With two weeks left in the season, it’s time to seriously start thinking about what you’re going to give for the Holidays. We’ve got some ideas.
Those Christmas bells are ringing
The weather is colder, the leaves are down, and the smell of pine trees wafts through homes all across the United States. Of course, that means that Black Friday is just behind us, sending everyone into the Holiday Season at full speed.
And you know what that means. there are loads of sales, piles of ‘doorbusters’, and -likely- some shortages. Though here are BG, and for the purposes of this list, we’re not taking any of that into consideration.
We’ll try to steer you clear of anything that you’re not likely to find at all, but mainly what you’re about to read through are BG’s picks for what’s hot this Christmas, broken down by what kind of fan they might be.
Of course, you an feel free to use some of these suggestions to hand out to others, and get ’em yourself. Either way really.
So without further ado…
For the reader:
Got someone on your list who’s into books? There are a few neat options we can recommend, including some that could be hidden gems. We have a few of those from Insight Editions on our list this year, as the publisher puts out quality stuff all the time, and has some fantastic licenses.
And then there’s The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1988 – 1998, which is the sequel to the ‘1978 – 1988’ edition that came out years ago. Oh, and full disclosure too, this is a bit of a seamless plug since I’m a contributor in it.
- Batman Returns: One Dark Christmas Eve – $18.99 USD
- The Official Halo Cookbook – $39.99 USD
- Garbage Pail Kids: The Official Tarot Deck and Guidebook – $24.99 USD
- Ghostbusters: The Official Cookbook – $29.99 USD
- The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1988 – !998 – $39.99 USD
For the sci-Fi fan
While our picks don’t exactly stray too far from the mainstream, there are some great choices for the sci-fi-minded out there. Those include the excellent Black Series helmets and figures from Hasbro, as well as Playmates Toys’ new Star Trek line. The original Enterprise is a highlight there.
If you have someone looking forward to Avatar’s sequels on your list too, you’ll find a bunch of great stuff from McFarlane Toys landing just now. That line includes a whole mess of stuff, including the mech suits and some nifty box-sets.
- Star Wars The Black Series Boba Fett (Throne Room) Deluxe 6-Inch Action Figure – $31.99 USD
- Star Wars The Black Series Darth Vader Premium Electronic Helmet Prop Replica – $131.99 USD
- Star Wars The Black Series Dark Trooper Deluxe 6-Inch Action Figure – $33.99 USD
- Star Trek: The Original Series NCC-1701 Enterprise Vehicle – $49.99 USD
- Avatar 1 Movie World of Pandora Large Deluxe Creature and Figure Set of 3 – $54.99 USD
For the retro fan
The last decade has been a boon for retro-minded fans, with loads and loads of cool stuff playing off of classic IPs. Our picks include Mattel’s excellent new Masters of the Universe series, and Super7’s various Ultimates! lines, including Transformers, TMNT, and Power Rangers, as well as that same company’s ReAction lineup. With 5 points of articulation, ReAction includes licenses as disparate as Star Trek, Aliens, and the ubiquitous Turtles.
If you’re looking for something a little more on the expensive side, you might be hard-pressed to come up with better than Spengler’s Neutrona Wand from Hasbro. Yeah, it’s based on Afterlife, but with the iconic lights and sounds built-in, this one’s tough to beat.
Oh, and don’t forget HeroQuest! The classic role-plying, fantasy board game is back in modern form, complete with optional add-on expansion packs. It’s a cracking good time!
- Super7 Ultimates – Various price points
- Super7 Reaction – Various price points
- Ghostbusters Plasma Series Neutrona Wand Prop Replica – $131.99 USD
- Mattel Masters Of The Universe Origins – Various price points
- HeroQuest – Join the Epic Battle Between Good and Evil! – Various price points
For the superhero fan
Okay, fair warning, some of these things could have gone into the ‘retro’ category as well. Thing is, we’re only doing 5 picks per division, and some of this stuff is so great, I just couldn’t leave it on the cutting room floor. Needless to say though, overall, if you’re shopping for a superhero fan, you have a lot of choices.
There are a myriad of companies producing stuff based on comes these days, from the higher-end Mezco One:12 Collective to the import series’, like S.H.Figuarts and Hiya Toys. You really can’t go wrong with any of it, and so what we’ve put together here is a little mix of the mass market and the ‘holy crap that’s awesome’.
We’ll start with Hasbro’s Marvel Legends and McFarlane Toys’ DC Multiverse though. Both are chock full of heroes and villains, and both are very solid lines. Marvel Legends is definitely the fan-favorite, though McFarlane has been terrific after the first wave or so (which was years ago, ignore the haters). Hasbro also produces ‘prop replicas’, so if you’re looking for a gift that packs a punch, maybe consider Mjolnir.
