Gift-giving is much easier for some than others; we all know someone who is harder to find the right gift for. And, typically speaking, it’s common for the dad of the family to be the toughest to buy for.
However, anyone with a boy between the ages of 12-15 years old knows that they are just as tough to buy presents for. When it comes to finding the best gifts for 13-year-old boys, it’s especially hard because they’re at the age where they want to be…cool.
That’s it, really — 13-year-olds just want people to think they’re cool. As newly minted teens, they’re still searching for what that “cool” really is. So, I’m here to help you point them in the right direction — towards the cool.
Whether you’re looking for their birthday, Christmas, or any other occasion, here are the top 30 best gifts for 13-year-old boys in 2018:
1. Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII 25-key USB Drum Pad
The Akai MPK MIni MKII is a great starter musician’s tool that I keep recommending time and time again. This Midi Drum Pad and keyboard will allow them to create their very own music with their computer, and it’ll also present them with a brand new hobby: making music.
Don’t let its price tag fool you, though. While there are other much more expensive midi keyboards on the market, the Akai MPK MKII comes packed with features. It has 25-synth-action mini-keys, 8 touch-sensitive drum pads and eight controllable/assignable knobs that all work in conjunction with their computer and the included software (as well as other, more advanced software options like FL Studio or Ableton Live). It comes with Akai Pro MPC Essentials, SONiVOX Wobble 2, AIR Hybrid 3, and preset editor software.
The MPK Mini MKII is also highly portable, fitting in most 15″ backpacks with ease. See the video below to see exactly what it can do:
2. HyperX Cloud Revolver S Gaming Headset
Gaming without a headset should be considered a crime, especially if you’re playing a competitive video game like Overwatch, Call of Duty, Battlefield 1, or Halo. And, even if your teen doesn’t play those types of games, having a headset on while playing any game helps with immersion.
If they don’t already have a headset or they’re still using the one that came with their game console, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S headset is a great upgrade. It’s a versatile headset that works with virtually anything with a 3.5″ jack: the PC, PS4, Xbox One (although you may need an adapter), Mac, and even their smartphone and tablet. When it’s plugged into a PC, it has full Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound, which is pumped through its 50mm drivers for unrivaled quality in the price range.
The headset, itself, is extremely comfortable and stylish, and it’s made with a durable steel frame so that you don’t have to worry about them breaking it a week after you bought it for them. This is the gaming headset I use nightly, and the fact that it works with pretty much all of their game consoles is a HUGE plus.
3. Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s newest console, bringing a home console/handheld hybrid to your living room. It’s an impressive video game console that’s on pace to outsell the 3DS with ease, and its popularity is likely due to the fact that it can be played right in your hands OR on a big screen when connected to a TV.
There are already so many great games on the Nintendo Switch, including Game of the Year contender The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Splatoon 2. What’s more, one of the biggest video games of the year is releasing exclusively for the Switch later this year when Super Mario Odyssey hits retailers.
The console is appealing to parents because of its handheld capabilities, which means your kids won’t be hogging the living room TV with their gaming.
4. Super Mario Odyssey
The most anticipated game of the year happens to be a Nintendo Switch exclusive, and we’re expecting another GOTY contender with Super Mario Odyssey, which is set to release in late October. The game will revolve around Mario trying to (yet again) save Princess Peach from Bowser, but this time, he brings some new tricks and mechanics. He’ll travel across many worlds (in the style of Mario 64) on a hat-shaped ship named the “Odyssey”, and the hub world is set in New Donk City (which looks unlike anything we’ve seen in a Mario game before).
What’s more, Mario will have a sentient hat that gives him new abilities as he traverses these new worlds.
5. LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Bulb
If your thirteen-year-old is into cool tech, check out the LIFX Smart LED Light Bulb. With this bulb, they’re able to illuminate their room in any color that they want (as long as it’s one of the 16 million colors this light is capable of). The light is controlled with their smartphone or tablet, and it works with a program called IFTTT (If This Than That) that will allow their light to react to different events from other apps (for example, when their weather app sends them a notification that it’s raining out or when they receive a new tweet).
It also works with Amazon’s Alexa, so they’re able to set it up to do things like dim the lights when they turn on Netflix.
