Gear Diary’s 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

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Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal! Listen to this article

This year, we’ve gathered up a collection of toys that offer everything from something to snuggle, things to collect, items to ride, games to play, to kits that can teach STEM skills. Here are some of the coolest toys we’ve found, ready to light up someone special’s holidays! Welcome to our 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide!

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Zing’s Go Go Bird Butterfly

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Similar to Zing’s 2020 hit Go Go Bird, the $24.99 Go Go Bird Butterfly gives kids a never-before-seen flying experience: it looks and flies just like a magnificent Monarch butterfly but provides unique remote-control aerial play! The intuitive remote control allows the Go Go Bird Butterfly to soar up to 100 feet by controlling the speed and the flight direction. Not only is Go Go Bird Butterfly pretty cool, but it also teaches engineering and allows kids to understand the mechanics of how it’s made and how it’s played with.

Rollplay Nighthawk Storm

With the $139.99 Rollplay Nighthawk Storm, kids can twist, turn and soar up to 6.5 mph and have a thrilling ride they steer by leaning left and right! Start and stop pedals allow kids ages six and up and weighing up to 110 pounds to control the speed of the Nighthawk with ease. It took Kitty just a few minutes to learn how to maneuver around obstacles by steering this way, and she had so much fun! The Nighthawk Storm has a 12V 7AH battery that is easy to recharge and offers plenty of ride time.

Crystalina

Crystalina

The $12.99 Crystalina dolls inspire delight when kids find out that they can magically pass colorful light patterns back and forth from the four different types of Crystalina dolls to the wearable amulet necklaces. The doll and amulet have multi-color LEDs that change colors and patterns when shaken. The different light patterns have different meanings, reminding kids to be courageous and practice kindness.

Kids can share colors and special light patterns with their friends by bringing their dolls and amulets together, and there’s an included Mystic Moon display to keep the doll and amulet together for a special light show.

Zuru Smashers Epic Egg Series 4 Mega Light-Up Dino T-Rex

Kitty had so much fun smashing open the $32.99 Zuru Smashers Epic Egg Series 4 Mega Light-Up Dino T-Rex! Inside the egg, there are 25 surprises, and by following the clues, they’ll excavate and discover all of the parts they need to create their own T-Rex — complete with lights and dino sounds. They’re for kids ages four and up; she’s ten and thought it was pretty awesome!

KODAK Premium Puzzles

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Puzzles are something the whole family can enjoy, and KODAK Premium Puzzles give a glimpse into picturesque places all over the world. KODAK Premium Puzzles feature fully interlocking, unique-shaped pieces produced on European blue puzzle board; the finished puzzles have bright, sharp, and colorful imagery that all can enjoy once they are complete. Prices for the puzzles range from under $10 to around $60.

Tiny TV Classics

Imagine watching clips from your favorite television shows on a doll-sized TV complete with a remote; with the $26.48 Tiny TV Classics, you can! Tiny TV Classics are real-working TVs that feature the most famous scenes and quotes from top shows and movies, like South Park, Bob’s Burgers, Big Bang Theory, Back to the Future, Friends, Batman, and more.

Each Tiny TV comes with a remote that can turn the Tiny TV on, so you can sit back and enjoy channel surfing from scene to scene. They’re so cute and collectible!

Eco Lips Organic Candy Cane Lip Balm 3-Pack

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Chapped lips are no fun, but they are a winter fact of life. The $9.99 Eco Lips Organic Candy Cane Lip Balm 3-Pack is bursting with a deliciously sweet minty flavor, and it features invigorating peppermint which
leaves a tingling sensation and warming vanilla to comfort and soothe dry lips.

Eco Lips lip balms moisturize, nourish, and protect without using anything artificial; they include no fragrance, colorants, or petroleum. Best of all, they feature the first 100% plant material lip balm tube, Plant Pod, that fully functions as a regular tube and can be disposed of without guilt when the product is used up because they contain zero plastic elements, heavy metals, or polymers, including BPA and phthalates.

Nerf Fortnite Slurpfish Mini SuperSoaker

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Whether it’s for bathtub play or pool time, kids love Super Soaker water guns, and the $10.99 Fortnite SlurpfishMini SuperSoaker is sure to make them smile!

Jooki Favorites Bundle

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Jooki is the world’s first kids’ music and story player with Spotify music and audiobook streaming; using Jooki’s patented NFC-enabled ToyTouch Technology, kids use figurines or tokens to operate Jooki with no screens or parental supervision needed.

