The Ultimate Gift Guide For The Car Kids And Little Rascals In Your Life

The Ultimate Gift Guide For The Car Kids And Little Rascals In Your Life

TM & Copyright Universal (1994)
TM & Copyright Universal (1994)
Screenshot: YouTube / CineFix

This year’s Soap Box Derby was canceled due to COVID lockdowns, dashing the hopes and dreams of many little gearheads. The kids have been sulking around the backyard, demure and with hardly even the will to sport a cowlick hairdo. Every single day they glance at “The Blur” as it gathers dust and just sits there. It’s enough to make them as jaded as this lot:

It’s a good thing the holidays are just around the corner and you can cheer up these future Jalops and little rascals with gifts befitting the title. Here’s a handful of gift ideas that will elate all young gearheads — and the young-at-heart, too:

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Periodista automotriz, Naturally Aspirated Stan.

Advertisement

2 / 11

Aerostich Mr. and Ms. Happy Puppets

Aerostich Mr. and Ms. Happy Puppets

Aerostich Mr. and Ms. Happy Puppets
Aerostich Mr. and Ms. Happy Puppets
Photo: Aerostich

This is Mr. and Mrs. Happy. They are not as ubiquitous as Jim Henson’s Muppets but they are beloved and perhaps as well-traveled as any puppet can be. These puppets, much like the suits sold by their maker, Aerostich, have braved perilous conditions for the love of the road. Aerostich has produced the Roadcrafter for more than three decades. The suit is likely to speak to most little gearheads who dreamed of donning a NASA jumpsuit, but come only in adult sizes. In the meantime, these puppets can introduce car and bike kids to the joys of riding and will hand-down an appreciation for the ATTGATT lifestyle with pictures of their adventures.

Advertisement

3 / 11

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch)

Link and Mastercyle
Link and Mastercyle
Illustration: Nintendo

This game is one of the best entries into the Legend Of Zelda franchise to date, and even though it’s the first open-world title in the franchise, it felt strangely similar to the Game Boy Zelda entries. It evokes these well by immersing us in an over-world that feels truly vast in comparison with the player. And you’ll be surprised to know that there is a pretty decent motorcycle game nested within. With the Champions Ballad DLC, the game introduces another travel mechanic: a motorcycle. The game calls it the Mastercycle, but we all know it’s just a Husqvarna that’s gone through some badge-engineering.

Advertisement

4 / 11

Hori Mario Kart Racing Wheel Pro Mini (Nintendo Switch)

Hori Mario Kart Racing Wheel Pro Mini (Nintendo Switch)

Hori Mario Kart Racing Wheel Pro Mini for Nintendo Switch
Hori Mario Kart Racing Wheel Pro Mini for Nintendo Switch
Photo: Amazon / Hori

I’m going to let the good times roll with Nintendo, because the only thing funner than bombing through Hyrule Motocross is knocking an opponent aside with a shell in Mario Kart. The game is in its eighth iteration, and when it first released on the Switch, Nintendo sold us wheels with a Joy-Con cutout to recreate driving feel. I never liked these because a disembodied wheel turning in midair felt too vague. Hori makes two different wheels for Mario Kart. The Pro Deluxe is a full-size version, while this wheel, the Pro Mini, seems like the better pick for kids. And it comes with one awesome feature the other omits: an item button. With the Pro Mini wheel, mayhem is a big red button press away, and the button just happens to be in the wheel’s center. I wish pressing my real car horn would jettison a blue shell at all those that cut me off.

Advertisement

5 / 11

Club Mocchi Mocchi Mario Kart Mega Blue Shell

Club Mocchi Mocchi Mario Kart Mega Blue Shell

Club Mocchi Mocchi Mario Kart Plushes
Club Mocchi Mocchi Mario Kart Plushes
Photo: Amazon / Club Mocchi Mocchi

Before you accuse me of endangering other motorists by trying to shoot large spiky turtle shells at them on the highway, let me point out that the blue shells I want to throw are just plushes. I swear. Really. In fact, here is what I meant. It’s made by Club Mocchi-Mocchi and it’s the plush I wished would accompany my car horn, but that does seem wasteful. Instead of letting these plushes pile up on the side of the road, give them away this season. Little Jalops will have a blast lobbying these around, both in-game and out.

