Feature

2010 Holiday Buying Guide

by Ben Reeves on Nov 25, 2010 at 07:00 AM

It’s never too late to start dropping hints about what you want for the holidays. Make a sandwich for your loved ones and slide a few cut outs of the items you want between the bread. Make a subliminal mixed tape where you read off your desirables and gently play it for them while they’re sleeping. Your family should be glad that you love them enough to help them love you better. Now all you need to know is what gifts you want, and that’s our job. We’ve compiled a list of the coolest toys, tech, and entertainment that 2010 produced. Your friends and family shouldn’t have any trouble emptying their bank accounts after this.

 

STOCKING STUFFERS - UNDER $30

Star Trek Enterprise Pizza Cutter

For those refined enough to cook their pizzas with antimatter and dilithium crystals, this Star Trek-themed blade warps in to help you cut your pies into manageable slices. This officially licensed collectible is molded after the NCC-1701 Enterprise from the original Star Trek series, and is constructed from a laser-etched stainless steel blade and solid zinc-alloy chromium plated body. Sounds almost as high-tech as the real thing.

$24.99 www.thinkgeek.com

World of Warcraft Series 6 Figures

Expanding upon the already impressive line of WoW figures, Series 6 debuts Sylvanas Windrunner, the Forsaken Queen; Gibzz Sparklighter, the Goblin Tinker; and Magni Bronzebeard, the Dwarven King. The figures are especially respectable for their price point.

$21.99 • www.dccomics.com/dcdirect

Jinx Shirts

Geek clothing is a dime a dozen nowadays, but respectable threads are harder to come by. J!NX’s fall lineup is especially impressive this year, featuring an array of tech, zombie, and even steampunk-inspired duds for nerds of both genders. Our personal favorite designs include Super Computers, Arcade Zombietron, Ninja Stars, and Steam Punk Control.

$19.99 - $24.99 • www.jinx.com

Transformers Generations Series 2

If you played Transformers: War for Cybertron, you'll be happy to see that Hasbro has released toy versions of several of the game’s characters. Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron are all a part of the second series of Generations toys, and they each appear as impressive likenesses of the in-game characters, in whatever mode you transform them.

$14.99 • www.hasbro.com

Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide

The Pathfinder tabletop role-playing system offers a fantastic alternative to gamers who aren't playing the new 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. If you're in that camp, check out the new Advanced Player's Guide. New base classes, like the summoner and witch, along with all sorts of new equipment and variant rules, make the book a fantastic expansion to the existing Pathfinder Core rules.

$39.99 • www.paizo.com/store

The Nerd Machine Shirts

A lot of people fail in their first attempt at something (no need to be ashamed, it happens to everyone). However, new kid in the fashion world Nerd Machine has come out strong with its first attempt at geek-related clothing. This wicked robot may seem like an Optimus Prime wannabe, but if you look closer you’ll see that he’s really constructed out of everything that made childhood awesome.

$25.00 • www.thenerdmachine.com

MagiQuest Gift of Magic

These wands won’t cast stupefy on your cat, but they’re almost as good. MagiQuest locations are popping up all over the country, and these unique arcades take LARPing to a new level. Players move from game station to game station, collecting magical items, solving puzzles, and leveling up their character. All their progress is stored on a computerized wand that participants get to keep. This introductory kit makes a great gift for kids, and includes everything young wizards will need on their first day of questing.

$29.99 • www.magiquest.com

 

FRIENDS AND FAMILY - $30-$100

Dominion: Prosperity Expansion Set

Dominion is the new hotness in the designer gaming circuit, and it’s easy to understand why. This easy-to-grasp, complex-to-master card game has players building a kingdom that can outclass their opponents. Prosperity, the game’s newest expansion, revolves around the theme of wealth and adds 25 new Kingdom cards plus two new Basic cards to the mix that let players keep building up past Gold and Province. The world is a terribly challenging place to manage, but if you think you can handle the job, here is your chance to prove it.

$44.95 • www.riograndegames.com

Mimobots Designer USB Flash Drives

Whether you’re trying to share your vacation photos with friends, move music between computers, or find a place to hide your terrible high school poetry, a good USB memory stick has a wealth of uses. However, you want a memory stick that has as much style as you do. Enter Mimobot and its assortment of Star Wars, Halo, and geeky original flash drives.

$24.95-$89.95 • www.mimoco.com

Epic Mickey Wii Charging Station & Paintbrush Nunchuk

Most Wii accessories have us running for the hills, but these stylish products by PDP perfectly blend form and functionality. The Epic Mickey Remote Charging System features a removable Mickey figure taking a stand against the evil Phantom Blot. To complete your collection, the Epic Mickey Paintbrush peripheral is modeled after its in-game counterpart and is a ready-to-use nunchuk controller.

