Frugal Christmas Gift Idea: 3D-Printed Action Toys

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By the author of What School Should Have Taught You

Let’s say money is tight, and your grocery store bill is now about 2.5x what it was a few years ago. Rent is up, the utility bill is up, insurance is up. Everything has almost contrived to see if it can’t make it so that you are really taking a hard hit to the wallet.

But Christmas is right around the corner, and you want to give some really cool gifts to the loved ones in your life.

You’ve got a few kiddos in the family, nieces and nephews everywhere. Maybe you even have your own children. You want to get them some really cool gift ideas for Christmas, but with money being as tight as it is, you’re running into something of a wall.

If you have a 3D printer, why not print those gifts? Here are a few cool 3d-printed action toys

Miniature Y-Wing Model

This is essentially a miniature version of the models you find at your local Hobby Lobby. The cool thing about this is that it’s only a single print. You don’t have to wait hours and hours for multiple prints to finish till you have a finished project.

Miniature Catapults

I’m fully convinced that you could give these to grown men, and they would still enjoy them. A few of these stuffed into a stocking can easily add an inexpensive form of entertainment for hours.


If you have a child in your family that’s a huge fan of sci-fi or the Aliens universe, they may really enjoy this 3D-printed facehugger with fully articulated limbs. Personally, I think these are probably the most disturbing horror/sci-fi movie monster out there, but they do have something of a cult following.

Baby Sword Rattle

There isn’t a baby on the planet that doesn’t need one of these. The only problem I have with this is that it took this many years for somebody to think of this idea. This is something we should have been putting in cribs for centuries.

Baby Mace

Kids have different personalities. Some babies are more of a sword kinda guy. Others are the bull-in-a-china-shop kind. If that’s the kind of baby that you’re looking for a gift for, then they need a baby mace.

Castle Playset

If you have a child you’re shopping for who is big into building blocks and all that, why not print out a customizable castle set? There’s literally a little bit of everything with this print. Castle walls, towers, trees, wells, buildings, soldiers, goats, cannons – it’s all here.

It would take a long time to print it all, but it would definitely be a cool setup when it was all done.

Transformable Zombie

I think this idea is super cool. What originally looks like a coffin transforms into a zombie action figure. There’s a Frankenstein and a Dracula version as well. A very cool print to make for a bunch of kids at the next family Christmas party you have coming up.

Plus, it makes a great accompanying gift to Zombie Choices. Jus’ sayin’.

This Spider

Maybe there’s a little boy you know of who is a huge fan of bugs. If that’s the case, then they may like one of these spiders with eyeballs big enough to see germs.

Fully Articulated Dragon

If you have the time, this could be a really cool print for an older child who’s particularly fond of Lord of the Rings, Skyrim, or other medieval/fantasy-themed books and video games. It would probably take days of printing to pull this thing off, but there’s no denying that you would have a very cool gift when it was all said and done.

Digger 2.0

Do you remember those little diggy things at playgrounds when you were a little kid that you sat on and articulated those two levers to maneuver a little backhoe? This is a miniature version of this.

Settlers of Catan Board Game Tiles

If you’ve got a child in your family who is a huge fan of board games, odds are that they’re also a huge fan of Settlers of Catan. It constantly surprises me the amount of money that people spend on games that are made out of crappy cardboard. If you find yourself of the same mind, here’s a way that you can upgrade that kid’s Catan board with actual plastic pieces that are highly detailed.

It would take a significant amount of time to print all of this, but there’s no denying that this would end up being a really cool result.

3D-printed action toys as Christmas gifts are an inexpensive and thoughtful way to show your love. 

There are a lot of cool gift ideas for children who like action toys if you have a 3D printer at your hands. Considering that times are tight, I think that this may be a really good way for you to pad out your Christmas gift list this upcoming December.

What are your thoughts here, though? Do you like these ideas? Have you printed any of these? Are there other cool 3D-printed action toys you know about?

Let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section below.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to and Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

Frugal Christmas Gift Idea: 3D-Printed Action Toys
Picture of Aden Tate

Aden Tate

About the Author Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to,,,,, and Along with being a freelance writer he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American at Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

2 thoughts on “Frugal Christmas Gift Idea: 3D-Printed Action Toys”

  1. “Baby’s… First… MACE?!” I had to laugh. Yes, the completed toys look safe – but is the material nontoxic? Infants are going to chew on these, guaranteed. I do think this is a novel idea and would be good if you have a lot of kids that need presents.

    1. Whether it’s safe or not depends on what kind of stock you use. There are a bunch of different ones available, so it’s a good thing to think about before printing.

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