What sets it apart from similar LED smart lights like the Philips Hue is that it doesn’t require a hub, so the price is drastically reduced.
Price: $49.99 (17 percent off MSRP)
6. Create Your Own Comic Book Kit
Is he an artist? Do you see him frequently holding DC or Marvel’s latest comic books? Check out the My Comic Book: Make Your Own Comic Book kit. This is a super interesting idea for his age group because it’ll harness their artistic ability and creativity.
With this kit, they’ll be able to make their own comic and have it professionally printed. They’ll simply design their comic with the provided pages, pens, and markers, and then they’ll send it out to the company with a pre-paid envelope. In just a few weeks, it’ll return professionally printed.
7. Elgato Game Capture HD60 S
If they want to stream their PS4 or Xbox One gameplay on Twitch or YouTube they’ll need a game capture card. The best option is the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S, which is incredibly easy to set up, thanks to its USB plug n’ play capabilities.
They’ll simply plug their game console into one of the ports, and an HDMI cable from the card to their PC monitor, and they’ll be able to stream and record their gameplay with ease.
Also, if they’re not into streaming, they’ll be able to record and edit their gameplay clips.
8. Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Open Ear Bone Conduction Wireless Headphones
Looking for something really “cool”? These Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headphones don’t actually cover the ear, but instead, they use bone conduction technology to create mini vibrations that send sound through their cheekbones directly to the inner ears.
That means that when he’s running or skateboarding in the street, he’ll still have open ears to hear what’s going on around them — whether it be a car driving by or someone trying to his attention.
Or if he’s in his room listening to music, he’ll still be able to hear you calling him down for dinner.
The technology is super cool and super useful, and it has a battery that lasts for 6 hours of playback. They’re available in bright green, blue, pink, and slate grey.
Price: $111.00 (15 percent off MSRP)
9. Arrma Senton 6S BLX 4WD RC Super Duty Truck
Don’t go to Toys R’ Us or Walmart for your RC needs, because frankly, they only carry toy RC cars that aren’t impressive at all, meant to be a cheap gift come Christmas time. Instead, get him an RC car that’s a bit more formidable and impressive, like the Arrma Senton 6S BLX 4WD RC Super Duty Truck. This baby has speed and control that will shock him, and he’ll be the envy of all of his friends.
This RC truck can really take a beating, thanks to its durable design that includes a tough roll cage and durable wheels. It comes ready to run, and thanks to its brushless 2050kv motor, it certainly CAN run.
This thing is lightning quick and can reach speeds over 40 MPH with ease.
What’s more, it’ll also potentially fuel his need to take things apart and put them back together, as it has a lot of potential repairs, upgrades, and tweaks. These types of RC cars are a tinkerer’s dream.
10. Fender Acoustic Guitar Bundle
Looking to harness their love of music? You simply won’t find a better name brand than Fender, and that’s why we highly recommend this starter Fender Acoustic Guitar Bundle. It comes with a beautiful (albeit simple) 20-fret rosewood hardwood guitar that has a laminated spruce top and a full-size body for a full, rich sound. It comes with extra strings, some picks, a strap, a bag, and an instructional DVD that they’ll never use (because, let’s face it, who likes to be told how to do something at that age).
11. Akaso EK700 4K Action Camera Waterproof
Teenagers love for others to think they’re cool, and one way for them to get feedback from their friends is with an action camera. The Akaso EK700 4K Action Camera is your best option if you’re looking for quality that won’t break the bank. It records impressive Ultra HD 4K video footage, it’s entirely waterproof, and it comes with a wireless wrist remote control. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and HDMI output so that they’ll be able to share their footage with friends in just minutes.
It comes with two rechargeable batteries, with each battery lasting 90 minutes when recording. With this, they’ll be able to capture tons of awesome footage no matter what they’re into — skateboarding, surfing, mountain biking, hiking, etc.
Price: $74.99 (25 percent off MSRP)
12. AOMAIS Sport II Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (Waterproof)
Give your 13-year-old the gift of sound on the go with a well-made wireless bluetooth speaker. Take the AOMAIS Sport II Portable Bluetooth Speaker, for instance, which is waterproof and has a stereo pairing. This thing is HIGHLY durable, thanks to a rugged and tough design. Of course, it also sounds great, pushing out 20W. It has a rechargeable battery that’s long-lasting.