Advertisement

6 / 11

Kurzgesagt Baby Duck Plushie

Kurzgesagt Baby Duck Plushie

Kurzgesagt Baby Duck Plushie
Photo: Kurzgesagt

This plush is a little less destructive than the blue shell, but every bit as entertaining. If you are not yet a fan of the excellent Kurzgesagt channel on YouTube, don’t waste any more time and pay them a visit now. The channel is an excellent teaching tool for young and old alike. It tackles complex issues and discussions in ways that are easy to understand and learn from. They have videos that focus on automation, climate change, economics and even milk.

Advertisement

7 / 11

Lupin The Third: The Castle Of Cagliostro (Blu-Ray)

Lupin The Third: The Castle Of Cagliostro (Blu-Ray)

Lupin and his Fiat 500
Lupin and his Fiat 500
Screenshot: YouTube Movies

This is the famous directorial debut of legendary animator, Hayao Miyazaki, the founder of Studio Ghibli. The studio would go on to release other Jalopnik favorites like Nausicaä, which is about nature and tech, and Howl’s Moving Castle, which is basically about a dude living out of a big dirty car. Lupin the Third, however, introduced us to Miyazaki’s style and hinted at the forms he would explore later. The gunfights and car chases in the film rival that of the Bourne film series. Well, maybe not, but there’s still plenty of action and intrigue. It’s a fun caper with a cast of lovable rogues, and is full of good car cameos. The film boasts some interesting cars, like the Fiat 500, Citroen 2CV and Humber Super Snipe, among others.

Advertisement

8 / 11

Bandai Namco/CCP Honda NSX R/C Car

Bandai Namco/CCP Honda NSX R/C Car

Honda NSX R/C Car
Honda NSX R/C Car
Photo: Amazon Japan / Bandai Namco

Are we still on drones? Alright. I’m being told drones are still big wishes, but a such a list would not feel complete without a remote-controlled car. And, besides, nobody is going to train a raptor to attack your R/C car. The Honda NSX looks awesome and has outstanding performance, but it is still a daily drivable car. So, we’ve taken that basic concept and extended it to the little gearheads in our lives. The original NSX turned a generation into Jalops, now the new one can do the same.

Advertisement

9 / 11

Tomica 50th Anniversary Special

Tomica 50th Anniversary Special

Tomica 50th Anniversary Special Set
Tomica 50th Anniversary Special Set
Photo: Amazon Japan / TOMY

If your little gearheads are fans of parking garages, they’re going to love this Tomica set. Never mind that it offers free parking — and even a helipad — because this garage is a carspotting dream. There’s a new Jimny in there, a Supra, BRZ, Legacy, Civic SI, Element, a cab-over truck and maybe even a C2 coupe. Don’t worry about the mall patrons glued to the windows. They’re just waiting to see the cars.

Advertisement

10 / 11

Hot Wheels BMW E36 M3 And E30 M3

Hot Wheels BMW E36 M3 And E30 M3

Hot Wheels E36 M3 (2015)
Hot Wheels E36 M3 (2015)
Photo: M Sport Parts

OK, OK. Maybe this one is a little gratuitous coming from me but I just can’t resist a BMW E36 in any form. M Sport Parts, purveyor of esoteric BMW bits that you never knew you wanted until you saw them, will sell you either an E36 M3 Hot Wheels car or an E30 M3 — or both! These toy cars are dead simple, but they are inexpensive. They also represent a piece of M division history. Please just buy the set already so I don’t have to.

Advertisement

11 / 11

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Periodista automotriz, Naturally Aspirated Stan.

DISCUSSION