Hannukah may be over, but there are still nine days until Christmas and ten to Kwanzaa, and if you don’t have all of your gift items picked out by now, you should probably wrap it up soon. Luckily, in this competitive retail world we live in, rapid one-day processing and two day shipping is the norm, which means you still have time to place an order for that perfect item you’ve been searching for to finish up your holiday shopping. We scoured the Internet and found some items for everyone on your list, assuming that everyone on your list is some kind of geek, or has slightly geeky interests. Who knows, this may be the year you get them to go full geek – sometimes a little push is all they need!
[Editor’s Note: Keep your eyes peeled, folks – we’re giving away some of the items in this list! Look out for the ones that tell you to post a comment below to win. As with previous contests, you must be a registered commenter with email on your profile to win, and you get one comment, stating which item you want. Sharing the gift guide on Facebook and Twitter gets you one additional comment each. Giveaway ends Sunday at 11:59 pm.]
The Age of Ultron Hardcover
The biggest crossover event of the year for Marvel just so happens to share a title with the next Avengers movie, due in 2015. Does that mean the story will be the same? …No, probably not. But was it an epic adventure in which the Avengers (including Spider-Man and Wolverine) and the Fantastic Four fought a bunch of evil robots and tried to prevent Ultron from taking over the world? Yes. Yes, it was. The recently released, 500-page tome collects the ten-issue maxi-series plus eight additional tie-in issues that complete the time-jumping storyline. The Marvel Comics fan on your list may already have the individual issues, and the Marvel movies fan on your list may not know who the hell Hank Pym is, but both will overcome these obstacles when presented with this big-ass hardcover book packed with awesome artwork by two masters of the splash page, Bryan Hitch and Brandon Peterson. Marvel head honcho Joe Quesada even gets in on the action for a few pages in order to introduce Angela to the Marvel U., thereby making this a halfway decent gift for fans of Neil Gaiman, as well. (Well, fans of Neil Gaiman that read Spawn.)
The Walking Dead Compendium 2
The mid-season finale of The Walking Dead left us all a little sad, but also a little happy: after a long period of kinda-sorta touching on elements of the comic books, the siege of the prison was pretty much on-the-money! Okay, not everybody died in the right order, but the prison being overrun by zombies and the main cast scattered to the wind is uncannily similar to the end of the comic’s prison arc. So if you know anyone looking for the opportunity to jump into the comics, this is it – buy them the second compendium, so they can get a sneak peek at what might happen to Rick and Carl after the fall of the prison, and how they reconnect with the rest of the group. Sure, Andrea and Dale will have to take the place of Tyreese and Daryl, but Michonne, Glenn, Maggie will still be there, and upcoming TV survivors Abraham, Rosita and Eugene all turn up in this volume. It’s 48 issues of potential spoilers!
Battle Beasts Vol. 1 Trade Paperback
Nearly everyone over the age of 30 remembers Battle Beasts from when they were a kid, but in this 2012 mini-series IDW threw out everything you knew about them (which admittedly, was not a lot) and created a whole new world based around the concept of animals smacking the hell out of each other. With a star-spanning story by Bobby Curnow and amazing artwork by Valerio Schiti (Journey into Mystery), the 4-issue mIni was collected into trade this year, with a kickass Dan Brereton cover. The perfect gift for that child of the 1980s you always suspected of being a furry.
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Hellboy: The Midnight Circus Hardcover
One of the greatest Hellboy comics ever written was the two-page story where a young Hellboy eats pancakes for the first time. So a full-length adventure starring the kid with the long horns and giant metal hand is automatically one of the greatest comics of all time. In this standalone adventure, the young Hellboy stops reading Lobster Johnson comics long enough to visit a circus with an infernal pedigree, and hilarity – whoops, I mean hellfire – ensues. Duncan Fegredo’s art continues to deliver the best mix of cute and creepy to bring Mike Mignola’s story to life, and the cover is another Mignola classic.
Doctor Who 1st and 11th Doctor Action Figure Gift Set
When a TV show reaches 50 years old, it’s going to develop factions. Some Doctor Who fans like the old Doctor Who and tolerate the new Who, while some love the new Doctor Who and appreciate that the old Who exists. So if you’re not quite sure how your Who-watching listee leans, you can’t go wrong with this gift set. It takes the First Doctor and pairs him with the recently regenerated Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, in a metal lunchbox that has a First Doctor side and an Eleventh Doctor side. Plus, these are 8-inch Mego-style retro figures, which means their clothes are removable for wacky garment-swapping hijinks.
Marvel Select Winter Soldier Figure
One of the most anticipated movies of next year is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Not only is it another step down the road to Avengers: Age of Ultron, it heralds the arrival in the cinematic Marvel Universe of the titular Winter Soldier, one of the most exciting and beloved comic characters to be introduced in the last decade. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Marvel Comics reader with a bad thing to say about the Soldier, so picking them up a 7-inch action figure of the guy, complete with a sniper rile and diorama base, is a pretty safe bet. It’s not the movie version, but if the person actually reads comics, and doesn’t just go see the movies of them, he’s not going to care.
