Let's face facts, there is an inner five-year old who longs for that magical, beautiful, and fascinating toy. What that toy is will depend on who you are. We were curious and asked The Verge staff to share what they would love to have for the holidays. (And we knew that the only thing that would count was an idealistic desire like world peace and the end to the pandemic. We were not going for it.
Let's find out what secret longings The Verge staff harbor...
It's magical to get lost in the woods with only a map and your compass. This is especially true if you are in a safe area where help is not far away. You may be tempted to ask your parent or spouse about your wandering adventures.
I am expressing my wish that someone would buy me a Garmin InReach Mini, a $350 tracker/GPS / personal locator beacon. It's a very expensive gadget, which I don't need, and I feel it is a shame. I could also spend that money on a quilt to make my nights more comfortable. However, until my phone can contact people in the wild, having some kind of satellite communicator is essential for my family's peace of mind. I don't think it is possible for me to afford it, despite the benefits of being able access to maps, weather, and text messages without cell phone service. -- Mitchell Clark, news writer
Anechoic chambers are soundproof rooms that absorb internal echoes. I discovered them several years ago. You can read articles about them with titles such as "The quietest place in the world." They look amazing, almost like you are hearing your internal organs. However, I believe that they drive people insane after only 45 minutes. I have long wanted to see one.
Public rentals are not available in New York City. A $250 minimum tour at Orfield Laboratories is my best option, but that would also require me to pay for a trip in Minnesota. This is not something I really hope to get, especially during the pandemic. It's still fun to imagine. -- Adi Robertson, senior reporter
I am a very avid cyclist. Let me clarify: Cycling is the only exercise that I absolutely love. I am aware that I need to take better care of myself, but in winter, I don't want to even get on a bike. Even if there's no snow, riding in cold weather requires more layers than I can count. Not to mention covering my feet with foil like a baked potato to prevent frostbite.
This ridiculous process is currently avoided by using a $60 Amazon bike trainer. But, if you want to spoil yourself this holiday, you could get a Tacx NEO smart trainer for your bike. You can also get a fancy iPad Pro to keep me occupied while I work out.
This bike trainer is incredibly excessive. It provides data readings for speed, cadence and power via an LED screen. It can also adjust resistance on the fly and has fans that adjust speed based upon your speed. This is a great feature when you are biking indoors. These integrated meters and measurements will be more useful for those who train in the off-season. However, I am just curious about how they can help me improve in Zwift. To achieve the same effect, but with less accuracy, I use a Wahoo speed- and cadence sensor, which is zip-tied onto my bike.
The iPad Pro is an indulgence for me. This tablet is too powerful for me. However, the tablet stand comes with the bike trainer so I can set it up with a tablet that will pay my monthly rent. -- Alice Newcome-Beill, commerce writer
Travel around the world
Although I've wanted to travel the world for many years, I haven't been able to because there has been a pandemic and it's too expensive. If money were not an issue, I would love to be gifted one of those $10,000 round-the-world tickets so that I can wander the streets in Rome, Lima and Cairo.
If we had the chance to really dream it up, I would love to take one of those $15,000 cruises from Antarctica! Since I was 10 years old, I have been curious about what it would be like to live in such a remote place. If you will excuse me, I am off to make a friend rich. Sheena Vasani is a commerce writer
My wife and me are moving to a new home. While we have already started to budget for big-ticket items such as a couch or a desk, I can't wait to get an LG C1 OLED TV. This will allow me to play my PS5 and Xbox Series X games even more clearly. Although the TVs are not cheap at $1,800 at Best Buy for a 65-inch model, they come loaded with features such as support for 4K resolutions, 120Hz refresh rate, Nvidia GSync and AMD FreeSync. This TV would be a significant upgrade to the 21.5-inch monitor I currently use for gaming. I will be keeping my eyes open until I am able to spend the money. Jay Peters, news reporter
After building the Lego Star Wars Ultimate Millennium Falcon, I have no idea what I would do with it. It's not as though I have a place to store such a large Lego set. The UCS Falcon is much larger than a reconfigurable pirate boat / island, or a spaceship, and it would be difficult to transport it around the room with my daughters.
I don't expect anyone to buy it for me. Especially considering that the original $800 price tag has increased by a fifth (when it is still available). It would be a great afternoon project, and I'd love time with friends to build it. -- Sean Hollister, senior reports editor
LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Millennium Falcon $1,000 This is the ultimate LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon and it's the perfect gift for both novice builders and adult Star Wars fans. Amazon: $1,000
Although I am not a professional, I have been ice skating since I was nine years old. This year has been my longest off-ice period, despite all the closures to the rinks. I was not like others who did indoor cycling or ran during the lockdown. I took some virtual ballet lessons at home and also swam laps around our pool. I'm far from being in skating form.
