Game Informer's Holiday Buying Guide 2015
The holiday season provides plenty of reasons for gamers to drain their bank accounts while they march through malls looking for the perfect gifts for their friends and families. We can’t help your wallet, but we can save your sanity. Take a cue from our annual buying guide and your holiday shopping will be done in no time. Here are some of the coolest geek-related toys and tech that 2015 has to offer. Text by Ben Reeves & Brian Shea.
Star Wars – For Jedi looking to reconnect with The Force
See if you can beat the Kessel Run record with this miniature flying quadcopter from
Air Hogs, modeled after one of sci-fi’s most iconic ships.
This adorable Furby makes wookiee sounds, hums Star Wars songs, and plays virtual activities via a mobile app. How many do you want?
LEGO STAR WARS KYLO REN
Build your own version of
Kylo Ren’s command shuttle, complete with storage bays, spring-loaded shooters, and extending wings.
RONIN STAR WARS FIGURES
Meisho Movie Realization reimagines Star Wars icons like Boba Fett, Darth Vader, and Storm Troopers as if they were samurai warriors.
Who needs to play with siblings when you can control your own miniature version of The Force Awakens’ adorable new droid?
AFTERMATH: STAR WARS BY CHUCK WENDIG
As the Empire reels from its
defeat at Endor, the Rebel
Alliance presses its advantage in this new book that builds toward The Force Awakens.
STAR WARS FORCE AND DESTINY
Tabletop role-players eager to play as outcast Jedi at the height of the Galactic Civil War should give Force and Destiny a try. The standalone game uses the same excellent narrative-focused dice mechanic seen in Fantasy Flight’s other recent Star Wars RPG releases, but puts an increased focus on morality, even letting you gain greater power on dice rolls by flirting with the dark side. Smartly written rules and beautiful art send your gaming group to that galaxy far, far away to discover whether your Force-sensitive heroes can survive the Emperor’s brutal regime.
Retro Gamer – For geeks with an unquenchable thirst for nostalgia
CARRERA RC MARIO KART 8 YOSHI
Practice your shell-throwing, banana-dodging driving skills in real life with this remote-controlled version of the Mushroom Kingdom’s most adorable dino.
SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS GICLÉE PRINT
This stylish 12x24-inch Giclée art print from Marie Bergeron makes us feel just as intimidated as when we first set eyes on Shadow of the Colossus’ ancient beasts.
BATTLETOADS VINYL SOUNDTRACK
These tunes are for gamers who want to capture the vibe of the classic Battletoads without the frustration
of memorizing the Turbo Tunnel.
HYPERKIN RETRON 5
Using the system’s various slots, you can play cartridges from several classic Nintendo and Sega including NES, SNES, Genesis, and Game Boy Advance.
WOODLANDS: TRISTAM BY ALEX GRIENDLING
This laser-etched wooden map is perfect for the Diablo fan in your life. If you’re more of a Mario or Zelda person, Griendling also offers high-quality wooden maps of Dinosaur World and Hyrule.
MEGA MAN CROCHET HAT
Become immune to Ice Man’s powers with this adorable crochet hat designed to make you look like the Blue Bomber.
VIDEO GAMES WORLD MAP
This 36x24-inch painting from Edison Yan (Scribblenauts) is full of classic video game landmarks such as Metal Gear’s Shadow Moses and Samus’ crashed ship.
FINAL FANTASY VARIANT PLAY ARTS KAI: DRAGOON
Find space on your desk for one of the most iconic soldier types in Final Fantasy, which features a variety of different poses, all of which look awesome.
BACK IN TIME DOCUMENTARY
Set your Flux Capacitors for 1985. This documentary examines the massive cultural impact of arguably the greatest time-travel movie of all time, Back to the Future.
Explore the roots of the series with this collection of the franchise. Housed within the mini nuke-shaped case are five games including Fallout 3 and New Vegas with all DLC.
MORTAL KOMBAT PLUSH
Cuddle up with eight-inch versions of Mortal Kombat’s deadliest warriors complete with embroidered and
INK WHISKEY RETRO GAME FLASKS
If Nintendo’s classic cartridge design gives you warm and fuzzy feelings, then you might want to fill one with something warm that will make you fuzzy. Hide your favorite beverage or blue potion inside any of these unassuming flasks designed to look like 8-bit classics, complete with parody labels. Designs include Metal Beer, Double Flagon, and Fine-Ale Fantasy.