Batman Classic TV Series Batmobile
The fact that the classic Batman TV series has finally been opened up to licensing, and the sheer variety of products that have come out in the wake of that announcement is simply staggering. But the existence of a 6-inch action figure line based on the old show is a thing of wonderment. God only knows how long Mattel will be able to keep it going – their track record with collector lines is spotty at best – but any fan of the show (or of toys in general) would be happy to have a Batman, and over the moon to have a Batmobile to put him in. So go out and pick up this 18-inch long Batmobile, which seats two action figures, then shell out the extra money to buy Batman and Robin in a wall-climbing two-pack. Or don’t. How much do you like this person, really?
The Walking Dead Minimates Series 4
Millions were saddened when the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead bid farewell to the Governor. We won’t tell you how it bid farewell, or who did the bidding, and with what, but rest assured he is probably never coming back. So why not give the gift of the Governor this holiday season? The latest series of 2-inch Minimates mini-figures, based on the characters’ comic book appearances, includes the Governor, two of his goons, Michonne in her poncho, prison doctor Alice and two identical shirtless zombies. The Governor includes both one-eyed and two-eyed heads for customization, and Michonne’s poncho is removable, in case anybody else in the set gets cold.
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BLU-RAY & DVD
Man of Steel Limited Edition Gift Set
The next Superman movie just got a hell of a lot more interesting. Ben Affleck as Batman and a skinny, little-known actress as Wonder Woman? If people went to see the Man of Steel hoping for another train wreck, then they’ll be flocking to the sequel to see if the movie can face down daunting odds and triumph a second time. And to prepare for the critique, they’re gonna need to watch Man of Steel a bunch of times. So why not pick them up a special edition set, complete with Blu-Ray, DVD and digital versions? Director Zack Snyder’s visuals never fail to impress, and his usual nouveau-mythic treatment of his subject matter actually fits Superman pretty well. There’s a 3-D edition as well, but only this one has the adorable little figures of Kal-El and General Zod. They can’t casually trash your city, but they can glare convincingly.
Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United DVD
For the young superhero supporter on your list, the latest animated DVD release from Marvel Comics pairs two of the Marvel’s most brilliant scientific geniuses, who also happen to be two of their deadliest combatants. Bruce Banner and Tony Stark team up to fight baddies that require a mix of brains and brawn in this computer-generated tale, and no stone is left unpunched. The movie also has a code to get a free Iron Man Minimate, plus the option of ordering two more exclusive figures of the Hulk (in Iron Man armor) and Hulkbuster Iron Man (with whom regular Iron Man has a throwdown). It’s
two three four gifts in one!
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Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Collector’s Edition)
While we’re all waiting for more information about the next Star Wars cartoon series, Rebels, Warner Bros. has snuck out this complete series collection of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. While not all Star Wars fans subscribe to the animated adventures, the cartoon is noteworthy for exploration of the various worlds in the Star Wars universe, new characters like Cad Bane and the fact that it finally brought back Darth Maul after we all asked like a million times. Both the 15-disc Blu-ray set and the 19-disk DVD set include an episode guide to all 108 episodes, a 54-page Art of the Clone Wars booklet, and each season’s unique special features. What, no official Producer Dave FIloni hat?
Wolf Children Blu-Ray & DVD Combo
The general concensus is that director Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars) is the new Hayao Miyazaki, if not in tone then in talent, and his latest film is a widely viewed as a new anime classic. Wolf Children follows a woman who falls in love with a wolf and is then left to raise their two half-wolf kids when he is no longer around, and it should be seen and enjoyed by any fan of animation, or any parent of seemingly feral children. If you know someone who is one or both of those things – perhaps someone who’s waiting for their kids to be old enough to watch My Neighbor Totoro – then you have your gift right here. Extras include commentary, trailers and footage from the film’s various international premieres.
Game of Thrones Guide to Westeros 4D Cityscape Puzzle
Unraveling the families and allegiances and geographical proximities of all of the characters in Game of Thrones can be daunting at times, but part of the fun of the HBO series is keeping track of it all. Well, now you can help your fellow “Thronies” piece together the action with one of the most awesome jigsaw puzzles ever created! We’re not actually sure they still use jigsaws in puzzle-making, but this is also not your granddad’s puzzle – it’s 4D, baby! After you’ve pieced together the geography of the continent of Westeros (1000+ pieces), a second layer maps out the political landscape of the series (200+ pieces), followed by a third layer that raises the famous structures of Westeros above the surface of the map (50+ locations). You may be saying “Wait, isn’t that only three dimensions?” Well, the fourth dimension is time, and the lucky recipient of this puzzle will have the time of their life assembling the 30″ x 18″ map! See what we did there?
