Whoah! It’s that time again!
I swore I’d have this done by December this year so as to actually give you time to peruse and perhaps purchase some of the items on this list. (HINDSIGHT: hahaha) Actually, that’s more calendar politeness than anything if we’re being honest. Considering our community centre turned into a dole office I’d be genuinely surprised if anyone could afford Christmas these days… but there you go. If you drink that cheap brandy through a straw, you don’t need to buy as much to get drunk! Onto the list!
Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 (From £1,999.99)
Obviously, no letter to Santa is complete without a Wacom tablet, but that’s okay because they seem to bring a new one out every quarter. The Cintiq Companion 2 is yet another addition to the Wacom treasure trove and currently the pipe-dream of every digital artist. For those who thought the original Cintiq was excessive, check this out! It’s a completely standalone tablet that can function without a Mac or PC so you can take it and draw anywhere, preferably under armed guard. Although you’re clearly going to have to put your work on a regular computer eventually, the Cintiq Companion 2 comes with an integrated Intel Core, with choices ranging up to a 512GB i7. With multi-touch gestures and customisable shortcuts, the Cintiq Compaion 2 is all you need to get creative. It’s like the world’s most unimaginably expensive notepad!
The website states you can, “Create under open skies or plug into your Mac or PC to bring each remarkable detail of your expression to life with exquisite accuracy” but if you did for some reason take the Cintiq Companion 2 outside, I imagine you’d have to live in a better area than I do.
Ultimate iPhone and Samsung Lens Kit (£53.96)
For those interested in photography but whose cursory searches on cameras left them feeling genuinely frightened, TRNDlabs have this neat kit full of different lenses that you can attach to your smartphone. The kit includes five different lenses that attach to your phone and let you take different types of pictures without the need to spend a fortune on a full camera.
I thought this was a fantastic idea, and while I’m sceptical on whether you can reproduce the quality of professional cameras with a taped-on camera accessory, it would definitely help you try your hand at different styles of photography to see if there’s any camera you’re prepared to drop that money on later. For fun and informal snaps, this seems like the perfect gadget for the curious or the phone-savvy.
It’s worth noting that two of these lenses are actually a fisheye and a microscope (for some reason) so I’m not sure if they actually count… Still, macro cameras are cash dolla, so I think it’s worth it anyway.
Prusa I3 3D Printer Kit (£450)
I’ve longed to get my hands on one of these since the first commercially-available 3D printers came out. This is the invention mankind has dreamed of since they first thought up sci-fi, and really, what’s not to love about printing actual objects? Granted, I never did get hold of one but the thought of printing and painting my own sculptures seems like the neatest thing ever. Why learn a craft when I can just wait for someone to invent an easy-mode? It’s the ultimate setup for hobby building!
I mean I’m sure it has other applications too, of course. Didn’t they print some aircraft engine parts with one? That’s rad. You could do that at home.
I picked the kit as opposed to a fully-assembled 3D printer for two reasons. One being the prices made me sob, the second being exactly the reason advertised on Ooznest’s site:
“Being a 3D Printer kit, this 3D Printer not only provides a superb price, but will also be a valuable learning experience, providing a great start for any aspiring maker.”
LEVIT8 Folding Portable Desk ($32)
Hey look! Something on this list you can afford! A piece of cardboard! If you’d pay $32 for a piece of cardboard then look no further! The LEVIT8 folding portable desk is a lightweight desk you can take with you on the go. It’s small, fits into your laptop bag and can be pulled out anywhere to provide a steady work surface for your mobile computing needs. Boasting a water- and stain- proof cover, you could set this thing down in a swamp and get your shit done. There’s no assembly, just flip it up and you’re ready to go. It comes in different sizes and can hold more than twenty times its own weight, but its super light to begin with, so don’t sit on it.
Their Kickstarter also notes you can use it as a folder; a magazine rack; a candy dish; a hat, I don’t know. The possibilities are endless when you work in marketing!
Robugtix T8X Robotic Spider ($750)
I put a Wacom product on this list and the Robugtix T8X robotic spider is still somehow the most expensive thing here. For starters, shipping is a fixed $100; if you want a case to protect your purchase that’ll set you back an additional $550 and that’s before you even got your hands on the main course… which rests at a sturdy $750. That makes this the only spider toy more terrifying than the real thing.
And you can’t even draw on it! Your mum would be furious.
That said though, how cool is this thing?
The T8X, which I am affectionately calling ‘Charlie’ is a state-of-the-art robotic spider capable of… you know, moving about and stuff. Okay, so it’s not exactly useful, but it would warm the cockles of anyone fortunate enough to own one. Sometimes it’s nice to have things for the sheer joy of looking down on people who don’t, and an ominous robotic spider is right up there on that list.
It comes Wi-Fi enabled, meaning you can control it from a range of smart gadgets or your computer and includes the Bigfoot™ Robotics Engine that handles all the fine tuning for your commands. Tell it to walk! Make it dance! Have it harvest the hearts of your enemies! Then share those scripts and pick up new ones with other nefarious owners around the world.
If you find yourself sitting on a giant pile of cash this Christmas and outgrew charity along with your emotions and common sense, then this terrifying animatronically realistic robot spider is the perfect gift for you or someone you love a little too much.
Why a spider? Because spiders are perfect for robotics, they’ve pretty much already fallen over by default. Also, it salsas. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo2TUIEXJig)
Ballroom Dance Lessons ($69+)
Guess what Freditor and I are doing next year?
That’s right, absolutely nothing.
But we could be living the dream if someone let me just adjust the budget a little.
You can sign up for private or group ballroom dancing lessons from just $69 in the Manhattan area but I recommend checking to see what’s available around where you live before you hop on a plane. You might be surprised at how easy it is to find a dance studio hidden away in your area – just think, a whole bunch of people could be leading an exciting double life, and you drove by countless times without even noticing. Most classes range from beginners to competition level so there’s something for everyone. Don’t be nervous about heading in and finding out more.
You say you’re single? Who cares! Take a friend. Don’t have friends? Go to a group class and get paired up with a stranger. Learning something new is never uncool and I guarantee you’ll meet some interesting people while you learn an amazingly underappreciated new skill. There are many different dances to choose from so you could take any style you’re interested in, but I have my heart set on a waltz. Gear yourself up for life with a classy new skill and find a way to burn calories in the meantime! Bring in the new year with style.