Drop those socks because here are 50 unique and cool replacements for the most mundane presents you’ll receive this year. (Sorry, grandma!)
Compiled by Mark A. Altman, Jeff Bond, Adam Jahnke, Jason R. Rich and David E. Williams
It’s that time of year again.
That’s right, time for neckties, Zunes and other well-meaning yet unwanted items from your non-nerdtastic relatives and friends. But Geek, in its never-ending quest to help you live your dreams, is ready to help by directing you to the coolest, most swagilicious and sometimes costliest collectibles, toys and gadgets available. So get ready to swap out all that unwanted holiday junk and put those gift cards to good use — 2013 is about to arrive in epic style.
Seeking a stylish winter coat that will slyly inform those around you of your secret geek status? Well, this may be your best possible choice during those chilly, Hoth-like months. Laugh it up, fuzz ball! (NOTE: No wookies were harmed in the making of this jacket.)
stylinonline.com | $76
You love cookies almost as much as you love zombies, making this the perfect repository for all those holiday treats you’re doomed to devour between now and New Year’s. (And by “treats” we mean, yes, cookies.)
thinkgeek.com | $30
Artist-designer Juan Ortiz created this super-cool series of 18”x24” retro Trek one-sheet posters, giving each 1960s installment a Saul Bass/Mad Men vibe. Standouts include groovy posters for “The City on the Edge of Forever” and “Balance of Terror.” But what’s great is some of the worst TOS clunkers get the most loving graphic resurrection, including “And the Children Shall Lead.”
qmxonline.com | $35
Designed to terrorize 6” action figures, this 1/12-scale mini predator has snap-fit ball joints for maximum posability, so you can buy a million of them and create a whole herd! Pack, we mean.
creative-beast.com | $50
It’s happened again — you’re making great progress on your Lego construction site when those damned Decepticons unleash their secret weapon of destruction, DEVASTATOR, and throw two months of perfectly good cement foundation work into the crapper. Now you can re-enact that dispiriting event in adorable Lego form with this awesome play set that includes 590 KRE-O bricks and six unique KREON figures.
hasbro.com/transformers | $80
The Master of Suspense finally gets his Blu-due with this collection of some of Hitch’s greatest films, including Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Rear Window, The Trouble With Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy, Family Plot, Vertigo, North by Northwest and Psycho. Hence, “The Masterpiece Collection.” Aptly named.
universalhidef.com | $300
If you’re obsessed with the 1970s Brit sci-fi series UFO and have a lot of disposable income, you can own the title vehicle itself, either as a 1/48-scale model kit with laser-cut, vacuum-formed and resin-cast parts for $123, or a fully built, motorized, spinning, flying saucer for just…
store.scifihardware.com | $520
It’s 20” tall and weighs in at 22 lbs. … of PURE EVIL. Now you can own this reproduction of Sauron’s towering fortress, and any time your kids get out of line, just silently point at this thing and glower menacingly. Trust us, it works.
wetanz.com/shop | $700
There have been many great books published about the history of the 007 franchise, but none of them have been from Taschen, the publisher of some of the most awesome coffee table books ever. For Bond’s 50th, they put together an exquisite book devoted to all the 007 films, including the 1967 Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again. Written as an oral history, the volume is replete with previously unpublished photography and artwork, making its hefty price tag well worth the expense, even if it’s not coated in gold.
taschen.com | $200
If you’ve had it up to here with bulky, hard-to-handle atom-smashing weapons, may we suggest the elegant, nicely balanced Righteous Bison? These babies are priced to move, so if you act quickly you could be disintegrating your annoying neighbor’s house by next week!
wetanz.com/shop | $100
Hobbit product in the hizzie! As you’re undoubtedly aware, Thorin Oakenshield is an exiled dwarf king and leader of the 13 dwarves who accompany Bilbo Baggins on his three-movie quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain — so he’s eminently collectible.
wetanz.com/shop | $249
Yes, it’s a triple dip, but for fans, this complete Blu-ray set of every Potter film is an essential purchase with over four hours of new special features, as well as all the bonus material on previous discs for all eight films, from The Sorcerer’s Stone to The Deathly Hallows. The set is also stuffed with exclusive memorabilia, including a label collection of prop labels created by the production for potions, wizarding products and more.