Watchmen Rorschach Toaster
Ever since the Battlestar Galactica toaster of 2009, pop-culture toasters have only become more common, from the Darth Vader toaster to the Spider-Man toaster to the upcoming Nightmare on Elm Street toaster. But there is no toaster so sacrilegious as the Watchmen toaster. Were he not busy praying to his many gods or engaging in ritual sex acts, author Alan Moore would no doubt shake his head at the gall, the audacity, the unabashed brilliance of a toaster that burns Rorschach’s inkblot mask into every piece of bread. After all, who wouldn’t want to munch a piece of toast as they unravel a massive conspiracy that threatens to shake the foundations of society? This sleek black toaster makes a great gift for the Watchmen lover, toast lover, or clinical psychologist in your life.
Vintage-Style Darth Vader Coffee Cuff
Darth Vader is a living testament to the importance of safety equipment. After all, it was a lack of goggles, plus some other stuff, that caused him to leave 50% of himself behind on Mustafar. So when handling hot beverages, always use a heat-blocking cuff to protect your hands from scalding lava-like temperatures within. Sure, you could use the cardboard cuffs that most cafes will supply you, but why not help the environment and drink that latte in style with a cuff made out of vintage Return of the Jedi bedsheets? Darth Vader and his Imperial Guard lackeys will show that barista/McDonald’s employee you mean business, and that you find nothing at all amusing about the extremely high temperature of their drinks.
Thor’s Hammer Bottle Opener
“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be thirsty, will be granted the power of Thor!” If you know anyone who likes Thor and/or drinking, boy howdy, we’ve got the gift idea for you. This inexpensive, solid metal bottle opener of Mjolnir has the Uru hammer’s power-granting inscription on the front (the real one, not our made-up one) and a bottle-opening indentation on the back. Wrap it together with a six-pack of your local holiday brew and watch the eyes of the booze-craving comic fan who receives it light the eff up. The light will eventually fade, and bring with it a ponderous sleep, but for one glorious Christmas eve, that nerd will be like unto a god in Valhalla, drinking toasts to his fellow warriors and opening bottlecaps with a tiny mallet. Just don’t tell him they’re twist-offs.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation Bathrobes
Now that nostalgia for the 1990s is in full effect, Star Trek: The Next Generation is taking its place as the beloved Star Trek of record, with Picard and company getting referenced everywhere (well, except in those TOS-bastardizing Abrams movies). So while you’re also able to find 24th-century-uniform T-shirts, pajamas and hoodies, there is nothing so elegantly luxurious as the Next Generation Bathrobe. Whether you’re sitting in your ergonomic chair on the bridge or sipping a cup of hot Earl Grey in your ready room, you will look not at all out of place wearing one of these beauties. After all, half the sentient species in the galaxy wear robes, from what we’ve seen on TV, and we’re pretty sure they aren’t wearing pants underneath, either.
Battle Cat Costume Hoodie
Pay homage to the awful holiday sweater with this awesome holiday sweatshirt! You’ll have the eye of the tiger with this hoodie based on He-Man’s faithful mount, the yellow-on-green tiger-striped Battle Cat. It has two modes, one with just a few teeth around your face (Cringer Mode) and one with the full-on battle mask (Cringeworthy Mode). True, they also make Orko and Skeletor hoodies, but this might actually be the classiest this one is actually triple-purpose – if you wear it with the hood down, it could easily pass for a Tiger Force uniform from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. So it you have a 1980s-loving loved one on your list, this hoodie should cover all the bases. Now you know! And knowing is half the Battle Cat.
“King of Chemistry” T-Shirt
Living as we do in the Golden Age of Television, there are constantly dozens of TV shows competing for our attention and our hearts. But if there are two shows that have captured the zeitgeist in the past year more than others… well, they were both The Walking Dead. But the other two shows that captured the zeitgeist were Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad. Thrones cut a swath through its own cast as the medieval bloodbath entered its third season, while Breaking documented the rise and fall of meth maker Walter White in the series-ending Season 5. Seating Walter on the Iron Throne, thereby signifying his rise to power, and replacing the throne’s swords with meth crystals is a brilliant amalgamation of the two shows, thereby rendering your argument completely, fatally invalid.
Back to the Future Marty Hat
It’s your kids, Marty! Something’s gotta be done about your kids! Their hats are totally insane! One of the many delightfully random details in the Back to the Future film series is the hat worn by Marty McFly, Jr. in the year 2015. Like everything else in the future, it is shiny, brightly colored, and only stylish by what we have to assume are degenerated futuristic standards. But the hat is instantly identifiable as Marty Jr.’s, and this replica, while a little stiff, is the ultimate conversation piece, as well as being kind of a chick magnet. Assuming the person you are giving it to is not a sports fan, this will automatically become the coolest baseball hat they own.
Tune in to Topless Robot tomorrow for our ANTI-Gift Guide, featuring the things you should NOT buy!
Previously by Jay Barish: