In all the Black Friday hysteria, you may have gotten a good deal on a flat-screen TV. But what about those gifts that elicit a truly delighted wow? Here, dozens of surprising, kooky, beautiful, and useful gifts, priced under $50 from our print gift guide, including the sparkliest backpack, a cheeky card holder, the most handsome lighter — plus giant googly eyes for, well, anyone.
Classy Lighter (above)
Green Tortoise Lighter by Tsubota Pearl
Tokyo brand Tsubota Pearl has been making lighters (and money clips, cigarette cases, and other stately objects) since 1952.
Beetlejuice crazy dance pin
Verameat made only 50 of these, so you’re unlikely to meet another superfan with Delia Deetz on her jean jacket.
Simone Wild Velvet Socks
From German designer Simone Wild: velvet jewel-toned stockinged feet.
Origami folding class
at Taro’s Origami Studio
Students start with swans and graduate to elephants and dogs.
FAO Schwarz Bluetooth Vintage Musical Microphone
at Bed, Bath & Beyond
Connects to devices’ Bluetooth, so they can sing along to their Raffi playlist.
The Sparkliest Backpack
Style.Labs Magic Sequin Backpack, Mermaid/Black
Bring fashion’s glitter takeover to school with this Style.Lab pack.
Air Jordan Coloring Book: Sneaker Adult Coloring Book
A coloring book featuring every Air Jordan sneaker from 1 to 23.
Jason Markk Round Laces
Polyester water- and stain-resistant laces perfect for your sneakerhead.
A Peek at an Abandoned Subway Station
City Hall station is gorgeous but abandoned. Take a friend on the ninth car on a downtown 6 and catch a glimpse.
Cheeky Card Holder
Danielle Wright Yum Cardholder
at Yo Vintage!
A not-so-serious Italian leather case to hold your tween’s first debit card.
A holographic cube that, when viewed through your phone’s camera, can transform almost anything into 3-D.
Disguised Nail Files
Bauhaus Matchbook Nail Files
Six teeny nail files secreted in a matchbook for the trying-to-reform biter.
Classic Comp Notebook
at Comp Design
With a modern update, thanks to a Mead-obsessed Pentagram designer.
Travel Buddy Chocolito
at The Gathered Store
The Mana’o Nani bear has hidden magnets and a unique name handwritten on a sticker.
Retro Hair Ties
Wood hair tie
at Saskia Diez
Beechwood bobble ponytail holders made in Munich by designer Saskia Diez.
OCD Wall Calendar
2018 Wall Planner
at Present & Correct
For the designophile, from Crispin Finn.
Full Spectrum Chalk
at Fredericks and Mae
Pretty pastels from our favorite grown-up toy company.
Fingerlings Baby Monkey, Zoe, Turquoise
Unlike a real monkey, this Fingerlings can coo, giggle, and blow you a kiss.
Baby Bouquet candle
at Aesa Jewelry
Mexico by way of New York.
at MoMA Design Store
Rosy foam sponges from Hay that’ll swim in your sink.
So you can lick your cat just like a mama grooms her young. No judgments here.
Chicken Parm in Yellow
at Katie Kimmel
For the post-normcore comfort-food fanatic.
ABC’s for Hypekids
Rap ABC Board Book
at Rap ABC
Who likely already know that B is for Biggie Smalls.
Hoffmann Adler Foulard
at Neue Galerie
Your mother’s new favorite, designed by Josef Hoffman.
Giant Googly Eyes
Decora 7 Inch Giant Googly Eyes
Seven-inch eyeballs that actor Wendi McLendon-Covey just so happens to put on the front of her microwave.
Brooklyn Beckham’s Book
What I See Hardcover by Brooklyn Beckham
Life through the World’s Most Popular Teen’s baby blues.
at The Brooklyn Strategist
For a slice of Floridian retirement right here in New York, mah-jongg lessons at the Brooklyn Strategist.
That no child will be able to pop, try as they will.
A Consultation at a Danish Hair-Loss Clinic
Harklinikken brought its hair-regrowth elixirs to New York this year.
Rihanna’s Red Lips
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint
Or an approximation of them, at least, via her new Red Stunna Lip Paint, which is said to last 12 hours.