If you need a good flash drive, you want it to have the lightning speed and lethal, bone-crushing reflexes of the martial arts icon. This USB device by Mimoco can hold up to 64GBs and comes preloaded with a personalization suite of Lee-themed wallpapers, icons, video and avatars. Plus, the MimoByte sound software plays sound clips each time the Lee MIMOBOT is inserted or ejected from your computer.
mimoco.com | $20 (for the 8GB version)
This “Battle of the Desktops” trump card game literally pits central processing units against one another, employing the stats of 30 classic CPUs (from Intel, Motorola, IBM and more) that have had the greatest impact on the history of desktop computing. Yet another cool item that would not exist if not for Kickstarter!
cpuwarsthegame.com | $22
When you’re operating in a steampunk universe, your ability to gamble could be paramount to your survival, so we strongly recommend you start honing your skills with this ornate steampunk-styled poker set. Just remember that steam-driven, poker-playin’ robots can cause the cards to mildew.
steampunkpoker.blogspot.com | $180
This kitschy ’70s series gave birth to the phrase “jiggle show.” All five seasons are on 27 DVDs in one giant box, including such classic episodes as “Angels in Chains,” in which the girls go behind bars. Although there’s a dearth of special features, the “Angels Forever” featurette is welcome — and Farah Fawcett running around in a bikini is worth the tab.
sonypictures.com/dvd | $66
He’s the leader of the Dragons of Darksmoke a main character in Filmation’s Masters of the Universe cartoon series, and he’s the biggest MoU figure ever made at 13.5” tall — sitting! Apparently, he likes to sit a lot, but if you make him stand he’s almost 24” tall! You’ll have to wait ’till December to order but it’s worth it.
mattycollector.com/store | $80
Aw, man! After 13 years, Mattel’s Justice League Unlimited action figure line is coming to an end! Only one thing can help soothe the pain this announcement fills us with, and that’s the release of the final action figure three-packs that is our right under ape law. Looks like the final lineup includes Dr. Destiny, Toyman and Firefly, as well as Fire, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. OK, we feel a little better now.
mattycollectors.com | $30
Finally, antigravity tech has been invented and we can all own hoverboards! Well, except for the antigrav tech part, that statement is totally true! Now you can finally own a movie-accurate 1:1 scale model (28”x8”x3”) that makes authentic “whooshing” sounds sampled directly from the films and a deco featuring Mattel logos just like in the films. It’ll make your escape from futuristic bullies a breeze.
mattycollector.com/store | $120
Riddle me this, Batman? What’s 19” tall, weighs 8 lbs., features working LEDs, is handcrafted by TriForce and is portrayed by neither Frank Gorshin nor Jim Carrey? Our guess is this mysterious neon question mark thing inspired by the Arkham City video game, part of a limited edition of just 440 pieces.
projecttriforce.com | $88
One of the most famous addresses in TV history now gets lovingly reproduced in authentic 1:64 scale in this Munsters house model kit that your pale, trembling hands can put together. It’s also in scale with other famed TV/movie house kits, including Norman Bates’ manor from Psycho and the Addams Family mansion, and it’s also available in an icky transparent green version (from culttvman.com).
moebiusmodels.com | $45
Whenever Tony Stark is too booked with hot chicks or too hung over to complete one of his missions, he always knows that James “Rhodey” Rhodes and Stark’s War Machine suit has his back. Now you can build the second-most-famous exo-suit in Marvel history, complete with shoulder-mounted Gatling gun and missile launchers.
moebiusmodels.com | $40
This faux-leather-bound, 544-page tome collects every scrap of Firefly lore and documentation possible between two covers, featuring exclusive photography galore. Essentially Titan Books’ three previous official Firefly companions crushed together, it includes complete scripts, interviews and so much more. Shiny.
titanbooks.com | $50
Now you can own one of those gross, icky alien eggs — screen used — from AVP. It’s made from foam and silicone and looks ready to unleash its own facehugger on the world. Comes with a signed letter of authenticity from Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc. co-founders Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. (Look for Stock #22501.)
