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Game Informer's Fall Buying Guide 2022

by Matt Miller on Sep 28, 2022 at 05:30 PM

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Whether you’ve headed across the country and into a new dorm room, across the neighborhood to a familiar school, or you're just looking to gear up for the fall, we’ve got a curated selection of tech, toys, tabletop games, and more to delight and engage the fun. Snag a gift for the student in your life, or just look into something as a reward to yourself for making it through the hot summer. We won’t tell.

Disclaimer: Recommended products are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company, GameStop.


For interactive story kids

The “My Fabulous Storyteller” is a bit like a kid-targeted interactive narrative video game console – but without a screen. The enterprising young storyteller can select from a variety of options for different stories, choosing things like the main character, where they’ll visit, and who they’ll meet, prompted both by audio cues and a backlit picture of the selection. The Lunii then reads the custom story out loud – all of which are delightfully narrated and acted out. Included 3.5 mm headphone jack, adjustable volume, and easy controls are welcome, but it’s the opportunity for the youngest family members to create their own stories that is the real success. It has 48 included stories, with countless more to buy and download. $79.90


900 Legacy Noise-Cancelling Headphones

For quiet studying

You’ve got plenty of options for noise-canceling headphones to drown out the party next door, but few offer this level of premium-level performance and style at this price point. You either love or hate the carbon fiber design, but there’s no denying it’s a sleek look setting itself apart from competitors. Supremely comfortable and with sound quality that is a match to more familiar brands, it also happens to feature superb battery life and simple-to-grasp earcup controls. If you’re willing to purchase for quality over a more recognizable brand name, you won’t be disappointed. $249


AT-LP60XBT Turntable

Start your vinyl collection

Under the wide umbrella of music fans, serious audiophiles often eventually turn to vinyl for superior sound. The gaming world has increasingly embraced this trend with a growing number of soundtracks. Audio Technica offers a solid entry-level turntable in the LP60XBT, featuring a fully automatic stereo belt-drive, a removable hinged dust cover, and the capability to play both 33-1/3 and 45 RPM records. This model also supports both a traditional wired connection or outputting to speakers or headphones over Bluetooth – a convenience for users who might need to take a roommate’s happiness into account. $219


Exo Scuf Cushion

Relieve back pain

Inevitable slouching is a hazard of gaming; it’s easy to lean forward or back into the controller, and end up with a sore back. This inflatable cushion aims to rectify that problem with a natural resting place for your arms and hands, and a wraparound fit that holds in place whether you’re on a sofa or chair. By adjusting the air-fill, you can nail your preferred level of support. It also comes with a storage bag for packing away or taking on the go. $39.99


Pro Compact Controller For Xbox/PC

Easy pack-along

Many third-party controllers go wild with optional bonus inputs, but few cater to the need for a smaller form factor – whether because of space needs or simply smaller hands. Nacon’s affordable wired entry does just that, offering 15% smaller grips and overall size but with the features you’d expect on higher-end controllers, including programmable buttons, trigger sensitivity tweaks, and textured grips – not to mention an included option for Dolby Atmos for Headphones. It’s a great fit for certain hand types, or maybe just that small carry-on bag you’re taking to school this year. $49.90

Purchase Purchase at Gamestop

Mega Halo Infinite UNSC Scorpion Clash

Study break building

Weighing in at just under 1,000 pieces, this awesome set brings the iconic UNSC tank to life as it appeared in the latest Halo game. Five included figures help you set up the perfect shelf battle diorama. The buildable rolling tank treads are a particular highlight. The set also includes an alternate split build for a spacecraft and smaller tank – albeit less rooted in established vehicles from the fiction. Will this Scorpion tip the balance of the war against the Banished? You never know until you try. $89.99


X-Men: Bishop Premier Collection Statue

Top-tier comic collectible

Whether you recall his presence in the comics or the classic animated series, few characters had the cool factor of the time-traveling mutant Bishop, back from the future to warn the X-Men of dark days ahead. Standing at roughly 12 inches, this defining take on the character features dynamic posing and an incredibly detailed sculpt, capturing the soldier as he strides into battle. $250


Beam (Gen 2) Soundbar And Sub (Gen 3)

Great audio, limited space

At some point in our lives as tech enthusiasts, we want a great gaming and movie sound setup without the space or logistics for traditional surround. Sonos’ space-conscious soundbar has output that belies its footprint, offering impressive, room-filling sound, Dolby Atmos support, and accurate performance for everything from dialogue to tunes. While a strong performer in its own right, upgrading with a connected Sonos Sub fills in the low-end with rumbling depth – just one of many additions and expansions available if you choose to go all-in on a Sonos multi-room setup down the road. $449 (Beam), $749 (Sub)


