Apple fans are a dedicated bunch. Many of us diehards run out and buy every new gadget, making it nearly impossible for friends and family to come up with an original gift idea related to one of our biggest passions. My holiday gift guide includes items that you can’t buy from your local Apple store, but are sure to delight any fan of the company. These aren’t complementary products like a nice iPhone stand or Apple Watch band, but rather hard-to-find swag and collectibles that only real Apple fans would appreciate. Head below to take a look at my outside-the-box gift ideas for the Apple lover in your life:
Custom LEGO Macintosh Project:
One of the top gifts for anyone this year are LEGO kits. From intricate Star Wars projects to an adorable WALL-E, it seems like everything is getting the brick treatment, except for Apple gear. Luckily, famed LEGO builder, Chris McVeigh, created an amazing replica of the original Macintosh computer.
McVeigh has shared a detailed how-to so you can build your very own LEGO Macintosh. The extensive 65-page instructions walk you through every step of the building process. There’s a full part list, complete with Element ID information that can easily be plugged into LEGO.com. Print the directions and hunt down each LEGO brick to score an amazing gift for any Apple fan. Note: McVeigh usually sells a complete project kit on his online store, but the listing is currently unavailable.
Steve Jobs Figure
Several years ago figures of Apple’s late CEO, Steve Jobs, started popping up everywhere. Apple was quick to shut down the sale of many of them, but they’ve made their way back and are selling steadily on eBay. A quick search on the online auction site will return a bunch of results in a range of price levels, but for a gift I’d recommend this listing priced at $16.13. It’s coming directly from China so you may have to pay for expedited shipping to get it in time for Christmas, otherwise standard shipping is free. The Top Rated Plus seller has multiple quantities available so you shouldn’t have a problem picking one up. I have one of these figures on my desk and see it as a tribute to the man who’s creations had such an impact on my life.
Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation
Apple products are hailed for their design just as much as their innovative functionality. The book Iconic by Jonathan Zufi ($50.82) uses gorgeous images of Apple products, prototypes, packaging, and more to tell Apple’s design story. It includes all the products you’d imagine like iPhone, iPad, and MacBooks, but also obscure peripherals and rare prototypes that you probably have never seen before. I have this book sitting in my office and randomly pick it up when I have a few free moments. The huge, detailed images are absolutely drool-worthy for any Apple fan. I’d also recommend checking out Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney.
Think Different ad campaign posters
One of Apple’s most recognizable advertising efforts was its Think Different campaign. It included the memorable “Crazy Ones” TV commercial and limited edition 24 x 36-inch promotional posters. The various posters depict historical figures with a small Apple logo and the text “Think Different.” As you’d imagine the original posters are big collector’s items and as such are pretty pricey. Trusted Apple dealer, The Missing Bite, has many for sale if you’re willing to pay up. eBay is another great place to look for these posters. Even a reproduction poster would make a great gift and it wouldn’t break the bank. Another option is this poster of the original iPhone US patent for $35 shipped from Amazon.
The only way to grab an official Apple t-shirt is to become an employee or visit the mothership in Cupertino. Since those aren’t practical choices for most last-minute holiday shoppers, I’d recommend heading to eBay. Many former employees put their new and used shirts up for sale, while some opportunists (read: scalpers) buy official merchandise from Apple’s Company Store and resell it at inflated prices. The other option is to buy a look-alike shirt at a fraction of the cost for the real deal. This eBay seller has t-shirts modeled after the current retail employee style with a small Apple logo for only $7.99-$14.99 plus shipping costs. Go with the Royal Blue color if you’re looking for the most authentic look.