Den of Geek's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide
Shopping for that special Time Lord in your life? Allow us to lend a hand! Whether it's movie-accurate (and functional) props and electronics, clothing, rare movies, or just old-fashioned toys, we've got the stuffings for your stockings!
Let's be real for a second...fans are easy to shop for. Except when they aren't. The problem when buying gifts for the superfans is figuring out what they (probably) already have, or what meets their rather exacting standards. So what we've got for you here is an assortment of offbeat gifts for the geek who has everything.
Starfleet Uniform Pajamas
"...their eight hour mission...to comfortably sleep like noone has slept before!" The two piece authentic looking Star Trek: The Next Generation pajamas come in red, blue, and gold. And yes, traditionalists, they're available in Original Series versions as well. Warp over to ThinkGeek to see them!
Slimed: An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age
Have you ever spent hours obsessing over the theme song to The Adventures of Pete and Pete? Then this book is totally for you. Writer Mathew Klickstein pulls back the curtain on your childhood by revealing the truth about favorites like You Can’t Do That on Television and Double Dare through the words of those who were there. Give the gift of pointless nostalgia for $20 on Amazon.
Princess Leia Hoodie
If you’re a scruffy looking nerf herder looking for that special Black Friday deal for that even more special someone, might we suggest Her Universe’s Princess Leia Hoodie? As part of their new Lucasfilm LTD license, they will be undercutting this cosplaying winter wear, which can be used throughout the holiday season to keep her warmer than a pile of Tauntaun meat. If you’re looking for the ultimate geek gift for a lady who appreciates that galaxy far, far away, this may be your best hope.
The Art of Archie: The Covers
Have someone in your life who is mesmerized by Afterlife with Archie? Then give them The Art of Archie: The Covers, a great crash course on the company’s backstory as told through their iconic front pages. Archie Editor-in-Chief Victor Gorelick collaborated with comic historian Craig Yoe to showcase the best Archie covers from over 70 years of Riverdale mayhem. All of the key artists from Dan DeCarlo to Samm Schwartz are featured, but Gorelick and Yoe did readers a solid by featuring lesser-known greats like Joe Edwards. It’s a beauty of a book that truly illustrates how everything’s Archie! You can order it from Archie Comics right here!
The Hunger Games Prop Replica of Katniss’ Arena Jacket
Of course, that special girl of any age may be just too on fire for something so pulled back. If she’s going to be a real rebel, perhaps she would prefer the more recent Lady Geek of choice: Katniss Everdeen aka Panem’s proverbial Mockingjay! Nothing could say that better than her arena jacket from the first Hunger Games where Katniss defied a Capitol and captured $400+ million worth of heart from American audiences last year. In keeping with that, check out this formfitting coat from ThinkGeek, who as always, wishes for the odds to be in your favor.
The Hunger Games Mockingjay Pin
And if you’re going to don the coat, then obviously you’re going to want the pin. The symbol of la résistance in Panem, this sign is the hallmark of any good District 12 tribute looking to raise a little hell with her high-flung arrows. It also is much more economically friendly for geeks just looking for a token of their quarter quell pride. And at ThinkGeek you can find it for whatever purpose you deem worthy of pursuing.
Rack Toys: Cheap Crazed Playthings
Back in our day, stores used to have racks of cheaply made toys peripherally based on pop culture characters that were as terrific as they were odd. Plaid Stallions editor Brian Heiler remembers these plastic wonders so greatly that he dedicated this book to them. Why does Spider-Man need a parachute? What use would a water pistol be to Superman? Who knows, but with this book you’ll find it strangely comforting to discover that such things exist. $19.95 on Amazon.
BBC License Doctor Who “The Power of Three Cube”
For those who just cannot get enough of Matt Smith’s tenure as the eleventh Doctor, might we suggest a “Power of Three” Cube replica prop (via The Who Shop) as seen in the Seventh Season last year? Just looking at this beautiful thing, and you know that there is an endless array of uses for it. It can be your paperweight, your doorstop, a cappuccino-making accessory, or even your best friend (until it decides to kill you some sleepless night). But don’t take our word for it; see what the series came up with for this totally harmless looking “prop.” Like totally harmless.
The Rainbow Connection ornament
Thanks to Hallmark, your Christmas Tree can finally sing “The Rainbow Connection.” Sculpted by Keepsake Artist Kristina Gaughran, this adorable ornament brings Muppet magic to your holiday festivities with the push of a button that plays Kermit’s signature tune. (Diehard Muppet fans take note, it is Steve Whitmire singing here, not Jim Henson). $20 at Hallmark Gold Crowne Stores.