$39.99 (Charge station), $19.99 (Paintbrush) • www.pdp.com

Little Frakkin Toasters Classic Chrome Centurion

Don’t let his diminutive size deceive you; this toaster packs as much of a punch as his full-sized brethren. Standing six inches tall, the figure is cast resin and chrome plated. Better yet, it is designed by Battlestar Galactica SFX artist Dustin Adair. Mounted on a base that is styled after the Cylon Emblem, this edition is limited to 1,000 individually numbered statues.

$79.99 • store.qmxonline.com

Halo Reach Collectible Figures

Part of Square Enix’s Play Arts Kai line, this new series features Halo: Reach’s Noble Six, Emile, and Jun. The Noble Team members are articulated and highly poseable, and all stand about nine inches high. Each one comes with a slew of accessories such as extra weapons, hands, knives, and grenades.

$49.99 • www.square-enix-shop.com

Mophie Juice Pack For iPhone 4

When we were kids, getting a juice box was one of life’s little pleasures. Mophie makes an entirely different kind of juice box, but it still brings a smile to our face. The technology company’s newest invention is part iPhone case and part battery pack, nearly doubling the energy reserves of the iPhone 4. The Mophie gives you more time to check your tweets, play Cut The Rope, or look up Ben Affleck’s filmography on IMDB…so you can make fun of it.

$79.95 • www.mophie.com

Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game

If you’re ready for a break from your marathon Civ V sessions in front of a PC, check out the brand new Civilization board game. From the mind of celebrated designer Kevin Wilson, the new tabletop game delivers a faithful approximation of Sid Meier’s rich strategy franchise as an engrossing two-to-four player competition for supremacy.

$59.95 • www.fantasyflightgames.com

Star Wars Wampa Rug

Remember how Luke fought one of these things in the opening scenes of The Empire Strikes Back? Remember how he then almost froze to death like a little sissy? Don’t be like that guy. Stay warm with this faux Wampa bear rug. This officially licensed Lucasfilm collectible is made out of high-quality synthetic fur, and comes with a plush pillow head, vinyl claws, and a non-slip backing. It should look great in front of the fire in your secret rebel installation.

$99.99 • www.thinkgeek.com

Incredible MD Vinyl Figure

This collector’s item is limited to a small run of 300, making it imperative to grab one early. The vinyl figure, crafted by Toby HK, is part of his ongoing Dumb Dummies line. The Incredible MD stands 12 inches high and weighs in at three pounds – sizable like its hulking inspiration.

$99.99 • www.sideshowtoy.com

PlayStation Move Starter Bundle

Dropping a c-note on this bundle nabs you a PlayStation Move controller, PlayStation Eye camera, and the Sports Champions software. If you’ve yet to experience sports anthologies on the Wii, now’s your chance to participate in athletic events such as volleyball and dueling with friends – with better graphics.

$99.99 • us.playstation.com

Kotobukiya Lost Planet 2 Action Figures

Kotobukiya replicates every detail of armor and weapons from Capcom’s shooter in this new line of toys. This set includes variant versions of the PTX-140R Hardballer and the GTF-11 Drio.

$39.99 • www.kotous.com

 

BECAUSE YOU CARE...A LITTLE TOO MUCH - $100-$300

Sony Bloggie Touch Camera

Sony’s new digital camera is better than having a third eye. It’s like having an eye that doesn’t tear up when you poke it. The Bloggie’s three-inch LCD touchscreen and simple interface make the system easy to use, and the 4x digital lens captures full HD video and 12.8-megapixel still photos. The device can even take pictures while recording video. Thanks to its built-in USB arm and internal software, you can quickly upload files to your computer or online. Like a real eye, you probably still want to keep the Bloggie free of hot sauce.

$179.99 (4GB), $199.99 (8 GB) • www.sonystyle.com

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – The Dagger of Time

Whether you love the acrobatic antics of the in-game Prince or can't get enough of Jake Gyllenhaal's hunky portrayal of the same, you'd be remiss to not pick up your very own Dagger of Time. Packed in with a snazzy wall-display stand, this replica weapon looks just like the one in the recent film. Time rewinding magic not included.

$224.50 • www.unitedcutlery.com

Microsoft Kinect Sensor With Kinect Adventures

If you’re running out of convenient excuses to trick your friends into jumping up and down like idiots in your living room, Microsoft is here to help. What will really sell Microsoft’s new hardware are its games (see page 122 for more info). Regardless of what’s on store shelves now, however, Microsoft’s motion sensing hardware has a lot of potential, and we’re excited to see what developers will do next with the technology. We suggest Dance Central for your first software purchase.

$149.99 • www.xbox.com/kinect

Disney Underground Paper Giclees

Acme Archives Direct is offering Disney goods like you’ve never seen them before. A run of premium Giclee prints on paper or canvas, these limited edition art pieces were born from the underground pop art movement and have given artists free reign to interpret Disney’s iconic properties as they see fit.

