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24 Father’s Day gifts under $50 for nerdy, geeky, and fun-loving dads

24 fun ways to show Dad how much you love him without emptying your bank account

24 Father’s Day gifts under $50 for nerdy, geeky, and fun-loving dads Credit: Halfpoint / Getty Images

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If your dad doesn’t fit the stereotypical “American father” mold, chances are a stereotypical present (think ties and tools) won’t cut it this Father’s Day. To help you find the perfect Father’s Day gift at a budget-friendly price, we’ve put together a list of 24 geeky, nerdy, and unusual items, all under $50, that we think your dad will love.

Gadgets, gizmos, and toys

1. Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook ($27 at Amazon)
This unique notebook easily transfers handwritten notes to digital files. And when Dad's done filling it up, he can erase the whole thing up to five times by microwaving it. No, we're not kidding.

Rocketbook Wave
Credit: Rocketbook

You can erase this book in a microwave.

2. 5-in-1 tool pen ($25 at UncommonGoods)
If your dad likes to tinker, this pen will surely come in handy all the time. In addition to writing, it includes a tablet stylus, screwdriver, bubble level, and ruler.

5-in-1 tool pen
Credit: UncommonGoods

Dad will never want to leave home without this handy tool pen.

3. LIFX WiFi smart LED color-changing bulb ($45.99 at Amazon)
Stick this lightbulb in any lamp or fixture around the house and Dad can control it right from his phone. This is perfect for dads who love to entertain.

LIFX Smart Bulb
Credit: LIFX

Control this color lightbulb with your phone.

4. Sugru Mouldable Glue ($15.24 at Amazon)
Glue might seem an odd gift for Dad, but this stuff is actually pretty cool. It feels like putty when you apply it, and it sets overnight into a rubber-like consistency. Dad can use it for all sorts of projects and repairs around the house.

moldable glue
Credit: Sugru

The possibilities are endless with this unique moldable glue.

5. Lightsaber umbrella ($20 at Amazon)
Dad will feel more powerful than a Jedi knight with this light-up umbrella. The shaft lights up in seven different colors to fight the dark side of any rainstorm.

Lightsaber Umbrella

Ward off rain and the dark side with this glowing umbrella.

6. Magnetic Sand Timer ($7.95 at Amazon)
OK, this thing is just cool to look at. It's reminiscent of Wooly Willy, but definitely much more stylish and sophisticated, albeit not quite as fun as the classic toy.

Magnetic Hourglass
Credit: UncommonGoods

This magnetic hourglass is sure to be a show-stopping addition to Dad's desk.

7. Magnetic sculpture desk toy ($9.99 at Amazon)
Fidget spinners are passé. Stick with this classic best-selling stress reliever for Dad to play with while he works.

magnetic desk toy
Credit: Glantop

Mold and smoosh these tiny beads to your heart's content.

8. Smartest Dad brain cell plush ($7.99 at ThinkGeek)
This brain cell plush lets everyone know your dad is the smartest guy you know. And it's just plain cute and cheesy. It'd be a great gift topper too.

Brain Cell
Credit: ThinkGeek

Let everyone know how smart your dad is.

9. Amazon Echo Dot ($39.99 at Amazon)
This hands-free home assistant is perfect for any dad who loves to play with techy toys and gadgets. At the very least, it'll mean he'll have someone else to talk to about the weather. And it's currently $10 off the usual $49.99 through June 18.

Amazon Echo Dot
Credit: Amazon

The Echo Dot is like a robot butler.

For the TV fanatic

10. Doctor Who robe ($48.99 at ThinkGeek)
This robe, officially licensed by BBC, is the perfect way for Dad to get comfy for a day of geeking out over Dad’s favorite shows. You can choose between the fourth Doctor or the Tardis.

Doctor Who robes
Credit: ThinkGeek

Give Dad the gift of nerdy comfort.

Sci-Fi DVD box sets

What better way to spend Father's Day than with an epic marathon of his favorite sci-fi series?
11. Star Trek: Original Series ($39 at Amazon)
12. Battlestar Galactica (1978) ($23.37 at Amazon)
13. Quantum Leap: Complete Series ($29.96 at Amazon)
14. Twilight Zone ($46.95 at Amazon)

SciFi DVDs
Credit: Amazon

Binge Dad's favorite show with him.

Is your dad always bemoaning his cable package? A streaming stick could be the perfect solution, and these three are all affordable and work great.

15. Roku Express ($29.99 at Target)
The Roku Express had easy-access buttons for Netflix, Hulu, Google Play, and Sling, and it works with loads of other streaming services.

Roku Express
Credit: Roku

Get one-touch access to the top streaming services.

16. Google Chromecast ($30 at Target)
Dad can stream TV, videos, and music from his smartphone to his TV with a Chromecast. All he needs is an HDMI port.

Google Chromecast
Credit: Google

Chromecast lets you stream anything from phone to TV.

17. Amazon Fire Stick with Alexa ($39.99 at Amazon)
Dad can simply tell Alexa to find a certain show or open an app, making it easier to find and watch shows he’ll love.

Amazon Fire Stick with Alexa
Credit: Amazon

Ask Alexa to find your favorite shows for you.

18. Sideclick universal remote attachment for Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV ($29.99 at Amazon)
If Dad already has a Fire Stick or Apple TV (2nd or 3rd gen. only), this remote add-on will streamline his experience by letting him control everything in his home theater from one remote.

Sideclick remote attachment
Credit: Sideclick

Turn that tiny remote into an all-in-one universal controller.

Unusual and geeky conversation pieces

19. Magnetic perpetual calendar ($32-$45 at UncommonGoods)
This calendar, originally designed to hang in the Museum of Modern Art, is simple yet exquisite in its design and function. Plus, it's eternally reusable so Dad will never need to buy another calendar again.

Perpetual Calendar
Credit: UncommonGoods

Dad can use this magnetic calendar year after year.

20. Aliens cookie jar ($29.99 at ThinkGeek)
If you dad enjoys a sweet snack while he watches Ripley take down a race of murderous aliens, this cookie jar will surely be a winner - and it comes in black or bronze.

Aliens cookie jar
Credit: ThinkGeek

This is one alien you won't want to get away from.

21. Etched rocks glasses in various designs ($13-$28 at UncommonGoods)
I've had the Boston city maps glasses for years and constantly get compliments when people come to visit. The craftsmanship alone makes these real showstoppers, and designs include various city maps, historical American documents, the classic lorem ipsum spiel, genetic codes and literary classics.

Etched City Map Glasses
Credit: UncommonGoods

These etched glasses come in a number of unique styles perfect for any dad.

22. Star Wars heat changing mugs in Death Star ($3.99 at ThinkGeek) and Millennium Falcon ($5.99 at ThinkGeek)
If your father leans toward the dark side, he’s sure to love this Death Star heat changing mug. But if he’s more of a rebel, you’ll probably want the Millennium Falcon version.

Star Wars Mugs
Credit: ThinkGeek

When the stars and explosions start to fade, your tea is cool enough to drink.

23. HODOR door stop ($19.99 at Amazon)
Any Game of Thrones fan is sure to get a good, sensible chuckle out of this practical yet whimsical gift.

Hodor Door Stop
Credit: HODOR

This is the best way for any GoT fan to 'hold the door.'

24. Useless box ($24.68 at Amazon)
An outstanding example of engineering at its most pointless, the Useless Box is sure to entertain everyone who comes to visit Dad.

Useless Box
Credit: Useless Box

This box may not be very useful, but it is fun.