Game Informer's Holiday Buying Guide 2016
Let us introduce you to a few things you didn’t even know you wanted. Whether you’re looking for a hot new item to add to your wish list or need that perfect geeky gift to give to a loved one, here’s a roundup of the best toys and tech money can buy this year. Who needs Santa? You have us.
Text by Ben Reeves & Matt Miller
UNDER $25 – HAPPY HOLIDAY; HERE'S A THING
Chicozy Cotton Avengers Alliance | $9.99
Dress your couch in the finest nerdery without breaking the bank. These stylish throw pillows are made out of a durable cotton linen and measure 18 inches square.
Fallout Antique Gold & Silver Vault 111 Pocket Watch | $15.00
Punctuality will still be in style even after the apocalypse. Keep perfect time during V.A.T.S. firefights with this 1.7-inch, antique-styled quartz pocket watch.
Society6 Dinosaur Art | $18.00
These gallery-quality Giclées come on ultra-smooth, 100 percent cotton paper, but you could print this art on old McDonald’s wrappers and they’d still look awesome.
Dishonored 2 Emily & Corvo Pop! Vinyl Figures | $19.99
Empress Emily Kaldwin and her father Corvo are deadly supernatural assassins, but they display their adorable side in these Funko vinyl figures.
Modern N7 Armour Stripe Scarf | $25.00
Stay warm and fashionable while touring the galaxy with this Mass Effect-inspired scarf made from 100-percent viscose. The scarf measures 30 inches wide by 72 inches long. Even Commander Shepard didn’t have this much style.
$25-$50 – THE PRICE DOESN'T REFLECT HOW MUCH I CARE
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Beginner Game | $29.95
Create your own epic adventures in the new Star Wars timeline with Fantasy Flight’s celebrated RPG. Clear rules and pre-made characters make getting started easy, and Star Wars fans will geek out over the galactic map.
8bitdo Cube Speaker | $29.99
Modern design meets a classic aesthetic in this NES-inspired wireless Bluetooth speaker complete with a giant d-pad controls and an eight-hour battery.
Bloodborne Card Game | $34.99
Fans of FromSoftware’s devilishly challenging Victorian horror adventure should check out the evocative card game by superstar game designer Eric M. Lang. Expect to die – a lot – as you compete to become the greatest monster hunter.
The Hori Fighting Stick Mini 4 | $39.99
Hori’s new fight stick trims that fat without sacrificing functionality. The Mini 4 is almost half-sized, but it remains comfortable and incredibly responsive.
R2-D2 French Press | $39.99
R2-D2 helped fuel our love of Star Wars; now he can fuel your mornings. This officially licensed Star Wars bean machine holds up to 32 ounces of coffee and a splash of sass.
No Thank You, Evil | $39.99
Love role-playing games, but not quite ready to introduce your little ones to the scarier grown-up stuff? Monte Cook Games has crafted a brilliant tabletop RPG targeted at kids and their families, in which every hero’s bedroom is a gateway to new worlds of adventure. Smart and simple character creation rules give every player a special buddy, like a Chummy Ghost or a Tiny T. rex. Conflict resolution uses a straightforward system based on the included custom dice, and the box has everything you need to play. If things get too scary, kids can shout the name of the game to ward away things they’re not ready to deal with.
Geeky Christmas Jumpers | $43.50
Yellow Bulldog’s geek-themed Christmas sweaters are the best way to stay warm and jolly. Themes include Assassin’s Creed, Star Wars, and Spider-Man.
Nendoroid Kirby's Dream Land: Kirby Figure | $44.99
It’s easy to get sucked in by Kirby’s adorable, pink form. This 2.4-inch figure from Good Smile Company uses built-in magnets to let you pose Kirby and change his costumes.
Virtua Fighter Figma Figure | $44.99
Based on the revolutionary 1993 arcade classic, the articulation on these imported six-inch figures from FREEing might actually be more fluid than their original digital counterparts.