The $139.99 Jooki Favorites Bundle includes one Jooki music and stories player (with 5GB internal memory), two pre-programmed orange and blue tokens with songs, five figurines (including Wanda the blue whale, Mia the green dragon, Liam the orange fox, Dan the grey knight, and Alex the white ghost), a USB charging cable, and a USB-C charging cable.

Guided by Montessori education principles, the award-winning Jooki connects through WiFi and Bluetooth, helping parents empower their children to develop creativity and emotional awareness through their own access to a wide range of pre-selected songs, music, and stories.

Rainbocorns

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Rainbocorns are bursting with colors, sparkles, and magical surprises! Available in various sizes and priced from $9.99 to $60, every Rainbocorn hatches from its bright mystery egg and has a unique sparkly heart that reveals what that particular Rainbocorn loves. Each Rainbocorn package includes a cute stuffed unicorn-horned toy inside with lots of accessories for extended play.

For extra fun, kids can also enjoy Rainbocorns webisodes at ZURU’s online kids’ hub. Every other week, new two-to-three-minute episodes will bring the quirky, imaginative characters to life.

UWANTME Foam Dart Gun

 

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Boys and girls over three years of age will enjoy lots of active gameplay shooting the $28.99 UWANTME Foam Dart Gun! The package includes two brightly colored foam dart guns, 60 foam darts, and two wrist-reload packs that can carry extra foam darts.

Since there are two foam dart guns in the pack, there won’t be any squabbling on who gets to play first; kids will be able to practice their accuracy and carry our foam dart wars! The foam dart guns have east to reload 3-dart rotating drums so that kids will be up and running in no time. If you’d rather they target practice on something other than each other, there’s also a $23.10 UWANTME Electronic Shooting Target that has four targets and keeps score digitally!

Kinetic Sand Surprise

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Each $5.44 Kinetic Sand Surprise holds four ounces of Kinetic Sand, a mold, tools, and one mystery toy. The sand is oddly satisfying to play and create with — you fluff it up to get it flowing and compress it to make shapes. Unlike modeling clay, Kinetic Sand never dries out; it’s good clean fun that can be played with over and over. My grands love it!

Indian Motorcycle eFTR Mini

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Younger riders, aged eight and up, can get into the thrill of motorcycles with the $514.99 Indian Motorcycle eFTR Mini pulls design inspiration from Indian Motorcycle’s championship-winning race bike. The eFTR Mini is 20% smaller and 50% lighter than the eFTR Jr, and it features a high-quality, durable steel tube frame construction. The eFTR Mini’s 18.4-inch seat height accommodates shorter riders eight years and older in low mode and 13 and over in high mode.

Designed around Razor USA’s trusted and proven electric powertrain, the eFTR Mini’s 24-volt rechargeable battery runs up to 30 minutes and can reach up to 14 mph in high mode and 10 mph in low mode. The bike’s strong steel tube frame provides a solid foundation for beginning riders, while its rear brakes offer premium stopping power.

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential

If you gift the $29.99 Lenovo Smart Clock Essential, you’ll make it a lot easier for your giftee to get up for school! It’s the ultimate smart clock for any room with its big and bold display, and they use it can talk to Google to ask questions, play music, control smart home devices, and more.

The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential also features a built-in nightlight and a charging port on the back, so they’ll have a handy spot for charging another device.

Fairy Tales Hair Care Products

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Let your child take part in taking care of their own hair with Fairy Tales Hair Care Products! Fairy Tales products are affordable, salon-quality, natural, and made with good-for-you ingredients with no harsh chemicals. Parents can check out the ingredients of every product, and there are even tips on how to best use each product right on the site.

The $10.95 Tangle Tamer Travel Kit includes 3.3-ounce containers of Tangle Tamer Kids Detangling Shampoo, Tangle Tamer Kids Detangling Conditioner, and Tangle Tamer Static Free Kids Detangling Spray — everything your child needs to keep their hair smooth and tangle-free.

The $10.95 Curly-Q Travel Kit includes 3.3-ounce containers of Curly-Q Kids Shampoo, Curly-Q Kids Conditioner, and Curly-Q Kids Styling Spray Gel; ingredients include quinoa and murumuru butter to leave their hair soft and shiny.

