SUPER STOCKING STUFFERS

Presents under the Christmas tree are great, but don't forget about stuffing those stockings hung out with care by kids hoping they'll be filled with treats for the holiday.  I am always excited by the challenge of finding special items that will fit within the space constraints of a Christmas stocking that make for awesome gifts recipients will appreciate and enjoy.  To help you with this endeavor, I've compiled A Geek Daddy's holiday guide of some Super Stocking Stuffer ideas.

Movies


A newly released movie on Blu-ray or DVD is a normal addition to my twins' stockings each Christmas morning.  This year LEAP! and DESPICABLE ME 3 will be available just in time for the holiday shopping season.

LEAP!

My daughter has been in ballet for several years now and loves dancing so LEAP! will make the perfect addition to her stocking. LEAP! is a colorful and imaginative story about an orphan girl who is determined to follow her dream of becoming a ballerina. This animated movie full of great original music is a show the whole family will enjoy viewing together.

LEAP! tells the story of eleven-year-old orphan Félicie who has one dream — to go to Paris and become a dancer. Her best friend, Victor, an imaginative, exuberant boy with a passion for creating, has a dream of his own — to become a famous inventor. In a leap of faith, Victor and Félicie leave their orphanage in pursuit of their passions. But there’s a catch: Félicie must pretend to be the child of a wealthy family in order to gain admittance to the prestigious and competitive Opera Ballet School in Paris. And with no professional dance training, she quickly learns that talent alone is not enough to overcome the ruthless, conniving attitudes of her fellow classmates, led by the devious Camille Le Haut. Determined to succeed, Félicie finds her mentor in the tough and mysterious school custodian, Odette, who, along with Victor’s encouraging friendship, help her reach for the stars.



DESPICABLE ME 3

My son on the other hand is crazy about the zany antics of the Minions from the Despicable Me movies!  So Despicable Me 3 arriving in time for Christmas is great timing and will absolutely make its way into his stocking this year.  In addition to the movie, the Blu-ray and DVD include almost an entire hour of exclusive bonus features including an all-new mini-movie, a never-before-released deleted scene, and much more!



After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down Balthazar Bratt, the latest evil mastermind to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis in Despicable Me 3. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother — a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps — the former super-villain rediscovers just how good it feels to be bad.  Academy Award® nominee Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) reprises his hilarious role as reformed criminal mastermind Gru, as well as his newly discovered twin, Dru. The all-star voice cast also features Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, Despicable Me 2), Miranda Cosgrove (Despicable Me 1 & 2, School of Rock), Steve Coogan (The Secret Life of Pets, Philomena), Jenny Slate (Zootopia, The Secret Life of Pets), Dana Gaier (Despicable Me 1 & 2) and legendary singer and actress Julie Andrews (The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins).



Video Games


My kids are at an age where they love video games.  Here are some suggestion that are fun to play for kids as well as adults.  Have some family fun with parents and kids playing these video games together.

CRASH BANDICOOT N. SANE TRILOGY



Activision is bringing back one of their most popular video game characters from the '90s!  Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy will let Playstation 4 owners play a fully-remastered high definition collection of Activision's original collection of  Crash Bandicoot™ video games.  In the updated version of the games, Crash's sister, Coco, joins in the action coming to her brother's rescue.  In Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Coco has decided to hack into the Time Twister to travel back in time to help Crash in his previous adventures.



THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE VIDEO GAME




My kids loved THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE and can't get enough playing time when it comes to this video game.  With movie quality graphics and an impressive variety of ninja moves that players can utilize while controlling their favorite LEGO NINJAGO heroes this game really is incredibly fun to play.



GEAR CLUB UNLIMITED




Exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, GEAR CLUB UNLIMITED provides an authentic auto racing experience utilizing amazing recreations of some of the world's finest sports cars.  Up to four players can play at once in split screen mode so the whole family can get in on the competition.  Who is the best driver in your house?



MIITOPIA



Our family's Nintendo 3DS is great for keeping the kids amused on long car trips or when they're stuck in bed while being sick.  In fact they'd be playing it all the time if we didn't restrict their screen time.  This portable gaming system provides 3D special effects that you don't need to wear special glasses to see.  It is pretty impressive! In fact the Nintendo 3DS is small enough you could probably include it as a stocking stuffer itself if your kids don't have one.  If your kids are like my 8 year olds they'd be thrilled to get one!



One of our family's favorite games on the Nintendo 3DS is MIITOPIA.  A Nintendo Mii is a cartoonish figure that can be shaped to have the appearance of someone you know or created to have its own unique wacky look.  These Miis are the characters that live in the land of Miitopia.  In this fantasy style game, players must stop an evil sorcerer from stealing the faces of the Miis and creating monsters out of them.  This game is a mixture of Dungeons and Dragons with Super Mario Bros. that fans of Nintendo products will really appreciate.



Robotic Pets


My kids are curious about robots and love animals so robotic pet toys are a great combination of those two interests.  Fingerlings from WowWee and Zoomer Zupps from Spin Master have lots of great interactive features, charming appearances and are just the right size to fit inside a Christmas stocking.

