Five rad and random things I found this week

The end-of-week dispatch from PopSci's commerce editor. Vol. 54. It's bananas.

My job is to find cool stuff. Throughout the week I spend hours scouring the web for things that are useful, fun, or ridiculously cheap. Often times, these choices coalesce into a guide of like items—for example, the best gear for going back to school, an exclusive deal on Kikuichi Cutlery, or the best vacuums for any kind of mess. But I often stumble across some pretty awesome gear that doesn't really fit into a list. So I made a list for those. This week's theme is bananas.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong for N64 is in my top 10 most-played games. When I saw another title coming out for the Nintendo Switch, I started beating my chest, grabbed a bongo, and peeled a banana. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a side-scrolling platformer—similar to the series' previous releases—full of boss battles and strategic jumping. Play a normal campaign or in "funky mode." Funky Kong has rad sunglasses, an extra life per level, and a surfboard that let's him to helicopter and fall slower when he jumps. The challenges are easier, especially in the later levels. This is an awesome addition for younger players.

If you choose the normal campaign mode, Donkey Kong and his friends—all of which have unique skills—travel across six islands defeating the Snowmads that have turned their tropical paradise into a chilly fortress. Tropical Freeze is by no means an easy game, but that's what made the franchise's first titles compelling. The game also features a co-op, multi-player mode. $52.

Banana ice mold

Fred & Friends Banana ice mold
Fred & FriendsAmazon

This banana-shaped ice mold set comes with two pops and a pop stand to keep them upright in your freezer. The peel helps catches drippings from the pop as it melts. You could try to use banana juice, but I'd recommend filling the molds with thinner liquids. $15.

Teething and gum massaging bananas

Teething and gum massaging bananas

Many babies already trust bananas, so these teething banana gum massager will be a welcome mouth treat. These gum massagers for teething babies help relieve pain and act as a training toothbrush. Get two bananas for $13.

Frozen fruit ice cream

Yonanas Frozen fruit ice cream

While it's still summer, get your hands on a Yonanas dessert maker, which turns frozen fruits into a healthier alternative to ice cream. Using frozen and fresh fruits like bananas, strawberries, and blueberries, the device churns out a creamy, dairy-free soft-serve. All of the parts are dishwasher safe. $40.

Party Edition

Bananagrams Party Edition

Bananagrams is one of those rare games that is just as fun with two people as it is with eight. It's like Scrabble, but without a board. Each player starts out with some tiles, and must build a personal word grid—it looks like a crossword puzzle—until they run out. This special edition includes "party tiles," which add additional strategic elements and silliness. For example, two bomb tiles let you destroy another player's word grid, while another tile bans thumb use the rest of the game. Bananagrams is educational, competitive, and super portable. $15.

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