by Ryan O.
Looking for a last-minute gift to give to your coworker or an acquaintance but want to look like you put more thought into it?
Here are 21 unusual desk toys or desk gadgets for the different people in your life.
These are the Different types of desk toys we’ve found:
• Fidget Toys
• Kinetic Toys
• Display Toys
• Magnetic Toys
•Practical Toys (yet Fun)
•Really Odd Toys
For each toy, if you click on the picture, it will take you to the site to get the product!
Something tactile that you can play within your hands will relieve a bit of stress or even help your focus if it is readily available at your desk:
This little cube can be broken down and manipulated into different forms by flipping and folding them without falling apart so this is perfect for fidgeting or stimming. This cube, composed of several smaller interlocking cubes, comes in different colors and graphics to suit your desk décor.
Spinning Magnetic orbs
While there are several other magnetic orbs on the market, these are fascinating because you can see the insides spin as you manipulate the attraction of these orbs. There are demonstrations of what these magnets can do on the Vat 19 (link) site and they look even more magical in action.
The Think Ink Pen
Probably one of the most versatile fidget objects on the market, not only is it practical as a writing device, but all the different magnetic metal components allow the user multiple different ways to twiddle their pen.
For those who like playing with flow toys or contact juggling, the holoflux is a tactile toy that you can manipulate in your hands and also looks good as a still display on your desk. This novelty produces a shiny rainbow effect when it’s used.
Wooden Beads Studio Toddler Busy Cube
Despite the name, there are so many interesting textures and switches that this could fascinate certain adults, not just children. It may be the messiest item if you leave this on your desk, but it would make for an interesting conversation piece.
Sculptural items with moving parts can be soothing to watch in fluid motion. These are a few items that you handle once and let the contraption do its own magic:
Helicone desktop toy
This Helicone, also known as a Lollipopter, is a desktop toy made of brass and wood that transforms from a structural swirl into a tree at the twist of the base. While descriptions mention that this frame is based on mathematical concepts like the Fibonacci sequence, it’s just pretty and addicting to play with.
Mechanical DIY Blooming Flower Ballerina
This is beautiful, ornate piece starts off as a project that you have to assemble but results in a toy that blooms open when you twist the base. Inside is a little ballerina that turns like in a music box and can hold a little item as a surprise.
This simple and fluid sculpture composed of metal sticks uses momentum and energy to perpetually twist and swing back and forth in a smooth, almost hypnotizing motion. It creates a relaxing effect without the click-clack of a Newton’s Cradle.
Some pieces of décor serve as a conversation piece or a source of inspiration. These items will serve as both:
This piece will have to be assembled and great for those who like challenge puzzles. You will need to punch out the individual metal pieces and assemble this together but the end result is a beautiful looking peacock sculpture that you built yourself.
This globe appears to be suspended in the middle of an acrylic block but its rotation is powered by solar cells and magnets, suspended by clear fluids. These this desktop gift is not a casual buy at $300.00, it is an exquisite piece of art that can live on any desk.
SereneLife Desktop Electric Water Fountain
While there are several office fountains on the market, this one stands out because of its subtle light that enhances the waterfall effect. The visual and the sound of the running water provides a relaxing feel while providing sophistication to your desk.
Even if we understand the science of magnets, somewhere deep within us, we think they are magical and they are in so many of our desk toys:
Magnetic poker art sculpture desk
There are many magnetic sculptures on the market using metal balls or filings, but this casino themed sculpture desk toy was so unique because you can pile playing cards, poker chips and dice in any configuration you want. Perfect for the Vegas or gambling fan in your life.
Magnetic sand hourglass
A twist on the traditional one-minute sand timer, this item uses iron particles in the glass and the magnet hidden in the base causes the iron filings to create spikes at the bottom of the hourglass figure. It is satisfying to watch the iron pieces collect instead of settling on the base.
Ferrofluid Lava lamp
Mixing the classic staple of a Lava Lamp from the 1960s and metallic magnetized liquid from… the 1960s, ferrofluid lava lamps are a relatively new invention from 2015 where not only does the liquid float and sink based on its temperature, but the liquid is also affected by magnets and turns to spikes.
Some of the best desk toys are the most practical that serves another vital function at your desk. These are some ideas that are both fun and functional:
Deskmate is a simple but playful collection of signs that tell your coworkers your current status; everything from “A Little Privacy Please” to “Too Much to Do” to “I’m Out” and other messages. It stands up like a mini-signboard and signs are displayed on both sides.
Pikachu Coin Bank
The Pikachu coin bank is the cutest and most practical way to save money. Just put a coin on the button and Pikachu will come out and snag that into your box. The product description says that he has over 200 sounds and phrases, giving you an excuse to find loose change to feed him.
Galileo Globe Thermometer
While Galileo Tubes have been around for some time as home décor, this version in a globe is good for a desk while telling you what the temperature is with a bit of science and artistic flair. This glass sphere on a wooden base is going to look good on nearly every desk.
Fountain Pen Ferris Wheel
This is an elegant sculpture to hold your collection of fountain pens or prized writing devices with a smooth spinning gear and a gondola for each instrument. Perfect for an executive, a writer or an artist who wants a little more than a coffee mug to stash their pens.
Really Odd Toys
To end this list, these are some of the most peculiar desk toys out there. As they say, “There’s something for everyone.” These items are for everyone else:
Pimple Popping Toy
If you want something very odd, there are people who find the process of popping pimples and squeezing the pus out of the pore satisfying and cleaning. You can now mimic this action with a toy that allows you to press the surface with a similar result. This includes refillable “pus.”
Desk Bear Trap
If you are ever in the middle of a desk war or you don’t want people to take any of the stuff from your desk, these desk bear traps, which are created with 3D printing, have somewhat sharp teeth. But no one will steal your snacks or papers again!
This robot starts out as a DIY kit of over 200 pieces. But when completed you get a robot that gyrates a certain part of its metallic anatomy.
Is there a standout toy that should be on this list? Comment below on what desk toy you would like to see!