Tech toys that impress

Nov 16, 2016 at 1:00 am

For the ‘Star Wars’ fan of any age: The Sphero BB-8 app-enabled droid. BB-8 comes by itself (around $140) or with a wristwatch controller ($200) that has five settings (weapons training mode to Jedi force droid control) and connects to the droid and your smartphone. Available at Target, Best Buy, etc.

Nostalgia Entertainment System: The $60 NES Classic Edition console comes preloaded with 30 NES games and one controller. (A second controller is $10). Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3, the Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Metroid are some of the preloaded titles. Availability is limited at big-box electronic stores and resale shops like Get Your Game On. The NES Classic Edition is probably the best value in the gaming gift segment, given most current generation games cost about $60 to $100. There are some games worth committing $60 or more to, like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Forza Horizon 3, and the BioShock Collection.

Flex your head: VR headsets are now available for every interest level and price range — from the Samsung VR headset ($100) to the Merge VR headset ($60) for use with your smartphone, to the PlayStation VR ($399) or Oculus Rift ($599). They can be found at such stores as Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and GameStop.

Staying on track
: A fitness tracker could be that simple, inexpensive way to delight the fitness buff. These accessories range from the $80 Fitbit Flex to the $250 Fitbit Surge — and replacement bands run from $15 to a $250 “high fashion” band. Polar has a similar range of watches, bands, and accessories, but Garmin has even introduced fitness watches with GPS capabilities. Find them at Dunham’s, Dick’s, REI, or along with the others at most electronic stores.

: A portable speaker is a nifty last-minute gift idea. While most retail stores offer a wide selection from niche or popularly themed speakers, best are the Bose Soundlink Color II ($130) or the Beats Pill+ ($230) for midrange speakers. Both can be found at Best Buy or at online retailers like Amazon.

Light show: The Misfit Bolt Smart LED light ($50) is the gift for that person you figure has it all. The light bulb has Bluetooth compatibility to control brightness and color. It connects to your phone or tablet with the Misfit Home mobile app where you can customize the bulb to throw one of over a million colors. Find it at Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowe’s.