Amazon Echo Dot | $49.99
Virtual assistants like Cortana and Siri are becoming more useful every day. Amazon’s own virtual assistant, Alexa, might not live in your pocket, but it is still extremely helpful. The Echo connects to the cloud and uses voice-activated commands to do everything from streaming music and podcasts to reading news headlines and interfacing with other smart home gadgets like the Nest thermostat. A range of more than 3,000 voice apps also allows the Echo to call you an Uber, order a pizza, make a credit card payment, or play voice-enable murder mystery games. Someday it might even be able to attend family gatherings for you.
$50-$100 – I’M DEFINITELY BORROWING THIS
NES Classic Edition | $59.99
Nintendo packed 30 NES classics – such as Mega Man 2, Punch-Out!!, and all three original Super Mario Bros. titles – into one adorable package that connects to modern TVs with an HDMI cable.
Musterbrand Zelda Collection | $59.99
This collection of Zelda-inspired gear includes scarves, coats, and bags. But our favorite is this hooded cotton jersey, which is perfect for both Ren Fest and the recliner.
Uncharted Avery's Coin Necklace | $60.00
The real treasure at the end of Uncharted 4 was family bonding, but we still want the gold. Each one of these antiqued brass coins is hand-aged for the authentic pirate look.
Vans X Nintendo Shoes | $65.00+
Vans wraps your feet in a series of impressive graphic prints featuring legendary Nintendo characters like Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong. Also, Luigi.
Logitech Prodigy Keyboard/Mouse Combo | $69.99 (each)
You’re never going to be faster than a machine, but the machines that work for you can always be faster. Logitech’s Prodigy series balances precision with an affordable price point. The G213 mechanical keyboard is four-times faster than the standard, is spill resistant, and can put on a lightshow of up to 16.8 million colors. Meanwhile, the G403 gaming mouse has rubber grips that practically mold to your hands, comes packed with 10g of removable weight, and has a built-in laser with a 1ms report rate.
SeaFall | $79.95
Every game session is different in this board game from the designer of Pandemic Legacy. Sail the high seas, win glory and fame, and watch as the game evolves based on your last playthrough.
Xbox Design Lab Wireless Controller | $79.99
The best controller on the market just got better thanks to a built-in headphone jack, textured handgrips, and 8 million customizable color combinations.
Lego Star Wars Krennic's Imperial Shuttle | $89.99
This intimidating Imperial shuttle from Rogue One features folding wings, dual spring-loaded shooters, and retractable landing skids.
Amazon Fire HD 8 | $89.99
Amazon’s Android-based tablet is more affordable than ever, which makes it a great gift for kids and adults. Magazines, games, and movies look amazing thanks to the Fire’s new 8-inch, 189 pixels-per-inch screen and 1.3 GHz quad-core processor.
Mansions of Madness | $99.95
The dramatic retrofit for this Lovecraftian adventure game features cooperative play for up to five. The board game components are top-notch, and the accompanying digital app brings the nightmarish narrative to life. Highly detailed monster and character miniatures step out onto a modular board that is different each time you play. Each of several stories has its own narrative events, monster encounters, and challenging puzzles, and the app keeps play moving at a brisk pace. If you like storytelling with a side of Cthulhu horror, this is perfect for your next game night.
Marvel Legends Captain America Shield | $99.99
It’s not made of vibranium, but this life-sized replica looks great. From its glossy paintjob to its faux-leather straps, this shield is an ideal fit for both costumed arms and trophy walls.
$100-$250 – I LIKE YOU, BUT IT'S NOT CREEPY
WD MyBook External Hard Drives | $129.00 (4TB)
Our console hard drives are already bursting at the seams. Thankfully, Western Digital’s range of external hard drives are compatible with Xbox One, turning them into gaming gold.
Mebo | $149.99
This adorable robot can be controlled via a digital app. Its claw can pick up and move things, and the on-board camera lets you see through your robot’s eyes, even if you’re controlling it from the other side of the world.
Pokémon Snorlax Bean Bag Chair | $149.00
The lap of luxury is a Snorlax belly. This giant Pokémon-themed bean bag chair has a polyester casing and measures four feet tall by more than two feet wide.
Square Enix Play Arts Kai Wonder Woman Figure | $149.00
The breakout star of Batman v Superman wasn’t either of the leads. This new Play Arts figure offers a gorgeous sculpt of DC Comics’ Amazon warrior ahead of her solo film.
