The telltale signs have started appearing all around us. The dreaded music has begun playing on the radio, stores are seeing their lineups get longer, lights are being strung up on trees and houses, and people are wrapping gifts. That’s right, the holidays are coming, but fear not as we here at Analog Addiction want to make your gift-buying experience a little bit easier this year. To do this, the editors put our heads together, cringed slightly at the impact, and created this list. There’s no shortage of products available for geeks and gamers, so we’ve highlighted some items spanning across various fandoms in the hopes of finding you the perfect gift or at the very least, inspiring you with something which may not have come to mind.
Yes, there will always be the traditional “socks and underwear,” or “ugly sweater” gifts when the holidays come around, but there is also clothing which is so awesome you’ll never want to part with it. Here are some pieces of apparel which fall into the latter category that any geek or gamer would love.
Lack of Cheer Sweater
The holiday season is near! And along with the fun and joy of opening presents comes tonnes and tonnes of ugly sweaters, so why not spice up your sweater collection with some neat Star Wars sweaters! This sweater features a great quirky Darth Vader on it and comes with a punny caption too! What more could you ask for from a holiday gift.
Over the years, Bioware has easily become one of the biggest names in game development. Last year marked the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition, which was received incredibly well. The most hardcore Dragon Age fans can rifle off Ferelden lore without issue, recite every major game decision they have ever made, and have poured hundreds and hundreds of hours into each game in the series. The perfect gift for these fans is this Dragon Age hoody with the iconic Seeker emblem on the back.
Fallout 4 Vault-TEC Pendant
This handmade sterling silver pendant makes a cute accessory for the Vault Dweller in your life. This happens to be the next best thing to identifying yourself as a Vault Dweller if you are unable to find your standard issue jumpsuit. The pendant itself isn’t overbearing or obnoxiously large, so it’s a nice, subtle way to add a geeky aspect to your wardrobe.
Witcher 3 Wolf T-shirt
While the wolf head symbol may not mean much to those who haven’t played the Witcher series, it’s the emblem the series is most associated with, as Geralt constantly wears it in pendant form. The fact that only those familiar with the series will recognize it makes this the perfect gamer t-shirt. The graphic is so awesome that even those who don’t understand its significance will think it looks cool but it still shows off your gaming background. The shirt is available for both men and women.
Super Mario Socks
Everybody should have at least a few pairs of socks. It makes wearing shoes far more hygienic and hardwood floors seem less chilly. Socks are notoriously labeled as a dreaded gift that nobody wants to receive, but that’s because they’ve never received Super Mario socks before. The socks probably won’t actually give you an extra life like one pair suggests, nor will they likely increase your vertical jump, but they’re sure to get a few smiles from any other gamer who sees them.
Alter Ego T-shirts
Under Armour has an entire line of athletic t-shirts for men, women, and children based on some of the most popular comic book characters ever created. Both Marvel and DC are represented, and nothing will make the recipient feel more like a hero than wearing these lightweight shirts with an iconic emblem on their chest. Superman, Punisher, Spiderman, Batman, and Iron Man are just some of the hero shirts available, so they’re definitely worth checking out.
Watches are frequently overlooked when it comes to gift-giving, but they can easily be one of the most impactful accessories one wears. In addition to simply being a sleek and completely gorgeous watch, the face has the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo emblazoned on it, as well as the full name spelled out across the outside. If metallic watches aren’t your thing, there is also a version with a silicone strap, but the metallic is far more stylish. The added advantage to giving a watch is that the person receiving it will no longer have an excuse to be late to anything.
Harley Quinn Leggings
For the DC fangirl in your life, these Harley Quinn-inspired leggings are the perfect choice. Following the traditional red and black colour scheme, the minor touch of adding blood splatter around the diamonds makes the leggings seem even more suited for the Suicide Squad member. What’s even better is that these leggings come in sizes ranging from XS to XXXL so most people should have no problem fitting into them.