BATTLECADE R-KAID-R PORTABLE ARCADE
It’s hard to carry an arcade cabinet through airport security, but Swedish designer Love Hultén’s hand-made consoles are the perfect portable solution. Made from solid wood, each console can store thousands of games and run for up to eight hours. Love Hultén can even customize your cabinet around your favorite gaming system, including Game Boy Advance, Sega Genesis, and Super Nintendo.
Horror – For the daredevils who love a good spine-tingle
THE LAST OF US SWARMED POSTER
The desperate struggle of Joel and Ellie is on full display with Courtney Billadeau’s Swarmed poster.
WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE BY JOSEPH FINK & JEFFREY CRANOR
Using dark humor to mitigate the fantastical horror elements, Welcome to Night Vale (based on the popular podcast) offers a warped look at everyday life.
BLOODBORNE HUNTER MESSENGER BAG
With a large main compartment, two small pouches, and an inner zippered pocket, you’ll have plenty of places to store your blood vials.
THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 5 LIMITED EDITION
Whether you’re reliving the shocking events of season five or playing catch up, this package has you covered.
CASTLEVANIA SCREEN PRINT
Paige Reynolds and Phantom City Creative artfully capture the dreadful beasts you slay as you work your way through Dracula’s castle.
Art enthusiasts should check out Paper Dandy’s Horrorgami, which allows you to cut and fold gorgeous horrorscapes.
NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE FLIPFURY BLASTER
The zombie apocalypse is inevitable, so why not practice for what’s to come? The Nerf Zombie Strike FlipFury Blaster features two rotating drums that each hold six darts, meaning you can rack up 12 headshots before succumbing to the brain eaters.
A.F.K. – For adventure-seekers taking a break from their games
NIKE LUNAR STEFAN JANOSKI MID FLASH
Nike’s skate-specific outsoles and springy cushioning allow skaters to absorb the impact of any tricks they can pull off.
MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL CASTLE CATAPULT GIFT SET
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of the most quotable British comedies with this set featuring
a working catapult and rubber farm animals.
PRIVATE EYE DELUXE EDITION BY BRIAN K. VAUGHAN & MARCOS MARTIN
In this comic, everyone has secret identities and one unlicensed P.I. stumbles onto a plot that could unravel society.
STINGRAY TREE TENT
Sleep closer to the canopy with all of the comfort of a hammock in Tentsile’s newest line of
THE NERDY NUMMIES COOKBOOK BY ROSANNA PANSINO
The creator and host of the Internet baking show Nerdy Nummies has a new book full of geek-themed foods.
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES BATMOBILE
Turn crime into road kill with this replica of the Batmobile from the classic ‘90s cartoon.
VERRADO ELECTRIC DRIFT TRIKE
Why should you have to give up tricycles just because you’re too big to fit in a first-grader’s desk? The Verrado Electric Drift Trike is a bigger, badder version of the big wheel we all had when we were young. This motorized three-wheeler features five-inch steel rear wheels and an electric hub motor that reaches a top speed of roughly 25 mph. Perfect for leaving skid marks on your driveway or running down to the corner market for a slushie.
Sci-Fi/Fantasy – For explorers who can’t wet to get off this planet
THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE DELUXE EDITION
All six issues of Neil Gaiman’s return to Sandman collected in one hardcover set. As the universe begins to fade and dim, Dream begins an epic journey to save existence itself.
SHADOWS OF SELF BY BRANDON SANDERSON
The second spinoff to the beloved Mistborn trilogy explores what happens when magic of the past mixes with the technology of the future.
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO DRESS
Totoro fans should check out this dress licensed straight from Studio Ghibli.
FALLOUT 4 VAULT DWELLER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE
Complete with a map, specs for weapons and armor, and a detailed walkthrough, this is a must-buy for Fallout fans.
IRON MAN MARK I EGG ATTACK STATUE
This stylish statue from Beast Kingdom proves that Iron Man’s prototype looks cool whether he’s escaping from a cave or sitting on your shelf.
SONGBIRD VINYL FIGURE
Give your Big Daddy figures a run for their money with this fearsome Funko Pop! six-inch figure of BioShock Infinite’s Songbird.
