Gifts your dad wished you got him

Thien Huynh, QMI AGENCY
Back to the retro future: Crosley AV Room Portable USB Turntable ($160), (Supplied)

Back to the retro future: Crosley AV Room Portable USB Turntable ($160), (Supplied)

You could paint some rocks and give them to your mom for Mother’s Day and she’ll sigh as if she had just received the most thoughtful gift in the world. On the other hand, the only way your dad would have gotten choked up this past Father’s Day is if you absent-mindedly got him yet another tie.

Here are some post-Father’s Day gift ideas and dadgets – to make amends for giving him presents he’ll probably never use (Anchorman-inspired Panther Cologne) and gifts he’s probably afraid to use (bath salts).

Just in time: TIMEX Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Compass watch

Price: $240

Where to buy:

Fine watches to men are like Manolo Blahniks to women – it’s not ridiculous to have a collection of them to wear every day of the week. Time after time, a quality watch can be counted on to bring a smile to dad’s face, especially if it looks sporty and comes with a multitude of special functions. The new TIMEX Intelligent Quartz Tide Temp Compass watch will make your dad feel like the James Bond of the outdoors. The stainless steel watch features temperature sensor technology, compass (because dad never asks for directions), and a very cool Indiglo nightlight that illuminates the entire face of the watch as if it were a mini moon.

Gift tip: If you are a teenager, set the watch 10-20 minutes later before gifting it to your dad. That way, papa won’t preach if you break curfew and get caught sneaking into the house late.

CONTEST: Follow Thien at or follow Thien on Twitter ( to find out how to win one of two TIMEX watches.

Back to the retro future: Crosley AV Room Portable USB Turntable

Price: $160

Where to buy:

Hey kids, those round flat things in your dad’s basement are called “records.” They aren’t just used for DJs to scratch either. Many dads used to meticulously collect these and sing along to them in his room while playing air guitar.

You can’t buy your Dad a time-travelling DeLorean, but at least you can let him reminisce about the records of his youth while still enjoying the sound quality of modern-day technology.

The Crosley AV Room Portable USB Turntable is able to convert dad’s favourite old dusty records into portable MP3 songs. The turntable comes with easy-to-use software (Mac and PC compatible) that connects to decks and MP3 players. It also boasts built-in full-range stereo speakers and a retro wood design.

This turntable is arguably one of the coolest gifts for old-school music lovers — until Apple comes up with a father’s version of its iPad — the iDad.

Picture perfect: EPSON Perfection V330 Photo Scanner

Price: $124.99

Where to buy:

If Dad has boxes of old photos or negatives, the EPSON Perfection V330 Photo scanner is the perfect gift for him. He can scan photos, 35mm film, documents and even oversized artwork with incredible clarity and detail.

With EPSON’s Advanced Digital Dust Correction, he can even remove the appearance of dust from old yearbooks, film and photos. Just make sure mom isn’t around when he’s rummaging around in the basement, going through old boxes labelled “My Little Black Book Vol. 3 1979 Edition.”

CONTEST: Follow Thien at or follow Thien on Twitter ( to find out how to win an EPSON scanner.

Having a ball: Special Edition Blue Balls by Buckyballs

Price: $39.95 (for 216 blue balls)

Where to buy:

This summer, give your dad the gift of blue balls by Buckyballs. The limited-edition magnetic balls can be can be shaped, molded, torn apart and snapped together in unlimited ways. Each Buckyball cube contains 216 powerful Rare Earth magnets. Your dad can keep them at his desk to use as a stress reliever or simply shift them around for fun. Either way, he’ll have his hands full with these blue balls.