Whether he’s caretaker of an out-of-season hotel, in drag pretending to be your nanny or the Dark Lord of The Sith, there really is no one quite like your dad. While we shamefully take our old men for granted most of the time, we are fast approaching that one day of the year when father comes first. Father’s Day is but a week away and, to help you navigate the travails of gift-buying hell that will surely result, here are some excellent suggestions to make your paterfamilas feel a little bit special.
Dead or alive you’re making my tea! Combine a classic, heated beverage with the future of law enforcement and you know you’re onto a winner. This Officer-Murphy-shaped mug is not only stylish and practical but harks back to 1987, when your dad was (probably) in his prime. So it’s a win on every level. You’d buy that for a dollar and so would we, although it’ll actually set you back £9.99.
Fitbit Charge 2
Nothing says ‘I love you and I don’t want you to suffer from coronary heart disease’ quite as like a premium fitness tracker. Fitbit’s Charge 2 not only features a large screen (perfect for failing eyesight) and a comfortable strap (also available in very fetching, limited edition leather) but allows for multi-activity tracking, message notifications and will even buzz you awake in the morning. If you want to get your old man up and about, this might just be the way to do it.
The Complete West Wing Box Set
With America going to hell in a handbasket and the news looking increasingly like a far-fetched season of House Of Cards, it’s important to remind ourselves that life across the pond doesn’t have to be a dystopian nightmare. Enter The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin’s imagining of a White House in which smart people fight the good fight while rapidly pacing the corridors and slinging zingers left and right. No fake news, no covfefe — this is political drama at its unparalleled best.
In Case Icon
What do you give the man that has everything? Something to put it in — or in this case, a cunningly efficient way to carry it all around. The king of tech-friendly backpacks, the Icon has a compartment for almost any device you can imagine — be it laptop, iPad, Kindle or headphones — meaning you can treat it as a mobile office, carrying the tools of your trade wherever you go. For supervillians, it's like a portable subterranean lair of evil — with shoulderstraps.
Origami Unicorn Blade Runner T-Shirt
It’s a shame he won’t live. But then again, who does? Not that we’re saying your old man is a replicant or anything (maybe administer a Voight-Kampff to be sure, though) but this Blade Runner-inspired t-shirt is the perfect way to demonstrate excitement for Denis Villeneuve’s impending sequel. Featuring the Director’s Cut’s origami unicorn, it sends a powerful message. Specifically: "the person you’re talking to isn’t really a person and that you know that because you’ve seen their dreams but you don’t want to just come out and don't need to as origami speaks a thousand words but what does it really matter as the studio will cut the sequence anyway."
Retro Gaming Books
The most awesome thing about getting old is that we get to look back on the days of yore and fetishise the objects of our youth. How better to stir the nostalgic humours than with a collection of books that celebrate video games of the eighties and nineties? There’s a vast library on offer but we’d like to nod in the direction of the Visual Compendiums for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore Amiga. If your dad doesn’t shed a tear at the sight of Manic Miner or IK+ then, quite frankly, he’s already dead inside.
Bluetooth technology may not be revolutionary at this point but that doesn’t shop everyone from the bus driver to your barista from staring at these wireless EarPods as if they’re evidence of witchcraft. Despite (possibly) being powered by demons, they’re a joyfully convenient way to interact with your iPhone and the ear-buds themselves charge when happily ensconced in the handy carrying case. As an added bonus, while you’re wearing them Siri is but a double-tap away, ready to answer your every query. “Siri, was Attack Of The Clones a five star film?” Ummm.
Be honest, no one with two X chromosomes has ever put on a bathrobe without pretending they were Obi-Wan Kenobi but this at least makes you upfront about it. If you don’t mind the thought of the man who helped bring you into the world running about the house in a robe with a plastic lightsaber, telling your mum that he will become more powerful than she can possibly imagine then this is a decent shout.
Fire TV Stick
At a mere £40, it’s extremely hard to find fault with Amazon’s entry level streaming stick — which is not to say your dad isn’t worth splashing out on. However, he brought you up to appreciate value for money and this would be a bargain at twice the price. Super small and fully functional, the Stick has you covered for Amazon Prime, Netflix and whatever other Android apps you had in mind. The newest incarnation also throws Amazon's digital assistant, Alexa, into the bargain. Handy.
Superman Rhodium Cufflinks
What the hell is rhodium anyway? Honestly, we have no idea but we assume it’s some sort of rare Kryptonian alloy that grants the wearer super powers. That seems about right. And if you think about it, super strength, flight and heat vision is a pretty good deal for only £15, so these are bound to get snapped up fast.
Whosoever holds this hammer, if he (or she!) be worthy, shall possess the power of this 19.75-inch electronic replica, which includes lights, sound effects, and a voice-activated glowing symbol. Yes, it’s £150 for a toy hammer (with lights, did we mention the lights?) but if your dad happens to be a fan of the Odinson, then this particular accessory might float his Asgardian boat.
Poe Dameron Jacket
It's oft-billed as a ‘Finn’ jacket, but Star Wars pedants know the truth. While Boyega’s reformed Stormtrooper spends most of The Force Awakens sporting this particular piece of Resistance chic, it’s Cameron who paid for the thing. Ownership aside, though, this is excellent way to cosplay Star Wars without everyone knowing you’re cosplaying Star Wars. You know, the kind of thing a middle-aged geek might really appreciate.
Amazon Echo Dot
It may look a lot like Tron’s hockey puck but the Echo Dot is, in fact, Amazon’s Alexa in ultra compact form. Ditching the full-size Echo’s built-in speaker, this is Alexa’s holiday home in the Hamptons rather than her six-wing mansion in Beverly Hills but it retains the digital assistant’s functionality and winning personality. If your dad has difficulty dealing with technology, why not let Alexa do it for him? We’ve seen Her, what’s the worst that could happen?
Does your dad style himself a mother of dragons? A khaleesi of great grass sea? If he does (and really, who doesn’t?) what better way to while away those chilly nights than by sparking up a fire and watching the shadows of mighty dragons flicker across the garden. At nearly £900, it’s something of an extravagance but if you can get a decent loan from the Iron Bank of Braavos then this will go down a treat.
Father's day is Sunday 18 June, remember to buy a card!