‘Groundhog Day’ in Midtown
42nd and Vanderbilt
at TBW Books
Peter Funch’s photos of the same Grand Central commuters is a meditation on the daily grind.
Hudson Bay Mitt
Hudson’s Bay Company Oven Mitt
at Lord & Taylor
at UGUiSU Store
A pleated ecobag from Japanese brand Kna Plus.
GOLDA Hiba Sphere Soap
at Studio Cue LA
Made with an oil found only in 300-year-old aomori hiba trees.
Designed by Brooklyn-based artist Eric Elms.
Next-Level Peanut Butter
Spicy Thai Peanut Butter
at Eliot’s Adult Nut Butters
Artisanal and, of course, Portland-made, with Kaffir-lime leaves and lemongrass.
Eco Cargo Truck
Made with sawdust recycled from furniture factories.
Keep Going Tote Bag
at Everytown for Gun Safety
Add this canvas bag to your tote rotation to show support for Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety.
For the infrequent flower buyer, a metal slip that’ll turn water cups and pitchers into vases.
HooMore Jumbo Croissant Silly Squishies
A squishy foam baked good by HooMore for the post-fidget-spinner-er.
Build-Your-Own Roller Coaster
FAO Schwarz Roller Coaster Building Set
For the aspiring structural engineer: the thrill of Coney Island in your living room, in 753 ready-to-assemble pieces.
A Salt-Cave Session
A salt cave session
at Montauk Salt Cave
Forty-five minutes of restorative breathing in a cave built from 14 tons of pink Himalayan salt.
St. Agrestis New York Amaro
at Astor Wines
Digestif drinkers can finally buy local.
A Catchall Tray
A lacquered steel tray that practically begs to store your pencils and spare change.
Ghost Pepperoni, 6 oz
at Underground Meats
Heritage-pork salumi with a kick from a million-plus-Scoville-units chile.
Vintage Game Set
Wooden Boxed Vintage Inspired Game Set
Perfect for a weekend away, complete with a yo-yo, pickup sticks, and handsome wooden dice.
A ’60s Reissue
I Work Like a Gardener by Joan Miro
A new edition of the 1964 classic that delves into the artist’s philosophy.
Ralph Lauren Western Twill Cotton Coverall
For cowboys ages 0 to 24 months.
Low-Cost Peace of Mind
Eyes everywhere for a bargain.
A Slumpy Sloth
Jellycat Cyril Sloth Toy
A most-relaxed-looking fuzzy stuffed animal.
Jerry Garcia Socks
Cotton Tie Dye Socks
at Assembly New York
Game Boy Nostalgia
BittBoy FC Mini Handheld
The BittBoy mimics the hardware of the Nintendo classic but runs with 300 built-in games.
Green Tones Melody Glockenspiel with Mallets
Hohner’s been crafting instruments in Germany for 160 years. This one is made of mango wood.
Membership to the Tonya Harding Nancy Kerrigan Museum
THNK1994 Museum Membership
If the movie isn’t enough, there’s a museum dedicated to the most insane story in ice-skating, which started in the Crown Heights home of two comedians.
Courtney Love’s Favorite Toothpaste
Buly 1803 Opiat Dentaire Toothpaste
Giant Cone Planter
Giant Ice-Cream Cone Planter
at Third Drawer Down
A (14-inch, plastic) kid-friendly Group Partner alternative.
Instagrammable Poppy Seeds
Blue Poppy Flower Seeds
at Burlap & Barrel
From blue opium flowers grown in the Turkish city of Afyonkarahisar, which translates to “Poppy Black Fortress.”
A New Coat for a New Yorker
at New York Cares
As part of its annual drive, New York Cares partners with apparel vendors to donate brand-new coats.
Naruko Amazing Mask Set
Waggo Playful Pineapple Dog Toy
Best served frozen for teething dogs.
Worldly Peg Dolls
Ancient Cultures Wooden Dolls
at Goose Grease
Made of Bogotan Urapán wood, these palm-size figurines come dressed in the ancient garb of Egypt, Rome, India, and China.
Gradient Smoke Gunmetal Aviator Sunglasses
at Kenneth Cole
Classic aviators with perspective-shifting pink lenses.
*This article appears in the November 27, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.
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