Home / Features / Christmas Gift Guide 2022: 15 retro gadget gift ideas for nostalgic nerds

Christmas Gift Guide 2022: 15 retro gadget gift ideas for nostalgic nerds

Have yourself an old-school Yule

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas main image

Tired of keeping up with the current resident of 10 Downing Street? Forget the drama of present-day politics and escape to the festive bliss of yesteryear with these retro Christmas gift ideas.

Sure, celebrating like its Christmas past means no streaming 4K flicks and no using your smartphone as a distraction from pesky relatives. But with this haul of throwback goodies to unwrap, you’ll be too far down memory lane to care.

From instant cameras with old-school style to gaming revivals right out of your childhood, this vintage kit is sure to be a hit with any nostalgic recipient. Especially if you catch their reaction using that camcorder from the attic.


Our pick of the best retro Christmas gift ideas

Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo

Now that we’ve all got hugely capable snappers on our phones, any actual camera feels vaguely retro these days, but the Instax Mini Evo goes all out on the throwback. It has a built-in printer for spitting out the 4.9MP pictures it takes (or others from your paired phone), with a load of lens and film filters for giving them a suitably old-skool look. Just don’t forget to buy some extra film for it.


Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Marshall Motif ANC wireless earphones

Marshall Motif ANC

True wireless headphones are a thoroughly modern invention, but Marshall’s IPX4-rated Motif ANC in-ears look like they could’ve come straight from rock ‘n’ roll’s heyday. As well as being instantly recognisable thanks to the famous logo and the classic Marshall look, they come with active noise–cancelling, customisable touch controls, and a matching charging case that adds 20 hours to the 4.5-hour battery life. Classic rock playlist encouraged, but not compulsory.


Nikon Z fc retro mirrorless camera

Nikon Z fc

Think photography’s too easy these days, what with all the Wi-Fi and live-streams instead of fiddly reels and chemical baths? Shoot like its the Eighties with Nikon’s throwback snapper. A tribute to the FM2, the Z fc apes its analogue ancestor in every way – from the textured shell to the LCD aperture readout. Well, every way apart from what’s underneath. Don’t tell your mates at film photography club: there’s a very modern mirrorless camera hiding inside. Perfect for pretending you still like the old ways, while quietly admitting that digital isn’t the death of creativity.


Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Sega Mega Drive Mini 2

SEGA Mega Drive Mini 2

You don’t need to be a ’90s kid to know about gaming’s 16-bit glory days. So legendary are the era’s titles that even someone who thinks the Mega Drive is a golf shot can tell you what Sonic looks like. But what if you want to relive the authentic Sega experience without hacking an HDMI cable into an original? This compact reproduction is the answer. Inspired by the Mega Drive 2, the second-gen Mini ships with 60 classics installed. A wired controller is included in the box, while a second USB port lets you add another pad for multiplayer nostalgia.


Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Amazfit GTR4

Amazfit GTR4

Prefer a smartwatch that can also pass as an analogue tick-tocker? Amazfit’s GTR4 is packed with modern smarts, such as dual-band GPS, a PPG biometric sensor and expansive fitness- and sleep-tracking capabilities, but maintains a vintage feel with its classic chronograph styling. That’s only enhanced if you opt for the leather strap rather than a silicone or fabric band, but there’s no avoiding one real giveaway: the circular 1.43in always-on AMOLED display. 


Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Klipsch Heritage speakers

Klipsch Promedia Heritage 2.1

Bluetooth was just a dead Danish king when Klipsch first started making speakers back in 1946 – and while this 220-watt wireless system looks old-fashioned, it adds a retro twist to any desktop. The 8in sub looks after the low end, while the two main speakers have 3in long-throw woofers, 1in soft dome tweeters, and removable grilles. There are even RCA inputs if you prefer retro connectivity as well as looks.


Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Lego Atari 2600

Lego Atari 2600

It’s hard to imagine Lego making an Xbox Series X in 40 years’ time (mainly because a plain black cuboid would be pretty boring to build) but the Atari 2600 comes from a time when consoles looked more interesting. Once its 2532 pieces have been assembled correctly it has flickable switches and a joystick that you can waggle, plus there’s a nostalgic ‘80s living room scene to be found if you open up the front.


Bubble Bobble Quarter Scale Arcade Cabinet for retro gaming fans

Bubble Bobble Quarter Scale Arcade Cabinet

Building a miniature arcade for Santa’s little helpers? This faithful replica of a Bubble Bobble cabinet is scaled-down to quarter size – ideal for elves (or retro gamers without room for a full-height machine). It’s fully playable too, so those with dinky digits can direct tiny dinosaurs around the emulated Eighties display. Coin slots and an original livery add to the dwarfed authenticity, plus you can stick it in a cupboard when the grown-ups come over.


Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Nokia 8210 feature phone

Nokia 8210 4G

If you know somebody who claims they don’t make phones like they used to, buy them a Nokia 8210 4G. It’s not exactly the same as the late-nineties original but the resemblance is obvious, plus you get a suitably simple 2.8in QVGA screen, 0.3MP camera, 128MB of built-in storage, and a removable battery that’ll last nearly a month on standby. Oh, and yes it does come with Snake.


Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Ruark R2 Mk4

Ruark R2 Mk4

Ruark’s R2 might look like an old-fashioned radio but behind its hand-crafted wooden grille, auto-dimming colour LCD display and Rotodial control system you’ll find a very capable little music system. As well as DAB, FM and internet radio it’ll also let you listen to stuff over Bluetooth, or stream directly from Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer. If it sounds half as good as Ruark’s MR1 desktop speakers you’ll never want to turn it off.


Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Logitech MX Keys Mini

Logitech MX Mechanical Mini

Nothing takes you back to the good old days of computing like using a proper mechanical keyboard, but Logitech’s compact Bluetooth version isn’t short of modern bells and whistles. The smart backlight only appears when your hands approach the low-profile switches and it adjusts depending on how dark it is. You can switch between connected devices at the push of a button and there’s even a dedicated Mac version available.


Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Elago W8 Apple Watch stand

Elago W8 Stand for Apple Watch

Remember when the definition of a smartwatch was one that also had a calculator built in? Apple’s wearable might be a lot cleverer than that, but we’ve still got a lot of time for this silicone stand for it. Slot your charger through the back, pop your Apple Watch in the top, and its screen will peep through the hole at the top, making it look like you’ve got a calculator on your bedside table.


Retro Christmas Gift Ideas: Polaroid P3 Bluetooth speaker

Polaroid P3

Polaroid is up there with Sinclair, Delorean and, er, Woolworths when it comes to much-loved retro brand names, but try to take a photo with one of its latest products and you’ll be very disappointed. The P3 is a 35-watt Bluetooth speaker that comes in five different colours – yellow, blue, red, grey and black – and lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge. But it’s the old-skool boombox design that really sets it apart from the sea of other wireless speakers out there, with a chunky analogue dial for adjusting the volume and a polished metal handle for carrying it on your shoulder.


Back to the Future vs Knight Rider retro Scalextric set

Back to the Future vs Knight Rider Scalextric

As icons of the 1980s go you don’t get much bigger than Marty McFly and Michael Knight, so who better to combine with another fondly remembered toy from days gone by? This 5.3-metre Scalextric track comes with both Knight Rider’s KITT and a time-travelling Delorean from Back to the Future. Unfortunately it’s powered by electricity rather than plutonium, so you’ll have to make do with staying right here in 2022.


Evercade EXP handheld retro gaming console

Evercade EXP

Retro gaming used to be a pain in the joystick but Evercade’s EXP makes it easier than beating a blindfolded toddler on Street Fighter II. The handheld comes with a 4.3in IPS screen and 18 Capcom classics built in, including Strider, Final Fight and the aforementioned 2D beat ‘em up, plus there’s another six arcade games on the bundled cartridge. Bored of all those? There are 35 other collections available to buy separately.