There is no better way to prepare for the upcoming apocalypse than with this Fallout 4 themed backpack. Scared you may leave your valuable caps behind? Store them in the Vault 111 backpack. If for some reason the apocalypse doesn’t occur *sigh* the officially licensed backpack is perfect for storing all your school, work and general goodies.
Nintendo Controller Belt Buckle
Belt buckles are another fantastic way to display your geekiness. They’re not the focal point of your outfit but they can add flair and speak volumes about your interests. The retro NES controller, the single most iconic console symbol in gaming history, is the perfect choice for any gamer… provided they can actually remember playing on the console. If they’ve never touched an NES, it becomes dangerously close to being a hipster and at Analog Addiction, we try to avoid recommending people do that.
While books may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they can be just as immersive, if not moreso, than any other entertainment medium. Good books are near impossible to put down and the same can be said for graphic novels. Regardless of whether you’re watching the plot unfold through images and speech bubbles or paragraphs of text, reading is a phenomenal way to spend some downtime.
This year the epic Fables comic series came to a conclusion after running for 13 years. It displayed fairy tale characters in a very different light from what we have been accustomed to, and was the inspiration for the TellTale series The Wolf Among Us. Anyone who enjoyed the first season of that game will undoubtedly love the comic series, and now that it has ended, it is possible to read the incredible journey from start to finish. Giving someone the first volume or two in this series will generate a love/hate relationship between the two of you. They will love you for introducing you to this but hate you because now they have to spend all their money reading the remaining issues.
Two video games have taken the world by complete storm, being developed by some of the biggest names in gaming history. Players are tasked with defending the Earth against alien invaders by commanding grounded mechs or airborne spaceships, but suddenly things become a bit more realistic than any gamer could have ever predicted. There are plot twists in this book that will leave your jaw hanging open, all while you follow protagonist Zack Lightman come to terms with his reality being shifted beyond belief. Armada is a well-written and thoroughly enjoyable book that any gamer will love.
New 52 Suicide Squad
Yet another comic series being turned into a movie, the Suicide Squad follows a group of villains in the DC universe as they are forced to complete suicide missions completely off the books. Released from detention with explosives implanted in their heads, the team reluctantly tackles each mission while under the looming threat of Amanda Waller pressing the detonator’s button. Starting with the first volume in the New 52 lineup, those who wish to be given a crash course of the series before the film releases next year will find precisely what they seek in these graphic novels.
Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter
This literary choice is a fairly unique one, as it works well as a gift to gamers as well as those who may not understand why people spend so much time playing “those darned video game things.” It may not completely change someone’s opinion of video games, but Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter takes the reader on a relatively thorough examination on the evolution of games, why they garner as much attention from gamers as they do, and what sort of impact they can have.
Each year we’re treated to hundreds of movies being released, ranging from indie titles to Hollywood blockbusters created with ludicrous budgets. Frankly, it is impossible for even the most devoted movie buff to watch each and every film released, particularly when things such as jobs, relationships, and other hobbies vie for time as well. Below are some of the best film selections for your beloved geek or gamer.
Star Wars: The Complete Saga
You can’t be looking at a gaming website and say you don’t at least like Star Wars. Star Wars is among the peak of all good and nerdy things, and hype for the franchise is at an all-time high with Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens less than a month away from release. Get caught up on the entire film series before then with Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu Ray. The Blu Ray collection comes with all six films cost $120 when it first released, but at $90 and a slick Vader design on the front, it’s a great buy. It has 100 percent more Jar Jar Binks and conversations about sand than we’d like it to have, but the 40-plus hours of extras just might make up for it.
Jurassic World is a fantastic movie and any fans of Jurassic Park will enjoy the film. In addition to offering the Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital download versions of the movie, this bundle also offers a remote-controlled Indominus Rex. The genetic hybrid crafted in the labs of Jurassic World is terrifying on screen, but controlling a miniature version of the creature can provide hours of amusement.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
While there seemed to be a large consensus that Age of Ultron wasn’t s good as the original Avengers movie, it’s still a pretty damn enjoyable flick. It may already be on the shelf of any comic or Marvel fan, but if it isn’t, the movie’s a guaranteed hit when they unwrap it. Plus, this will be one more film the dedicated fans will have to include in their marathon screenings leading up to Captain America: Civil War.