propstore.com | $1,995
Here’s an original drawing of Darth Vader inside his TIE fighter as he bears down on hapless Luke Skywalker near the end of Star Wars. (How did this escape the clutches of Lucasfilm?) It’s 16”x22.5”, framed and full of technical tech info for the shot to be filmed. (Look for Stock #22810.)
propstore.com | $369
If you want to have a truly unnerving, Blade Runner-like nightmare experience, buy one of these rolling, remote control toys, turn off the lights, and watch this 18” neon shark robot chomp its teeth, thrash its tail and make its way implacably toward your vulnerable, naked feet.
skyrockettoys.com | $90
Because you can never have too many 6” Ian McKellen action figures, you’d better snatch up this latest incarnation from Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy.
thebridgedirect.com | $15
Star Trek’s Mirror universe was a savage place, but it did boast one advantage in the form of instantaneous office disciplinary action via the “Agonizer.” One screw-up, and your superior simply orders, “Your agonizer, please,” and you’re in for several moments of excruciating pain. This Agonizer replica doesn’t actually agonize — but just keep it in plain sight; your friends don’t have to know.
roddenberry.com | $50
If you’ve ever wanted to lord over your household, bellowing out orders like Captain James T. Kirk, you should probably seek immediate counseling or purchase this amazing reproduction of Kirk’s captain’s chair from the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise. It features light-up buttons and sounds as though it’s right from the TV show. And, let’s be honest, it’s probably better constructed than the original prop.
roddenberry.com | $6,000
If you’ve ever wanted to fling a Batarang directly at some scofflaw’s head, you’ll appreciate this painstakingly crafted replica, seemingly gripped in the Dark Knight’s own glove, masterfully sculpted and painted by the artisans at TriForce. The finished piece is 22” tall and features working LED Batcave-like illumination. Alfred would approve.
projecttriforce.com | $188
It turns out all clone troopers look pretty much the same, but if you really need a 12” figure of the exact troop commander who went all Order 66 on Jedi Aayla Secura, he’s painstakingly re-created here, down to the Felucia-specific armor and six — yes, SIX blaster weapons.
sideshowtoy.com | $125
There are a lot of high-end ’phones out there, but these not only scream I CAN’T HEAR YOU, I’M WEARING HEADPHONES but also sound great. Yeah, they’re full-size, but incredibly comfortable and block out virtually all extraneous sound. Optimized for iOS gear, they feature tangle-free cabling, a mic/remote and a heavy base profile.
store.sony.com | $300
With this amazing, lit-up re-creation of smuggler Han Solo, you can not only show off the galaxy’s most daring antihero as though he were proudly displayed on Jabba the Hutt’s castle wall, but you can also cue up that weird red light and make it look like you’re thawing him out for Princess Leia… except, PSYCH! Just kidding, Han — you’re frozen forever!
sideshowtoy.com | $300
Ruthless mercenary and master of disguise Zartan is prepared to menace G.I. Joe and serve the interests of COBRA better than ever now that he’s in the form of this intimidatingly beautiful 12” re-creation. This is so cool that the Cobra Commander himself would proudly display it on his international terrorism command desk.
sideshowtoy.com | $160
Hey, remember when Cap suited up in standard G.I. gear and crossed over enemy lines to rescue his brother and a bunch of other POWs in Captain America? Neither do we, but it is weird how Cap’s World War II gear is so much more impressive than the lame spandex he wore in The Avengers — ergo, we’d rather own this figure.
sideshowtoy.com | $220
Bundled with the iPhone 5 (and sold separately), EarPods offer a unique design that will fit comfortably and won’t easily fall out (even when you’re active). Beyond the new ergonomic shape and built-in mic and control switch on the cord, they provide excellent sound quality that includes deep, rich bass.
apple.com | $29
If you thought you needed to visit some fancy arena to experience this high-tech combat game, think again. Hasbro’s NERF Lazer Tag offers cutting-edge laser blasters that include an iPhone 3GS/4/4S/iPod touch dock and special apps that combine real-world excitement with a video game-like experience.
lazertag.com | $40 (per blaster)
This compact device will allow you to easily capture your epic Xbox or PS3 game play in crisp H.264 HD video (up to 1080p30) to your PC via an HDMI or component hookup, allowing you to relive your most triumphant moves over and over again and easily post them to YouTube to satisfy your global audience — or even compile footage for your latest machinima creation.
