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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Stocking stuffer ideas for gadgeteers



Now that you have the Christmas gifts taken care of, it's time to fill those stockings with cool stuff. Here are some ideas:

deathstarcube.jpgFor the Star Wars fan: Make the holiday parties even more festive with this conversation piece; Death Star Ice Sphere Mold. You fill it with water, and freeze to create a mini Death Star 2.4 inches in diameter. Put one in a class and pour the beverage of choice. $9.99.


pizza_cutter.jpgFor the Star Trek fan: The new Star Trek movie, Into Darkness will open in May. Why not get in the spirit with an Enterprise (NCC-1701) Pizza Cutter? The chrome-plated cutter has a blade diameter of 4 inches, and the total length is 8.5 inches. So you can boldly cut… Well, you get the idea. $14.99


magnetputty.jpgFor the workaholic: If your loved one is stuck in the office all day, here's a way to decompress, work out and strengthen hands, and, maybe even improve his or her  focus. The non-toxic Thinking Putty is a great toy for adults as well as kids. At Crazy Aaron's Putty World, you can find different kinds of putty, including the Quicksilver with Magnet ($14.99), which we had the opportunity to test. This silver putty with dark streaks has a strong magnet inside, and can lift small metal objects like paper clips and tacks. It can stick onto a metallic surface, and the magnet adds a new dimension to playing with putty. This putty is a bit more firm than others, so it's a good workout for your hands as you get good resistance when kneading it. Another one of our favorites is the heat-sensitive, color-changing putty. We tried out the Mistletoe Madness 2.0 ($12.99) which starts out red, but turns into pale green with the warmth of your hand. Other types of putty include glow-in-the-dark, metallics and clear.


footmassage.jpgscalpmassage.jpgDecompression tools: More along the lines of destressing, give yourself a foot rub just about anywhere with the Foot Rubz Foot Massage Ball by Due North ($6.25). Just roll this ball under your feet for a few minutes at home, office, or in a plane. It's also good for massaging your hands and back. Or how about the Hand-held Scalp Head Massager by Kikkerland ($4.50 for two)? This one resembles a kitchen whisk, but with open ends. Put the prongs over your scalp for a gentle massage. Both are available on


connector.jpgFor iPhone 5 owners: So you have a new iPhone 5, but now all the accessories are useless because of the new Lightning connector. No worries. Just stop by the Apple store to pick put the Lightning to 30-pin Adapter for $29, and your gadgets are no longer obsolete. 


bobble.jpgHealthy living: Instead of buying bottled water to drink, bring a BPA-free Bobble water bottle with its own built-in filter. Kohls has the 34-ounce Bobble Bottles for $12.99. Or check Target for their 18.5-ounce Bobble Bottles for $9.99. While you're there, grab a couple of replacement filters for about $7 each. 


coalsoap.jpgFor the naughty kid: If you want to pull a prank on your little one, put a lump of coal into the stocking. This Lump of Coal Soap is handmade and molded from casts of actual coal, and it's Santa's Pipe scented. It comes in a holiday drawstring fabric bag with a "You've Been Naughty" tag. $5.99 at perpetual




hickies.jpgKids young and old: Add some style and fun into your sneakers with the Hickies Elastic Lacing System, which can turn your shoes into slip-ons with no more lacing. The elastic fasteners  --each about 4.5 inches long -- stretch to fit any shoe size, loosen and contract to the movement of your foot. There are 16 color combinations, and each pack comes with 14 Hickies plus two bonus ones.  They're available at, 2 sets for $30. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 5:14pm]


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