Balagos, Ancient Red Dragon Figure

Fantasy fare

It almost feels reductive to call this towering rendition of one of the Forgotten Realms’ fiercest monsters a miniature, but here we are. WizKids knocks it out of the park with this take on D&D’s most iconic beastie, the red dragon. The Flying Flame terrorized the countryside of Faerûn, but he can instead reign over your collecting shelf. Top-notch paintwork is apparent across an 18-inch height and nearly 2-foot wingspan. Pity the adventuring party whose dungeon master actually deploys Balagos onto the table. $330


Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar

Gaming for the whole semester

Go back to the roots of Jurassic World with this legacy cooperative game, in which players work together over 12 distinct game sessions to build a successful dinosaur theme park. The bright and colorful aesthetics help the game pop on the table and recall the earliest days of the film franchise. Fun gameplay has you introducing new (and often dangerous) dinosaurs to the island, and solving for the inevitable problems that arise. New rules, events, and characters roll out throughout the campaign, so you never know what will happen next. Don’t stop to think if you should play this engaging adventure – it will all probably turn out fine. $120


L885 Electric Cargo Bike

Low-cost commuting

For tech-savvy students avoiding the painful pinch of current fuel prices, Radio Flyer's L885 offers ease of use, a smooth ride, and an excellent alternative to a car for trips under 50 miles. High payload capacity and an included rear rack can house backpacks, groceries, or anything else up to a 400-pound limit. A low center of gravity from the smaller rear wheel and throttle or pedal-assist motor control maintain superb stability. Dual-leg kickstand, included headlight and functioning brake light, and seven-gear shifter are built-in options, and optional baskets and carriers (at an extra cost) can add everything from water bottle holders and cell phone mounts to kid carriers. $1,999


D&D: Journeys Through The Radiant Citadel

Change of pace role-playing

Wizards of the Coast offers up one of its most intriguing new role-playing experiences in a long while. The book details the Radiant Citadel, a magical city floating through the ether with mysterious connections to distant lands. But it also provides 13 short standalone adventures, all written by people of color to speak to their cultures and lived experiences in the real world but reflected into role-playing. The result is a rich tapestry of stories tapping into inspirations we don’t always see in the D&D world, and that has the potential to lead to some fantastic evenings of gaming. $49.95


Fighting Stick Alpha

Tournament ready

Responsive, durable, and aesthetically slick, Hori’s latest entry for fighting game enthusiasts is a surefire winner. The proprietary Hayabusa joystick and buttons allow for the aggressive use players will throw its way during match play and remain in top condition. Both are designed for professional level play, so even the slightest twitch or press registers – whether you meant it or not. Up to four custom profiles, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and replaceable top-panel art; this is a stick for contenders, and you’ll pay for the privilege of play. $199

Purchase Purchase at Gamestop

Star Wars: The Mandalorian Life-Sized Grogu

It’s relatively rare that you can snag a life-sized representation of a favorite fictional character. But when that character is around 16 inches in height, it’s an attainable dream. This excellent rendition of The Child is made of resin and features an optional Mythosaur skull medallion necklace and engraved nameplate. The expressive eyes are especially captivating. He’s watching you, so don’t threaten his dad. $250


Nerf Hyper Blasters

Aiming for fun

NERF blasters continue making strides towards ever-move impressive ways to pelt your buddies with foam. The Hyper line uses small ball rounds that can spit forth from your preferred Hyper blaster at absurdly high speeds – high enough that every blaster in the line comes with required protective eye goggles. Hopper feeds allow new rounds to tumble into place at an even greater speed, ensuring you can unload quickly. Great fun – but here’s hoping you enjoy picking up your scattered ammo! Starting at $21.99


Titan EVO 2022 Gaming Chair

For desk setups

Secretlab’s latest gaming chair is among the best on the market, featuring a smart array of ergonomic choices that help it to hold up to rugged and consistent use. That includes adjustable lumbar position and curvature, three chair sizes to fit height and weight needs, a magnetically connected headrest, and intuitive seat and armrest adjustments. In addition to a leatherette finish, the Titan Evo 2022 offers a fabric option – a relative rarity in the category. Highly customizable and built around longtime use and comfort, it’s stylish, functional, and professional. Starting at $549


Backbone One PlayStation Edition

PS5 on your phone

The original Backbone One is one of the best options for a controller to your iPhone. The new PlayStation Edition offers the same ease of use and ergonomics, but with aesthetics directly inspired by the PS5 DualSense’s sleek white look. It’s a stellar solution for players who enjoy the Remote Play app, letting you plug directly into your phone and start playing with basically no setup. And while it will customize the Backbone app with the familiar PS prompts, this edition still offers the same great useability across the board, no matter what game you’re hoping to play on your phone. $99

Purchase Purchase at Gamestop