DESTINY’S SECRET STASH
If someone on your holiday list is a big Destiny fan, your first stop should be the online Bungie store. Loads of tee-shirts and hoodies let you represent your favorite weapon foundry or guardian subclass with beautiful designs that evoke the art of the game. If wearable fandom isn’t your thing, the four-pack of colored engrams should decrypt well onto your shelf or the top of your TV, while the stuffed Ghost Plush can become your real-life sofa companion.
Hoodies $54, T-Shirts $24, Engrams $19, Ghost Plush $29, bungiestore.com
[Full disclosure: Game Stop is the parent company of Game Informer]
Technology – For futureheads who are always jacked into The Matrix
WAKE UP LIGHT & SOUND ALARM CLOCK
Stop hating your alarm clock. Not only does Withing’s alarm sync to your Spotify playlist, it’s designed to ease you into the morning thanks to a slow-lighting system.
AMAZON FIRE TV
Your consoles probably already do a lot of what the FireTV does, but Amazon’s set-top device lets non-gamers inch closer to cutting the cord from cable providers.
LOGITECH G920 RACING WHEEL
We can’t overstate how much of a difference a good racing wheel makes with driving games. The G920 works with both Xbox One and PC. PlayStation 4 owners can opt for the similarly decked-out G29.
JAMSTIK+ SMART GUITAR
Learning guitar on the go has never been easier. The Jamstik works with phones and tablets, offers easy to learn tutorials, and never needs tuning.
ULTIMAKER 2 3D PRINTER
Get in on the 3D printing craze with this high-quality entry-level device. First thing you should do? Print more 3D printers.
AORUS X3 PLUS V3
A laptop designed for the most hardcore gamers, the Aorus X3 delivers premium performance at a premium price.
Amazon’s new voice-activated device has the ability to deliver you news, weather, traffic, and sports, as well as access your music and audiobook library.
SONOS PLAY:5 WIRELESS SPEAKER
This wireless speaker not only works with your smartphone, tablet, or computer, but also adjusts on the fly to create the best sound based on the music and the room.
Whether you want to make a keyboard out of a bunch of bananas or a game controller out of a doughnut, Makey Makey fosters a fun environment for future inventors.
LOGITECH G933 ARTEMIS SPECTRUM HEADSET
With full 7.1 surround sound and lighting integration, this wireless headset immerses you in your games like never before whether you play on PS4, Xbox One, or PC.
Starting at $199, logitech.com
ROCCAT RYOS MK PRO
This high-end, quiet mechanical keyboard features per-key illumination for endless options when customizing its sleek look. In addition to looking great, it has an awesome response time as well as a comfortable wrist rest for longer gaming sessions
BLUE YETI MICROPHONE
Whether you’re looking for a great microphone for streaming and podcasting or just want to sound better on Skype calls, the Yeti delivers outstanding performance at a reasonable price.
ANKI OVERDRIVE STARTER KIT
The next generation of slot cars has arrived with the Anki Overdrive. Simply piece together in one of eight different configurations and download the app for your smart device then prepare to battle on the racetrack. The starter kit includes 10 track pieces, two cars with different attributes, a charging station for the vehicles, a riser for the track, and a tire cleaner so you can avoid pit row.
SONY X900C 4K TV
If you want a sleek-yet-powerful television to handle all your entertainment needs, the Sony X900C could be the one you’re looking for. Sony’s slimmest 4K TV to date, the X900C delivers brilliant picture quality that is perfect for gaming or watching 4K video. The high-end television ranges in size from 55 inches to 75 inches and features four HDMI ports and three USB ports. An Android-powered OS gives you plenty of Smart TV functionality as well.
Starting at $2,499, sony.com
Console Bundles Worth Buying
PlayStation 4 Call Of Duty: Black Ops III Bundle
Not only does this bundle deliver one of the year’s biggest shooters, but it also sets you up with a 1TB hard drive to expand your game library in the future.
Xbox One Halo 5: Guardians Bundle
In addition to the 1TB hard drive and the copy of the latest entry in Xbox’s flagship shooter series, this Xbox One also looks undeniably awesome.
Nintendo New 3DS XL Hyrule Gold Edition
The Hyrule Gold design of this New 3DS XL combines with The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes for a dream come true for any Zelda fan.
Mario Kart 8 Wii U Deluxe Edition
Mario Kart 8 is one of the best games on the Wii U, so if you’re in the market for Nintendo’s console, this is a great place to start your library.