Games are always a phenomenal choice during the holidays, because so many are released throughout the year, especially towards the tail end, that most people don’t have the time to play all of them or the money to pick them all up. Whether this refers to video games, card games, or board games, this next section will provide countless hours of entertainment.
Game of Thrones Monopoly
The Game of Thrones is one of the most vicious games there is, but it’s nothing compared to the game of Monopoly. Just when you think you are in charge of your Monopoly kingdom, someone will stab you in the back to get to the top. Game of Thrones Monopoly could possibly be the most dangerous board game on the planet… you’ve been warned.
An incredibly simple game by design but also one of the most entertaining games to play with friends. Everyone playing has hidden roles except for the “sheriff.” Each person has their own victory conditions, including the sheriff, but because the roles are hidden, the game becomes a giant mess of backstabbing, lying, and strategy. Unique character cards give player special abilities which change every game, and the games themselves only last about 5 or 10 minutes, making it easy to squeeze multiple games into a short period of time.
Halo 5: Guardians
Halo 5: Guardians is easily one of the biggest titles this year, and while it’s not without its flaws, it’s good enough to have earned a 9.0 rating from us. New additions and changes to multiplayer make the game feel fresh again, and minus an issue with the conclusion, the story provides and interesting and compelling plot. Halo fans have been dying to step back into Master Chief’s boots and continue the story, which is exactly what Halo 5 allows them to do.
Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection
Whether someone has never played the Uncharted games before or they enjoyed their time with them and simply want to relive the experience on a more powerful system, Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection is an excellent gift choice. With improved visuals and framerate, the games have never looked so polished, making an already incredible journey that much more enjoyable.
Mortal Kombat X
Violence and brutal decapitations may not seem like the ideal holiday gift, but the fighting fan in your life will absolutely love you if you give them this game. The mechanics are as intuitive as ever, the Fatalities are gruesome, and there’s no shortage of content to unlock throughout the game. The minute they unwrap Mortal Kombat X, they’ll be screaming, “Get over here!” to put the disc into the system.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Most comic fans have fantasized about being Batman at least once or twice. Having the riches, fighting abilities, gadgets which can do almost anything you need them to, driving the Batmobile, and being viewed as Gotham’s Dark Knight, those are all very enticing things. Unless the individual you’re buying for is strictly a PC gamer, Batman: Arkham Knight is a great gift choice as it allows them to live out that fantasy and continues to story which has been built up over the previous two (yes, we’re omitting one) Batman games. If your gift recipient only plays games on their computer, it may not be the greatest gift as that version still seems to be struggling with issues, but fear not as there are plenty of other viable options.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
When it released earlier this year, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was met with an incredible amount of acclaim, including a perfect 10 rating from us. A massive, open world awaits players, filled with side quests, exploration, deadly creatures, and the ability to make the game brutally difficult if you see fit to do so. This game is a must-play for anyone who likes RPGs, fantasy, or having a protagonist who doesn’t take kindly to people giving him a hard time. The side effect is that you may not see the person you give this to for at least a month or two after they open the game.
This is the category for all of the gift ideas we had which didn’t fit nicely into a category. Sure, we could’ve continued to make categories, but at that rate this list would never have ended and our wallets would probably be empty from buying all of the awesome stuff we continued to find. If nothing above has piqued your interest, read on and you may find the perfect gift yet.
LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar
Star Wars is all the rage this year, so why not celebrate Star Wars all December with this advent calendar? Each day for 24 days there’s a new minifigure, vehicle or structure from the Star Wars universe to discover! Also, it’s most likely the only chance you’ll have to own a lego C3PO in holiday attire.
You can’t be the Hero of Time without collecting at least three objects before the biggest part of your journey begins. Start out your adventures in Hyrule with this life-size Kokiri Emerald from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This replica of the first major item acquired by players in Ocarina of Time is a perfect gift for any Zelda fan. In fact, you could say your friends will be “green” with envy when you own one and they don’t this holiday season.
