “Space Explorer” Iron-on Patch »

Anyone can show off their inner stargazer with this sweet patch. Put it on a favorite bag, hat, jacket, whatever. As the name suggests, it can certainly be ironed on, but with anything like this you may have better luck sewing it on instead.

The Floating Cloud lamp by the Richard Clarkson Studio. ($4,620)

The Floating Cloud lamp by the Richard Clarkson Studio. ($4,620)

Floating Cloud Lamp »

As far as novelty gifts go, it doesn’t get any more extravagant than the Floating Cloud lamp, a magnetically levitating LED “cloud” lamp designed by the Richard Clarkson Studio in Brooklyn, NYC.

Embedded magnetic components in both the cloud and the always-plugged-in base allow the former to float ~2.75″ above the latter. The cloud can rotate, bob up and down, and even light up in a myriad of colors or thunderstorm-like patterns, making the whole thing surreal to look at:

{Infomercial voice} And that’s not all! Check it out:

While the Cloud itself does not have a speaker, it will react to your existing sound system as well as spoken voice and loud sounds. An embedded microphone allows the Cloud to flash to the beat of the music in four different styles. The Cloud also has a range of ambient lamp modes in both white and colored versions. Each of these modes is controlled via an infrared remote.


Basically, this thing is nuts and would look amazing anywhere you put it.

The kicker? It costs $4,620. We imagine it was designed for companies with hip workspaces, but hey, if you do decide to seriously wow a loved one (or buy it for yourself alone), more power to you.