The best retro Christmas gift ideas and throwback gadgets

Tired of keeping up with the current resident of 10 Downing Street? Forget the drama of today’s politics and escape to the festive bliss of yesteryear with these retro Christmas gift ideas.

Sure, partying like the holiday season means not streaming 4K movies or using your smartphone as a distraction from pesky relatives. But with that amount of throwback goodies to unpack, you’ll be too far in the memory to bother.

From old-school style instant cameras to gaming revivals straight from your childhood, this vintage kit is sure to be a hit with any nostalgic recipient. Especially when you capture their reaction with that attic camcorder.

Fujifilm Instax MiniEvo

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo Camera

Now that we’ve all got tremendously capable snappers on our phones, any true camera these days feels vaguely retro, but the Instax Mini Evo goes all out to hit the throwback. It has a built-in printer to spit out the 4.9-megapixel images it captures (or others from your paired phone), with a slew of lens and film filters to give them a suitably old-school look. Just don’t forget to buy an extra film for it.

Marshall Motif ANC

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Marshall Motif ANC Wireless Earbuds

True wireless headphones are a thoroughly modern invention, but Marshall’s IPX4-rated Motif ANC in-ears look like they’ve stepped straight out of rock ‘n’ roll’s heyday. Not only are they instantly recognizable thanks to the famous logo and classic Marshall look, but they also feature active noise cancellation, customizable touch controls, and a matching charging case that extends the 4.5-hour battery life by 20 hours. Classic rock playlist recommended but not mandatory.

Nikon Zfc

Think photography is too easy these days, what with all the Wi-Fi and live streams instead of tricky rolls of film and chemical baths? Shoot like the 80s with Nikon’s Throwback Snapper. Paying homage to the FM2, the Z fc mimics its analogue ancestor in every way – from the textured shell to the LCD bezel display. Well, everything apart from what’s underneath. Don’t tell your buddies at Film Photography Club: it’s hiding a very modern mirrorless camera. Perfect for pretending you still like the old ways while quietly admitting that digital isn’t the death of creativity.

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SEGA Mega Drive Mini 2

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Sega Mega Drive Mini 2

You don’t have to be a ’90s kid to know about the 16-bit glory days of gaming. The titles of the era are so legendary that even someone who mistakes the Mega Drive for a golf swing can tell you what Sonic looks like. But what if you want to relive the authentic Sega experience without hacking an HDMI cable into an original? This compact reproduction is the answer. Inspired by the Mega Drive 2, the second generation Mini comes with 60 classics installed. A wired controller is included, while a second USB port lets you add another pad for multiplayer nostalgia.

Amazonfit GTR4

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Amazfit GTR4

Do you prefer a smartwatch that can also pass as an analog tick tocker? Amazfit’s GTR4 is packed with modern smarts like dual-band GPS, a PPG biometrics sensor, and extensive fitness and sleep tracking capabilities, but retains a vintage feel with its classic chronograph design. That’s only improved if you opt for the leather strap instead of a silicone or fabric strap, but there’s one real giveaway you can’t avoid: the 1.43-inch circular Always-on AMOLED display.

Klipsch Promedia Legacy 2.1

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Klipsch Heritage Speakers

Bluetooth was just a dead Danish king when Klipsch started making speakers in 1946 — and while this 220-watt wireless system looks dated, it’ll add a retro twist to any desk. The 8-inch sub takes care of the bottom end, while the main two speakers feature 3-inch long-excursion woofers, 1-inch soft-dome tweeters, and removable grilles. There are even RCA inputs if you prefer retro connectivity as well as looks.

Lego Atari 2600

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Lego Atari 2600

It’s hard to imagine Lego making an Xbox Series X 40 years from now (mainly because a plain black box would be pretty boring), but the Atari 2600 comes from a time when consoles looked more interesting. Once its 2532 pieces are assembled correctly, it has toggled switches and a joystick you can wiggle, and there’s a nostalgic 80’s living room scene to find if you open the front.

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Quarter scale bubble bobble arcade cabinet

Build a mini arcade for Santa’s little helpers? This faithful recreation of a Bubble Bobble cabinet is scaled down to quarter size – ideal for elves (or retro gamers without room for a full-height machine). It’s also fully playable, so those with tiny digits can steer tiny dinosaurs on the emulated eighties display. Coin slots and original paintwork add to the dwarf authenticity, and you can stash it in a closet when the grown-ups drop by.

Nokia 8210 4G

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Nokia 8210 Feature Phone

If you know someone who claims they don’t make phones like they used to, buy them a Nokia 8210 4G. It’s not exactly the same as the late ’90s original, but the resemblance is obvious, plus you get a reasonably basic 2.8-inch QVGA screen, 0.3-megapixel camera, 128MB of onboard storage, and a removable battery that lasts almost a month in standby mode. Oh, and yes, it comes with Snake.

Ruark R2 Mk4

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Ruark R2 Mk4

Ruark’s R2 may look like an old-fashioned radio, but behind its hand-crafted wooden grille, auto-dimming color LCD display and rotodial control system, you’ll find a very capable little music system. In addition to DAB, FM and Internet radio, you can also use it to listen to music via Bluetooth or stream it directly from Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer. If it sounds half as good as Ruark’s MR1 ​​desktop speakers, you’ll never want to turn it off.

Logitech MX Mechanical Mini

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Logitech MX Keys Mini

Nothing takes you back to the good old days of computing like using a proper mechanical keyboard, but Logitech’s compact Bluetooth version isn’t without modern bells and whistles. The intelligent backlight appears only when your hands approach the flat switches and adjusts depending on how dark it is. You can switch between connected devices with the push of a button, and there’s even a dedicated Mac version available.

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Elago W8 Stand for Apple Watch

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Elago W8 Apple Watch Stand

Remember when the definition of a smartwatch was one that also had a calculator built in? Apple’s wearable might be a lot smarter, but we’ve got plenty of time for that silicone stand. Slip your charger through the back, slip your Apple Watch into the top, and its screen will peek through the hole at the top, making it look like you have a calculator on your bedside table.

Polaroid P3

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Polaroid P3 Bluetooth Speakers

Polaroid is at the forefront with Sinclair, Delorean and, ahem, Woolworths when it comes to popular retro brands, but try snapping a photo with any of the latest products and you’ll be very disappointed. The P3 is a 35-watt Bluetooth speaker that comes in five different colors – yellow, blue, red, gray and black – and lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge. But it’s the old-school boombox design that really sets it apart from the crowd of other wireless speakers, with a chunky analogue dial for adjusting the volume and a polished metal handle for carrying on the shoulder.

Back to the Future vs. Knight Rider Scalextric

Back to the Future vs. Knight Rider Retro Scalextric Set

As icons of the 1980s, they don’t get much bigger than Marty McFly and Michael Knight, so who better to pair with another fondly remembered toy from days gone by? This 5.3 meter Scalextric rail offers both knight rider‘s KITT and a time-travelling Delorean Back to the Future. Unfortunately, it runs on electricity rather than plutonium, so you’ll have to settle for staying here in 2022.

Evercade EXP

Evercade EXP handheld retro gaming console

Retro gaming used to be a pain in the joystick, but Evercade’s EXP makes it easier to beat than a blindfolded toddler Street Fighter II. The handheld comes with a 4.3-inch IPS screen and 18 built-in Capcom classics, including Strings, final fight and the 2D beat ’em up mentioned above, plus there are six other arcade games on the included cartridge. Bored with all of them? There are 35 other collections that can be purchased separately.