5 Surprise Mini Brands

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Kitty just about lost her mind, saying “can I have it, can I have it?” when I showed her the 5 Surprise Mini Convenience Store! 😉

Kids absolutely love opening 5 Surprise Mini Brands and seeing what’s inside; whether it’s mini versions of products that they usually see in full-size or miniaturized toys, each 5 Surprise starts as a ball that opens to reveal five sealed segments; inside each segment, there is a selection of five from hundreds of little toys and other items!

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Depending upon which type of set you get, your kids will be able to find and collect items such as sequin sparkles, sticky slime suckers, miniatures of popular brand items, gross monsters, transforming creatures, funky stationery, cute pets, and super rare surprises like LED watches! You can get 5 Surprises in sets of two, starting at about $12, and there are many different types to choose from.

If your kid has been collecting 5 Surprise Mini Brands for a while, they’ll love the $14.99 5 Surprise Mini Convenience Store or $17.98 Mini Toy Store playsets that give them a place to display and play with all of their little treasures.

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Brand new this December 26th and exclusive to Walmart, keep an eye out for the $9.99 5 Surprise Mini Fashions! Series 1 will feature over two dozen intricately detailed (and fully functional!) handbags and clutch purses made with soft fabrics, fine-stitching, and working compartments, along with stylish fashion accessories like sunglasses and jewelry to collect.

From metallic bags for a night on the town to everyday purses, there are 25 real fabric fashion bags, including two rare bags, and accessories to find. Budding fashionistas are going to love these!

Miko 3

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Delight your child with their own Miko 3 this year for the holidays! Adorable and Intelligent, the Miko 3 is designed to teach kids aged 5 to 10 STEAM topics. Launched just last month, the $199 Miko 3 is an emotionally intelligent, AI robot made just for kids.

Available in Pixie Blue and Martian Red, Miko 3 has its own personality, and it’s constantly exploring for fun while prompting kids to play and encouraging them to learn.

Miko 3 gets updated with new games and content every month, but with a Miko Max subscription ($49.99 for 3 months or $99 for one year), your child will get more than 50,000 hours of learning content with more than 1,000 STEAM experiences, including games, puzzles, TV shows, coding lessons, yoga, and more. Miko Max premium content partners include Lingokids, Da Vinci Kids, Cosmic Kids, KidloLand, Tiny Tusks, Oxford University Press, and Out of this Word.

Miko 3 is also multilingual; it can interact, tell stories and play games in 8 languages from around the world. Choose from English, Spanish (Europe), Spanish (Latin America), Chinese. Italian, German, French, and Arabic. Your child can converse with Miko 3 in their own language or even learn a new one!

With the Miko mobile app, parents can keep track of their child’s progress, make video calls to the child, and install premium content through Miko Max subscription.

Miko 3 will keep kids on their toes as they learn and are entertained, with new content and capabilities automatically added every month. Playing with Miko 3 is an ever-evolving experience, so it’s not something your kids will get tired of playing with!

CORNER CRUSH Game

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Kids 7+ will love CORNER CRUSH, a $19.99 game where they can go head-to-head or play in teams — dropping tokens into the rotating tower, playing around the corners to score four in a row to win. CORNER CRUSH is a game of memory and strategy with a twist.

TBH Kids Products

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Help your tweens learn about better grooming and self-care with personal body products by TBH. The company’s products are made with good-for-you ingredients free of harsh chemicals, parabens, sulfates, and phthalates while also being soy, dairy, nut, and gluten free.

The $7.95 TBH Kid’s Deodorant is made of a blend of charcoal, arrowroot powder, coconut oil, sodium bicarbonate, and witch hazel to help neutralize odors and absorb wetness without harsh chemicals, parabens, and phthalates; it is also aluminum-free.

The $7.95 TBH Kids Pimple Patches are made with naturally-derived ingredients, including tea tree oil, willow bark, grapeseed oil, volcanic ash, and hyaluronic acid that are good for their skin and will help clear up bumps and redness when worn. The cutely-shaped pimple patches help keep kids from picking at their spots; they’re made from a special material that acts as a barrier to lock out air while sealing in the active ingredients that deliver powerful natural acne-fighting ingredients directly to the skin.

A Kid’s Book About

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Kids love to read engaging, relevant, and easy to understand books. Aimed at kids between the ages of five and nine, the A Kids Book About series tackles tough to talk about things like death, empathy, anxiety, bullying, money, sexual abuse, and cancer — along with other topics like creativity, adventure, technology, and so many other issues that aren’t always easy to open a discussion about — but kids are curious about them, and they want to understand.

