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

11 Novelty Socks That Make Perfect Stocking Stuffers

Good Luck Sock/OoohYeah/Amazon
Good Luck Sock/OoohYeah/Amazon

There’s no reason socks should elicit groans when they’re given as gifts for the holidays. If you know where to look, you can find ones that reflect the tastes and personality of the person you’re shopping for. In addition to being a form of self-expression, they're also practical. Chances are that nearly all of the loved ones on your list could use an extra set. We pulled together a group of fun and colorful novelty socks that are perfect for Star Wars fans, Disney villain lovers, hikers, and everyone in between.

1. Injinji Toe Socks; $12

Toe socks
Injinji / Amazon

Toe socks are more than funky-looking footwear. They also reduce blisters, wick sweat, and align the foot in a way that’s more natural than conventional socks. That’s why Injinji chose the style for its running socks. They’re great for working out, or just lounging around the house and feeling comfortable.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Seirus Heatwave Socks; $30

Heatwave socks.
Seirus Innovation / Amazon

When hiking in the dead of winter, even the thickest wool socks aren’t always enough to keep your toes warm. Seirus’s Heatwave socks use a high-tech design to trap the heat from your foot inside your shoes. The “kinetic heat return system” converts the energy you generate into heat that gets reflected back onto your body. They’re knit from a blend of spandex and polyester, so they can stretch to maximize the insulation of any size shoe.

Buy It: Amazon

3. Star Wars Starry Night Socks; $39

Star Wars Starry Night socks.
Amazon

This five-pack of socks reimagines your favorite Star Wars characters in a post-impressionist art style. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Yoda, a Stormtrooper, and R2-D2 along with C-3PO are all represented against a swirling background reminiscent of Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Buy It: Amazon

4. Studio Ghibli Socks; $12

Studio Ghibli socks.
Amazon

If you know a Studio Ghibli fan that can’t pick a favorite movie, this sock pack is for them. Each pair in the set of four features characters from a different movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki, including Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and My Neighbor Totoro.

Buy It: Amazon

5. Christmas Sweater Dinosaur Socks; $10

Dinosaur socks.
Amazon

If you don’t think the person you’re shopping for would commit to wearing a full ugly Christmas sweater, buy them these socks. The festive apparel features dinosaurs like T. rex and Stegosaurus sporting knitwear for the holidays.

Buy It: Amazon

6. Takeout Sushi Socks; $20

Sushi socks in a box.
Amazon

The creative presentation of these socks makes them a great gift for the holidays. They come rolled like sushi and nigiri and are packaged in a classic plastic takeout box—fake green grass included. When they’re unraveled, the socks show off the patterns and color palettes of the sushi pieces.

Buy It: Amazon

7. Bob Ross Socks; $12

Bob Ross socks.
Amazon

Bob Ross’s “happy little accidents” saying originally referred to his painting, but it also makes for a sensible life philosophy. With these socks, wearers can carry the mantra—along with the artist’s glorious perm—on their feet wherever they go.

Buy It: Amazon

8. Stranger Things Socks; $7

Stranger Things socks.
Hot Topic

The striped design of these crew socks already makes them feel like they’re ripped right from the 1980s. The Stranger Things logo and the silhouette of Mike and Eleven on a bike, à la E.T., perfectly complements the retro style.

Buy It: Hot Topic

9. Smartwool Socks; $22

Smartwool socks.
Smartwool

All of the socks from Smartwool are made from Merino wool—a material that keeps feet dry, warm, and odor-free without compromising softness. Their socks are perfect for outdoors as well as staying comfortable in your day-to-day life. If you know the person you’re shopping for well enough, you can fill out a quick survey with their preferences for length, thickness, and outdoor activities to find the best socks for them.

Buy It: Smartwool

10. Disney Villain Socks; $15

Disney villain socks.
Hot Topic

This is the gift for your one friend who shrugs off the classic Disney heroes and instead embraces the company's villainous side. These socks feature the faces of classic evildoers like Ursula, Cruella de Vil, and Maleficent, along with each villain’s catchphrase. Five pairs are included in a pack.

Buy It: Hot Topic

11. Dreidel Dog Socks; $8

Dreidel dog socks.
Amazon

Celebrate this Hanukkah by giving the gift of cuteness. These socks, featuring a delightful combination of puppies and dreidels, come in blue or black.

Buy It: Amazon

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!

What’s Better Than a Dog in a Sweater? A Sweater That Shows an Image of Your Dog in a Sweater

Sweater Hound
Sweater Hound

If you think the sight of someone walking their sweater-clad dog is just about the cutest thing in the world, you’re absolutely correct. But what if that person was wearing a sweater that showed an image of their dog wearing a sweater? If you think that sounds even cuter, you’re in for a treat.

According to People, New York-based apparel company Sweater Hound will knit you a sweater that displays an image of your dog in a sweater—all you have to do is submit your favorite photo of your dog. And, because not all dogs love wearing sweaters in real life, your dog doesn’t have to be wearing a sweater in the photo you upload.

Each sweater is made from a combination of acrylic and recycled cotton, and will prove to your pet that you truly do love them more than anyone else (unless you already own sweaters emblazoned with the faces of your friends and family).

The sweaters, which cost $98 each, come in both child and adult sizes, and you can choose between cream, navy, black, and gray. The options don’t stop there—Sweater Hound offers sweaters that show your dog wearing just a bow tie, a bow tie and a sweater, a Santa hat and scarf, reindeer ears and a sweater, or even a “Super Dog” cape and domino mask outfit.

sweater hound dog wearing a bow tie on a sweater
Sweater Hound

If sweaters aren’t really your style, there are also hoodies and sweatpants decorated with a smaller, logo-sized image of your dog. Or, you could snuggle with your prized pooch underneath a warm blanket bearing a rather giant image of said pooch.

blanket with an image of a dog wearing a bow tie and sweater
Sweater Hound

While the company does specialize in creating dog-related products, they’ll do their best to accommodate people who love salamanders in Santa hats, birds in bow ties, and other pets wearing clothes. You can email them at Hello@Sweaterhound.com to discuss your options.

If you’re hoping to get someone a gift from Sweater Hound this holiday season, you should act fast: You have to place your order by December 4 in order to guarantee delivery before Christmas, and that date will likely change as the days go by.

Adorable, customizable clothing is just one of the many perks of being a dog owner—here are 10 more scientifically proven benefits.

[h/t People]

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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