Forget pens and notebooks: Fun back-to-school buys

John Askew

You’ve just moved in, met your roommate and maybe bought your books, but what about all the free time you’re going to have the first week of class? Why not check out a few of these items we found? They will all go great in your new apartment or dorm room and besides – you know you’ve always wanted a stuffed marlin to put on your wall.

Wall Marlin


Honestly, who could say no to a life-size fish to put on your wall? The product details say it’s a “reel” catch, but cheap puns aside, investing in one of these will at least give you something to talk about with friends.

Pop Cam


Instead of taking the same old point-and-shoot pictures, check out this camera from Urban Outfitters. It uses 35mm film and takes four photos at once, each tinted a different color.

Opening Time Zone Wall Clock


Sure, Iowa State is on Central Standard Time, but haven’t you ever wondered what time zone that hottie you’re talking to with instant messages is in? Well, problem solved – head over to Target and pick up the massive nine-faced clock. That’s nine times the fun.

Beer Pong Drinking Glove


Eat, sleep, pong. Take your game to the next level with this official glove that will not only improve your performance, but also make you look cool.

Wall Mount Fishbowl


Home away from your pets can be a devastating affair, but keep those emotions in line by getting your own pet. With this wall-mounted bowl you can keep your favorite fish at easy access.



One of these may cost as much as your books, but I can almost guarantee that you’ll have more fun on a sac than any introductory stat book can give you. The company claims that it’s “not a damn bean bag” and we believe them.



One minute it’s a party mug, and just seconds later it becomes a beer bong. Surprisingly, this amazing invention never won any innovation awards, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the coolest cup you’ll ever own.

Twinkie Bake Set


For 26 bones you could probably buy a hundred Twinkies, but being able to make them yourself is pretty much priceless. The kit comes with everything you need to start out, including a cowboy Twinkie holder.