After Hours

Last-minute geeky gifts to avoid

Geek Gifts to Avoid: Prank Gift Boxes

Pranks are always a fun time, at least for the prankster. These Prank Gift Boxes should allow you to get a good laugh even from the recipient, but they're really only usable once or twice. Also, for $15 for two empty boxes from ThinkGeek or $8 apiece/$20 for three according to this CNN article, it's not a cheap prank -- especially considering what you get for the prank.

Image courtesy ThinkGeek.

37 comments
nkfro
nkfro

My company must have been using this for years, judging by the soapy tasting coffee! ;)

lucien86
lucien86

There are so many things that could go on this list and I feel sometimes that I've brought half of them. Among the worst though has to be the cheaper end of remote control thingies - cars, tanks, robots, and yes particularly helicopters. Because I was into helicopters a few years ago I brought some of the first indoor flying toy models. - For a few moments they're great but my place is cursed with drafts and very soon after a few crashes they don't fly so well. Very often they don't die by crashing but because the electronics burn out, a third set fail because their signals interfere with other IR controlled electronics. I can't think of a toy with a shorter average lifespan - and I know that I'm far from the only one with this experience. Fortunately for me I have a few uses for the old broken ones but I bet most end up straight in the bin (trash). : )

P.F. Bruns
P.F. Bruns

If your lack of interest is waning, then technically, your interest in something is increasing. ;)

t.rohner
t.rohner

The only problem, you don't see it, if your belly hangs over it... ;-)

tmcclure
tmcclure

This was a great gag! Also got one for my son who works on Navy ships. Try finding one there.

pgit
pgit

I had posted first to this article a day or so back, now I see my post and a reply to it have been deleted. This 'new' forum software STINKS. Why bother posting if you risk randomly being wiped off the map?

rjohns99
rjohns99

I have to disagree regarding the duct tape wallets. I got my 13 year old son 2 of them for his birthday last March (at his request) and he loves them --- one designed after Perry the Platypus, the other after Bizzarro (anti-Superman). They are novel, functional and are a popular fad at his school. They are also surprisingly durable.

t.rohner
t.rohner

USB specification gives you 500mA max @ 5V. That makes 2.5W. But at the same time, you loose multiple times of that to ambient. Without a proper insulation of the coffee cup, you can only slow down the cooling of your coffee a little bit.

darrell_eubanks
darrell_eubanks

I have a friend with one of these - he has hearing aids in both ears that prevent him from using most BT headsets, and he can't hear his iPhone well without this.

zxrcam
zxrcam

We used the annoyatron on a work colleague and kept the gag running for months. You just need to know how to execute the prank. It was worth every cent spent.

FormerDomin8or
FormerDomin8or

You either did very little research, or this is a poorly-disguised attempt to put ThinkGeek out of business. Seriously, everything they sell is useless crap-that's the point of the site! Their stuff is for people with a very specific sense of humor, which it's probably not good that I have because I end up wasting money on crap like this stuff you listed... :D

paulfx1
paulfx1

All holiday commercialization. Just say no to consumption! It is the thought that counts. None of us needs more useless crap. Happy Holidays to all.

fergusfog
fergusfog

You don't like the idea of having something in the bath that's powered by 2 AAA batteries? I'm not sure they're the latent household danger you think... You sound like my mother. :-)

manish_grover
manish_grover

Agreed with most items on the list. But I think the USB cup warmer is great and could be an exception. I have a problem every single day when my coffee goes cold as I am working. I'd love to avoid a trip back to the microwave. And don't fall into the trap of suggesting alternatives to human behavior. I love my cup and that's what I want my coffee in :-)

Tink!
Tink!

Most of these gifts appear to be more toys than useful tools. The Swiss Army Knife could be workable if you could pull it apart in sections. Thus making several smaller knives which can be used for their prospective tools. Until they invent a holographic or laser projected keyboard that responds flawlessly (like in the movies...lol) I'm not going that direction. iDuck...lol. I think the iDog, iCat and iPenguin are all much cuter and keep interest longer.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

What you looking at, Geek? It really should say "I'm with stupid", then show an arrow up.

k.bertrand
k.bertrand

"I can't see using it for its intended purpose." Oh! There's so many images that come to mind.

k.bertrand
k.bertrand

I'ld love to see the expression on the face of the TSA agent as this passes through the X-ray screening machine.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

finding an Annoyatron is the least of your worries. There are some spaces, you've got all you can do to find your way out!

nkfro
nkfro

That's a 'risk' you take if yuou're trying to be 'funny....

mamacat
mamacat

I WANT ONE!!!!! I still have 2 60's vintage wall phones in my house. Why? First, they work when the power goes out. Second, I can actually hold the thing on my shoulder and work with both hands free. (Sorry, telcos will be stuck with 8x8000 sampling until I'm dead...lol) I have at least one, if not two non-geek friends who could use one of these, too.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

MANY YEARS ago, we built something like this - on top, it said "I.P.D. - Directions on bottom." We left it sitting on the table. It contained something like the annoyatron and a tilt switch. On the bottom, it said: "Idiot Proximity Detector. Congratulations. You have been detected."

kylehutson
kylehutson

Actually, it wasn't me, it was a friend who used the Annoyatron on her office-mate. She pretended not to hear it and got the rest of the office in on the joke. Made the guy think he was losing his mind. Lasted nearly a week.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

Items such as this one - http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/bags/bfc0/ - are extremely useful. There aren't many of them, but there are enough to more than justify ThinkGeek's existence as geek support. Besides, nobody else has such a great collection of t-shirts. If only I could wear them at work...

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

Get one that plugs into the wall. Lo-tech. It works great. It makes the coffee TOO hot if you leave it too long.

nwallette
nwallette

Heating and cooling take a lot of energy. Far more than 5v @ 500mA, I'm afraid. If anyone has had any success with one of these, I'd love to hear about it. But I'm not holding my room-temperature breath.

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

comes to mind, glowing paper hanging from the tree branches. Sadly Think Geek says they are out of stock, dang.

nwallette
nwallette

A coworker of mine got 'Tron'd. He started keeping a log of the time when it beeped to try and correlate it to other events. Awesome. I was beginning to wonder if I would come in some day to hear about him being carried away in a van to "get some rest".

mamacat
mamacat

About the bag on the link - pass the drool towel. Mine does not have nearly enough small pockets. I'm with you on the t-shirts...but every once in a while I do wear one to work!

nwallette
nwallette

I know several geeks, and at least before many of them became fellow customers, ThinkGeek used to be a great source for birthday and Christmas gifts. But too often, the idea is way better than the product, or the joke just doesn't last (as pointed out by the article), or the stuff that's worth buying is too expensive to justify. So now, in early December, I browse, chuckle, then try to find something that won't fall apart out of the packaging, and will still be used in 3 months, and didn't cost >$200. T-shirts are cool though.

mamacat
mamacat

Stupidly did not consider the physics. I bought a bunch of the combo warmer/usb hub, with resale in mind. I find it only works with a cup that has a completely flat bottom (which is rare), and then not very well. It may hold onto a few more calories if a metal cup is used. It did slow down the cooling, but did not keep the coffee piping hot.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

It's still in the package. Since I know the physics, I never even tried to use it.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Something about rolling Ballmer's home... I guess it's a big house.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

When corporate replaced my full-size laptop with a netbook, I no longer needed the full-size bag. All my cables, external drives, media (optical AND magnetic), and docs fit into this thing, and it takes up less than half the space. The only time I get a chance to wear a t-shirt to work is on a weekend call-out. M-F it's geek formal: khakis and polo shirts.