$125.00 - $300.00 • www.acmearchivesdirect.com

Mad Catz Rock Band 3 Mustang Guitar

With over 102 buttons, the Mustang is one of the most impressive controllers we’ve ever seen. Don’t be intimidated by the number of buttons – be intimidated by the power the Mustang holds. This peripheral from Mad Catz is the only way you’ll be able to experience Rock Band 3’s guitar and bass pro-modes this year, and it could also be your first step towards learning how to play a real guitar – a talent that will make members of the opposite sex swoon, and old men cry. Play responsibly.

$149.99 • www.rockband.com

Kratos Polystone Statue

This polystone statue is as intimidating as its subject matter. Complete with scowl and scars, Kratos towers at 17 inches tall and a hefty 10 pounds. Crafted by Sideshow Collectibles, this maquette is the ultimate purchase for franchise fans.

$249.99 • www.sideshowtoy.com

HTC HD7

It may be very late to the party, but Windows Mobile 7 is finally here. With a vibrant 4.3-inch capacitive display, pre-installed Netflix streaming, and an Xbox Live experience complete with new mobile games and achievement points that link to your consoles, T-Mobile’s HTC HD7 is a robust mobile entertainment device built with gamers in mind. The smart phone also ships with Microsoft Exchange support, GPS functionality, a five-megapixel camera, and HD video recording capabilities.

Starting at $199 (with contract) • www.htc.com

Logitech Revue with Google TV

Most Internet TV setups have been lacking, but Google hopes to change that with its new platform. Using Android OS and the Google’s Chrome web-browser, Google TV looks to deliver a PC Internet experience on TVs. Logitech, one of Google’s partners in this venture, just released the Revue, which allows users to browse the web, stream videos from sites like YouTube and Hulu, download a host of unique apps through the Android marketplace, and turn their iPhone or Android smartphone into a remote for the whole system. The future sounds so elegant.

$299.99 • www.logitech.com

 

I LOVE YOU, MAN! - $300-$1,000

Fantastic Four 49 Giclee On Canvas

Published in 1966, Fantastic Four #49 is a monument in the world of comic books. The world devourer, Galactus, has just arrived on Earth, and he’s not looking for directions. This issue marked the second appearance of the Silver Surfer, and is widely considered one of the finest Fantastic Four stories of all time. A tale of this magnitude can’t be contained within a standard comic book. Every Picture Tells A Story’s faithfully reproduced giclee of Jack Kirby’s original cover has been blown up to nearly four times the original art’s size. One of only 70 prints, this work of art also comes signed by Fantastic Four co-creator Stan Lee.

$850.00 • www.everypicture.com

Alienware M11x Gaming Laptop

With laptops like this who needs a desktop? The M11x chews through more code before breakfast than most machines process all day, then it hits the gym and makes other laptops feel insignificant. If you want to play this year’s notable PC releases, you’ll want the M11x’s Intel Core-I Series mobile processors and 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 335M graphics set. Weighing in at less than 4.5 pounds and packing in over seven hours of battery life with NVIDIA Optimus graphics switching technology, you’ll be happy to have Alienware’s 15-inch welterweight fighting in your corner.

$799.99 (starting at) • www.alienware.com

Iron Man 2 Tony Stark Racing Jacket Replica

It’s not a multi-million dollar suit of armor equipped with enough ammunition to take down a battle cruiser, but this racing jacket from Iron Man 2 will make you look like Tony Stark nonetheless. This authentic replica is padded and made of ballistic-grade Cordura nylon, and it features leather accents on the number and the Stark lettering. It will also keep you warm; just try to keep it free of mustard stains.

$349.99 • www.museumreplicas.com

Gears of War 2 Locust Drone Design Maquette

TriForce went all out on this officially licensed Gears of War 2 Drone Maquette. Sculpted by Chris Perna, the art director of Epic Games, and hand finished and painted by Jordu Schell, it’s easy to see why the limited-to-500 run comes at such a premium. The maquette stands 19 inches tall and weighs in at 14 pounds. If you ever wanted to examine a Drone’s ugly mug in person without fear of having your face bitten off, here is your chance…but we still wouldn’t stand too close.

$649.99 • www.projecttriforce.com

 

FANTASY GIFTS - $1,000+

HP Envy 14 Beats Edition

Today’s music enthusiasts don’t just need a lot of storage space for their music collection – they need a machine that treats their tunes with some respect. HP’s newest Envy comes built with an Intel Core i5 processor, 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon Dual Core Processors, and at least 500 GB of hard drive space, which should turn your bedroom into your own private amphitheater. This special beats edition system even comes with a set of Dr. Dre’s personal brand of high-performance headphones, Beats by Dr. Dre. The Envy’s red backlit keyboard and sleek black matte finish make this system as fun to look at as it is to listen to.

