Forget fiscal cliffs, family get-togethers and falling outdoor temperatures. You should be thinking about finishing your holiday shopping right about now.
You're in luck. Here is a can't-miss South Florida holiday gift guide featuring some of the coolest gifts available this year at local and online retailers. You'll find something for your favorite four-year-old, football fan, even the neighbor who worries about losing power in a storm. These products were made by South Florida companies, or with South Floridians in mind.
Hello Kitty Shoulder Buddies, $5.99. You've hit cute, cuddly gold if you love someone who loves Hello Kitty — or pink. These super-pink-colored collectibles, featuring Kitty and her assorted wild-haired pals, make perfect stocking stuffers.
Each figure has a removable magnetic coin that can be placed under a shirt and affixed to the figure, allowing them to hang out on your shoulder all day. Made by Boca Raton toy maker, The Bridge Direct, these imaginative darlings were invented by Jeaneen and Kevin Muller of Coral Springs. Visit TheBridgeDirect.com or call 561-997-8901.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey miniature action figures and packs, $7.99 to $29.99. Who isn't excited about this week's release of the Peter Jackson-directed epic film? Thanks to The Bridge Direct, fan of any age can relive the shire magic all year with this line of action figures based on the movie, including Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey and Thorin Oakenshield, each 3.75-inches tall.
You'll dig the lifelike detail of faces and weapons, as well as the option to buy single figures, two-packs and the ultimate Battle Pack (with Goblin King squaring off with Thorin) and the Box Set (with five characters and accessories). Visit TheBridgeDirect.com or call 561-997-8901.
Bounce Bounce Tigger, $39.99. This year's crazy Tigger toy is no disappointment. Created by Just Play of Deerfield Beach, he is practically guaranteed to dance, shake and bounce-bounce-bounce until you do.
He is a winner of the 2012 Toys R Us Hot Holiday Toys list, likely because of how he frenetically turns his head, waves his hands and springs to the left and right with the help of that oh-so magical tail. Visit JustPlayToys.com or call 800-317-3245.
Doc McStuffins "Time For Your Check-Up" Doll, $39.99. Honestly, this is my favorite TV doctor. And McStuffins, the Disney Junior series character who takes the fear out of going to the real doctor and encourages kids to stay healthy, comes to life with this doll set by Just Play.
It comes packed with Doc, pal Lambie and accessories, such as a stethoscope and thermometer. My favorite feature is ho6Lambie giggles and talks as Doc checks her heart, ears and temperature. Visit JustPlayToys.com or call 800-317-3245.
NFL Crock-Pot Slow Cooker, Six-Quart with Miami Dolphins logo, $59.99. If you really love football, you love tailgating — or at least eating while catching the game. You'll score a culinary TD with this slow-cooker by Crock-Pot, a subsidiary of Jarden Consumer Solutions, headquartered in Boca Raton. This slow-cooker is covered in the official team colors and logo of the Dolphins (or any other NFL team, if you must).
It has oversized handles for easy toting, and the removable stoneware doubles as a serving dish. Your Cuban black bean soup, Holy Mole chicken posole or Gameday Sunday chicken and noodles never tasted better. Or go with the 2.5-quart version for dips and spreads for $29.99. Visit Crock-Pot.com. Recipes available online, too.
Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Kit, solar charging kit for mobile devices, $159.95. Even with a power-outage at home, you can power your iPhone, iPad, cell phone, USB camera and more with this kit. The canvas-like package unfolds to reveal built-in solar panels. Just hang it on a tree or backpack for sun exposure to juice up the removable battery pack, which powers rechargeable AA and AAA batteries. Once charged, the battery pack can be connected to your iPad or other gadget.
Three hours under the sun will provide enough power to the battery pack to charge and recharge a device up three times, which can be handy while waiting for Florida Power & Light to make storm-related repairs. Visit GoalZero.com.
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