These solar-powered toys are attractive enough to display on your desk or windowsill and still appear professional, while their constant, gentle motion helps relieve your stress -- really!
These guys might be familiar; they've been on the internet and accessory shops for ages. They're called Nohohon Zoku (carefree family), and were originally created by Tomy in 2002 to alleviate stress. Their silent, gentle side-to-side motion is hypnotic, a characteristic shared by all of the items on this list.
Nonohons normally appear in pastel color with round heads and smiling faces, and there's a large variety of styles. They also appear as commercial figures like Disney characters and Pokemon. We're partial to this Gloomy Bear version ($16).
The Flip Flap is only a pot with two leaves, yet its sleek curves are strangely attractive. Since it's a steal on ThinkGeek for $4.99, we bought one, thinking we'd have to keep it stashed somewhere the cats couldn't reach it. But unlike every other object or toy we've ever placed on a windowsill or desk, they have ignored it, catapulting it in our estimation to the #1 spot.
This orangutan is a perpetual climber, shifting his arms over each other in a never-ending cycle. Does he ever get anywhere, or is his struggle in vain? You'll only know if you buy it ($14.99). Some assembly required, so you can even play creator of the little plastic being you're about to send into Sisyphean trials.
This solar motion plane ride ($39.99) is by far the ultimate in solar-powered desk toys. Styled after a fairground ride and measuring a whopping (for desk toys, anyway) 9.75 inches, it's one gadget that is bound to attract attention.
If you're not sold on the planes, there's also a Ferris Wheel. Both include built-in lamps that can light your desk, or alternatively power the device.