The Kids Book About series are written by a diverse group of authors who are uniquely positioned and deeply knowledgeable; the books have eye-catching illustrations that engage their readers and help them understand the subjects, and some of the books encourage children to draw or write inside, like the A Kid’s Book About Emotions that Kitty is holding.

You can buy each book for $19.95, or you can opt for a subscription plan where books are delivered to your child every one, two, or three months. You can choose the one-book plan at $16.95, the two-book plan for $29.95, or the three-book plan for $39.95; each month, your kids will receive a book that they will want to discuss with you — either while you are reading it to them or after they read it themselves.

My grands love reading these books, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop in Phantom Blue

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Is your child ready for a gaming computer? Maybe it’s time to blow their mind with a Lenovo Legion 5 17″ Gaming Laptop in Phantom Blue! This $1559.99 laptop boasts 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, an AMD Ryzen 5800H 3.2Ghz processor, an AMD Ryzen RTX 3060 GPU, and a 17.3″ FHD IPS, 144Hz display.

This fast and responsive gaming computer is kept cool due to the Legion Coldfront 3.0 system, and they’ll have no problem blasting away their opponents with the fabulous Legion TrueStrike keyboard. Intrigued? Trust me; your favorite gamer will be, too!

You can get build a gaming system just like the one we are giving away at the end of this holiday gift guide directly from Lenovo.

Avalanche!

Perfect for a single player or two, with the $19.99 Avalanche! game, your kids will blast their way through a towering wall of snow and ice by pointing their tethered blaster at the mountain and pulling and releasing the rapid-fire spring launcher as quickly as they can. They’ll have to aim straight and shoot fast, and there are three ways to play. Blast the ice blocks, and win!

FGTeeV Season 3

The $9.27 FGTeeV Season 3 playset is based on the FGTeeV & FV Family YouTube channels with over 25 billion views to date. The Controller Pack that you see here is loaded with surprises, including a collectible mystery figure, Micro Stax figure, putty, and vinyl stickers.

The toy line is based on the FGTeeV family, including Duddy, the kids, and their cast of animated characters, including FUNnel Boy, Derpy Bacon, Gurkey Turkey, and many more featured in their animated series. Kids will love unboxing and playing with it!

X-Shot Omega Royale Foam Dart Blaster

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

The $29.97 X-Shot Omega Royale Foam Dart Blaster is pretty much the most intimidating foam blaster that I’ve ever seen, but that didn’t keep Kitty from taking one look at it and saying, “MINE.” With it, she’ll be able to take out her sisters with the single-shot function from up to 90′ away. When they come after her with their own foam dart guns, she’ll be able to unleash the 30-dart belt (!) with Slam-Fire, releasing an inferno of flying darts! Yikes! The set includes 98 foam darts, and it is intended for kids ages eight and up.

L.O.L. Surprise

Camie, my youngest grand, absolutely loves L.O.L.Surprise toys and dolls; she has a ridiculous collection, and nothing makes her happier than adding to it. Each toy is packed with surprises that aren’t revealed until opening, and there is something for every budget. The $9.49 L.O.L. Color Change Surprise ball comes with seven surprises inside, including a mini-doll and six other accessories; both the doll and the ball change colors when they get wet.

The $17.69 L.O.L. B.T.W. Tween fashion doll comes with a 6″ fashion doll and 14  more surprises that include clothes, shoes, accessories, a hatbox, a hairbrush, a garment bag, a sticker, a hanger, a doll stand, and a reusable package playset. She’s going to love it!

Exploding Minions

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

At $13.99, Exploding Minions is the Minions version of the popular Exploding Kittens game. Exploding Minions offers fast gameplay in a quick-to-learn format, and it will provide hours of fun for the whole family (7+) — perfect for nights at home or when kids say they’re bored and making them pick up rocks isn’t an option. All it takes to play is two, but as many as five can join in the fun.

Toilet Ninjas

My best friend says that I have a 5th-grade boy’s sense of humor, which is probably why I laughed aloud when I saw what the $10.67 Toilet Ninjas actually were! Sure, they’re for kids ages 3+, but I know plenty of adults who would snicker when they saw one of these sitting on their desk. There are four characters to collect, including Reeko, T.P, Latrine, and John; if you are lucky, you’ll get the Red Dragon …

Ada Twist, Scientist On-The-Go Lab

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

The $44.44 Ada Twist, Scientist On-The-Go Lab is inspired by the Ada Twist, Scientist show on Netflix; with it, kids ages 3+ can have their own portable lab that opens to reveal everything that they might need to conduct their own experiments on the go, including the tolling lab case with telescoping handle, goggles, a beaker, a flask, three test tubes, a removable ruler, a working scale, an eyedropper, a funnel, a double-sided measuring spoon, six experiment cards, and three sticker sheets.

