Presents For Your Kids That Are Really For You

If you buy your kids presents that you don’t feel the need to steal back for yourself, you’re doing it wrong. Clever toy manufacturers make their products just as enjoyable for parents, so avoid all the fluff and look for the good stuff.

GuySpeed, for which I freelance, put together a guide for parents who say they’re shopping for their kids but really looking out for themselves.

Some highlights:

* That giant plastic race track your parents would never get you. “It’s too big,” they said. “Too expensive.” “Your sister will choke on the small pieces.” Now they can shove it because you’ve got your own money, and you’re getting that track. Give your 8-year-old self a high-five and feel free to jump in and shove aside your own kids when they try to play with it, because they’re doing it wrong and you have to show them the right way to stage awesome races.

* Expensive action figures and vehicles from your favorite video games. Society may say your little ones are too young to play Halo, but why should that stop you from buying them a remote-controlled Warthog? Tell your son that Daddy needs to keep it on his desk at work to keep it safe from the dog.

* Ridiculously complex Lego sets. Ignore the whines of dread and dissatisfaction when your son opens up a box with the Millennium Falcon or Black Pearl on the cover to find a flood of tiny pieces. Tell him not to fret and that you’ll come to the rescue. All you need is a six-pack and several hours alone in the garage to put it together. You’ve just won yourself rare time to yourself in which you get to play with toys and drink beer, all in the name of good parenting. Meaning you’ve won Christmas.

10 Christmas Toys For Kids That Guys Buy For Themselves [GuySpeed]


Edit Your Comment

  1. dragonbox says:

    Whilst getting an oil change at Walmart (yes, yes, I know) I ventured into the toy aisles. I started swooning over the giant Lego City sets and realizing I don’t have any kids.

    Goddamnit, I want that giant Lego city for myself.

    • skwigger says:

      It’s okay, you can be an AFOL too.

    • chargernj says:

      Get it now, before you have kids. you won’t have the extra money or time after.

    • Misha says:

      I want some of the big Harry Potter sets. And that Millennium Falcon model was calling to me before it ever existed.

    • trrwilson says:

      I have no kids, and still buy a LEGO set about every 3 months, or my wife will surprise me with one. I still get the same giddy feeling I did when I was a kid.

      The doorway between my living room and dining room is lined with a LEGO army, to scare off any possible intruders; and Yoda and Darth Vader stare at each other from different corners of my entertainment center.

    • dolemite says:

      Just go buy it! If a stranger walked into my house, they would look at all the gaming systems, comic books, etc. and say “so how many kids do you guys have?” “Zero sucka!”

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      You don’t have to have kids to buy toys then play with said toys yourself. I do it. I don’t have kids.

    • Saltpork says:

      If you can afford it, buy it.

      There’s no shame in having an inner child. I have a trampoline for this very reason.
      I never got one when I was a kid, I saved up for it and every spring and summer I have a blast.

  2. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

    My wife totally knows the huge lego sets are for me. AND I DONT CARE. I make sure to get the sets with awesome lego people and weapons in them and my 5 year old loves that. I keep the legos organized and we still build simpler stuff out of the legos and do battle with them. WE BOTH WIN.

    And yes I totes drink beer while building those crazy sets at night in front of the fireplace listening to techno.


    • pop top says:

      McRib, we talked about the whole “toast jelly” thing. :|

    • Eremis77 says:

      My wife and I both buy Lego sets for ourselves. She gets castle sets, I get the Star Wars ones. We have no kids yet.

      • McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

        There are so many sets that a clearly only for adults, like the death star set, or that new super star destroyer. Five hundred dollars and ten gazillion little gray pieces?

        Adults only.

        Also that Taj Mahal set. Holy cow. 0.o

        • axhandler1 says:

          I actually bought the Taj Mahal set and spent a nice 13 hour marathon session putting it together, from about 6:30 at night until 7:30 the next morning. Totally worth it. The finished product is amazing. Although my fingers were sore for a few days after.

  3. Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

    I think it looks more like a puma.

  4. BrownLeopard says:

    I collect fire truck Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars. 17 years on the fire department I think I’m entitled to a little fun!

    (They sit on a shelf and don’t get “driven” around the floor while I make siren sounds. Really.)

    • tinyninja says:

      Awww, that’s cute. And thank you for putting your life on the line for us chickens.

      I used to work with a guy who was a hardcore Matchbox/Hot Wheels collectors. When he had kids he started buying 2 of everything–one to keep in the original packaging, one for display/playing with.

    • dolemite says:

      A co-worker’s husband is really into collecting those.

  5. George4478 says:

    I am, like many men, a big kid. So when my boys were young we had an ample supply of Nerf guns, laser tag equipment, slot car race tracks, rockets, etc.

