9 Stuffed Toys for the Geek in Your Life

ThinkGeek
ThinkGeek

As the temps continue to drop, your loved ones will probably start reaching for something to snuggle up with. Why should they settle for a plain old teddy bear when there are stuffed dragons and giant isopods? Here are some untraditional plush to give to your geekier friends and family members.

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1. DIRE WOLF; $20

Game of Thrones Dire Wolf Plush
ThinkGeek

This Game of Thrones-inspired plush toy resembles Jon Snow's fearsome companion, Ghost. While the dire wolves in the award-winning HBO series don't look very welcoming, this 10-inch tall stuffed animal version is decidedly a lot more huggable. 

Find It: ThinkGeek

2. MICROBES; $10-$14

Germaphobes, take note: When you enlarge microbes, they look a lot more appealing. The otherwise invisible organisms were scaled up over 1,000,000 times, in order to create these 18- to 24-inch wide toys. Choose from infectious diseases, a strand of DNA, a neuron, and more.

Find It: Amazon

3. ORGANS; $22

The extensive catalog of unconventional plush toys from I Heart Guts includes the heart, uterus, colon, gallbladder, and other smiling organs. Unlike real organs, these plush figurines are stored in biodegradable plastic sleeves.

Find It: Amazon

4. RICK AND MORTY; $10

Adult Swim-favorite Rick And Morty is back, so what better time to snag a couple of plush toys that look like the titular characters of the cartoon? Now, your friend or family member can watch the new episodes with Rick and Morty sitting on either side. The toys, which are sold individually, are made with velboa fabric and are officially licensed.

Find It: ThinkGeek

5. R2-D2; $10

Everyone needs a helpful droid to get through the holidays, whether it's for patching up the ship or creating a distraction when hiding Brussels sprouts under the mashed potatoes. A part of Hallmark's "Itty Bitty" collection, R2-D2 is just over 4 inches tall—and a good fit for a stocking. The collection also includes miniature versions of Yoda, Captain Phasma, Chewbacca, BB-8, and more.

Find It: Amazon

6. CHESTBUSTER; $33

If you know someone who delights in all things gory and macabre, they'll probably enjoy this 10-inch replica of a chestbuster from the Aliens franchise. With a torn up shirt and some fabric dye, it'll be easy to recreate the movie scene right on Christmas morning. (Grandma will love it!)

Find It: Amazon

7. BLOBFISH; $26

Is there any creature in the ocean more fantastically ugly than the blobfish? This stunning fish sports a droopy nose, beady eyes, and a permanently scowling mug—and was named the "World's Ugliest Animal" by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society in 2013. Now, your loved one can cuddle with a 9.5-inch stuffed animal version of the unfortunate-looking fish.

Find It: Firebox

8. GIANT ISOPOD; $57

Know someone who is enamored by the isopod, an armored crustacean that can grow up to 2.5 feet long and survive for up to five years without eating? Indulge their fascination with one of these plush toys.

Find It: Amazon

9. FINN; $17

The cartoon Adventure Time is coming to a close in 2018, but that doesn't mean Finn and Jake don't have some more quests and journeys in the future. This polyester Finn is up for any new adventures your friend can think of. For added fun, have some of the other characters join in, like Jake, Beemo, and Princess Bubblegum.

Find It: Amazon

These ASMR-Ready Headphones Promise to Lull You to Sleep

AcousticSheep
AcousticSheep

What do hushed whispers, gently tapping fingernails, and Bob Ross’s voice have in common? They’re all examples of triggers that may cause what’s known as an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), or, as Dictionary.com succinctly explains it, a “calming, pleasurable feeling often accompanied by a tingling sensation” that can be triggered by soothing stimuli. ASMR has recently been recognized as an effective relaxation technique for those looking to calm their nerves; now, ASMR enthusiasts and novices alike can experience it in the form of a sleep-ready headband.

Upon first glance, SleepPhones: ASMR Edition may look like just a fabric headband, but the device actually features flat speakers tucked into soft, stretchy, eco-friendly material. Unlike regular headphones, SleepPhones can be worn comfortably to bed, even if you sleep on your side, and they come preloaded with content designed to help you relax. They feature eight hours of built-in ASMR content by 16 different ASMR artists (or ASMRtists), including but not limited to tracks with rhythmic tapping and "peaceful Italian whisperings."

A close-up of the SleepPhones speaker technology
AcousticSheep

The speaker components of SleepPhones
AcousticSheep

Using SleepPhones is designed to be a stress-free experience. The speakers have the ability to play for 20 ad-free hours with a mere three-hour charging time in between. There are also zero cords involved, meaning you won’t get all tangled up as you lie down or if you have a tendency to toss and turn at night. The small button located in the back of the headband allows you to start, pause, or skip tracks and control the volume.

For people looking for ways to relax beyond yoga and meditation, ASMR may be the way to go. One study observed that subjects watching ASMR videos not only reported feeling that aforementioned pleasant tingling, but were also found to have reduced heart rates.

You can get a pair of your own SleepPhones on Kickstarter with a pledge of $75 or more. They come in three different sizes with seven colors from which to choose.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Make Shopping Easier With This Super-Light Reusable Bag

Nanobag 3.0
Nanobag 3.0

With the current state of our environment being what it is, it's vital to try to reuse, reduce, and recycle as much as possible. Every year, people consume billions of plastic bags, leading to tons of unnecessary waste. Many consumers have made the switch to reusable bags, but they're often not the sturdiest nor most attractive method of portage.

The Nanobag 3.0, which is now raising money on Kickstarter, claims to be a comfortable, easy-to-fold, high-quality bag that can reduce the number of single-use plastic bags needed per year. This super-soft sack can easily fit into the smallest of places, like the watch pocket in your jeans.

Putting a bag into the watch pocket of jeans
Nanobag 3.0

Weighing just 0.7 ounces, the Nanobag 3.0 is made of water- and dirt-repellant rip-stop fabric. You can carry about 66 pounds of goods in its 18-liter capacity, and the bag's reinforced handles work to distribute the weight evenly on your shoulder or arm. Attached to the bag is a small pouch that can carry keys or a small wallet, so you can have all your essentials in one place.

For each bag sold, one tree will be planted with the Eden Reforestation Projects, a non-profit organization that restores forests and reduces poverty in developing nations.

With over a month left in its campaign, the Nanobag 3.0 has already exceeded its goal of $3,831, raising over $73,000 as of June 17. By pledging $10 or more, you can get your own ultra-light and ultra-strong reusable bag on Kickstarter. Shipping is scheduled for December.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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