Help your younglings learn about the scientific method as they put on their goggles, read the rule cards to see which of the included tools and additional simple ingredients from home are needed, and jump right into conducting their own scientific experiments as they record their findings on the notepad. The kit can be personalized with the included science-themed stickers, and it looks just like the one that Ada uses on the popular preschool show!

Pixicade Plus Mobile Game Maker

 

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Kids like drawing, playing video games, and solving puzzles, and they can do all three with the $27.99 Pixicade Plus Mobile Game Maker, plus they get the bonus of seeing their creations come to life!

With it, kids can draw a picture of an idea for a video game using colored markers and real paper. Then, using the Pixicade app available for iOS and Android, all they need to do is to snap a pic of the piece of paper! From there, the image is brought to life as an actual video game that can be played on a phone or tablet! The app only requires a camera and an internet connection.

Re-Softables Plush Toys

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Each 14″ tall Re-Softables plush toy costs $19.99, and it is made from eleven 100% recycled bottles; the result is one of the softest, most huggable toys ever! If your child likes to have a special plush friend to hug and sleep with, they will absolutely love receiving one.

Lenovo Go Wireless Multi-Device Mouse

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

Designed to be the only mouse you need, the $59.99 Lenovo Go Wireless Multi-Device Mouse can be paired with up to three devices and effortlessly cycle between them with a push of a button. Beyond its multi-tasking capabilities, this productivity powerhouse can be used on nearly any surface and rarely runs out of battery, thanks to its blue optical sensor and wireless Qi or wired USB-C fast-chargeable battery. Your favorite student is going to really appreciate this!

Angel High

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

The $9.99 Angel High series has six mini-dolls to collect; each comes with ten surprises to unbox, color-changing hair, accessories that your child can wear, and lots of fun for a reasonable price. Kids love opening these toys that contain multiple layers of surprises, and if they’re lucky, they’ll open one that includes the rare golden wings.

Snap Ships Sabre X-23 Interceptor Kit

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

The $7.49 Snap Ships Sabre X-23 Interceptor kit includes easy-to-follow instructions for three different builds to get your kid started, and they can use their imagination to build even more. The Sabre X-23 Interceptor has actual shooting launchers, a cockpit that fits the pilot figure, a mysterious piece of UJU tech that gives the ship extra power and is ready for imaginative play.

Snap Ships kits parts are interchangeable, so your child can build anything they want if you have multiple sets!

Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

The $4.79 Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils set includes 12 colored pencils that never need sharpening — you just twist up when you need more material to color with and twist down when you want to protect the color core. Safe for kids ages 3+ and non-toxic, the clear plastic casing protects the color core and displays how much color is left without the pencil size changing, so even the most-used color is always easy to hold.

Perfect for coloring books and travel, there’s no need to remember to bring a pencil sharpener!

Cats vs. Pickles Mystery Bags

Inside each $6.99 Cats vs. Pickles Mystery Bag is a 4″ bean-filled plushy. “Cats are scared of pickles, but pickles just want love.” Welcome to the world of Cats vs. Pickles, where lovable but misunderstood pickles are in hopeless pursuit of colorful cats. A cat or a pickle, which one will you get? You won’t know until you open one, but they are all so cute.

Beat That – The Bonkers Battle of Wacky Challenges

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

What in the world is Beat That? Well, this $24.99 is an exciting card game for families to play together. The aim is to collect as many points as possible by betting on your ability to successfully complete a series of ridiculous challenges using an assortment of seemingly random objects.

There are 160 challenges included, and you can bet on your skills with solo challenges, battle royales, buddy ups, and duels. You win by betting on your ability to complete a series of ridiculous dexterity-based challenges successfully. It takes just seconds to learn how to play, and there are enough challenges for hours and hours of fun. Two to eight players can take part, and it’s for ages 9+.

•••••

If you are looking for more gifts for your favorite grown-ups, be sure to check out our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide!

Gear Diary's 2021 Holiday Toy Gift Guide: Way Better Than Any Lump of Coal!

 

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.