Toys Games

Tatlin Color Magnets

This is getting filed under toys instead of desk accessories, as the fun potential is much higher than the somewhat boring/functional office usage. They’re simply a set of 288 cardboard magnets, to be placed on your magnetic board/wall or fridge, for making shapes, animals, landscapes or whatever else your imagination wants. Share them with the kids or keep them in your office space, up to you.
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Purchase Information:

Price: £29.00
Available from: SCP

Stick-lets

And just when you thought you were too old to enjoy the outdoors, Stick-lets comes along. Sure, they’re meant to help kids get back outside and build forts with sticks, but who says you can’t enjoy them too? Be sure to share with others (team building, anyone?), and stay away from trees and branches that don’t belong to you- that could cause some problems- but other than that, have fun. Made from 100% silicone, each Stick-let stretches to meet your construction needs, whether you use natural branches or wood dowels. On the count of three, what’s the first thing you’d build? (One..two…three) a TIPI! Other answers are acceptable, of course. Need it be mentioned that this could be an excellent gift?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $11.99 and up
Available from: Stick-lets

PuzzleMap

This certainly isn’t the only puzzle that features a major city, but it is one of the few that looks like it came from somewhere other than the dollar store. Maybe you don’t want to spend $20 on a puzzle, but consider the fact that putting together pieces of a city might just etch that city into your brain, making it easier to get around whether you live there or if/when you plan a visit. Also, in my experience, puzzles are always surprisingly nice to have at family gatherings, giving hands something to do while conversation comes and goes.

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More information:

View PuzzleMap here

Woodmobiel Starter Kit

Is it crazy to think that the little ones in your life might enjoy this Woodmobiel Starter Kit? Wooden parts and real tools will put their creativity to use, and maybe you’ll even have some fun helping out. With the starter kit, you can build about 9 different life-sized wooden toys (instructions included) with the 25 pieces and fasteners, or if you want to go big, there’s also the standard kit ($265) with 43 pieces (plus fasteners) that will build about 20 toys.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $146.85
Available from: creativebrains

Tree Tops

Did you know that tops are one of the oldest recognizable toys found on archaeological sites? These set of 5 Tree Tops by Karl Zahn are both toy and holiday accent, so leave them out on a coffee or dining table for any and all to take for a spin. Made from Schima Wood, a genus of evergreen trees. Also available in a natural finish.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $15.00
Available from: Arango Design

Wooden Beginner’s Guitar

Have you always itched to play the guitar? Or perhaps you know of a younger human who would like to learn? Either way, Loog Guitar is where you’d be wise to start. They have three versions of a small Beginner’s Guitar (Classic, Rectangle, and Triangle) all of which have three nylon strings so as to not overwhelm first learners. Assembly is required, but it only takes 15 minutes and will help you or a younger one understand and connect with the instrument, perhaps lessening the likelihood of it being tossed aside once the newness has worn off. You may also purchase the pieces of the kit separately, or add on some accessories like a Pickguard set, a cardboard Guitar-stand, or a Mini Headstock Tuner.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $149.00
Available from: Loog Guitar

Maharam Memory Game

Who doesn’t remember playing a memory game in their younger years? Such fun can be had again with Maharam’s set of nicely patterned cards. It’s a little harder to find nowadays, but YLiving and highbrowfurniture currently have it in stock. It’s worth pointing out that all age groups can play this together, making it a good family activity during the holidays. Each card features one of 36 fabric patterns designed by different Maharam artists.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $36.00
Available from: YLiving

Elemental Blocks

What better gift than the gift of science? If you’ve any young children on your holiday list, think about these Elemental Blocks from Uncle Goose. And, if the elements aren’t the right sort of subject, there’s quite a few other block sets that could benefit a young mind: Braille Math or ABC Blocks and several Foreign Language options.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $34.00
Available from: Uncle Goose

United States Flashcards

I picture these simple United States Flashcards being used before touch-screens and other hi-tech devices. Why not bring back some old-school schooling? Might make a nice gift to your favorite niece/nephew/child (if they appreciate flash-card variety games) or, hey, be selfish and use them decoratively. The Alphabet Flashcards are equally appealing (shown below).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $42.00 - 68.00
Available from: Michele Varian

MONUmini Architectural Models

Have you seen these MONUmini Architectural Models by Another Studio? Whether you’re fond of London’s landmarks or not, the tiny models are pretty detailed, and any one of them could make a great gift for someone who has a soft spot for England’s capital. Each kit has a sheet of etched stainless steel pieces (you fold and lock together), step-by-step assembly instructions and a short building history, all of which is held in an envelope that can be mailed as a souvenir or gift. Battersea Station and Tower Bridge are available from A+R ($28 each); those two plus the Post Office Tower (aka the BT Tower) and Barbican Tower are available straight from Another Studio (£ 15.00 each).

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Purchase Information:

Price: $28.00
Available from: A+R Store

Tangram

Did you (or do you) ever play around with tangrams? Take a look at this version from Iacoli & McAllister. Simple and severe (in a good way), the seven flat shapes are rendered in laser cut birch ply with black and white no-VOC paint. It’s the sort of thing that you could leave lying out on a coffee or side table as a graphic sort of art piece, ready for a spare moment when you are able to sharpen your mental skills. Need it be mentioned that this could be an excellent gift?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $58.00
Available from: Future Perfect

Tokyo Puzzle

Puzzles! Why does it seem that kids and older people are crazy about puzzles and most of us young-to-middle-aged folks dismiss them as a pleasant pastime? Perhaps because we see ourselves as too busy? Hmm. Time to fix that.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $25.00
Available from: nest

National Flag Play Cards

Do you have a decent knowledge of the various flags of the world? Maybe you’ve been caught unawares a time or two (or ten), but that can all be fixed with this set of playing cards. 52 different flags are shown on the cards, so you can play your card game and learn at the same time. That’s not all the flags, mind you, but it’s a start; the CIA has a Flags of the World Factbook if you care to see more.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $12.00
Available from: neo-utility

Stack-a-doodle Crayons

Lego-ish crayons? Of course! Why, that might just be the perfect prescription for getting those creative juices flowing again. Get a few packs and distribute around the office accordingly. Need I remark that these would be equally amusing to children? Maybe get a dozen packs instead, that way you’re prepared for any age group and all situations.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $7.49
Available from: Perpetual Kid

ArchiBlox

Do you know a budding architect? Do you still enjoy playing around with building blocks? Either way, bookmark these building blocks of the achitectural classics. Each piece is magnetized to the base, allowing you to place blocks in whatever way you see fit. Pop Deluxe has both the ArchiBlox Chateau de Chambord and Neuschwanstein models (each $16.99), while Amazon has all three (specifically the Notre Dame model for $16.93).

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Purchase Information:

Price: $16.99
Available from: Pop Deluxe