    For the kids.

    • caradrake says:

      Yes! Our kids have a handful of nerf guns that occasionally go missing. Those things are so much fun.

    • Rocket says:

      My closet in my apartment is our Zombie closet. It’s loaded with Nerf guns, oh and there’s ammo everywhere.

      I love me my N-Strike Vulcan!

  6. Lethe says:

    One of my nieces got a Spirograph at our recent family Christmas gathering. Neither she nor any of the other kids her age knew what it was, but everyone 25 and older were thrilled.

  7. Cat says:

    At our house, presents from Santa were unwrapped, set-up, and ready to play with Christmas morning.

    It wasn’t until I figured out Santa that I learned that the toys were already played with.

  8. Evil_Steve says:

    My nieces get nerf guns every year for two self serving purposes:

    1: I love nerf guns and so do they
    2: Their parents and grandparents to not like any type of “gun” whether toy or not, and their irritation makes point number 1 so much more grand

    • Saltpork says:

      Oh boo hoo hoo. They’re shooting foam darts at each other. It’s not like you’re taking them out to a gun range.

  9. caradrake says:

    “Santa” is bringing my son a couple of lego sets, and my daughter is getting some my little ponies and a teaset (and some dresses so she can look pretty at tea-time).

    I win!!

  10. Firevine says:

    Those Imaginext dinosaurs! Hold on, I have to go impregnate the woman so I have an excuse.

  11. Nighthawke says:

    He who dies with the most toys wins. ;)

  12. Rachacha says:

    I feel deprived somehow.

    My Son is 10 years old, and is a HUGE Lego fan. Has all of the Lego City sets (or at least all the cool ones), the Lego Space shuttle (AWESOME) and as a Star Wars fan has now moved on to the Star Wars sets. He can assemble them better than I can, and he gets mad at me when I can’t find the parts fast enough for him.

    He has an arsenal of Nerf Guns, and while I like to occasionally ambush him and start a war when he is watching TV, he has stashed the bullets in places that I don’t know about, so it is difficult to start a war with 5 empty 100 round clips and 4 bullets without expecting to get your @$$ handed to you by a 10 year old.

    • PSUSkier says:

      Look on the bright side. If he’s caching his weapons in secret places to get a strategic advantage you’ve taught him war strategies very well.

      Well, either that or he’s been watching too much news about Iran.

    • swearint says:

      I don’t have kids, but I am into the Star Wars Legos. I have around 15 plus the Space Shuttle in my office. Plus several more at home. I had to stop getting them for lack of display space.


  13. dragonbox says:

    Wait. Does anyone here remember Rokenbok? We had an old toy store that closed down and they had this demo table that had all the various different stations for Rokenbok as well as several of the RC vehicles and all the fun stuff.

    God, I miss the fun of that stuff…

  14. SheTastesLikesCigerecxh says:

    My own son is getting the Star Wars Hoth Echo Base set from Santa this year. He is obsessed with Star Wars, and thankfully I am pretty into it myself. I loved legos as a kid. I know my parents enjoyed the quiet time on xmas morning when I would be busy putting together a lego huge castle.

    Also, was this post inspired by a rage comic about a girlfriend saying to the boyfriend, you are too old for that stuff(legos), and the guy thinks to himself he needs to have some kids asap lol

  15. ole1845 says:

    Hands down best part of having a boy is getting to play with Legos agin.

    • Misha says:

      Tell me again why Legos are exclusive to boys? I grew up with them as a little girl, and now I’m a grown woman and I still want to play with Legos.

    • Potted-Plant says:

      All three of my girls asked for Ninjago dragon sets this year. My husband is a proud poppa.

  16. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Fuck yes.

    1,000+ piece Lego Kits are awesome. :U

  17. Harvey The Wonder Hamster says:

    There are people out there that buy those “Transformer” toys like crazy – like all the Hasbro North American ones, plus they get these crazy complex ones from Japan made by third parties that cost well over $100 a pop.

    And most of them don’t just collect “mint in box” for value, they actually open then and play with them and display them!

    I mean, these are fully grown adults, with kids and jobs and mortgages! What the hell is up with that?

    I mean, I totally don’t get it and I *certainly* don’t have over 300 of these kids toy Transformer robots in my den. Not at all.

    (eyes dart back and forth nervously)
    (runs out of room)

  18. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Harry Potter Hogwarts and bus Lego sets, Kindle Fire tablet, and remote control helicopter are this year’s toys for our kid that are really for us.

  19. Starfury says:

    The Millennium Falcon shown here…I got that for my birthday when I turned 45 this year. My son isn’t into Lego much but will help build them.