hauppauge.com | $170
The iPhone 4S/5’s 8MP rear-facing camera allows you to snap, edit and share digital photos from virtually anywhere. But to expand its photographic capabilities, just snap on an OlloClip external lens system — available in super-wide fisheye, macro and wide-angle — for some truly unique views. Models are available for iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5.
olloclip.com | $70
The battery-powered Roomba vacuum robot has been around for a while now, gradually improving its capabilities, and the 780 model now freshens the air and removes fine dust using a built-in HEPA filter system. You can program it to clean each room of your home on a pre-set schedule, and it works on hardwood, laminate or carpeting. Yep, this may be your last chance to own and control a robot before they own and control us.
irobot.com | $600
This pocket-sized, battery-powered projector allows you to project whatever appears on your iOS device’s display onto any blank wall. The 85 lumen LED light source displays HD videos, movies, presentations and games up to 60”. The battery lasts for two hours, but it can also be plugged in for extended use.
brookstone.com | $300
This controller not only looks great on any wall, but it’s also designed to learn your in-home living habits and temperature preferences, keeping you comfortable when you’re home, while also saving you money on utilities bills while you’re out. Thanks to a custom app and Wi-Fi capabilities, you can program and control the temperature in your home remotely from an iPhone or iPad.
nest.com | $249
The Emperor said it himself: The son of Skywalker must not become a vinyl toy creator. Fortunately, artist Nathan Hamill (son of Mark) ignored that dire warning and launched his own line of idiosyncratic vinyls like this one. This rocket-mounted rabbit is also available in a stealth edition, natch.
3dretro.com | $50
Featuring a half in earbud design, this stylish system offers four hours of wireless audio enjoyment from your digital device via Bluetooth 3.0 as well as active noise-cancellation technology that will fully block the annoying outside world. A built-in mic and remote allows for easy phone use, so there’s really no reason to ever take these things off, especially since you can also hardwire them for in-flight service.
phiaton.com | $160
If you’re a smartphone addict, using a high-quality wireless Bluetooth headset will reduce background noise and ensure that you’ll be heard and can hear whomever you’re speaking with, even if you’re surrounded by other noisy smartphone addicts. The compact Jawbone Icon HD headset is comfortable, comes in multiple colors and offers HD-quality sound, a noise-cancelling microphone and a battery that powers up to four hours of continuous talk time.
jawbone.com | $100
For a long time, I said that I’d buy a 3D TV and Blu-ray player when Universal released Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3D, assuming that would never, ever happen. Well played, Universal. In addition to the Gill-Man, all the classics are here, from Dracula to Frankenstein to The Wolf Man, looking better than ever in high-def. This is a collection that truly earns the designation “essential.”
universalhidef.com | $160
Yes, Kinji Fukasaku’s twisted 2000 movie about school kids forced into a kill-or-be-killed competition finally received a U.S. release, but even in a post-Hunger Games world, his movie retains its original power, though its misbegotten sequel is more a curiosity piece than required viewing.
Criterion made one of its too-infrequent forays into geek love with this stunning tribute to the King of the Monsters. This release includes both the original Japanese Gojira as well as the English-dubbed U.S. version with Raymond Burr, finally giving Godzilla the reverence and respect he deserves.
criterion.com | $40
Love it or hate it, no movie inspired more debate in 2012 than Ridley Scott’s don’t-call-it-a-prequel return to the world of Alien. On 3D Blu-ray, it’s easier than ever to get lost in the movie’s visual strengths while turning its narrative weaknesses into a “Spot the Plot Hole” drinking game. And the copious extras allow fans to play armchair filmmaker and imagine the movie they wished Scott had made instead.
foxconnect.com | $25
If you haven’t checked out the enhanced iPad version of the mag on the Apple Newsstand, you should. (Right now. The first issue is FREE.) Every issue features audio commentaries, streaming video, enhanced hot spots, scrolling navigation and so much more. It’s like Minority Report meets a Star Trek PADD, and it’s damn cool. (End of shameless plug!)
geekexchange.com | $4.99