The Rocket Blog

From the wonderful to the weird, spanning every budget and every age, we have put together the best dang gift guide you’re going to read this holiday season. HO HO HO, y'all!

The 2017 RocketFuel Mega Ultra Super Holiday Gift Guide
By Lindsey Butler on Nov 24, 2017

From the wonderful to the weird, spanning every budget and every age, we have put together the best dang gift guide you’re going to read this holiday season. We challenge you to make it through all of the recs in our six shopping categories without caving and buying half of them for yourself.

*VILLAINOUS LAUGH*

Seriously though, we have some great suggestions. So, if you're stumped on gift ideas, you definitely came to the right place.

1

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Gifts for Analog People in a Digital World

REMARKABLE TABLET - $599. reMarkable combines the realistic look and feel of paper with the convenience of a tablet device. It’s an elegant, simple solution for reading, writing and sketching without any of the distractions of notifications, web browsing or apps.

IPHONE & ANDROID FILM SCANNER - $59. Rejoice, all you diehard #filmisnotdead folks! Photojojo has created a cheap, clever way to skip the flatbed and scan 35mm film directly to your smartphone. At this price point, we think it’s totally cool to order two: one for that hard-to-buy-for person on your shopping list AND one for yourself.

RETRO TURNTABLE & SPEAKER SYSTEM - $145. Music streaming via Bluetooth? Check. 3-speed turntable? Check. Vinyl to USB encoding? Check. Double cassette deck? Check. Whether listening, recording or digitizing, this is the ultimate all-in-one stereo system for music junkies who want to keep one foot in the analog world and one in digital.

VIEW-MASTER VR STARTER PACK - $18. View-Master found an irresistible way to tap into the multi-generational nostalgia kick that’s made fanny packs, cassettes and Stranger Things so wildly popular. Kids of all ages (read: especially old millennials) will love Mattel’s immersive, updated take on a classic childhood toy.

POLAROID SNAP TOUCH - $192. Polaroid’s colorful, easy-to-use camera pairs the analog fun of instant photo prints with the convenient sharability (that’s a word, right?) of modern digital photography. With a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen, a 13mp CMOS sensor and 1080p HD video recording, this baby packs a lot of functionality into a surprisingly reasonable price point.

2

Head Starts for Future Smarts

Gifts for Curious Kiddos

CUBETTO CODING TOY - $225. You want your kids to appreciate life outside of screens, but you also want them to become tech-savvy thinkers. So, what’s a 21st century parent to do? Enter Cubetto, a friendly wooden robot that teaches logic and programming fundamentals with nary a screen in sight.

STEM CLUB TOY SUBSCRIPTION - $20/MONTH. Available for ages 3-4, 5-7 and 8-13, Amazon’s new STEM Club program exposes kids to concepts related to science, technology, engineering and math via monthly shipments of educational toys, each handpicked by experts.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MEGA FOSSIL MINE - $27. Jurassic Park IRL! (But, y’know, without the constant threat of evisceration by raptors…) With this NatGeo set, kids use real paleontological tools to uncover real remnants of dinosaurs, sharks, brachiopods and more. So, if your little ones are fascinated by fossils, this is the kit to their hearts.

KLUTZ LEGO CHAIN REACTIONS KIT - $15. A NAPPA Silver Award-winner, this next-level LEGO kit helps kids design and build 10 different moving machines, which can be combined with one another, as well as any basic LEGO bricks, to start chain reactions and create more complex machines.

TOYBOX 3D PRINTER - $399. Billing itself as “the last toy you ever need to buy,” Toybox is one of the only 3D printers specifically designed for kids. The compact, desktop printer expands imaginations and STEM skills by empowering children to design and print their own toys.

3

Gamers Gone Wild

Gifts for Dice-Rollers and Remote-Controllers

BOB ROSS: THE ART OF CHILL - $25. “Earn ‘chill points’ by painting landscape features like Happy Little Trees and Almighty Mountains using colors and brushes from your hand of cards. Finish one of Bob Ross’s masterpieces before he does to win ‘chill’ status.” If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to combine Clue with one of those group painting classes, here ya go!

SUPER NES CLASSIC EDITION - $80. Like slap bracelets, dial-up and Lisa Frank, Super NES was a fundamental part of growing up in the 90’s. Eager to cash in on the nostalgia wave, Nintendo recently rebooted the much-beloved home console in miniature form, preloaded with 20 classic games, including Legend of Zelda, Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country.

JIM HENSON'S LABYRINTH BOARD GAME - $50. This season, give the gift of dark 80’s puppet fantasy opera to your favorite Bowie fan/tabletop gamer. Featuring beautifully crafted character pieces and two different versions of gameplay, the Labyrinth board game pays fitting tribute to Jim Henson’s masterpiece and doesn’t take 13 hours to play!

CAMPY CREATURES - $25. “A ghoulish game of bluffing, deduction, and set collection,” Campy Creatures tasks each mad scientist (player) with the goal of capturing mortals (humans?) for experiments. Sounds simple, sure, but things get slippery when you start dealing with point-sucking traps and artifact-enhanced opponents. Ooooooooooooh...

OCULUS RIFT - $399. Born from a Kickstarter campaign five years ago, Rift has been making waves in the VR world, even capturing the imagination of social media juggernaut, Facebook. From mesmerizing gameplay to revolutionary entertainment experiences, Oculus’ flagship headset is leading the pack, while maintaining a realistic price point.