There is no substitute for the lateral movements, agility and coordination I get from working out on a slippery surface. Most gym equipment trains only forward movements and motions. It's difficult to find indoor ice time for adults, especially when you consider the unpredictable Northeast winters. To rebuild my skating skills, I can't afford to cover my entire apartment with synthetic ice tiles.
The Brrrn Sliding Board doesn't seem like much for $300. The board is a thin, shiny piece of wood with wooden stops at both ends to prevent you sliding on the slippery surface. These booties should be worn over your shoes to ensure you can safely exercise on the board. To maintain the smooth surface, spray polishing spray must also be used. It's compact size allows me to slide the board easily from under my couch to right in front of my TV for a quick session. So I have no excuse not to skate again. -- Gloria Sin, reviewer (mobile)
Brrrn Board $250 Fitness equipment that maximizes performance and minimizes joint stress. It also improves balance, mobility and endurance through lateral movements. Amazon: $250
Okay, so if you really want a gift that is "money no object", then Sennheiser's $1600 HD 800 S headphones would be the best choice. It's a lot to spend on headphones. And the open-back design makes them unsuitable for listening in quiet environments.
It would be great to be able sit at my desk and enjoy the best music possible, without making any compromises in terms of size or noise isolation. For commuting, I will stick with wireless noise-canceling headphones and for exercising, true wireless headphones. If we are talking about headphones for listening at home, what do you think? Please, the HD 800 S. -- Jon Porter, reporter
If my friends and family truly loved me, I would be grateful for $5,000 to purchase more tattoos. Although I have a few tattoos, the artists that I visit are very expensive. Although I am not sure that $5,000 is an accurate estimate of the designs I desire, it's a good start. It's a consolation to my loved ones that they will be fondly remembered every time I see the ink. This, and perhaps our TikTok followers would think that I look cool. -- Kaitlin Hatton, social media manager, e-commerce
I am a little bit of a wristwatch fan. Although I'm not a snob, I have an inexplicable love for watches that you can wear on your wrist. An Apple Watch is my favorite, but I don't think it can get me moving like an analog watch, no matter how cheap or expensive. Watches that are unique and authentic in design, engineering and overall enjoyment are what I love and enjoy. You won't find me without one.
Although I have a modest collection of watches that range from a $9 Casio to a sub-$200 Seiko, to a $600 G shock, I am now obsessed with a more expensive watch that cannot be purchased anymore. A small Italian watch company made the Unimatic Modello Uno U1–HGMT Limited Edition for Hodinkee. It features a GMT complication as well as a monochromatic design that appeals to me. Since I was a kid, I wanted a GMT watch. However, the best watches are expensive and can be found only at the top brands like Tudor, Breitling and Rolex. Some of these watches are too expensive for me, even though I love the Tudor Black Bay GMT. The Unimatic caught my attention in a very unique way.
You don't often see a watch made in Italy by a small independent brand. Perhaps it's my Italian-American heritage, or my obsession for black and grey, but I would be willing to spend $1,395 on this limited edition of 500 watches in order to have it as my forever companion. This is my favourite gift for holidays. Money was no option. It suits my style perfectly, so I don't feel guilty about it. Even a slightly worn-out one would be acceptable since the limited edition is gone. Watches should tell a story that you love and can share with others. -- Antonio G. Di Benedetto, commerce writer
I have an idea for Secret Santa who wants to be generous. I don't think I can justify spending $399 to get a 2TB drive for my Xbox Series X. This is especially since I already purchased a 1TB card earlier in the year and a mini-fridge for my Xbox.
New-gen games take up a lot of space. Waiting for a title is an unfair punishment for not prioritizing the games I have. Can more storage help me to play the one game that I do actually enjoy or make it easier to dig through the backlog of games that have only gotten longer since the pandemic? Maybe? What will I do if I don’t try?
You could delete all Game Pass games that I don't use and free up storage space of almost 2TB. But you can also be a good person. If you don't mind me buying a peripheral I don't really need, then get involved. The 2TB drive will be made available in December. -- Richard Lawler, senior news editor
The pandemic was a chaotic time in my life. I have neglected birdwatching, which is one of my most favorite outdoor activities. It would seem that watching these feathered dinosaur descendants in action at a park would provide a short respite from the stresses of the week. But for some reason, I haven’t been able push myself to go to any of my favorite spots.
Part of the reason may be that my binoculars have been pretty much destroyed. These binoculars weren't high-end, and they were not very sharp when I first looked at them. I am now in line to buy a new pair, but the more expensive binoculars are not always affordable.
Binoculars can be very personal. You have to test them all to determine which one works for you. I cannot say which binoculars I like best. Some I have in mind are in the middle of the $200 range, such as the Athlon Optics Midas, which were recommended by Wirecutter. But if money was no issue, I would be interested in the Zeiss Victory SF binocs at $2,750. Zeiss optics are well-known, so having a pair hanging around my neck would be a treat. -- Barbara Krasnoff, reviews editor