Turtle Beach Elite Pro Headset | $199.00
Turtle Beach’s newest pair of headphones have been completely reimagined from the ground up for eSports pros, but average Joes reap all the benefits. A patented ProSpecs Glasses Relief system removes pressure where glasses wearers need it most. Meanwhile, 50mm Nanoclear speakers deliver crisp, distortion-free audio while Turtle Beach’s professional-level microphone keeps you in constant communication with your friends while drowning out unwanted ambient audio. And since the Elite Pro is compatible with both consoles and PCs, it’s the only headset you really need.
$250-$1000 – YOU'LL NEED NEW PANTS AFTER OPENING THIS
PS4 Pro Bundle | $399.00
Sony’s console update allows for upscaled 4K gaming and taps into a more vibrant range of HDR lighting. The PS4 also gives you access to Sony exclusives past and future like
Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, and God of War.
Xbox One S Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Bundle (2TB) | $449.00
Microsoft’s console refresh is 40 percent smaller, HDR ready, and offers 4K Blu-ray and video streaming. Plus it’s the only console that plays titles like Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3.
Geralt of Rivia | $769.00
Prime 1 Studio’s meticulously crafted, 26-inch statue of the White Wolf is almost as intimidating as the real thing. He’ll protect any desk from monster incursions.
HTC Vive | $799.00
Get a taste of the Holodeck today. Valve’s room-scale VR creates an immersive experience that feels like the future of entertainment.
Alienware Aurora | $799.00+
Upgrading a PC to VR-capable specs is a costly affair. Thankfully, Alienware has a range of VR-ready systems that won’t obliterate your savings account. In addition to a slim, futuristic design, the Aurora allows for tool-less upgrades to its graphics card, hard drive, and memory. The base model features an Intel Core i3-6100 Processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 950, so you shouldn’t need to upgrade for a while.
$1000+ – I'M PROBABLY INSANE FOR SPENDING THIS MUCH
Razer Blade Refresh | $1,799.00+
Razer’s flagship laptop is still a game-playing beast. This year’s update contains an Intel Core i7-6700HQ quad-core and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, making this laptop VR-ready.
The Only Green Indoor Putting Green | $1,999.00
For those who are serious about their short game, these handmade indoor putting greens are so customizable that they allow for up to 1 million break combinations.
Whiskey Wood Chandelier | $2,350.00
Not only do these hand-crafted chandeliers look like they belong in a Resident Evil mansion, but each rustic candelabra was steam-bent out of old whisky barrels.
The Hobbit Limited Edition Pinball Machine | $8,500.00
A built-in HD display ac centuates the action of this limited edition pinball machine designed by Jersey Jack. You could hardly find a more fitting reward for Tolkien fans (beyond the One Ring, of course).
LG OLEDB6P 55-Inch 4K TV | $2,299.00
LG’s newest OLED display is one of the hottest 4K sets on the market thanks to its deep blacks and an incredible range of contrast. Movies and games look stunning on this display thanks to a color palette that nearly matches what you’ll see at the cinema. LG’s OLEDB6P also supports HDR imaging, making it a great companion for Sony and Microsoft’s recent console refreshes.
Adventure Time:The Official Cookbook | $29.99
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor | $9.99
Descender Volume 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen | $14.99
HBO's Game of Thrones Coloring Book | $15.95
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer | $14.99
Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson | $30.00
8-Bit Time Paradox | $9.90
Fallout 4 Deluxe Vinyl Soundtrack | $100.00
Touch – July Talk | $9.49
Hardwired...To Self-Destruct – Metallica | $14.97
Everybody Wants – The Struts | $8.99
Victorious – Wolfmother | $9.49
The Americans Season 4 | $39.99
Kubo and the Two Strings | $34.99
Mad Max: High-Octane Collection | $79.99
The Night Of | $59.99
Dishonored 2 Collector's Edition | $99.99
Gears of War 4 Collector's Edition | $249.99
Overwatch Collector's Edition | $99.99
Titanfall 2 Vanguard Collector's Edition | $249.99