Deluxe Voltron Costume Hoodie
"Form the hoodie of our dreams!" We'd talk about this, but the photo kinda speaks for itself, doesn't it? You've probably been lusting after this for your entire life and never even realized it. And yes, the "jaw" in the foam-lined hood is detachable. You can get it over at 80s Tees!
Wagon Queen Family Truckster
The first holiday decoration to feature a replica of a dead Imogene Coca, Hallmark’s Wagon Queen Family Truckster ornament celebrates the legacy of National Lampoon’s Vacation. The best part? It plays Lindsay Buckingham’s “Holiday Road.” $20 at a Hallmark store near you.
Doctor Who Christmas Ornament – TARDIS
Of course, if we are talking holidays and the Doctor, nothing can be more traditionally appropriate than a TARDIS (again via The Who Shop) hanging from your tree or other holiday-oriented festivity. Seriously, you know the Doctor loves Christmas, and how better to celebrate that fact with him than with an ornament that is likely bigger on the inside? A perfect gift for any Whovian who likes having greenery in their homes every December, it is simple, elegant and timlessly whimey.
Cthulhu Christmas Ornament
And while we're decorating the tree, why not do it with one of the terrifying elder gods, the very site of whom may drive you mad. Or you can just hang him from your Christmas tree. Whatever works. Remember, "dead Cthulhu waits dreaming" for you over at ThinkGeek.
James Bond Omnibus, Vol. 005
Titan Books’ latest collection of syndicated James Bond UK newspaper strips from writer Jim Lawrence and artist Yaroslav Horak collects nine full story cycles starring Ian Fleming’s super spy. (Including one called, awesomely enough, “Ape of Diamonds”). Although dated, these comics still have enough charm to leave readers feeling shaken and stirred. $19.99 on Amazon.
Game of Thrones Stark Direwolf Bookends
George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series (or just Game of Thrones novelizations to everyone else) can be a dauntingly fierce read. What can make your personally triumphed collection of the series even more impressive than the fearsome image of back-to-back direwolves guarding the latest holy grail in geek literature. Yes, irony aside of there actually being two direwolves seemingly left aside, it is a nice trophy to keep on any geek’s bookshelf, or a challenge to put down the DVR remote and to pick up your Martin. Available via ThinkGeek.
Star Trek: Federation
David A. Goodman’s beautiful coffee table book is a reference guide to Star Trek future history spanning from first contact with the Vulcans to the Khitomer Accords (which brought peace with the Klingon empire) and beyond. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who has ever wanted to know the “official” biography of James T. Kirk…or for those put off by J.J. Abrams’ take on Trek. Available for $29.99 at Amazon.
Game of Thrones Dragon Egg Canister
But as cool as the direwolves are, everyone’s favorite fantastic creature from Westeros (or at least the lands beyond the Narrow Sea) is of course Daenerys Targaryen the dragons owned by the Khaleesi. And to celebrate their momentous birth, you and a family of loved geeks can enjoy these replica-like egg canisters, which once opened revealed unknown treasures inside. Be it change, mementos or the pictured cookies, there is much to enjoy via ThinkGeek. And if you wish to ensure a strict diet off those cookies, only reach for one every page (or scene) that the dragons are present just being freaking awesome dragons. This will certainly lead to a balanced diet.
Star Wars: Jedi Academy
Jeffrey Brown continues to intrigue his fans by alternating between deeply personal works like this year’s A Matter of Life and Star Wars-based works such as the hugely successful Darth Vader and Son. His most recent Star Wars offering is Jedi Academy, which follows a lovable padawan as he tries to make his way through middle school. Finally, an expanded universe story everyone can relate to. $12.99 from Amazon.
South Park Mobi Technologies 70233 Beatz Buddies
Do you know someone that likes South Park? Does this person also like audio clarity for when Cartman asks his mother to be wined and dined? Then you might want to get them a Beatz Buddy. With multiple models designed to look like Cartman, Kyle, Stan, Kenny and Butters (who doesn’t love a little box of Butters?), you have plenty to choose from for a fun novelty speaker at South Park Studios. This is hella sweet, right?
Jim Henson: The Biography
For those who still tear up every time they hear “The Rainbow Connection,” Brian Jay Jones’ five-years in the making biographical portrait of the late, lamented Muppet master is essential reading. Rich with detailed information about his best-known projects and insights from colleagues like Frank Oz, the book is the perfect gift for lovers, dreamers, and you. $35 from Amazon.
Batman Classics 1966 TV Series Action Figures
Fans have waited literally a lifetime for accurate representations of one of the greatest superhero television shows of all time, and Mattel have finally delivered. With colorful packaging, plenty of articulation, and accurate sculpts, the Batman Classics 1966 line is the closest you're ever gonna get to having Frank Gorshin over for a few drinks. Get 'em from Entertainment Earth!
The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
J.W. Rinzler's in-depth analysis of the final entry of the original Star Wars trilogy is packed with more details about how a galaxy far, far away was brought to life. Like its predecessors, this book is crammed with rare information, pictures and interviews that shed light on the movie we wound up with as well as a tantalizing glimpse at the Jedi that could have been (i.e. one directed by David Lynch). $85 from Amazon.
Retro USB Controllers
While some of us are hypnotized by the spectacle and majesty of the Xbox One and Playstation 4, others have decidedly more simple tastes. USB replicas of classic gaming controllers make fine stocking stuffers, require no additional software, and cost a fraction of a fraction of one of the next-gen bad boys. Head on over to Amazon to snag yourself an NES, Super NES, or Sega Genesis model. Don't wanna buy a replica because your old controllers function perfectly well? The folks at Retro USB have you covered with adapters that turn your classic game pads into USB devices!
Red Dwarf X
It’s cold outside and there’s no kind of atmosphere, but Red Dwarf still managed to make a fine return to form after some dubious seasons when the tenth series aired on British TV in late 2012. If you missed the latest adventures of Rimmer, Lister, Kryten and the Cat, check out the Blu-ray and see what fun the Boys from the Dwarf have been up to. $39.99 on Amazon.
IDW Artist's Editions
Sometimes you've gotta go the extra mile to satisfy the discerning comic book fan, and that's exactly what IDW's Artist's Editions do for you. Color scans of black and white original artwork, reproduced in stunning detail at 15 x 22 size, these books are a little pricey, but they carry the weight of history behind them. We recommend the Will Eisner's The Spirit volume, but there are plenty of others available, too from masters like Dave Stevens, David Mazzucchelli, John Romita, and more!
Archie Comics’ groundbreaking gay character, Kevin Keller, gets a detailed backstory in this young adult novel from writer Paul Kupperberg. As he deals with being a middle school nerd and discovering his sexuality, Kevin also attempts to help a troubled classmate in a sweet and funny story that perfectly complements the It Gets Better project. $9.99 from Amazon.
Gone with the Wind 75th Anniversary Print and FilmCell
It is hard to believe, but it has been (almost) 75 years since that magical year for Hollywood, 1939. Considered by many film historians as the great singular moment of cinematic achievement in the classic studio system, the films produced included countless wonders like Gunga Din, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and, of course, Gone with the Wind. To commemorate the special occasion, any cinephile or discerning movie geek can carry over to the TCM Shop and pick up a very special, limited framed and matted Gone with the Wind collectible. Centered around original poster art from the film’s release, it also celebrates that wayward moment for Scarlett and Rhett by also including carefully detailed film frames via FilmCell from the actual classic.
Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Minicell
And then there is of course that OTHER MGM masterwork still revered 75 years on, The Wizard of Oz. A wonderful family film that still delights children and adults thre-quarters of a century forward, you may also want to follow TCM Shop’s yellow brick road to the happy memories with this mini-cell double-matted portrait of Judy Garland as Dorothy from the famed film, as well as a framed piece of actual film of the movie featuring Glinda the Good Witch, the girl from Kansas, and her little dog too.
The Geek's Guide to Dating
The geeks have inherited the Earth, so they may as well get some. With that in mind here comes Quirk Books’ twee dating guide by Eric Smith that is aimed at nerds seeking true love. Sure, the pop culture references come fast and furious, but with this release Smith seems sincere in helping dweebs discover that love is really the final frontier. $14.99 from Amazon.
Universal Monsters – The Wolf Man Cane Limited Edition Prop Replica
Just as long as we’re talking about classics, how can we not peruse horror movie classics as well? Yes, technically speaking there is no anniversary here, but The Wolf Man is just very cool, and who wouldn’t want to have Larry Talbot’s famed werewolf-slaying cane? At lifelike size, this 8x10 product is as threatening as the snarling beast on its handle. Albeit, be warned that it is chrome-plated as opposed to the lycanthrope-ending silver. But at already such a costly price, this will leave you howling just fine. Find out more at Factory Entertainment.
