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Game Informer's Graduation Gift Guide 2023

by Matt Miller on Jun 06, 2023 at 11:22 AM

As another school year winds down, a new class of graduates is set to move to the next phase, and both congrats and gifts are in order. If you’re looking for something special for the grad in your life, read ahead to explore a curated collection of toys, tech, tabletop games, and more – from modest to extravagant – sure to please any enthusiast and celebrate their accomplishments.

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

LEGO The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell

Double dip into your graduate’s interests with one of the best Lego sets in recent memory, celebrating one of the most astonishing locales from the Middle-earth films. 15 minifigures let builders recreate favorite scenes, with tiny details like Bilbo’s optional angry grasping face, the council around the Ring, and Elrond’s study filled with Elvish art. Lavish and complex, it’s a wonderful choice for a shared family build or a lone Ranger from the North who can’t wait to return home. $500


POP! Games: Pokémon Pikachu Waving

As your student moves on to a new phase, the Pokémon franchise has also come to a moment of transition. Wave goodbye to Ash and Pikachu’s longrunning storyline with this adorable Funko Pop! of the foundational character. Funko’s stable of unmistakable Pokémon figures continues to expand, so there should be no shortage of company for the little yellow guy. $13

Purchase Purchase at Gamestop

Showdown Pro Gaming Chair

While the Showdown Pro Gaming Chair is an excellent at-desk solution, it’s specifically built for the tabletop gaming audience. Without side arms, it’s meant to scoot easily underneath a table when not in use. Smooth height adjustment, seat back recline, and 360-degree swivel help to dissuade sore backs for even the longest board game or RPG session. $379



This tableau engine-building board game is a fascinating departure from expectations. Players work to grow an ecosystem through an overwhelming variety of hundreds of included cards, gradually seeing the way that each plant and element of nature feeds on and interacts with others. Beyond some clear environmental themes, Earth is just plain fun, with relatively simple rules but so many options that understanding and forming a coherent strategy will take time. If that sort of complexity appeals, rooted in a focus on natural beauty, then this one should be a winner at your table. $50


Play Arts Kai Jack Garland

While opinions diverge widely on Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, the imposing design of its armored lead is an undisputed win. Jack Garland appears here wrapped in black and violet armor, lined in burnished gold. His massive sword (character height) and wire-supported fabric cloak allow for dramatic posing opportunities. Play Arts Kai is known for its detail and precision; this rendition of Garland is one of the most striking pieces from the line in a long time. $240


Mists Over Carcassone

One of the most popular and enduring thematic board games of all time is given new life in this cooperative twist on the familiar Carcassonne formula. The tile-laying fundamentals echo the original game, but in this version, players must work together to manage the spread of ghosts across the countryside and village. Fantastic landscape art and dozens of tiny meeples help the game look great on the table. This new take on the classic maintains the simple-to-learn but hard-to-master elements that have kept the original game on tables for over two decades. $40


Infinity Game Board

After the release of an earlier and larger free-standing table, the new 18.5-inch Infinity Game Board is built as a family-friendly way to enjoy an impressive collection of simple and familiar board games on a digital touchscreen setup. Classic go-to options like Battleship, Candy Land, Sorry!, and Simon are free, while some more involved games like Pandemic and Ticket to Ride have a small price for purchase. The screen is bright and the user interface easy to use. For the younger set of graduates in your family, it’s a fun and simple way to approximate the real tactile games and build up an impressive collection to switch between with ease on game night. $500


Wolverine V2 Pro PS5 Controller

Razer earns its claims for strong competitive performance with the V2 Pro, which is a standout wireless performer. The quick-firing triggers and tactile action buttons are instantly reactive and feel clicky and responsive to the press. It’s also a controller that rests comfortably in-hand, with textured hand grips and a broader contoured curve that fits larger hands well. Razer’s signature RGB lighting is also built-in. The offset left thumbstick (like a standard Xbox controller) is a departure from form, but a great variation to find in an officially licensed PS5 device. There’s no shortage of extra inputs to set with four rear paddles and additional shoulder buttons. And interchangeable thumbstick caps let you adjust your preferred concave/convex preference. You’ll miss out on any rumble or adaptive trigger inclusions, but if those aren’t a priority, this is a control option that earns its high price tag. $250