Mixing the retro in now, we’ve got even more Hasbro, in the way of G.I. Joe Classified. No, these aren’t strictly ‘superhero toys’, but Joe has always been in that mix, and is kind of a ‘military superhero’ kinda thing. Hasbro has been crushing Classified too, with incredible remakes and updates of the classic 80s heroes and villains.
And while we’re on that subject, don’t forget Transformers. Hasbro has loads of those out there too, with some awesome offerings from the 1986 movie and more. But for this guide we’ve decided to go a little… bigger.
From Robosen Robotics, the Elite Optimus Prime is a little smaller than the previous release in the line, but is no less featured. And yes, this is the one that you’ve seen, that transforms by itself and can take voice commands. It’s both super expensive and super amazing.
- Marvel Legends Action Figures – Various price points
- DC Multiverse – Various price points
- Marvel Legends Thor Mjolnir Hammer Electronic Prop Replica – $131.99 USD
- G.I. Joe Classified – Various price points
- Robosen Elite Optimus Prime Robot – $699 USD
For the game fan
What, you though we weren’t going to have a ‘video game’ category? Of course we are, don’t be silly. Games are kind of the focus of the site after all, and we have a number of great suggestions for those who are looking for both blockbuster games to give, or maybe just some cool doodads.
If it’s games that you’re after, just make sure first that your gifting target doesn’t have the title you’re considering already. It’s the season for deals remember, so check twice and buy once. Now that that’s out of the way, we have some of the bigger, (relatively) can’t miss titles listed, so without further ado…
For the action fan:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II – Rated M – Xbox and PlayStation platforms, PC – $69.99 USD
- A gem of a military FPS. Modern Warfare II continues the rebooted FPS series in fine form, and carries forward CoD’s ‘action movie’ feel.
- Evil West – Rated M – Xbox and PlayStation platforms, PC – $59.99 USD
- A blood-soaked, horror romp, Evil West sets players against vampiric hordes in the old west.
For the strategy fan:
- Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope – Switch – $59.99 USD
- Super Mario returns to once again team up with Ubisoft’s Rabbids, for a turn-based sequel to the excellent original.
- Marvel’s Midnight Suns – Xbox and PlayStation platforms, PC – $69.99 USD
- Marvel Comics’ 90s supernatural sensation returns as a turn-based strategy game from genre vets Firaxis.
For the RPG fan:
- Elden Ring – Rated M – Xbox and PlayStation platforms, PC – $59.99 USD
- Tough as nails and maybe everybody’s Game of the Year, Elden Ring continues to be a massive hit.
- Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor – Martyr Ultimate – Xbox Series X|S, PS5 – $49.99 USD
- I’m just going to continue to recommend what’s still an under-appreciated aRPG. This version brings the game to current-gen.
For the old school fan
- TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge – Xbox and PlayStation platforms, Switch, PC – $34.99 USD
- One of the flat-out best retro-styled games you’re likely to play, Shredder’s Revenge takes Turtles fans back to the golden age of arcade side-scrollers.
- Sonic Frontiers – Xbox and PlayStation platforms, Switch, PC – $59.99 USD
- No, it’s not a retro-game, but Frontiers takes the classic Sonic and reforges him into a modern, 3D world with some great results. Sonic fans on the hunt for something new might want to try it.
Odds and ends
- Couchmaster CYBOT – $156 USDA lap desk that works for pretty much anything, the Couchmaster CYBOT is perfect for a gaming lappy, but will also hold a tablet, and serve as a fantastic couch-based enhancement for console play. Plus it’s modular.
- Roccat Kone Air Mouse – PC – $69.99 USD
- Lightweight and with lots of features, this wireless gaming mouse should have PC players happily gaming for a long time.
- GSX 300 USB Sound Card – PC – $79 USD
- An external sound card that boosts PC fans’ headphones, giving a nice added kick to sound quality and bass, plus a surround effect that’s actually pretty good.
That’s all folks, see you next year!
And with that, we’re a wrap (no pun intended) for our year-end gifting picks. We hope we’ve nailed some recommendations for you, or at least got you thinking about some cool stuff that might be related to what we chose.
Just remember though, it’s the thought that counts, as they say. That really is true too. At least, it is so far as I’ve found, and if you pick up something that you think someone will love, it kind of doesn’t matter if it’s top of the line or a prized gem. What matters is that it’s from the heart, and that you give it with plenty of joy in your own.
Happy Holidays to all, and a very Merry Christmas.