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Valentine’s Day 2024 gifts you should buy

Keep your loved ones guessing with these ideas

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An image consisting of four products featured in our Valentine’s Day gift guide, including a set of Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate bars, an illustration of a bookshelf by Jane Mount, the Talk to Me hand from the A24 Store, and an Apple iPad Pro. Image: Cameron Faulkner/Polygon | Source images: A24, Tony’s Chocolonely, Apple, Ideal Bookshelf
Cameron Faulkner (he/him) is Polygon’s commerce editor. He began writing about tech and gaming in 2013, and migrated from The Verge in 2023.

Whether you’re celebrating your valentine, galentine, or palentine (not your Pals in Palworld), getting them a gift is an awfully nice thing to do. Valentine’s Day is happening Wednesday, Feb. 14, and you have some time to grab something now so you don’t have to stress about last-minute gift options.

You know your loved ones’ taste better than we ever could. Maybe you know that experiences trump physical gifts for them, or vice versa. At Polygon, we like to recommend a wide range of gifts in case you’re striking out with other plans. The products below are things we’d love to give or receive — some of which are far outside the realm of what we usually cover. Hopefully, this list helps to make your special moments together a little better.

An image showing six Tony’s Chocolonely full-size chocolate bars arranged in three rows of two.
It’s guilt-free chocolate because Tony’s Chocolonely is made with fair-trade ingredients.
Image: Tony’s Chocolonely

Tony’s Chocolonely sampler

Getting chocolate samplers in the shape of a heart is a tried-and-true strategy for Valentine’s Day, but there are certainly other good options. If you want to try something new, or just something quirkier, get one of Tony Chocolonely’s bundles. They come in samplers filled with small bars for those who just like to dabble with chocolate, or in a pack with full-size bars for those who are more committed. In case you haven’t heard of this Dutch brand before, it’s made great chocolate that’s “exploitation free” since 2005, with fair-trade ingredients harvested by workers who are fairly paid.

If you want to get personal, Tony’s Chocolonely will let you customize the wrap of a chocolate bar with the colors, text, and images of your choosing.

An image showing the Talk to Me hand statue nestled into the box that it ships in. The film centers around a hand statue that causes people to be possessed and travel into dark dimensions when they lock into a handshake with it and say “Talk to me.”
Sign it, give it a shake, and smoke out of it, if you dare.
Photo: A24

Talk to Me statue

If you’re buying a gift for a fan of the stellar yet hard-to-watch Talk to Me, the real star of which being a diabolical hand statue that can possess people, well, why not get them their very own hand statue? We can’t guarantee that it won’t possess you, but it will possess whichever room you place it in with, shall we say, interesting vibes. Go on, give it a shake, then report back to us with your findings, please.

In actuality, this statue does more than just sit there. It can prop up incense, or you can — I kid you not — use it as an apparatus to smoke from.

An image showing a teal 60-minute manual timer.
A timer isn’t sexy or all that cool, but it’s practical — that’s sexy to some people, right? Right?
Photo: Time Timer

Colorful Pomodoro 60-minute timer

While not the most romantic gift, a Pomodoro timer can help you maximize the one thing that lovebirds need the most: free time. This minimalist desk (or anywhere else) clock runs on a AA battery, comes in multiple colors, and can empower you take on your day’s biggest challenges efficiently. Whether the recipient needs to block off the full hour it supports or just really focus in for a quick 15, this clock will hold them accountable. Once time is up, it can be set to ring aloud or stay muted as to not disturb others.

A picture showing a Calamondin citrus plant in a black, plastic planter. The plant is clad in green leaves, small ripening green fruits, and fully developed orange-colored fruits.
Get them a gift that reminds them of how sweet you are.
Photo: Via Citrus

Calamondin citrus plant

Getting flowers is always an acceptable Valentine’s Day gift, but it’s not the most clever. See, flowers die — not exactly the everlasting symbol of love you might be looking for. So why not try something different with a Calamondin citrus plant? (The Amazon listing describes their taste as half mandarin orange, half kumquat.) They come in a box, with fruit already on the branches; you can put them in the pot of your choosing, then follow the feeding instructions so your gift yields yummy citrus all year long.