Thanks to its rugged design, he’ll be able to take it with him outside without worrying about breaking it.
Price: $49.99 (71 percent off MSRP)
13. LEGO Architecture Studio Building Blocks Set
LEGOs aren’t just for kids — there are some great LEGO Star Wars sets as well as some LEGO Architecture kits that are made for the older crowd. Take this LEGO Architecture Building Blocks set, for example, which comes with 1,210 pieces.
It’s not made for them to create some dinosaurs or cars or other types of typical LEGO creations — although they can make those with this kit too. Instead, this kit is intended to harness their interest in architecture, with 1210 white and transparent LEGO bricks and a 272-page guidebook for inspiration. If your thirteen year old has shown any interest in buildings and other architecture, this could make a really great and thoughtful gift.
Of course, skateboards aren’t a novel idea, by any means, but it’s really worth mentioning the importance of getting them a quality skateboard instead of buying them a cheap one from Wal-mart or Toys R’ Us. At 13, they’re likely ready for a pro-worthy deck, like something from Toy Machine or Enjoi. More specifically, with all of the available deck designs and artwork, find them a deck that fits their personality. My universal pick of choice is this Toy Machine Mustachio board.
15. Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam
With kids these days turning their backs on traditional careers in favor of internet fame, this is the time to help harness their interest. In fact, a recent study of a thousand children revealed that 3/4 of young people want a career in online videos.
So, if your 13 yr old has mentioned interest in streaming on Twitch or creating their own YouTube videos, check out the Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam. It comes in at under $85, and it’s a great, high-quality webcam that will allow them to create quality video content, even if they’re just sharing it with friends and family.
This webcam is capable of streaming full 1080p at 30fps or 720p at 60fps, and it’s specifically designed with social gaming and entertainment streaming on sites like Twitch and YouTube.
More importantly, though, is that it comes with unique background replacement technology that really works well. Instead of having to purchase a green screen, the Logitech C922x Pro Stream uses scanning technology to separate you (in your chair) from the background behind you, allowing you to replace the background with an image or video with ease. This type of technology makes video game streaming much easier for the streamer, which is why the Logitech C922x is our webcam of choice.
16. Nike Mens Pullover Hoodie
At 13, they’re likely starting to develop their own fashion sense and style. But, also at 13, it’s super difficult to get quality clothes because, as Will Smith said best, “Parents Just Don’t Understand”.
Get him a quality Nike Mens Pullover Hoodie that both looks greats and will keep him warm on cooler days. These pullover hoodies are equal parts style and comfort.
17. Fire HD 8 Tablet
Amazon’s all-new Fire HD 8 Tablet is an incredible Android-based tablet that won’t break the bank, and it has enough power to run every app and game I’ve thrown at it. Whether they want to play the recently released Albion Online or any of their streaming apps, the Fire HD 8 Tablet can handle it.
It also comes with Alexa, meaning they can control their Echo or Echo Dot (if they have one) with this tablet.
18. Creative Motion Supernova Color Changing Sphere
Give them the power of having a cool light show right in their room with the Creative Motion Supernova Color Changing Sphere.
It has 9 LED bulbs within, and it has 6 modes of operation for different lighting effects. This little globe will change the vibe of their entire room thanks to the cool lighting.
Price: $28.25 (11 percent off MSRP)
19. Catan 5th Edition
Thirteen is the right age to get them started (and hooked-on) Settlers of Catan. Check out the 5th edition of this popular board game, which has new graphics, board design, and cards, as well as an expanded rulebook. It’s a game that’s competitive and fun, with players gathering resources and trading with other traders. It works best with 3-4 players, and each game will vary in length (typically takes about an hour or so to find a victor). There are also plenty of expansions that add new wrinkles after they’ve played enough of the original.
20. Parrot BeBop 2 Drone
While the Parrot BeBop 2 drone isn’t as advanced as some of the year’s best new drones (like the DJI Mavic or Spark, for example), it comes in at the right price and is one of the easiest drones to fly. This makes it the perfect option for novices to the hobby.
The BeBop 2 can shoot full HD 1080p videos and 14MP stills, and it has 3-axis digital stabilization for smoothness. It also has 25 minutes of battery life per charge, thanks to its high capacity battery. I’ve found that the BeBop 2 is equally fun to fly as it is recording footage.
