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Holiday Gift Guide 2017: For Fans of the Singularity

Let’s say you know someone who is all gung-ho about welcoming our new robot overlords. Maybe that worries you, because you’re not so psyched for the singularity, and you prefer your dystopia to be laden with zombies or genetic engineering or something of that ilk. Still, you don’t want to discourage your friend, coworker, neighbor, stepdad, or UPS deliveryperson from engaging with their passions, and you may even want to push them along the path of robot fandom. Lucky for you, we have some ideas of what you can get them this holiday season.

If you didn’t want your very own BB-8 by the time the Force Awakens credits rolled, can you even call yourself a human being? (It’s okay if you can’t. We’re talking robots here, after all.) The Sphero toy is app-enabled so your kid/niece/nephew/cousin can control it from their phone. Enjoy the pleasures of BB-8 chasing cats around the living room or simply runnning into the same table leg over and over and over, making confused noises all the while. This little friend will run you $149.99, but some would say it’s well worth the cash for the pet reactions alone.

The middle portion of the Venn diagram of robot fans and bookworms is full to bursting, so why not get the voracious reader in your life a T-shirt proclaiming their love for both classic literature and androids? This Out of Print shirt featuring the Latvian cover art of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot is soft, cozy, and a little creepy, as all the best T-shirts should be. Pick one up for $28.

Who better to watch over your office antics than Bernard Lowe, the head of Delos’ Westworld Programming and (spoiler) an actual android? Funko’s never let us down in the robot department (my Fallout 4 Codsworth is staring at me as I write this), but they rarely look this humanoid… and this adorable. Some people’s faces just translate better to Pop! than others, and Jeffrey Wright is one of those people. Get his Pop! here for $9.99.

The WALL-E LEGO Ideas set is officially retired, but everyone’s favorite trash-compacting buddy is still readily available on other internet outlets. Among the Ideas line, WALL-E is one of the most expertly designed sets, and certainly the cutest, with his grabby hands and potted plant and trademark curious expression. At 677 pieces, it’s not an easy set, so it’s better suited to older LEGO fans… or someone whose older relatives are willing to pick up the slack. This set will run you $138.99. 

They’re salt and pepper shakers. They’re robots. And they walk when you wind them up. What more could your favorite home cook ask for? Pick them up here for $19.99. 

I’ve sung the praises of Battlestar Galactica many times before, and I’ll do it again. It’s one of the only series I’ll unequivocally recommend, and even in the age of Peak TV, it’s well worth setting aside a few days for bingeing. Plus, the show is downright sneaky with its use of robots given the cylons’ humanoid appearances. That means that even if your Aunt Barb doesn’t like robots already, she’ll at least think about the moral implications of AI after she’s done watching! (And she will watch all of it. Aunt Barb can’t fill all her time with multilevel marketing.) Pick up the box set here for $113.97.

Ah, socks: a holiday gift-giving standby that no one really wants or needs but can’t say no to. What better way to spice up a run-of-the-mill present than with robots? This pair goes with everything, even if the intended is forced into business casual wear five days a week, they can still add some spring to their step with the help of their robot friends. (Insert hacky MST3K reference here!) Each pair is an even $10.

What will you be picking up for your robo-enthusiast friends and relatives? Let us know!

Featured image: TriStar Pictures

Images: Sphero, Out of Print, Funko/HBO, LEGO/Disney, ModCloth, Syfy, Good Luck Sock

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