FINGERLINGS



These cuddly baby monkeys actually come to life within your hands.  Fingerlings can interact with you through more than 40 sounds and animations.  Tap on a Fingerling's head to trigger a variety of different reactions.  Hang them upside down by their tail and see what happens.  They'll show affection when you pet them and fall asleep when rocked in the palm of your hand.  Cup your hand in just the right spots and your Fingerling will even burp or fart! Clap your hands to get your robotic pet to sing or whistle to you.



ZOOMER ZUPPS SAFARI PETS



My daughter loves giraffes so I just had to add Spin Master's Zoomer Zupps Safari Pets to A Geek Daddy's list of super stocking stuffers.  Safari Pets are available as giraffes, cheetahs and zebras and you'll find them exclusively at Walmart. These pocket-sized interactive creatures fit in the palm of your hand. They have poseable limbs, light-up LED eyes and are responsiveness to touch. Press your Zoomer Zupps nose or pet the top of its head and hear adorable sounds. Play the Rocking Repeat Game by pressing its nose and petting its head at the same time. The eyes will flash in a specific pattern. Press the nose to repeat the pattern. Get three patterns in a row correct to win the game!



Backpack Clips


WHIFFER SNIFFERS




I've noticed dropping off and picking up my children at elementary school that decorating their backpacks with plush toys and trinkets is a big deal with the students.  WHIFFER SNIFFERS are a hot commodity!  These collectible food themed scented plush backpack clips don't just look good they smell good too.  Kids are always running up to take a sniff of the ones my daughter has on her backpack.

Collectible Mini Figures


Collectible mini figures that come in blind packs so that people don't know which ones they are getting until they open a box or bag are all the rage with my kids and their friends right now.  They are this generation's equivalent of baseball cards and stickers.  Though in addition to collecting and displaying them these are also fun to play with.

AWESOME LITTLE GREEN MEN




These military themed toys combine blind-boxed soldiers and vehicles with a board game type experience.  The mini figures aren't just toys but are  game pieces too.  Set up a battle field and take turns attacking your opponent with each character having a hit point tally equivalent to their rank.  Follow the rules in the player's guide to conquer the other army's prized possession and win the game. Play with them as toy soldiers, as a game, or just collect as they are awesome looking to display.



CABBAGE PATCH KIDS LITTLE SPROUTS




The Little Sprouts toy collection revolves around Cabbage Patch themed mini-figures that are available in cabbage shaped blind packages that contain either one kid figure or a two figure (baby/pet) combo  There are 120 total figures available to collect including a variety of 1.5" boy and girl kids, 1" babies, and .75" sized pets.  The 1.5" kids and 1" baby figures include articulation so they can be placed in a sitting pose. These figures combine the nostalgia of one the iconic '80s era Cabbage Patch dolls with today's hot blind pack collectible toys fad.



Toy Cars


Fans of classic cars and hotrods will be thrilled to find a diecast toy from M2 Machines in their Christmas stockings.  These are excellent reproductions in 1:64 scale that include a lot of intricate details that make these cars really standout.  They include a lot of detail into these cars by making them from numerous individual parts instead of one primary mold.  I'm a fan of old pickup trucks and keep a M2 Machines 1958 Chevrolet Apache on my desk at work.



Miscellaneous Games & Toys


TOP TRUMPS




My family has found Top Trumps' themed card decks a great family game night activity because they are both entertaining and educational to play.  In fact, teachers in the United Kingdom have been recommending students play with these card decks which incorporate a variety of themes ranging from animals to super heroes since the 1970's as a fun way to improve children's literacy and numeracy skills.  Over the last ten years, more than 80 million packs of Top Trumps cards have been sold in England making it one of the best-selling games in that country.  Top Trumps games are just becoming available in the United States and if you have children between the ages of 6 and 12 you should absolutely check them out.



EGG BABIES





Egg Babies are super soft plush animals that are packed in colorful eggs. Crack open the egg and pull out one of 6 different plush creatures ranging from a pink bunny to a purple piggy. These critters have some unique appearances to them and my kids find them to be adorable!



SQUEEZE POPPERS


A great gift for any baseball fan.  Major League Baseball licensed Squeeze Poppers from Hog Wild Toys are shaped like team mascots.  Just squeeze the belly and pop a soft foam ball will soar out of its mouth and fly up to 20 feet! Bring home your favorite team's Squeeze Popper mascot and shoot it at the television screen every time they make a bad play while you are watching the game. I'll be getting a lot of use out of this if I pick up the Detroit Tigers Paws version the way the team is trending for next season. Each Squeeze Popper includes five soft foam balls so you can repeatedly load and shoot before having to chase them down.

Swing by ageekdaddy.com throughout the year to check out my frequent movie, toy, and video game reviews from the perspective of a fun loving dad.  Also visit thetoyinsider.com for my regular contributions to the website as a member of their Parents Panel.  If you head over there now you can also peruse their great 2017 Gift Guide featuring recommendations on the top toys available during this holiday shopping season.