Sports Memorabilia and Collectibles for Kids Gift Buying Guide
Most sports collectibles today are geared at the adult fan. But that doesn't mean there aren't some great gift ideas for young sports fans. From toys and games to cards and decorations, there are plenty of things to get this holiday season.
Here are some of our favorites, all of which are readily available for $50 or less.
LEGO is one of the all-time classic gifts. They let kids build, play and create. Until recently, there hasn't been a lot of LEGO-related items for sports fans. There was a playable soccer series. An NBA line was short-lived.
Enter Oyo minifigures, an ambitious line of toys that are taking the MLB and NFL by storm, boasting a massive checklist of figures for team and player fans.
Oyo figures are very similar to the immensely popular LEGO figures. The differences are subtle. They're the same size, their feet will fit with LEGO sets, they have that same smile. But the big draw for Oyos is that they made for real players.
All MLB teams have Oyo figures. In fact, you could field an entire starting lineup for most franchises. They come with a very rough, pretty generic cartoon likeness. Facial hair and skin color are the main indicators, at least in the face. But they come with a personalized jersey complete with team logo, number and name. You can also buy generic players that don't have a name or number. Each baseball figure comes with a ball, cap, bat, glove and stand.
Besides current MLB players on their teams, Oyo has expanded with a Cooperstown line that captures all-time greats, All-Stars and minor leaguers.
Football Oyo minifigures follow a similar approach with the generic faces and custom jerseys. Still rolling out, the player selection for football figures isn't quite as big. Still, all teams are represented. Football figures come with a helmet, football, water bottle and stand.
Individual Oyo minifigures can be found for $10 to $15.
Want your kids dreaming of their favorite players and teams? Send them to bed with plush toys from Bleacher Creatures. The company makes a ton of novelty toys for kids, including capes, tiaras and stuffed cheerleaders. But the real standouts are their lines of plush puppets and player stuffies.
The lines cover all four major professional sports as well as select college teams. They are designed to give players a cartoon likeness. They also come in a full uniform, complete with logos. Plush players come in three sizes: 7", 10" and 14", all of which are available for under $25. Most top superstars have a stuffed toy. Hand puppets are much more limited as far as player selection goes. Several mascots have puppets too.
Posters have always been a favorite way to deck out a the bedroom of a sports fan. They still are. But new technology has made the idea even better. Fathead has a whole line of products for sports fans, most of which are removable wall decals. Fathead Junior items are perhaps the most suitable for kids.
They come in a variety of forms and styles, but the most popular are bound to be the die-cut player cutouts. Standing about 3' tall, they stick directly to the wall. They can also be taken down safely and moved around. There are also team packs that come with logos and banners.
Fathead Juniors come in all four major sports and run well under $50.
Fathead also has full-sized athlete wall decals that reach more than 6' tall. These are about $100.
Many of today's card collectors got started with sticker albums. For years, Topps and Panini have been producing stickers for baseball, basketball, football and hockey. Stickers offer the same benefits as cards, but they're a lot more straightforward than most sports card sets. And cheaper.
The idea is simple. Buy an album for a dollar or two. Then you buy packs of stickers, usually for a dollar or less, and fill the album. Panini even has a mail-away offer where collectors can order the last few stickers they need for a reasonable price.
Panini currently makes sticker albums for soccer, basketball, hockey and football. Topps is the lone baseball sticker producer.
Shop for sports stickers:
Of course, there's the classic gift for kids who like sports -- cards. Here are a few sets aimed at younger collectors:
Triple Play Baseball - The set includes puzzles, player stickers, tattoos and even wearable eye black (don't worry -- they're stickers). Players in 2013 Triple Play Baseball are done as drawings, adding to the overall fun feel of the set. Boxes cost less than $30.
Topps Opening Day - Very similar in design to the base 2013 Topps Baseball set, 2013 Opening Day is much cheaper. Inserts include mascots and 3-D cards. Autographs are very tough to come by, but they're in there too.
Topps Football Complete Sets - The 2013 Topps Complete Set comes with all 440 cards. No ripping packs or missing cards. It's convenient, reasonably priced and loaded with rookies. Hobby sets also have five exclusive orange parallel cards not found anywhere else.
Score Hockey - Like Hoops Basketball and Opening Day Baseball, 2013-14 Score Hockey offers a lot of bang for its buck -- quite literally. For about a dollar a pack, collectors get a ton of cards. The photography is sharp, there are lots of inserts and every card is full on information.