4

Big Impacts, Small Price Tags

Cool Gifts Under $50

6-PACK BIKE SADDLEBAG - $34. As Memphis becomes more bike-friendly with each passing day, an ever-growing number of folks are adapting a two-wheeled approach to navigating the city. Naturally, all of these cyclists need a convenient way to transport their sodas (beer). So, here’s a gift for your freewheeling friends.

AMAZON FIRE TV STICK WITH ALEXA - $40. Being budget-conscious shouldn't stop you from giving your friends and family a fun tech gift. Beyond streaming your favorite content anytime, anywhere, the newest gen Amazon Fire TV Stick also integrates with Alexa. So, with the press of a button, your voice can summon music or order pizza. (“Thanks, robot stick!” your mom will exclaim.)

PENGUIN HARDCOVER CLASSICS - $18-25. Go ahead, judge these books by their covers -- they’ll stand up to the scrutiny. Penguin’s breathtaking hardcover classics feature intricate patterns stamped on linen cases, playfully colored endpapers and ribbon markers, each volume illustrated by acclaimed designer, Coralie Bickford-Smith. America, let’s make reading great again. (Please?)

RECHARGEABLE HAND WARMER - $33. Winter is the worst, right? It’s dark all the time, everything is cold, and you basically just want to hibernate like a bear until life thaws out. This handy little gadget can’t make the season pass any faster, but it can make the experience more BEAR-able (hyuk) by providing the holy trifecta of winter needs: warmth, light and power for the devices that keep you sane.

ACOUSTIC ELECTRIC KALIMBA - $42. The mbira (aka: kalimba or thumb piano) is an African instrument that’s been produced in some form or fashion for a few thousand years now. It’s played by flicking or thumping the metal tines attached to its wooden board, which produces dreamy, melodic tones similar to those of a marimba. The instrument’s simple interface makes it inviting to folks of all ages and all musical abilities, and this version’s electronic component makes it perfect for 21st century dabblers.

5

Staff Picks

Gifts for RF Crew Members (HINT HINT)

STAR WARS ART: RALPH MCQUARRIE - $152. 
"Ralph McQuarrie is awesome, and he had a lot of impact on visual inspiration throughout my life." - Ryan (Front End Developer)

RUSH: THE UNOFFICIAL ILLUSTRATED HISTORY - $20.
"Who doesn't love Rush?!" - Reuben (CEO, frequent wearer of Rush shirts)

GRANSFORS BRUK SCANDINAVIAN FOREST AXE - $194. 
"Gransfor Bruk is one of the leaders in individually forged axes. It's Swedish, cold-forged steel, one of the hardest tempered steels in the world." - Josh (Senior Front End Developer)

STAR WARS PLANETARY GLASSWARE SET - $50. 
"I just really, really want this." - Alli (Account Manager)

STAY AT HOME SCARFACE: COLORING & ACTIVITY BOOK FOR GANGSTER PARENTS - $10. 
"I know it's technically for parents, but I have cats. That's close enough, right?" - Katie (Senior Social Media Strategist)

LEGO ARCHITECTURE LONDON SKYLINE - $39.
"It's London! It's LEGO! I love it!" - Whitney (Senior Designer)

THE X-FILES AS VERTIGO - $86.
"I want to believe in Saul Bass." - Lindsey (Copywriter & Creative Strategist)

6

National Treasures

Gifts for Nic Cage Lovers

CAGES THROUGH THE AGES LIP GLOSS COLLECTION - $2-9. Nothing says Nicolas Cage quite like a historically sardonic set of lip glosses in an attractive array of colors, right? ...... Anyway! Here are a few highlights from the collection:

  • Nic Cage Churning Butter One Crisp Thanksgiving Morn (nude, slightly sheer)
  • Nic Cage Resigned to a Loveless Marriage for the Good of the Realm (vermilion with coral and rose undertones)
  • Nic Cage Nibbling Petit Fours in a Posh Victorian Tearoom (opaque dusty rose with pearl finish)

NICOLAS CAGE "PAPER" DOLL MAGNET - $12. This doll has all the best accessories, including a John Travolta face! If you’ve ever wanted to treat an unhinged celebrity scene-chewer like a plaything (and who hasn’t?), then this is right up your alley. Bonus points for serving a functional purpose because #magnet.

SNAKE EYES: A NICOLAS CAGE ACTIVITY BOOK - $10. Amazon user Andrew Jenkins says it best: “Lots of different activities, although a lot of them don’t actually have anything for you to do.” Sounds like a winner!

NICOLAS CAGE FACE T-SHIRT "WITH HIP HOP SLEEVES" - $17. After carefully reviewing this listing several times, with the aid of several drinks, we never could figure out what the heck “hip hop sleeves” are. Regardless, who could turn down the chance to wear an unsettling amount of sublimated Nic Cage grimiles? (That’s grimace + smile.) We sure couldn’t!

NICOLAS CAGE NAIL DECALS - $6. This fashionable set of decals will help you celebrate Mr. Cage’s epic oeuvre, while keeping him just at your fingertips. MEOW, y’all. (Other sexy animal sounds as well!)

NICOLAS CAGE NOUVEAU SHAMANIC SOAP - $6. “With an eclectic scent blend of ancient Egyptian artifacts, rare dinosaur bones, volcanic ash, a haunted mansion in New Orleans, the faded dreams of becoming Superman, and a hint of peach.” Ignore the fact this soap looks more like Harry Dean Stanton than Nicolas Cage, and just bask in its mystical properties!

Happy holidays, everyone. Share the turkey with your sister.