Purchase Purchase at Gamestop

D&D Warduke Action Figure

A callback to some of the earliest toys and established characters in D&D fiction of the ’80s, Warduke was a fighter from the early Greyhawk campaign setting who turned evil. His distinctive helmet design was a memorable aspect of those days in the role-playing game. This detailed 7-inch scale figure excellently captures the colorful character, and comes complete with an impressive array of weapons and other accessories, including a flaming sword option. Warduke is among the first of a new line of D&D Ultimate figures, so he might not have to stand alone on a shelf for long. $35


Broken Compass

This fast-playing and engaging tabletop role-playing game leaves complicated rules by the wayside and opts instead for high pulp adventure, dice-throwing, and storytelling in the style of great adventure films like Indiana Jones or The Mummy. The game is a laudable choice for an easy departure from more recognizable systems, thanks to a simple core mechanic (rolling matching sets in a dice pool), and familiar character archetypes that everyone can embrace for quick and fun-to-play one-shots or short campaigns. $50


Flyer Cruiser Electric Bike

While Flyer has a selection of larger cargo bikes for hauling kids or heavy loads, its latest Cruiser line is more squarely targeted at folks looking for a comfortable and enjoyable ride that meets the twin goals of exercise or ample power assist, depending on your mood after class. The rear rack is large enough to support several optional accessories, including a waterproof storage case for keeping electronics or food confidently dry. The classic bike styling is available in either a traditional or step-through design, and exhibits strong performance across the board, from its disc braking to 350W brushless hub motor to solid battery life. It’s an ideal option for anyone looking for a fun way to get around. $1,799



ASUS is known for its experimental approach to tech design, and that reputation continues in this team-up with the Acronym apparel design team. This hybrid tablet/laptop features hefty specs for gaming or any other activity, and includes a 13.4 inch Nebula display, 13th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, and a GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU. Beyond boastworthy power, it catches the eye and stands out with its integrated carry strap for portability, reinforced corners and aluminum chassis for protection, and various slick setup arrangements for use on a table, while carrying, or virtually any other situation. It’s an expensive way to engage with your games, but the price affords some remarkable versatility. $2,500


XreArt Framed Xbox 360 Controller

For the nostalgic types, Xreart’s beautiful electronic dissections transform once functional controllers into memorable and hangable art. The shadow box-style inset holds the components that once helped you navigate through Halo 3 or BioShock, now labeled and laid out in simple shapes and framing. If the 360 was never your thing, other options celebrate the likes of the Game Boy, PSP, and Switch. $179


Transformers Studio Series Gamer Edition Bumblebee

The Studio Series Transformers line targets collectors, offering levels of detail, transformation complexity, and authenticity to the source imagery that is often not present in other Hasbro figures. This version of the Autobot scout is a welcome addition for fans who recall Activision’s 2010 War For Cybertron. With a chunky robot design that converts into a slick domed Cybertronian vehicle, it’s an awesome take on one of the most distinctive versions of the character. $25

Purchase Purchase at GameStop

Scarlet Witch Gallery Diorama

Suppose you’re hoping to help your new graduate celebrate a love of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but you’re not aiming to break the bank. In that case, Diamond Select’s diorama series is an excellent place to look. Even cast in PVC, the detail and character likenesses are very good, with action poses recalling key moments from the films and TV shows. This take on Wanda Maximoff captures the chaos-wielder as she appeared at the height of her power during Wandavision and stands at 10 inches as she magically descends onto your shelf. $60


Anker 733 Power Bank

For the graduating senior looking to charge an array of devices on the go, this 65W fast-charging portable station simultaneously supports up to three separate connections – two USB-C and one USB-A. It’s at its best and fastest while plugged in as a wall charger, but still does solid work keeping your phone, laptop, or other handheld going while out and about. If you’re looking for some added fun, an alternate version licenses the Transformers franchise and features Optimus Prime theming across the device, so you can roll out in style. $60


Star Wars Ahsoka and Darth Maul Milestones Statues

Either one of these separate high-end statues are knockouts, featuring meticulous sculpts for each of the 1/6 scale battle-posed warriors. But spring for both of them, and you get to immortalize one of the very best episodes of The Clone Wars, and the fierce duel that unfolded between the two Force users. Gentle Giant always manages to nail character likenesses; these two pieces represent a fascinating twist, transforming the animated visuals of the show to a more realistic take, but without losing what makes each character’s poses so identifiable. $250 (apiece)