Last year, we fell in love with Air Swimmers, fish-shaped balloons that fly around in the air, controlled via remote — specifically, the shark. Clown fish are cool and all, but a prehistoric predator with horrifyingly empty eyes that has to keep moving or die just has that something special.
So, is this what happens when it stops? You get a zombie shark, swimming eerily through the air, just waiting to terrify your cat? We can't answer that. We requested a study, but somehow shark zombification was never taken seriously. Now it's here, and they're going to regret it. Oh, yes.
Looking at these, we had a fantastic idea: a bookmark that can be paired with an app and tracked. That's because bookmarks tend to get lost in books, and are somehow never found again, at least in our experience.
These circuit board bookmarks do not, in fact, do that. However, they are a spiffing way to recycle old electronics, look stylish and give us that glimmer of satisfaction that can only be had when two seemingly disparate concepts meet up; in this case, paper books, which have been around for hundreds of years, and circuit boards, which have been around for a significantly shorter period.
Aside from the excellence of cooling your drink with a companion cube, you can see right through these, because they're made of ice. You know what that means? Yeah. No dead bodies inside. Unless you use the tray to make chocolates, in which case we'd hope it was just praline or something, but we don't know you. You could be capable of anything. You can keep your crazy dead body companion cube chocolates. You monster.
Remember playing with these in primary school? There was something very relaxing and zen about pushing the shapes around and putting them together to make other shapes, as well as solving silhouettes. This set of wooden fridge magnets both gussies up your ice box and gives you something to do during your kitchen downtime.
The old Chinese puzzle can be really interesting. With this magnet set, you'll get some layouts, but if you want to know more, there are resources around the web to get you started.
With one of these babies in your pocket, who needs the bigger picture? Get up close and personal with the world around you. Bored while waiting for the bus? Why not examine in fine detail the coins about your person or the weave of your jeans? Or maybe you're a hobby entomologist, and you want to check out bugs in the park. The MicroMax pocket microscope has up to 100x magnification, as well as a small LED, so that you can see every minute piece of whatever it is you're looking at.
Things probably would have gone a bit differently in Star Wars if their lightsabers were actually ice blocks, mainly because it's pretty hard to be mad when you have one. Also, icesaber fights would result in ice chips on the ground instead of hands. This ice-block mould looks pretty cool (ho ho), but it gets even better: the ice blocks actually light up.
The only conceivable problem is that play sword fighting is really fun, and wasting a good ice block in the middle of summer is just plain wrong.
"Oh!" you are saying. "I just don't know what to get. They have everything except the moon!" Well, you can fix that — with a giant, glow-in-the-dark sticker of the moon, which was designed using actual photographs of the moon. It is a little on the pricey side, but never fear: creator i3Lab has them in a variety of sizes to suit all your moon needs.
Speaking of lights out, there are a few things that every household needs. One of those is a good torch. But not just any torch will do, not after seeing this: a 20-centimetre-tall Lego Darth Vader with LEDs in his feet and a light-up lightsaber.
Just in case there are people out there who don't like Star Wars, though, there are a few other variants, including a ninja, a policeman and a fireman.
Move over, tiny magnet sets! We have a new magnetic love to join you on our desks. These little glass bottles contain around 50 grams of magnetic ferrofluid, or liquid magnet, suspended in water (mostly). As you move a magnet around the bottle, the ferrofluid will react like a small, startled animal. It has a whole bunch of fancy, practical applications in the wild, but we think keeping us amused is by far the best. Check it out in the video below.
Placemats are wonderful things. We can't remember the last time we intentionally used one for eating, but these heavy, laminated periodic tables are great for protecting kitchen workspaces, acting as a mat for craft activities or just sticking on the wall in your bathroom, so you can learn the elements while brushing your teeth.
Someone already has the moon? We're willing to bet they don't have wearable planets. These beaded necklaces let you wear the solar system around your neck! Obviously, the planets aren't to scale, but the distances are as proportional as the maker, Chain of Being, could get them. If you look carefully, you can even see tiny white beads representing moons.
There are a bunch of versions available, too: a more chunky one, if you don't like the dainty look; a kit, so you can put it together yourself; a bracelet; and an anklet. Heck, just check out the entire store — it's a treasure trove of space-related and meteorological adornments.
MaKey MaKey is one of the coolest toys for sheer experimentation we've ever seen. Using alligator-clip cables and a board that connects to your computer, you can turn any object that can conduct electricity into a touch-based input device. Any object. Take a look at the video below if you don't believe us. Piano stairs, you guys!
Even if you're not religious, you have to appreciate the symbolism here ... and the extraordinarily handy utility. Seriously, there's never a screwdriver handy when you need one. You could be everyone's best screwdriver buddy! The screwdriver bits include a hex key, a Phillips head and a flat head, so you can handle (almost) any situation — and look stylish in between.
Da Vinci invented a lot of things that were far too advanced for his time — a helicopter, a tank, even a robot. We firmly believe that he had one of the greatest minds that human history has produced — so anything Da Vinci related is pretty cool in our books. Especially this. Because it's a kit to build a functional miniature catapult. That can fit on your desk. We're just going to leave you to think about that.
If you like music and The Legend of Zelda, learning a new instrument is always an option: to wit, the ocarina. More specifically, the Ocarina of Time. We don't know that it will actually slow time or bring the rain or change day to night, but this 12-hole ocarina does come with a Legend of Zelda songbook and tutorial.