Today is December 1st, and those of us Christmas fanatics can joyfully embrace every awesome hallmark of the season without feeling guilty for neglecting Halloween and Thanksgiving. I managed to keep my excitement in hand enough to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put up my Christmas tree, but that took an inhuman helping of patience (see what I did there?). In honor of the official beginning of the Christmas season, I’ve scoured the internet for suggestions for any geek to add to their Christmas list (for themselves or for someone else) at nearly any price point.
1. The very first thing that most geeks will want to see under the tree on Christmas morning is a very small, flat, slightly oblong gift. I refer, of course, to the Blu-ray edition of Guardians of the Galaxy, which is available December 9th. The movie can be pre-ordered here or here for those who are concerned that stores may sell out before they get there. (On sale at Best Buy for $19.99*)
2. Stan Lee recently helped Taschen books unveil their brilliant new collector’s piece, 75 Years of Marvel Comics. From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen. This book is absolutely gorgeous, with giant, full color pages, some of them foil! In photos of Lee with the book, it appeared to weigh more than he did. ($200.00)
3. Been waiting for Oculus Rift for what feels like decades? Samsung is helping you cope, by actually releasing a video reality headset this year. The Samsung Gear VR is designed to work with the new Galaxy Note 4, and comes unbundled for $199 or with a Bluetooth controller for $249. If the headset is still too rich for your wallet, there are rumors of the Carl Zeiss VR One for just $99. The Zeiss VR website claims that preorders will ship before Christmas.
4. For the geek who already has everything he or she normally talks about incessantly, ThinkGeek has created these super cool planetary system glasses. Each of the ten glasses in the set represents one of the planets in our solar system as well as the sun. (Is Pluto a planet again yet? There’s one for that little guy, too.) ($49.99)
5. Everyone knows a comic book geek whose house is slowly filling with comic books (*cough*Andrew*cough*). Fortunately, there is a solution to that problem. The newest Kindle Fire HDX tablet is absolutely perfect for reading digital comics. As we pointed out in a review of the Comixology app, Amazon recently purchased Comixology, so the quality of comics on the Kindle tablet is excellent. Of course, reading comics is hardly the only thing the Kindle Fire HDX is good for–Amazon touts it as “designed to do it all.” ($179.00-$379.00)
6. As someone who doesn’t care to have an elaborate sound system in my house, Bluetooth speakers have been attracting my attention for several months. After messing around with a couple of different choices, I found that the Bose Soundlink Color Bluetooth Speaker had the best bang for the buck. Not only was the sound excellent for the cost of the unit, but it comes in lots of different colors to match any decor. ($129.00)
7. Saga has just been released in a first deluxe edition of volumes one, two, and three. This book is absolutely gorgeous, and would be perfect for any Brian K. Vaughan fan–even if they already have all the individual issues AND the trades. On Instocktrades.com, this book is only $27.49,* which is hardly more than the cost of some soft-cover trades. Definitely worth the price! [Don’t have the extra space for a deluxe edition since you already have all the paper back trades? Not a problem! Saga Volume 4 is available for pre-order and will be released on December 23.] (Saga Vol. 4 for $14.99)
8. The Pencil by Fifty-Three is a fascinating tool for the geeky artist. Whether you’re designing your next cosplay, creating gorgeous, digital fan art, or just drawing for fun, this pencil does almost anything. This video shows the enormous amount of flexibility in this one tiny piece of technology. (Starting at $39.99)
9. While there are a ton of new video games that look amazing (Lords of the Fallen was reviewed here recently), the one I am most excited to play is Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The game has excellent reviews and reminds me (a little) of the awesome Lord of the Rings: Return of the King for Game Boy. [I just looked it up on ebay and it costs about $5, which reminds me of how long ago that was.] ($29.99 on Amazon)
10. For my last wish list item I am cheating a little bit. This absolutely stunning illuminated edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion makes my heart beat fast. I am hoping that the project goes viral and that some press somewhere picks it up for even a limited edition for general sale. (Priceless)
BONUS LIST! Three stocking stuffers to fill your (or a friend’s) stocking with Christmas glee:
1. Funko POP! just recently released figures of the characters from Thor: The Dark World, and they are absolutely adorable!! Perfect for the geek that has been really, REALLY good this year. (Starting at $9.91 on Amazon*)
2. These adorable little Japanese flip books use negative space and a secret compartment to tell a story in a unique way. I would love to find one of these in the toe of my stocking on Christmas morning! ($13.86-$21.14)
3. If you are not playing Munchkin with your friends already, you’re really missing out. This fantastic little card game pokes fun at all the tropes typically associated with fantasy role playing games. There is a new foil original set that is the same price as the regular set, and there are literally dozens of expansions and add-ons for the game. (Starting at $24.95)
*Prices as of the time of publication.