Lucius Malfoy's Walking Stick
And while we're on the subject of canes, we're bringing 'em back here at DoG. Sitting hunched over a computer for fourteen hours a day has its consequences, you see. So if we're gonna use a cane, we're gonna use it in style. Like with this impressive replica of Lucius Malfoy's Walking Stick! Get it from the Harry Potter Shop. And while you're at it, check out more crazy collectibles, replicas, and stocking stuffers over at the official Harry Potter gift guide!
Archie 1,000 Page Comics Jamboree
Arguably the greatest value on this list, this gigantic digest showcases 1,000 pages of Archie comics mayhem for a mere $14.99 at Amazon. It is the latest of the company’s value-priced releases and a welcome reminder of how warm and funny life in Riverdale can be.
Red Bubble's Holiday T-Shirts (We Recommend: Holiday Intruders and Master Chief Santa)
The easiest way to spread holiday cheer is a simple t-shirt. But where can you find some unique holiday tees that aren't just about kissing under the mistletoe or Santa Clause? RedBubble.com! Check out Red Bubble's infinite number of holiday tees, including two of this year's additions: "Holiday Intruders" and "Master Chief - Santa."
Superheroes : A Never-Ending Battle
This recent PBS documentary miniseries presented a Cliffs Notes-style overview of superhero history. It may not be as insightful (or full of vitriol) as a discussion with the employees at your local comic store, but the doc’s swift pace and interviews from seminal figures like Stan Lee and Mark Waid make this one unmissable. $29.99 on Amazon.
Mad Catz's Killer Instinct Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 for Xbox One
There's a lot to be thankful for this year--including the next-gen consoles. Killer Instinct is one of Microsoft's highest rated exclusives for the Xbox One, but there is a way to make it better: a Killer Instinct themed arcade stick! Unfortunately (at the time of posting this), Mad Catz is currently all sold out, but hopefully they'll get more stock in time for the holidays.
In Search Of: The Complete Series
For a cosmic blink of an eye we lived in a time when Leonard Nimoy attempted to unravel the mysteries of Bigfoot, D.B. Cooper, ghosts and other pre-X-Files mysteries. If your loved ones long for this forgotten era as much as we here do, congratulations, you just won Christmas. $149.99 on Amazon.
It's a SpongeBob Christmas Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack
It's Christmas and Bikini Bottom as you've never experienced them before! Created entirely in Stop Motion animation, It's a SpongeBob Christmas! is destined to be a holiday classic. This special double-length episode finds all of Bikini Bottom in a festive mood as they prepare for Santa's arrival. But not Plankton, who's once again expecting a lump of coal. Warm your fins this holiday season, SpongeBob style!
The red-headed stepchild of the console wars is this little device that owes more to the gaming capabilities of the Commodore 64 than the Xbox One. (We mean that as a compliment). If you don’t like the library of free to try before you buy games made by indie developers that the Ouya is best-known for, you can always pick one up for its excellent emulation possibilities. $99.99 on Amazon.
Functional Gandalf Prop Pipe
Gandalf knows how to a good time. Do you want to party like you’re in the Shire and its Dwarf Time? Then crack out your fully “functional” pipe as replicated from Gandalf the Grey’s wizened selection in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. With this sucker in hand, every day of looking out on the green fields of Bag Ends will be magical. Or it could certainly feel that way. Available at ThinkGeek.
Arrested Development Gob Dress-Up Magnet
12 Hole Ocarina from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
If you are looking for real full functionality though, why not try one that requires a loved one to learn an instrument? If you know of a little Link or Zelda in need of a magical item to summon the Triforce, might we suggest THE Ocarina of Time? As provided on Amazon, you can purchase a 12-hole, blue-tinted item of power that can summon the Sage of Time, as well as the greatest video game adventure of any time.
Firefly Jayne’s Hat
Sometimes even geeks get cold. When that happens, they want to be able to walk down the street and inform other people that they are still not afraid of anything. Being seen in this hat GUARANTEES it. The hat of choice for any Browncoat who wishes to time warp to 80sTees, this wintry garment is pretty fetching. Don’t you think?
