Hot Gifts 2011
Expats.cz lends you a hand to find a gift for someone of any age
For Tiny Tots
If you have a young one, there are two gifts you might want to consider. The first is Playskool 'Explore ‘n Grow' , for 957 CZK from Hračky.cz. This toy is a walker for when baby is taking his/her first steps. Then it can be converted into a car to ride on when they're a bit bigger. This website can deliver within 24 hours within the Czech Republic.
For babies with a more musical bent (or for parents trying to encourage this), there is the Leap Frog 'Learn n Groove' available from Amazon UK for about 855 CZK, not including postage.
For Little ‘Uns
Cookie is the latest addition to Hasbro's FurReal Friends line. An interactive electronic puppy which, according to the company, features state-of-the-art animatronic technology is meant to provide the fun of a real puppy without the mess. It's available from Sparky’s for 1999 CZK, or Amazon UK for 1555 CZK (not including postage).
Keeping with the bigger gifts, there is also the Cherry Kitchen, which promises a realistic and modern play experience. It even comes with a toy coffee percolator. It’s available from Sparky’s for 999 CZK or from Hračky.cz for 1119 CZK.
Slightly Bigger ‘Uns
The latest Lego set is the new martial arts-themed Ninjago line. Various sets range from 99 CZK for a ninja training base up to 3104 CZK for the Temple of Fire playset. Most kits are around 800 CZK. They’re available from Hračky.cz and Sparky’s.
Your whiz kid might prefer a six-in-one construction set which allows them (or you) to build solar-powered machines. This kit is also available from Sparky’s for 399 CZK.
Released this July is the Faber Castell Pretty Pedicure Set. The set comes with inflatable pedicure pool, towel, spa slippers, toe separator, nail buffer and file, confetti soap, and 3 bottles of nail polish including French white, nail art, and sparkling rhinestones. It’s even recommended for adults. It is available from Amazon UK for about 749 CZK (postage not included).
For girls who are perhaps not so girly, there are the toys from the Monster High line. These dolls, which are like Barbie if Barbie were conceived by Wes Craven, retail for 533 CZK from Hračky.cz and 549 CZK from Sparky’s. Apart from dolls they also have electronic dairies for 649 CZK and Tattoo studios from 499 CZK.
Christmas is a time for board games. One of the latest games on the market is the award winning Dixit. This game combines storytelling with a card game and from the description here, it sounds like a lot of fun. Dixit retails from 649 CZK to 699 CZK. And in case the rules are in Czech and you want them in English, you can get them from this page.
Another popular game is Activity, which has just come out in a Gold Edition. Prices range from 539 CZK to 719 CZK. This game is a good way to spend time with the whole family.
Both games are available from Svět Her Billard Centrum at Palladium.
Three of the most anticipated computer games to be released in time for the holiday season are all sequels to popular titles.
Battlefield 3, or BF3, is a modern first-person shooter game set in Iraq and Iran. In the single-player version, players assume the role of a US marine, leading a team through urban war zones, including one affected by a quake. BF3 is available for PlayStation 3 (840 CZK) Xbox 360, and PC (1070 CZK) from Amazon.
The next sequel is Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. In this third-person adventure game, players are Nathan Drake, who is in search of lost treasure. The game is available only for PlayStation 3 for 1095 CZK. Available from Amazon.
For digital motorheads, there is Forza Motorsport 4, the fourth installment in the popular racing series for Xbox 360 . This new version will allow you to transfer some of your profile from Forza Motorsport 3. Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear provides in-game commentary. It is available starting from 936 CZK from these retailers.
Also check local computer game stores to compare prices and availability.
Gadgets and Gizmos
Perhaps one of the most anticipated gifts for Christmas 2011 is the Kindle Fire. This device is a tablet version of the popular reader which will allow people to watch films, listen to music, browse the web, and read. The only problem is that no one has been able to confirm a European release date or price, so you might have to order it from Amazon.com. You should expect to pay about 3590 CZK (postage not included). Note: currently, Amazon.com does not ship the Fire outside of the U.S.
Another gadget sure to find its way under trees is the iPhone 4S. The phone even inspired Stephen Fry (yes, that Stephen Fry) to write a lengthy article on it. But all you probably want to know is where to get it. Alza stocks them for 21,999 CZK, including VAT.
A slightly cheaper option is the Samsung Omnia W, which runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5. And while some of you may smirk that I dare suggest a phone not preceded with 'i', the new operating system got a rave review here.
The last essential gadget for this Christmas would be headphone. Yep, if you hadn't noticed, headphones have made a comeback as a fashion item in the last couple of years. One brand whose models regularly rate highly is Sennheiser. While the top end products can cost as much as a laptop, you can also find more affordable headphones, ranging from 730 CZK to 2425 CZK, including VAT. You can also find a wide range at Alza. For a hipper design, favored by the young, Skullcandy produce a range of headphones and earbuds in colorful designs, starting from 387 CZK. The Hesh Shattered Grey is one of their latest, selling for 1339 CZK with VAT.
The end of the year will see a few releases from big names. Two acts releasing specifically Christmas albums are Justin Bieber with Under the Mistletoe and She and Him, the band fronted by actress Zooey Deschanel, with A Very She & Him Christmas. Rihanna also has a new album out, Talk that Talk. Former Oasis songwriter and guitarist Noel Gallagher is releasing High Flying Birds. Music's elder statesman, Tom Waits, also has a new release, Bad as Me. Perhaps one of the most anticipated albums will be R.E.M.'s double disc greatest hits, which spans their whole career from 1982 until their break-up this year. It is called Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage and includes all the hits and fan favorites, plus three previously unreleased songs. The albums should be available from Bontonland on Wencelsas Square and Musicland in Palladium.
Perfumes, Cosmetics and Colognes
If you want to really spoil someone, you might want to consider the new fragrance from Bottega Veneta. The perfume is luxury in a bottle, and prices start at 1350 CZK for the 30 ml. For younger women, there is Calvin Klein's Forbidden Euphoria for 1690 CZK for the 50 ml bottle. Both are available at Marionnaud. The shop also sells other beauty care products
For the lads, two new scents this year are Attimo by Salvatore Ferrogamo which is available from FAnn perfumery for 1090 CZK for the 40 ml bottle. They also stock Davidoff's Champion in a dumbbell shaped bottle for 1390 for 50 ml.
Books always make a great gift, and this year there are plenty to choose from. For those who enjoy their sci-fi a little on the cerebral side, Neal Stephenson has a new release, Reamde. It combines virtual reality with suspense and will please people who enjoyed his famous works Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon. Neo Luxor has it from 397 CZK.
Or for those who prefer more crime in their thrillers, Jo Nesbo's latest is out in English. The Leopard is the seventh installment in the Harry Hole series. This time the detective has gone missing. The novel is available for 267 CZK.
Do you have any other Christmas gift ideas?
Read also: Czech Gift Ideas for Christmas 2011 - Expats gives you some tips for locally made goods.
For more Christmas content visit our dedicated microsite Christmas & New Year 2011
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