An image showing Loop earplugs in the pink translucent color scheme. Unlike most ear plugs, these have a stylized hoop that’s used for grabbing them to pull out of your ears.
Loop’s earplugs come in several colors and styles. You can also pay a bit more for earplugs that offer customized sound depending on your situation.
Image: Loop

Loop earplugs

Look around the next time you’re at a concert. You may notice an increasing number of people wearing ear protection, because more of us are getting the message that it’s important. There are earplugs that block out sound that reaches dangerous decibel levels and also allow enough sound in so that you can still hear what’s going on. Frankly, they’re great for normal use as well, if you’d just prefer everything to be a little more calm. Loop’s earplugs are probably the most fashion-forward option on the market, as they come in multiple colors and fit snugly and discreetly in your outer ear cartilage.

An image showing an Apple iPad Pro tablet next to another iPad, each displaying colorful, stylized images of people.
The iPad Pro and Air exist for the high rollers who want the best screens and performance. But there are iPads available for around $250.
Image: Apple

iPad

The worst thing about Apple’s iPads is their somewhat high cost. But if you can get around that, they make for wonderful gifts, whether you get the most affordable model or one of its many step-up options. Any of the current models make for fantastic displays for reading comics, manga, and graphic novels. Not to forget its other capabilities, the higher-end iPad Air and iPad Pro that have the M1 or M2 chips can play console ports of games like the Resident Evil 4 remake and Death Stranding Director’s Cut.

A Squirtle pokémon Build-a-Bear plush is shown wearing the stylized rain coat that’s included with purchase.
This Squirtle is one of many adorable options available through Build-a-Bear.
Image: Build-a-Bear/The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Build-a-Bear plush

Here in the U.S., the selection of amazing Pokémon merchandise available to us is a drop in the bucket compared to what’s readily stocked in Japan. However, Build-a-Bear’s catalog of Pokémon plush deserves a shoutout. Many of its current Pokémon plushies don adorable jackets, which should give them a unique look next to the other merch your recipient may already own. As for which one you should buy, you know your loved one best!

An image showing an Ideal Bookshelf creation consisting of a framed image of a bookshelf arrangement of titles.
Immortalize your dream bookshelf setup.
Photo: Ideal Bookshelf

Ideal Bookshelf print and frame

Bookshelves can be a thing of art — not just the shelves, but the books on them. Maybe your loved one arranges titles by color, by design, or just with their favorites lumped together in no particular order. If you’re looking for a clever gift, Ideal Bookshelf can turn what’s on your bookshelf into an actual piece of art. If you tell it your favorite books and your ideal arrangement, artist Jane Mount and their team will paint and send you a poster (you can have it framed, too) to hang up in your space to remember the works that make your recipient the special person they are.

An image of the Sony Inzone Buds in black.
They aren’t a fashion statement like AirPods, but importantly, the Inzone Buds actually work with consoles.
Image: Sony Electronics

Earbuds for multiple platforms

It’s easy to give the gift of AirPods to a loved one. But if they’re a gift for a gamer who plays on consoles and PC, you can do better. While no perfect option exists yet, the Sony Inzone Buds are a solid choice. They can connect to devices of all sorts with their included USB-C transmitter, including most phones and tablets, as well as the Steam Deck, PS5, and Nintendo Switch.

An image of two people in a gentle embrace in a room where the Cadrim star projector is projecting colors and images of stars and the moon onto their walls and ceiling.
Truly, a night to remember.
Image: Cadrim

Star projector

In case you haven’t heard, disco balls are out and star projectors are in. This accessory can transform parts of your ceiling into a colorful (highly unrealistic, but nevertheless cool) starscape, which you can use to mellow out in, or as the set dressing for a wild night of karaoke. This might be the kind of thing you only use a few times, or it could become a chill-out tradition. I mean, if the product photos for this projector are a reliable indication of the fun it can bring to a party, you’re in for a good time.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.