The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition
Normally suggesting a Blu-ray set of gifts, particularly for a film trilogy that closed over a year ago, might seem unimaginative. Yet, if you have a loved one who ever once dreamed a man could…beat pancake-faced clowns half to death in an interrogation room (an age-old fantasy, really), then this is MUST HAVE. In this Warner Brothers double dip, Batman has never looked better in 1080p, because while you get all the same old paltry special features from its initial release, diehards will be fed a bevy of new special features detailing the production on this iconic trilogy. See director and co-writer Christopher Nolan breakdown his pitch to turn Batman into a work of meaningful cinema that got WB’s stamp of approval, see Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway’s respective screentests as Batman and Catwoman, never mind also Cillian Murphy (The Scarecrow!) also auditioning for the man in the cape! Plus, genre masters Nolan and Richard Donner sit down to have a chat about the nature of the beast, which in this case includes stylish new poster art and a replica Batmobile, Bat-pod and The Bat. Clearly this is one to light the signal for. Thus, keep your eyes to the sky…and Amazon for Cyber Monday.
Ghostbusters PKE Meter
Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic? Have you or any of your family ever seen a spook, specter, or ghost? If the answer is yes, then don't wait another minute...get yourself this full-sized, movie-accurate PKE Meter replica from Matty Collector. With LED lights, animation, and sound, this should help you track down any ugly little spuds making your life difficult!
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series Barrel
If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift for a loved one with an AMC fetish, might I recommend the blu? No, not Sky Blue! Put the meth down! I meant Blu-ray…As revealed by Vince Gilligan himself, this awesome little souvenir will be the preferred form of viewing Breaking Bad for the true addicts in the near future. With all 72 hours pristinely preserved in 1080p (and in awesome novelty packaging!) this really is the money load with hours of unique special features and Gilligan’s stamp of approval. Gee, Mr. White why don’t we have it already? Go over to Amazon right now and say, “I win.”
Complete Doctor Who Blu-Ray Boxed Set
What more can we say about this one? It's 35 discs with everything that's gone down from the Ninth Doctor to the Eleventh. Did you ever think you'd need 35 discs worth of Doctor Who? Really, who DOESN'T need 35 discs of Doctor Who? Head on over to the BBC Shop before you run out of timey-wimey.
Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Universal Remote
And what, exactly, are you going to do while you watch 35 discs worth of Doctor Who? Control EVERYTHING with your universal remote Sonic Screwdriver! This thing does so many ridiculous things that it's best to just let ThinkGeek tell you all about it. "This advanced, gesture-based, infrared remote can learn the control codes from almost any regular remote control. Using simple and intuitive movements you will be able to use the Sonic Screwdriver to control your devices just like The Doctor. Rotate clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the volume on your iPod dock; flick the Sonic Screwdriver up and down to change TV channels or navigate the program guide; and even open your DVD tray by pulling back on the Sonic Screwdriver." Yeah...and there's more. Head over to ThinkGeek to learn all about this.
Anything Whatsoever From the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store
For all of your superhero needs. No, seriously. Capes, grappling hooks, truth serums, superpower formulas, masks...you name it, they've got it, and they'll ship it to your lair. If you can't make it to Brooklyn, just spend some time on their website. And if it makes you feel any better, the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store is actually a front...for a non-profit dedicated to helping kids between the ages of 6-18 to develop creative writing skills. Spend your money knowing it's going to a good cause!
Rare Superhero DVDs!
The Warner Archive Collection has made a habit out of releasing some of the forgotten live-action superhero movies and television shows from the last forty years. Some of our favorites include the 1975 Doc Savage movie, the 1987 Spirit TV movie (from Die Hard writer Steven deSouza), the very comic book accurate Adventures of Superboy TV series, and the complete live-action Shazam! series from the '70s. While none of these are exactly the match of some of the multi-million dollar blockbusters out there right now, they're still very, very cool historical artifacts. Warner Archive has tons of non-superhero stuff out there too, so go have a look!
What do you get for the geek who has everything? How about some good karma! It's not all about cool stuff! There are plenty of appropriate charities that any fan would be proud to have a donation in their name made to. Click the links to learn more and donate! Here are a few:
The Make-A-Wish Foundation (after the incredible story of Batkid, how could you not?) "Make-A-Wish grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States and its territories, on average, every 38 minutes."
The Hero Initiative: (from their mission statement) "The Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work."
CBLDF: The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: "Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics medium. Our work takes us into courtrooms, classrooms, conventions and libraries all over the United States where we provide legal aid, education, and advocacy to protect the First Amendment rights of the readers, creators, retailers, publishers, and librarians of comics, manga, and graphic novels."
The Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center: An organization dedicated to keeping the legacy of the King of Comics alive and visible, they recently opened a temporary location in New York City, and are raising funds for more opportunities for pop-up galleries and other events. Plenty of cool swag for donating, too!