Price: $499 (29 percent off MSRP)
21. Nerf N-Strike Elite AccuStrike Series AlphaHawk
One of Nerf’s hottest new toys is the AccuStrike Series AlphaHawk, a ridiculously cool shooter with the look of a futuristic shotgun. It has a pop-out barrel, and it’s a bolt-action blaster that shoots darts that are specifically designed for greater accuracy. It comes with 10 darts.
22. Kanjam Ultimate Disc Game
Kanjam is a great new game to play with friends or family at the beach or in the yard. It comes with two goals (small cans) and a Kanjam frisbee. It’s played in two teams of two (like cornhole), and there are many ways to score points. You can get 3 points for a slam dunk, 2 points if you hit the can, 1 point if it’s deflected and it hits the can, and then an instant win if you happen to throw your disc into the little slot in the front. Games are played to 21, and it’s incredibly fun. Your 13-year-old will love the competitive game, and he’ll love having something to play with his friends.
23. Destiny 2
One of 2017’s most anticipated games is Destiny 2 for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC. It’s an action shooter that highly suggests playing with friends. It’s heavy on the sci-fi, complete with laser rifles, spaceships, and alien races. And, trust me when I tell you, all of his friends are going to be playing it.
24. Overwatch Figure
Overwatch has become much more than just a video game; it’s now a cultural phenomenon. What better way to celebrate their love for this incredibly popular game than to get them an Overwatch figure. There are many different types available, with some of the lower tier ones (Funko Pops) starting at $9.50.
Price: Starting at $9.50
25. Laser X Gaming Set
Laser tag is always incredibly fun for young teens, and that’s why the new Laser X Gaming Set makes a great gift for 13 yr olds. This two-player starter pack comes with two laser guns and two targets, and they have a 60-meter range on them. With the Laser X kit, they’re able to play an intense game of laser tag right in the yard.
26. Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop
Dropping $1,000 on a gift might not be ideal for some, but for others, getting them a high-quality gaming laptop is a great option. The Acer Aspire VX 15 gaming laptop is a great deal for $1,000, as it comes with everything they’ll need to run the hottest new games. It has an i7 Intel Core CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB SSD. While it might be considered a mid-tier gaming laptop, it has more than enough oomph to run the latest games in glorious Full HD.
Price: $999.99 (5 percent off MSRP)
27. Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 3 Wireless Speaker
Harman Kardon is an audio company well-known for its super high quality, and their Onyx Studio 3 Wireless Speaker makes for a great gift for teens. It isn’t intended to be a portable speaker like the AOMAIS speaker above, as this one focuses on delivering high-quality sound. It connects via Bluetooth to virtually any device, and it has a charge that lasts for 5 hours. Each speaker has its own woofer and tweeter, and it pushes out impressive lows and highs.
Price: $131.99 (71 percent off MSRP)
28. Xbox One S 1TB Battlefield V Bundle
Whether they already have the original Xbox One or they have yet to dip their toes into the water, the Xbox One S 1TB Battlefield V Bundle is a great option. The Xbox One S looks better, is smaller, and is more powerful than its predecessor, and the upgrades don’t go unnoticed when jumping from the original to the Xbox One S.
This Xbox One S 1TB Battlefield V Bundle comes with one of the most anticipated games of the year, and it comes with 1 month of Xbox Games Pass, EA Access, and a 14-day Xbox Live trial.
29. LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon
If he’s a lover of all things Star Wars, one of the best LEGO Star Wars sets for sale is the LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon. It’s aimed at ages 9-14, and it comes with 1,329 pieces. With those pieces, they’ll be able to build a replica Millennium Falcon, the most popular ship in the galaxy. It also includes 6 mini-figures and a BB-8 figure.
30. GameStop Gift Card
While I typically like to avoid giving gift cards as much as possible, picking out video games for someone else can be a nightmare. Kids are very particular about the types of games they want to play, so getting them something like Call of Duty when they’re a Battlefield 1 player won’t go over well. So, why not let them pick? Get them a GameStop Gift Card and put whatever value you want on it. It’ll save you the headache of trying to determine their most wanted games, and it’ll save them the disappointment.
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