She Blinded Me with Science Geek
***image1***What budding scientist could resist the charms of a Horrible Science kit ($12-$26)? These bags of horrible items, available at Toyopolis (66 W. Marcy St., 988-8994), make squishy stuff (as seen on Discovery Health-c'mon! who doesn't enjoy a good trauma show?). Learn about the circ system with the Heaving Heart or make fake yak with the Sick Stomach kit. Gross out the grandparents and terrify the baby sitter; see, science is cool!
Tickle Me Jeero
Uglydolls ($6 and up) could be the next Beanie Babies, but their ugliness saves them from becoming the darlings of those crazy people who quit their jobs to deal Beanies on eBay. These handmade little guys have distinct personalities and relationships with other uglies. "Jeero" likes to hang out, and even though "Babo" has the IQ of a potted plant, he makes up for it by being super affectionate. "Wage" works hard for his money, just like Donna Summer, and "Ox" is not a very good listener. Collect all 14 plushies and keychains, and go ahead and quit your day job…these things are gonna be huge! Find them at Moon Rabbit Toys (112 W. San Francisco St., 982-9373).
Better Than Bratz
From the Unemployed Philosopher's Guild line of Brainy Beanies comes "Frida" ($16), a soft, huggable version of everyone's favorite tormented Mexican artist. She's got the usual deep-red velvet shawl, colorful flower headband and flashy jewelry. And no Frida is complete without an embroidered unibrow. Available at Jackalope (2820 Cerrillos Road, 471-8539).
***image4***Ready, Aim, Air Gun!
Before you dismiss this as some sort of NRA promo, hear us out. The Airzooka is an oversized air gun complete with trigger and sight ($16) that delivers a harmless shot of air 20 feet and makes a loud pop. It also works as a great training tool to keep crazy pollsters off your porch. The Airzooka comes in bright colors so the fuzz won't mistake it for the real deal. Find it at Horizons (328 S. Guadalupe St., 983-1554).
Is it Safe?
Start terrorizing the tots with this super cute, hand-painted wooden toothbrush holder with toothbrush and built-in minute timer ($14) available at Poem (125 E. Palace Ave., 820-7884). Remind them that nobody likes a yuckmouth and they'll escape being terrorized by that crazed dentist in Marathon Man by brushing and flossing…constantly.
Have a Seat
Kids have it so good these days. They no longer have to settle for the crappy Wiggles lounger that loses its shape in five minutes or the play furniture in primary colors. Gypsy Baby (318 S. Guadalupe St., 820-1898) stocks grown-up seating in a grown-up color: taupe. The armchair ($528), sofa ($825) and side table ($159) are made of durable rattan that likely blends in with Mommy's well-thought-out living room set.
Hydrogen, Now Available in Kids' Sizes
***image7***Whee! Billed as the world's smallest hydrogen car, the H-racer ($123) runs on real hydrogen fuel and includes a filling station and solar panel. It's slick and speedy, and assembly is required, though there's no word yet on whether it can be reconfigured as a WMD. Available at Science Toy Magic (500 Montezuma Ave. #109, Sanbusco Center, 820-7264).
She's too big for the little girl's section but not quite ready for the sorta toned-down prom fare that is one step away from Tweens Gone Wild. The 'rents can keep it clean with this delightful holiday dress ($103) in sizes 8-14 that's made with heirloom-quality thick taffeta in Christmas red. The tea-length bubble skirt with smocking and the elegant black velvet bodice are accented with a raw silk waist tie and a sweet rose at the back. You'll find it at Cherie Cherie (100 E. San Francisco St., La Fonda Hotel, 983-6386).
Touch My Monkey
Self-styled monkey man-child Paul Frank turns boring clothes into pure genius fun with T's, hoodies ($20 and up) and tons more, all adorned with the famous face of Julius, a simple chimp doing his best deadpan impression of a monkey. He's so recognizable, even John Lennon would say that he's bigger than Jesus. And now Julius is all packed up and ready to go home to a jet-setting kid on a rolling suitcase ($99). Don't forget to pack the crocheted sock monkey ($24)! Get Frank items at Merry Go Round (150 Washington Ave., 988-5422).
Storm the Castle
Kids will delight in the giant wooden castle ($75) designed and built by toymakers Melissa and Doug and for sale at kids' favorite hangout, the Santa Fe Children's Museum (1050 Old Pecos Trail, 989-8359). The castle comes complete with a drawbridge and gate, three people and a horse. Parents have come to trust the splinter-free edges and friendly painted faces that engage wee ones for hours of imaginative play.