Seven surprising subscription gifts: for Father's Day and beyond

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Dads have spent most of their lives earning themselves two reputations. The first is for being terrible at staying in touch - unless you count the minute and a half before they pass the phone to your mum. And the second is for being incredibly difficult to buy for.

This Father's Day, you can kill two birds with one stone, by signing them up to one of these inventive and unusual subscription services . You'll get them a winning gift - and because it comes through the door on a regular basis, there's always the hope it inspires your dad to get in touch.

Of course you could opt for a dull magazine subscription, but why would you when there are seven much more interesting options.

1. Beer
Beerbods is not just a chance to send your dad a load of beer, it's far more interesting than that. You get 12 beers delivered to your doorstep every 12 weeks - featuring unusual beers you will never have seen before, and some brewed especially for subscribers (their tagline is 'Drink Better Beer'). The idea is to drink one a week. You will be told which one to drink, and sent tasting notes and the story behind the beer. Then there's a live Twitter chat where you can exchange your views with other subscribers and rate the beer. The subscription costs £36 every 12 weeks.

2. Pies
The British Fine Foods Pie Lovers' Club will pick a selection of award winning British pork pies, and gourmet pies and deliver them to your door once a month. You will typically get around five pies a month - including one larger one. These will include a number to be served hot, and some to be served cold. It'll set you back £360 a year, which is a fair wedge for Father's Day, but you can subscribe for one month for £30 too.

3. Say cheese
The cheese society will send you a selection of five cheeses each month. They will be things you have never tasted before, and come complete with tasting notes, so you know what you are trying and why. Between them they'll weigh about 1kg, and for that you'll pay £390 a year. If that blows the budget, you can get a month's worth for £35.

4. Meat
The Carnivore Club will send you a box regularly - it's up to you whether that's every one, two or three months. Each box will focus on one charcuterie producer, who will select the products themselves. So, for example, one from Great Glenn included venison and pork chorizo, green peppercorn venison salami, chill venison chorizo, venison bresaola and venison pork salami. And for that you'll pay £29 a month.

5. Geeky stuff
If your dad is a fan of all things geeky, then MyGeekBox might be the answer. They'll select a box of surprises each month - including a t-shirt and between four and seven geeky collectibles. You'll pay £17.99 a month and the box will contain around £35 worth of items.

6. Coffee
There are lots of coffee subscription gifts for dads who are caffeine fans. Pact Coffee stands out not just because they select coffee direct from the farms and pay at least 25% more than the Fairtrade price, and not just because they will help you select the right roast for your tastebuds, but also because your first delivery will only cost you £1. After that it'll cost £6.95.

7. Chocolate
The Hotel Chocolat Tasting Club is a high end chocolate subscription service with a massive discount. You'll get a different box of chocolates delivered every four weeks - along with a free bag of salted caramel puddles - and instead of the usual price of £22.95 you'll pay £9.95 a month. You can pick from five types of subscription - from classic chocolates to high cocoa ones, mellow ones, fortified ones, and Rabot 1745 (featuring a smaller selection of rare chocolate from around the world).

Of course, when you sign up to any subscription service, it's important to check the rules for renewal. If they impose automatic renewal, you will need to make a note in your diary to cancel whenever your chosen subscription runs out - or whenever you decide you have spent enough. You also need to see if there's a notice period, in which case you might need to give notice of cancellation in advance. Otherwise these could prove to be far more expensive gifts than you ever intended.

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Seven surprising subscription gifts: for Father's Day and beyond

For those days when you can’t beat a game of ping pong but can’t be bothered to bring the table down from the loft, why not try the ping pong door from Tobias Fräenzel?

It’s a fully-functioning door, but when you need a spot of pinging and ponging you can flip it down to form a table. has it on offer for 990 euros. Just don't ask how people get through the doorway while you're playing.

Some people think that babies are nothing but hard work, and that you spend your life clearing up after them. But those people haven’t discovered the baby mop - a baby-gro with cleaning pads attached, so your loved one can clean as he or she crawls. It’s never to early to have them do their bit around the house. The baby-gro is on sale at for £29.99

Strolling around with a baby in a buggy is all very well and good, but what if you're tired of strolling, or you're in a hurry?

If you need to speed things up then inventor Valentin Vodev has the answer, with the scooter/buggy hybrid. So far the prototype is not on the market, but surely it can only be a matter of time.

Just think of all those hours you wasted making paper planes by folding them. Now you can cut the process down to less than a second with this paper plane gun, which makes the planes inside and fires them for you.

The gun itself was made with the genius of one man and the aid of a 3D printer, and it’s going to change the world of paper planes forever - once it gets beyond the prototype stage.

It's one of life's great questions. How can you carry an umbrella and a cup of coffee - and still be able to open doors?

Step forward the umbrella cup holder from Korea, with a nifty cup holder in the handle of the brolly that will leave your other hand spare for the other great challenges in life.

Eating lunch at your desk is never a delight. However, when you’ve packed a salad or soup and no cutlery it can make the whole process into a lunchtime nightmare.

Fortunately some clever soul has invented the ink pen cap eating utensils. Just keep them in your drawer, attach the knife, fork or spoon head to your pen, and you have a brilliant eating utensil.

Just don't ask why you can't just keep plastic cutlery in your drawer instead.

For anyone who has ever wondered where their pet goes all day - or whose animal has a habit of wandering off - fear not because now you can track it.

The G-Paws GSP tracker fits on their collar so that no matter where they roam, you can easy track them down. also points out it’s handy for tracking a trail of destruction, or for keeping tabs on your dog walker too.

Are you sick of your packed lunch going missing from the office fridge? Well those horrors could soon be a thing of the past with the theft deterrent sandwich bags.

For just $4.99 you can get a plastic sandwich bag with fake mould printed onto it. Those green splodges will mean that no matter how light-fingered your colleagues are, they’ll keep their hands off your lunch.

You might have thought that dogs are capable of getting wet and just shaking it off, but if you're worried that your pampered pooch is suffering, you can invest in a dog umbrella.

These are held by the owner, with an upside-down shade to hold over your dog in inclement weather. These bargains are available for $8.99 on

Have you ever wondered who these people are with the time and patience to make their own sushi? Well now you can be one of them - but without the time and patience - because the sushi bazooka will make it for you.

Just load the gun with the rice and top with your filling, then seal it and squeeze. The sushi gun will then fire out a perfectly formed sushi roll. Your eating habits will be transformed for just £19.99 from

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