Life
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    Boys’ toys: 10 presents that men will love

    11 December 2020

    Women often complain that men are impossible to please when it comes to Christmas presents. So here are some fun ideas to keep him amused over the festive break… and not a single pair of socks in sight.

    KuKoo 8oz Popcorn Maker Machine & Cart

    Give movie nights that added sense of occasion with this stylish popcorn cart. The eight-ounce kettle can produce p to 11.5 litres of popcorn per session and up to 190 litres per hour – enough to keep traditional moviegoers happy. A warming light keeps the popcorn at just the right temperature so it doesn’t go all chewy. The cart is easy to clean and is bound to turn heads at parties and special occasions. It even works as a retro piece of standalone furniture. £324.99

    Eco Scooter

    The new ECO scooter from Zinc has a range of eight miles and doubles as a kick model so even if the battery runs down you will still be able to wheel yourself home. It takes four hours to charge and has a top speed of 15 mph. An LED display keeps you informed of speed and battery levels and the stylish frame folds neatly away for storage or transportation. Remember, it’s still officially illegal to use motorised scooters on public highways although this is currently up for review £229.99

    Epson TW7000 Home Cinema Projector

    Your local fleapit may have lost its appeal but for those who want to recreate the drama and scale of the big screen, the Epsom TW7000 is one of the more affordable 4K projectors on the market. Colours are rich and bright while the high contrast ratio of 40,000:1 delivers deep blacks and clearly defined shadows. The frame interpolation gives sharper fast-moving images meaning less of that jerky frame lapse you often get with cheaper models.

    The compact TW7000 can create a display size of up to 500″ (that’s larger than some of those measly multiplex screens) and you can play 2D or 3D content from your laptop, tablet or blu ray player via HDMI. Lens shift, zoom and keystone correction ensure that the picture is exactly the right size and position for your blank wall or roll down screen. There’s no built in speaker but you can pair with a compatible soundbar for that all encompassing cinema vibe. £1199

    Mavic Air 2

    The Air 2 has been described as one of the best all round drones of 2020. Reasonably priced, with stunning image and video quality, this model is a big improvement on its predecessor with a sleek new compact design and user-friendly app that controls camera and flight settings. Novice droners needn’t worry about stability as there’s plenty of built in assistance to help you avoid hitting obstacles. See the world from a completely new perspective as you swoop and hover over wide-open spaces. Stay away from airports and pylons. £769  

    Perudo

    This classic liar dice game has roots in South America but it’s just as fun to play in Cheadle as it is in Chile. There are cheaper versions available but this luxury edition comes with authentic calfskin leather cups and matching dice. The game itself is deceptively simple but it takes skill and cunning to beat your opponents. Through a series of knockout rounds players must guess the value of the dice hiding under the various cups. Players must forfeit a dice every time they make a wrong call. The last man or woman standing wins. Take comfort in yelling DUDO (Spanish for ‘I doubt’) at self-satisfied players who think they’ve won. £130

    Build your own cardboard telescope

    Budding Patrick Moores might balk at the astronomical price of astrological equipment so the Build Your Own Cardboard Telescope kit is a great way to stargaze on a budget. Apart from the lenses and mirror, the telescope is constructed from sustainable cardboard that slots together without the need for glue. Once everything is in place they’ll be the proud owner of a sturdy 72cm telescope with a sliding tube to focus, a viewfinder and an angle finder. Glimpsing the milky-way through a homemade telescope feels like a real achievement and with the 16x magnification, you can clearly make out individual moon craters. buildyourownkits.comavailable on Amazon £19.99

    Lego James Bond Aston Martin DB5

    For those bemoaning the delayed release of the next Bond film the clever designers at Lego have recreated 007’s classic silver Aston Martin DB5 in brick form. Fully loaded with rotating licence plate, pop-up machine guns, moveable bulletproof shield, and tire-slashing scythes, this not quite curvaceous little hottie should keep you entertained until Eon pictures finally makes up its mind. £129.99

    Radio Control Inflatable R2-D2

    Star Wars fans can now own their very own remote control R2D2. OK it doesn’t quite have the acting skills of Kenny Baker who played the original ‘bot but this inflatable version is just as adorable. At 64cm high it comes with a range of built in sound effects including R2’s distinctive whoops and whistles. Suitable for indoor or outdoor fun, the drive range is 30 meters but you’ll need four AA batteries to make the thing come alive. £42.99

    Arcade 1 Up PacMan Riser

    Relive those heady days down at the amusement arcade with this replica 1980s Pac Man arcade classic. It looks and feels just like the real thing but this time around you won’t have to beg your parents for armfuls of 10ps in order to feed your habit. Playstation savvy kids may wonder what’s got into you as you poke at the joystick desperately trying to gobble up ‘pills’ before being eaten by flashing ghosts (yes it’s as mad as you remember). Comes with a year’s guarantee although damage due to frustration is not included.  £280

     Triple Supercar Blast

    Enjoy the exhilaration of driving some of the world’s top supercars with one of Virgin’s ‘Experience Days’. This particular package includes your choice of three vehicles from a range of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins and Porsches. You can drive up to nine miles in your chosen sports cars and there are venues up and down the country offering different terrains. After the thrill of being at the wheel, a professional instructor will take you on a white-knuckle high-speed drive around a circuit. Don’t forget to pick up a photograph of your petrified/overjoyed face at the end of the ride. £98

    The Seven Ages of Man – How to Live a Meaningful Life by James Innes-Smith is published by Little Brown and is out now.