Since you are already looking for gadget gifts, why not buy ones that benefit education, a public service or the less fortunate? You would be surprised at how many great toys are affiliated with charitable organizations.
BTW, if you hate the gallery format as much as the you hate Japan-only gadgets, click here.
Without a doubt, 826 National's line of quirky stores and products offer the biggest and nerdiest bang for your charity buck. For example—at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply company you can purchase a set of vacuum suction cups for scaling the exterior of buildings. If the whole Spider-Man thing isn't for you, how about the power of invisibility? An "invisible" suit is available for the low price of $20,800. Of course, these products are meant as novelties only, but the proceeds benefit 826 National—a nonprofit tutoring, writing, and publishing organization for kids. The Suction Cups are priced at $19. [826 National Stores]
The Smithsonian museums are some of the best in the world—the storehouse of our nation's treasures. The products the Smithsonian Institution offers through their stores directly support the museums, and are patterned after artifacts in their archives. Designed to look like a classic car dashboard, this weather station includes dials for a clock, thermometer and hygrometer. $45 [SmithsonianStore]
If you have a love for modern art and design, you have probably paid a visit to the MoMa gallery in New York. In addition to their collections, MoMa also has a top notch retail store with thousands of unique gifts. The Icon Watch pictured here would be great for fans of classic gaming. All proceeds from purchases benefit the museum. $75 [MoMa]
It seems like the vast majority of products tied in with Susan G. Komen for the Cure are offering half-assed donations at best. At least KitchenAid is taking it seriously by donating $50 for each pink stand mixer sold (and there is no "charity premium" tacked on to the price). A bit tacky, but this is probably the best countertop mixer you can buy, making it a great gift for anyone that loves too cook. And I'm sure they can look past the pink when you tell them that the proceeds benefit breast cancer research. $300 [KitchenAid]
The (Product) Red movement has endured its fair share of criticism, but if you prefer to have part of your gadget gift purchase go to an organization raising awareness about AIDS in Africa instead of Apple or Dell, the option is there. Just make sure that the manufacturer isn't charging a premium for RED products. The RED iPod nano starts at $149. [Apple]
If you are going to get an indoor cycling bike for you or a chubby loved one, it only makes sense to buy the one endorsed by the greatest cyclist of all-time. Plus, proceeds from the sale go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research. $1000 [Dick's Sporting Goods]
If you are a fan of NPR, you can show your support by purchasing their exclusive internet radio from Livo. You can listen to NPR member stations from around the country, to the 16,000+ radio stations streaming on the internet, or to the music on your MP3 player. Plus, built-in NPR menus allow classical music fans to easily find, search and bookmark NPR stations, podcasts, and content, by topic or by program. $200 [NPR]
Zambi the baby elephant "responds to your voice and touch with trunk curls, ear wiggles and baby elephant trumpeting and chewing sounds." It also giggles and blows kisses. Surely, your kids will love it, and a portion of the proceeds go to benefit children in Africa that have been orphaned by AIDS. $34 with free shipping [Amazon]
Don't forget to recommend your own favorite charitable gift ideas in the comments—include pic and pricing if possible.
All Giz Wants is our annual round-up of favorite gift ideas, including amazing attainable objects and a few far-out fantasies. We'll be popping guides catered to different interests several times per day for the next week, so keep checking back.