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Toys Games

Corknet Ping Pong Set

A ping pong game after dinner? Sure, why not, just grab that trivet and we’re good to go. Huh? The Corknet Set is such a smart idea: two cork pieces line up side by side to create a net (regulation height, by the way) on any table. They are freestanding- just set them up in the middle of a table and play. And, when you’re not showing your opponent who’s boss, the two cork pieces stack together to form a trivet for your large dishes. The ball nests inside. Fun!
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Purchase Information:

Price: $60.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Klein Reid Brass top

This is a sort of gift for someone who has everything. It’s a toy, so it’s hard not to spin it around, and it’s beautiful, so even when not in use, it’s a lovely little thing to look upon. Precisely turned, hand-polished and signed, each top is gift boxed with with chamois and care and spinning instructions.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $138.00
Available from: bird

Music Box

If you’ve not already purchased a Mozartkugel Music Box, then do be sure to consider this other option from Adam + Harborth. It’s a square music box that plays “The Blue Danube” by Johannes Strauss II. Think of it as the perfect gift for someone who has everything- except a modern music box, of course.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $95.00
Available from: Plastica

Match a Pair of Birds: A Memory Game

Sharpen up that memory of yours while learning about the male and female pairs of 25 species of birds from around the world. This memory game has bird illustrations by Christine Berrie; get it as a gift for a bird lover or add it to your family’s board game stash. In any moment of boredom, pull the box out, scatter the cards upside down, and see who can remember and collect the most pairs. It’s an easy, simple game for all ages.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $14.00
Available from: Amazon

Solitaire Cards

Look a little closer at these cards and you’ll see Susan Kare’s original artwork for the Windows 3.0 Solitaire game. Did you know that the original Solitaire computer game is now 25 years old? Sheesh. So, you can now celebrate the computer game’s anniversary by playing with physical cards that look like the computer version. Kind of fun, huh?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $14.00
Available from: Areaware

Archetype Magnetic Building Blocks

Magnetic building blocks, anyone? Pretend you’re an architect with very colorful aspirations as you play with these magnetic cardboard pieces. Place them on the fridge or on any other magnetic surface to remind your brain to take a quick break. Who knows, maybe rearranging the pieces into odd shapes and patterns will inspire you to think differently. Oh, and do I need to point out this could be a fun-yet-simple gift idea?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $20.00
Available from: Yes

Fredericks & Mae Playing Cards

There’s something about lazy summer afternoons that demands a stack of playing cards nearby. And, should you be short a stack, please do take a look at these colorful cards from Fredericks & Mae, as they have a sunny disposition with their full display of the color spectrum. You’ll find a nicely contrasting black and white pattern on their backs. The pack includes a mini booklet with history and lore, along with game instruction.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $12.95
Available from: Fredericks & Mae

Insect Memory Game

This summer, when you’re bored senseless sitting around with friends and/or family, will there be a good game for everyone to play? Let me add these extra requirements: a game for ages 4 and up, and one that won’t offend anyone. Do you have one of those? Because a memory game is a friendly sort of activity that just might help those lazy synapses in your brain, and this one has some very pretty illustrations of bugs/insects with their Latin names.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $28.00
Available from: Plastica

Triada Blocks

When the summer laziness hits you, you’d better take a break and do something different. Like, say, play with some three-pronged blocks. Many grownups see blocks as a toy meant purely for the playroom, but others know a pile of wooden blocks can be just as useful on a desk or in an office break room. So, buy a set for yourself or buy a set for some little ones, either way, be sure to roll up your sleeves and join in with stacking/arranging something different (it might just give your brain a rest, or at least some creative freedom).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $69.00
Available from: Mr P Shop

Minim Playing Cards (Black)

One deck of Minim Playing Cards is good to have, but two decks are even better. Make the second the all black version, which has the same simple geometric symbols (all reductive variants of the original hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades) as the original white deck. Let’s hope the color variations continue, as sometimes you need several decks to play a game- my vote for the next color option is dark blue, or maybe red?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $10.00
Available from: Areaware

Gradient Puzzle

Test your grasp of gradient color with this puzzle by Bryce Wilner. And don’t turn your nose up at the thought of spending time on a puzzle. It will most likely force you to slow down and consider each piece to find its proper spot, and maybe even relax a little. You’ll get bonus points if you turn off all your devices and just concentrate on putting one section together. Those texts and tweets can wait.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $18.00
Available from: Areaware

Mixed Animals by Huzi Design

Kids. Birthday parties. Blah. What the hell are you going to get for your favorite (or non-favorite) little one this year? How about a slightly strange stuffed animal with magnetic, interchangeable horns, ears, noses, and paws?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $59.00
Available from: Huzi Design

United States Blocks

Okay, quick, which states have these abbreviations? MD? IA? MT? NE? VT? It may seem easy, but some people don’t have the same memory as you, and might need these United States Blocks to learn them all. Obviously, kids could learn from these, but I’m talking about some of your co-workers. Fifty wood blocks by House Industries show state images, names, capitals, mottos, birds, flowers, and trees. Everyone could probably stand a refresher, as it doesn’t hurt to keep the mind sharp with civics data, right?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $109.99
Available from: AMNH

Spectrix Card Game

What to do when an uncomfortable lull sets in amongst a friendly/family gathering? Pull out the cards, of course. And, seeing as not everyone knows that complicated card game that everybody else and their aunt plays every Thursday, why not mix it up with a color card game called Spectrix? It’s a play on the card game Rummy, just extremely simplified- it’s based on groups of color matches and sequences. No need to read suits or numbers, so it’s appropriate for all ages. Just build strategic groups of color to play out your hand. Easy, right?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $15.00
Available from: Cooper-Hewitt Shop

Ototo Musical Invention Kit

Your excellent memory might recall us linking to the Ototo meets ECAL workshop, and, if your interest was piqued, you’ll be ecstatic to know the Ototo Musical Invention Kit is now available from the MoMA Store. Once it arrives on your doorstep, you’ll be able to make music from anything. Connect conductive objects to the keys and voilà! you’ll be an electronic sound maestro in no time- no coding or programming knowledge needed. Plants, forks, fruits, or whatever else you’ve got lying around becomes your orchestra. So fun I can hardly stand it.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $145.00
Available from: MoMA Store