The Best Toys For Grown-Ups

Tom Robbins said that it's never too late to have a happy childhood. Contributing Editor CYNTHIA KLING couldn't agree more, and ventured out to find the gifts that we all wanted—but never got—when we were kids.

  • Batter Up

    Batter Up

    The Lemon Ball is a piece of our national pastime. Handmade in Cooperstown, New York (home of the Baseball Hall of Fame) from aromatic leather, it gets more beautiful the more you hit it around the neighborhood. Stickball anyone? Various Stores, from $38

  • Falling Water for All

    Falling Water for All

    With this beautiful Lego set, you can build one of the most famous houses in America—and get right into Wright's mind as he was making his magnificent design decisions. Various Stores, from $89.99

  • Takes a Punch

    Takes a Punch

    Put this La Cie USB drive—a real toughie, which resists heat, cold, bangs and water—on your key chain and you'll always have the data you need, whatever scrapes
    you get into. LaCie, $39.99

  • Cross That Wine Dark Sea

    Cross That Wine Dark Sea

    It's not too late. This beautiful graphic version of the Odyssey is gorgeously enthralling for kids and adults. Amazon, $11.31

  • Truth in Travel

    Truth in Travel

    The Polaroid Z2300 lets you take digital photos and prints at the same time. Snap away in Mexico and you can take one home and hand another right over to the basket weaver, rather than promising you will stick it in the mail. But buy the black one so it doesn't get schmutz on it. Various Stores, from $159.99

  • Falsies


    Cheeky, great colors and really useful— especially if you've told some whoppers that you need to remember. Terrain, $14

  • Supremely Beautiful Doodles

    Supremely Beautiful Doodles

    These German watercolor pencils have been used by everyone from Vincent Van Gogh to Karl Lagerfeld. The largest box is so beautiful it looks like an art installation, but there are smaller ones too. Faber Castell, $607 for 120 count

  • Abracadabra


    The ropes escape, linking rings, an illusion box with a false floor—this set contains more than 300 classic tricks. (There's a reason it's endorsed by the
    International Brotherhood of Magicians.) Hammacher Schlemmer, $49.95

  • DIY-ers Delight

    DIY-ers Delight

    The world's first motion-activated screwdriver is one of Time magazine's 2012 innovations of the year because it makes a boring job so simple by anticipating your direction and speed.The Home Depot, $39.97

  • Speed Demon

    Speed Demon

    This one is the classic toboggan. Handmade it Vermont, it glides like the wind. Mountain Boy Sledworks, from $199

  • No Loss For Words

    No Loss For Words

    Got the itch to do a little old-fashioned letterpress? These typewriter-style numbers and letters are 1/4 inch high and neatly organized in a lovely wooden box. Terrain, $20

  • Spin Your Wheel

    Spin Your Wheel

    Practice your balance and jumps on a uni as you ride through the woods on a winter day. Don't forget a helmet! Unicycle, $320

Stocking Stuffers
  • Secure Your Lunch

    Secure Your Lunch

    Want to freak out the guy who steals your BLT? These will do the trick. Perpetual Kid, 24 bags for $6.99

  • Get Smart

    Get Smart

    Want to give someone a bigger brain? According to scientists, juggling is one way to get it. And it's fun to learn. Dube, $7.95 each

  • Avoid That Sinking Feeling

    Avoid That Sinking Feeling

    Ha! The Titanic Ice Cube Tray comes with four ocean liners and four icebergs. Various Stores, from $4.25

  • Cold Call

    Cold Call

    This iPhone fan will keep you cool while you're chatting. Amazon Marketplace, from $1.52

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