Good discussion here gentleman. Apologies for not getting back sooner. I'm using the single parent excuse plus it's hockey season. After some research here's what I ended up with...
At the $45 plus free shipping I consider it a steal. I'm counting on the collapsible stock allowing us both to use it. I also find some hidden value in the fact that at his age he probably won't be able to pump it by himself. It should allow us both enough trigger time to introduce basic gun safety and marksmanship.
I had the AR-15 version back in the late 80's and I had a blast with that thing. At that price it'll allow Santa to set him up with some eyewear, pellets, scope, and steel targets. It all adds up to come quality father/son time. Possibly next year I'll be asking what 10/22 setup should we go with. I appreciate all the input.
Yup, looks like a good bonus stocking stuffer! Thanks brother!