Your Holiday Shopping Guide 2016: Toys & Crafts


For your socially conscious Park Slope child

Superhero gear from the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

This year get your kid a present that teaches her about helping others, in more ways than one. The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. is part of 826NYC, the East Coast offshoot of Dave Eggers’s San Francisco nonprofit. Each year the organization provides tutors and workshops to help 2,300 New York students develop their writing skills. In the storefront you can get your little vigilante a one-of-a-kind handmade cape, a matching mask, gloves, and tights in a variety of colors, or even high-tech gear like a pair of invisibility detection goggles ($15). Better yet, make a day of it and take your superhero-in-training along with you to try out the “Capery,” complete with simulated winds to test how they’ll billow, or rid themselves of evil in the “Devillainizer.” If you can find it, take a peek behind the secret door behind which classes take place. — Heather Baysa

372 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn

For the kid with too many Legos

Snap Circuits

Made up of color-coded components that connect to form cool electronics like flying saucers and doorbells, Snap Circuits will keep children eight or older engaged for hours as they learn about electricity hands on. There’s a Snap Circuit set for everyone: Snap Circuits Sounds, for instance, includes units that connect to a smartphone and work with downloadable apps to analyze sound. Components can snap together to make a sound recorder that can play back at different speeds, as well as a voice changer. Snap Circuits 3-D Illumination projects include a multicolor light tunnel and a projector. Smaller “mini kits” go for $16.50-$26.95; larger ones will run you $60 or more. — Kate Pastor

For your peace-loving lover

Liberty United jewelry

If you detest jewelry ads that promise men, in effect, “give diamonds, get pussy,” yet still want to wow the object of your affection with a shiny object, forget about blood diamonds from mall marketers. Look instead to Liberty United, which makes gorgeous women’s, men’s, and unisex jewelry out of illegal guns and ammo they’ve taken off the streets, and remakes them into “powerful symbols of action that you wear every day and that fund programs to save a child’s life,” with 20 to 25 percent of profits going to fund programs for kids who are at high risk of becoming crime victims involving firearms. A double-strand white sapphire, mother-of-pearl, and recycled gunmetal necklace will run you $3,895; more affordable options include a $195 silver and recycled gunmetal pendant in the shape of a sword and ploughshare, complete with the serial number of the gun used to make it, or a set of Winchester 1873 rifle barrel cufflinks in gunmetal, rose gold, 14-karat gold, or rhodium for $125. — Jennifer L. Pozner

For the tiny person who is so over Oscar the Grouch

Flying Squirrel stuffed animals

Your youthful giftee has it all — repurposed wooden blocks, a ukulele starter pack, and whatever the heck Hatchimals are — so what’s a shopper to do? Head over to Greenpoint’s cutest kids’ store, Flying Squirrel, and immerse yourself in their seemingly infinite stock of cerebral, vibrant, and just plain weird playthings. Among these is a unique toy that you’ll find yourself both drawn to and maybe a little freaked out by: the Folkmanis Pack Rat Puppet ($30). From his bulging eyes — crazed over a slice of pizza, perhaps? — to his enthusiastic smile with bright white chompers, the Pack Rat has a certain je ne sais quoi. Outstretched and ready to seize the day (or the next piece of trash), his soft and fuzzy hands are easily moveable thanks to Pack Rat’s near-ginormous size. Let’s not forget his removable backpack — it actually says “Pack Rat” — which you can stuff with goodies for him (or his trusty companion) to nibble on during a playdate. And if your child friend wants another pest-like playmate, there’s the Pack Rat’s suburban friend, Raccoon in a Garbage Can Puppet. — Tatiana Craine

87 Oak Street, Brooklyn
(718) 218-7775

For your cool new roommate who’s also a little creepy

The Morbid Anatomy Taxidermy Kit

So Craigslist came through once again, and all things considered, your new roomie is pretty awesome, even if her witch house music and anatomical models kind of freak you out. Help your goth get settled with a housewarming gift to match her macabre sensibilities: the Morbid Anatomy Taxidermy Kit with Hand-Printed Canvas Roll ($50). The seven-piece set, which includes professional-grade scissors, pliers, tweezers, blades, and more, is the perfect tool kit to go along with one of Divya Anantharaman’s popular classes at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Gowanus, where students are encouraged to post their mice, squirrels, rabbits, and sparrows — all ethically sourced — in assorted poses (tiny top hats and monocles, two-headed hybrid creatures, etc.). — Heather Baysa

424 Third Avenue, Brooklyn
(347) 799-1017

For the geekiest sci-fi geek who ever geeked

‘Sci-Fi Block’ subscription

What’s better than one geeky surprise? A box bursting with at least half a dozen, of course. Subscriptions to the Sci-Fi Block ($19.99 a month, discounts for three months or more) provide a monthly delivery of T-shirts, bobbleheads, prop replicas, toys, and all manner of collectible memorabilia from your friend’s favorite science fiction TV shows, films, books, and comics sure to make them vibrate with glee… even if some of it makes you ask, “Uh, what was that from, again?” One month might offer a David Tennant Doctor Who figurine, an Iron Giant/The Sentinel mashup T-shirt, and a box set of MST3K DVDs; the next, a Chewbacca beer can cozy, an apron version of Venkman’s Ghostbusters uniform, a plush Gizmo doll, and a Star Trek lunch box. They’ll be as excited as those Stranger Things kids were about fighting the Demogorgon. — Jennifer L. Pozner