Fallout 4 Ornaments
Fallout 4 is easily one of the biggest titles of the year, and bobbleheads are some of the most iconic items found in the Fallout titles. almost any gamer in your life would be absolutely enamoured with a set of four Vault-Tec ornaments representing various SPECIAL traits. No gamer’s tree will be complete without these decorations boosting its stats.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is easily the biggest movie to release this holiday season, and now you can have The Force with you every time you wake. The BB-8 desktop lamp allows the beloved droid to (literally) brighten your day, as you continue to wait for the highly anticipated movie to release. Is it here yet?
ASTRO Gaming Headsets
Any gamer who has used a gaming headset before will attest to how much of a difference it can make, particularly in a competitive setting. It can also be a great tool for allowing someone to game without sacrificing audio if they have to be mindful of others around them. Astro headsets are some of the best on the market right now, and offer headsets for PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Funko Pop! Figures
Funko Pop! figures are always a great gift idea for pop culture fans, and this year we’ve found figures from two of the biggest games of the year. Jacob Frye and Evie Frye, the twin protagonists of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate are available, as are male and female versions of the Lone Wanderer from Fallout 4, Dogmeat (your trusted canine companion), or even Super Mutants.
Posters are great, but they always run the risk of getting damaged easily. This is where metal posters called Displates come in. They not only have great designs inspired by numerous areas of pop culture, but the metal material looks like it’s built to last. Displates also come with magnets on the back, which means they can easily be hung on the wall without leaving a nail hole. They’re more pricey than regular posters, but fans from all corners of nerdom will appreciate a Displate.
Portal Cake Mix
At last, you can fulfill your previously empty promises of cake with the official Portal cake mix! Feed the dreams (and not the fears) of your test subjects and reward them for all of their hard work in the Aperture Labs. Just so we’re clear, there’s actually mix in this box. This cake is most certainly not a lie.
Legend of Zelda Key Hooks
Hyrule is a dangerous place to be without a little help – better remember your keys! Delight the classic gaming nerd in your life this holiday season with this handmade throwback to the 8-bit days of Zelda. These holders are made to order and can be applied with the simple use of a command strip, keeping your walls and Hyrule safe from harm!
Warp Pipe Mug
Take your gaming nostalgia (and hot drinks) to the next level with this Mario warp pipe inspired coffee mug! Give the gift of stylish caffeination in one of the most recognizable forms of game world transportation. Not only is it machine washable, but as an aded bonus, this pipe does NOT contain any of those pesky Piranha Plants! No worries, we’re looking out for you this holiday season.
Weeping Angel Ornament
For any Whovian in your life, a glass Weeping Angel would be a perfect addition to any Christmas tree. It stands about 5″ tall, giving it quite a presence on the tree. Just remember not to blink, or put a second one next to it to ensure your safety.
Majora’s Mask LED Art
Very few things are as eye-catching as vibrant lights, particularly on the wall in someone’s home. Whether it’s meant as an addition to a gaming room or an accent piece in the living room, this Majora’s Mask light art is guaranteed to draw attention. The dimensions of this particular piece are 7.5″ x 9″, allowing you to place it almost anywhere you please.
Torque Bow Replica
Project Triforce makes phenomenal products of the highest quality when it comes to replicas and collectibles. Gears of War fans will undoubtedly be familiar with the Torque Bow, one of the most favoured weapons in the franchise. While the bow obviously isn’t fully functional, it does involve LED lights and weighs in at a hefty 45lbs. We weren’t joking when we said Project Triforce doesn’t mess around.
This wraps up Analog Addiction’s gift guide for yet another year. Hopefully you found at least a couple items that grabbed your attention, provided some inspiration, or pointed you towards some retailers which can provide you with something you’re looking for. Whatever you’re celebrating, whoever you’re with, and wherever you are, we here at Analog Addiction wish you a very safe and happy holidays!
Eric is an Xbox editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.