$1,149.99 • www.shopping.hp.com

65” Samsung 8000 Series LED TV

Samsung’s 8000 series is so thin we’re worried it’s not eating enough, but the TV’s depth of 0.9 inches doesn’t stop it from producing a crystal clear HD picture with a spread of living colors. Samsung’s growing list of apps also lets you check the weather, get the latest news, and watch YouTube, among other things. Thanks to Samsung’s AllShare software, you can sync this home theater up to your PC, camera, or other mobile device to display your personal music, movies, and photos. As an added bonus, if you’re into wearing silly glasses, this bad boy is also 3D capable.

$5,999.99 • www.samsung.com

Serenity – The Big *** Replica

Few things are more amazing than Fox’s decisions to cancel amazing television shows. One example is this replica of the Serenity ship from Joss Whedon’s ill-fated Firefly. Composed of more than 250 parts, including resin, brass, aluminum, and laser-cut acrylic, this 1:180 scale model stands nearly 19 inches tall. This Serenity comes with a remote that controls the unit’s 32 different lighting effects, and is so detailed that tiny people can be seen hanging out in the cockpit. What do you think they eat?

$2,495.99 • store.qmxonline.com

Microsoft Surface

You’d have to be a wealthy Internet tycoon or a casino to afford this pricey piece of furniture, but Microsoft’s Surface is so slick it’s worth busting the bank. The Surface’s multi-touch display allows multiple users to manipulate digital content. Over 100 partners have started developing software for the device, which is aimed at businesses within the hospitality industry. The uses for Microsoft Surface range from playing games to browsing sites. What will you do with it? It doesn’t matter; everything you do with this thing looks awesome.

$12,500.00 • www.microsoft.com/surface

 

MEDIA SHELF

Music

  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Original Soundtrack • $7.99 
  • Cee Lo Green - The Lady KIller • $18.98
  • Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy • $11.99
  • Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack • $15.98
  • My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys • $13.98
  • Powerglove - Saturday Morning Apocalypse • $13.98
  • The Danny Elfman & Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box • $499.99

Games

  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Collector’s Edition • $99.99 • PS3, 360
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Prestige Edition • $149.99 • PS3, 360
  • Civilization V Special Edition • $79.99 • PC
  • Dead Rising 2 Collector’s Edition • $79.99 • PS3, 360
  • DJ Hero 2 Party Bundle • $149.99 • PS3, 360, Wii
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns • $49.99 • Wii
  • Epic Mickey Collector’s Edition • $69.99 • Wii
  • Fable III Limited Collector’s Edition • $79.99 • 360, PC
  • Fallout: New Vegas Collectors Edition • $79.99 • PS3, 360, PC
  • God of War: Ghost of Sparta • $39.99 • PSP
  • Halo: Reach – Legendary Edition • $149.99 • 360
  • Kirby’s Epic Yarn • $49.99 • Wii
  • NBA 2K11 • $59.99 • PS3, 360, Wii, PC
  • Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit • $59.99 • PS3, 360
  • Professor Layton and the Unwound Future • $29.99 • DS
  • Rock Band 3 • $59.99 • PS3, 360, Wii
  • Valkyria Chronicles 2 • $39.99 • PSP

Books

  • The Art of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Limited Folio Edition • $300.00
  • Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan by Jake Adelstein • $15.95
  • Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set • $19.99
  • Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell • $22.95
  • Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez • $24.99
  • Brightest Day, Vol. 1 by Geoff Johns and Various Artists • $29.99
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King • $27.99
  • CHEW Omnivore Edition Volume 1 by John Layman and Rob Guillory • $34.99
  • GameSpite Quarterly 5 Deluxe Edition • $43.00
  • The Walking Dead: Compendium One by Robert Kirkman and Various Artists • $59.99

Films/TV

  • Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy • Blu-ray • $79.99
  • Community: The Complete First Season • DVD • $39.95
  • Deadwood: The Complete Series • Blu-ray • $209.98
  • Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series • Blu-ray • $89.99
  • Elf Ultmiate Collector’s Edition • Blu-ray • $49.99
  • ESPN Films 30 for 30 Gift Set Collection, Volume 1 • DVD • $74.99
  • The Goonies 25th Anniversary Edition • Blu-ray • $49.99
  • How to Train Your Dragon • Blu-ray • $39.99
  • Mad Men: Season Three • Blu-ray • $49.99
  • Modern Family Season 1 • Blu-ray • $59.99
  • Party Down: Season Two • DVD • $29.99
  • Scott Pilgrim Vs the World • Blu-ray • $39.99
  • The Secret of Kells • Blu-ray • $39.95
  • Toy Story Trilogy 10-Disc Set • Blu-ray • $100.00