  20. marillion says:

    I bought the nerf guns with the understanding that we would have lots of duels… but while my 11 year old son loves the guns, he HATES hunting for the darts afterward, so now he never wants to play. :(

    I did buy the Legend of Zelda special edition controller thing for my wife, however.. She’s a dedicated Wii gamer, so she should be happy..

  21. Rocket says:

    My desk is covered with action figures (some sill in the box). I totally go to Toys R Us, and get toys for myself. I’m 23 btw.

    Now, I need to go and buy My Little Pony toys for… uhh… my friend?

  22. am2o says:

    I purchased the Falcon shown for my seven year old son. He made on minor mistake on the base platform (Which I sugested he fix) and completed it without other intervention from me in about 8 hours (over two weeks).

    Dang kids, stealing my fun.

  23. Mr Grey says:

    I make no bones with my wife that the complex kit is for me.
    My 6yro son loves the small kits – but its the mini-figs that are tops in his world. Sure we will build a truck/boat/rocket that will fit a mini-fig for playtime, but in the end the X-Wing , Y-Wing, and Falcon sit out of reach.

  24. touayang says:

    Mine is Golf clubs for my kid, so I can have one more excuse to go golfing now.

  25. Sparkstalker says:

    My 2 year old daughter is totally getting Once Upon a Monster for Christmas….I may have to show her how to play, though…

  26. scoosdad says:

    We can’t have Legos or any toys with small parts at our house. The dogs think they’re some kind of chew toy for them.

  27. maxhobbs says:

    When I was a kid I had this uncle that was a Star Wars freak. He would get me Star Wars toys for my birthday and Christmas and then tell me I shouldn’t open the boxes because they are more valuable that way.

    Yeah, tell some 8 year old boy to just look at his toys in their packages.

  28. Outrun1986 says:

    Geez and I thought I was being immature for having a few toys around the house

    Actually if you look at my ebay listings you would think I have a family of 6 kids (I really have none)… wait no those items, yes they really are for reselling, but you know, you can’t help but try them out first… to make sure they work so the buyer doesn’t get disappointed!

    My vice is Tamagotchi’s, Pokemon and digimon toys, I am much much too old for all of them… but I still have them. Though its a bit easier to get away with it when you are female. Though hardly any pokemon and digimon right now, but I have about 50 tamagotchi’s and their variants.

  29. jasonq says:

    I would agree with the one about Lego sets but for the fact that my boy buys his own from time to time and puts them together with inhuman speed; he bought the Star Wars Clone Turbo Tank (1000+ pieces) when he was 10 with his own cash. Took him about 3-1/2 hours to put together.

  30. Leftstrat says:

    The paintball war I had with my nephews on Christmas Eve, last year, was highly satisfying. :) This year, we’re going to have another one…….

  31. neilb says:

    What I like in this category:
    -Snap circuits
    -Lego (I see MindStorms coming in the next few years)
    -Remote-controlled everything (cars, boat, a helicopter this xmas)
    – Musical instruments
    -Contemplating an Arduino, but my oldest kid is only 6

    The nicest thing is that none of these are break-the-bank expensive and they are fairly open-ended in how you can play with them.

  32. delicatedisarray says:

    My husband and I put Nerf guns on our wedding registry- and other fun stuff like that. We didn’t need plates, or glasses, or anything boring- each of us already had a set. So we won the wedding game!

  33. friesentl says:

    This does not end when your kids grow up. A few years ago, my dad bought me some weird TV accessory that I didn’t want and told him specifically not to buy.

    Guess who has that stupid thing now? My dad. Merry Christmas to me.

  34. sprybuzzard says:

    I’ve bought my little brothers crazy big Knex sets every year so I could put them together myself. I don’t think it’ll change for my own.

  35. Potted-Plant says:

    We got the Lego Star Wars Advent calendar for the girls this year. I never thought you could build Boba Fett’s ship with 12 small pieces, but it can be done and it looks pretty awesome.

    Santa brought the large Hogwarts set last year. So worth it. The level of detail is amazing.

    • Potted-Plant says:

      P.S. Huge side benefit- when Legos are on the Christmas shopping list, Daddy is chomping at the bit to do the shopping.

  36. Rifter says:

    What I LOVE about my 7 year old daughter… She always circles Star Wars Lego stuff to buy, AND plastic race tracks. I’ve definitely done something right!

  37. kenj0418 says:

    Like the old joke goes, how are a woman’s breasts like a toy train set? They were both supposed to be for the kids, but daddy is the one that always ends up playing with them.

  38. NotEd says:

    I have no children so ALL TOYS ARE MINE!

    Except those purchased for the aforementioned dog.