Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


Game Informer's Spring Buying Guide 2024

by Matt Miller on Mar 20, 2024 at 01:00 PM

As the weather starts to heat up, we’ve been investigating a bevy of fascinating tech, toys, tabletop games, and more. The items we’ve collected ahead are some of the best we have to recommend to enrich your gaming setup, brighten your display shelves, and bring new avenues to great entertainment in your home.

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

Star Wars Cal Kestis Statue

As more recent additions to the canon go, few new figures in Star Wars lore have captured the imagination like Cal Kestis. The star of Respawn’s Jedi: Fallen Order and Jedi: Survivor is presented here mid-battle, a transparent blue lightsaber raised to strike. The gallery diorama nails that juxtaposition of high action and constrained Jedi discipline and focus, and the cloth detailing on the PVC is exceptionally detailed. It goes without saying that BD-1 is also along for the ride, completing the picture. $80


PS5 DualSense Deep Earth Collection

Even with numerous more customizable options now available, the core first-party PS5 controller continues to be an excellent choice for your primary interface to games like Spider-Man 2, God of War Ragnarök, or Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. The new Deep Earth Collection keeps the function entirely unchanged but provides three enticing new color options – Volcanic Red, Cobalt Blue, and Sterling Silver. They all look great if your launch controller is finally showing its age and you’re ready for that needed replacement. $75

Purchase Purchase at GameStop

Time Travel DIY Book Nook

If your game, book, or movie collection is starting to look a bit stale on the shelf, these novel inserts are a ton of fun. Meant to be built at home in a few hours, the finished project lights up and sits within your display as a miniature doorway into fictional worlds, which you can match to your favorite aesthetic. While the time travel train is slick, alternate options include a Japanese street scene, a house of magic, and more. $47


Traces of Two Pasts: A Novel

It’s rare that a video game tie-in novel meaningfully adds to the understanding of the fiction or makes for an enjoyable enough read to justify the time investment. But even as Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth is rolling out, there’s a lot of compelling backstory to uncover here, charting the stories of Tifa and Aerith in the years before the big adventure, written with sensitivity to the characters’ complexity by one of the game’s chief writers, Kazushige Nojima. For dedicated fans, it helps to complete the picture and enriches your playthrough of the new game. $25


Ultimate Electric Go-Kart

Video gaming has no shortage of kart racing games, including the perennially popular Mario Kart, which seems like a fixture of family life for decades. If a child in your family is especially excited about that brand of fun, this kid-targeted go-kart is about as close as you can get to being Mario on Rainbow Road. The kart can be speed-limited at any of its three top MPHs (2.5, 5, and 8) to customize it to the right age. The 24 Volt battery and included charger eliminates the need for gas. What’s most exciting for the young target driver? The large rear wheels allow for honest-to-goodness drifting, just like in the games. $300


Nex Playground

The Nex Playground doesn’t tread into any fundamentally new waters with its motion-controlled, family-oriented video game platform; we’ve seen similar experiences from the Wii and Kinect. Instead, the tiny cube-shaped console focuses on simple and approachable motion gaming with few entry barriers, supported by a responsive wide-angle camera and AI-powered motion sensing. That goal pans out in practice with various easy-to-navigate experiences from dancing to whack-a-mole to fitness apps – all of which work well and read body movement without a problem – even with multiple players. It’s simplistic fun, and the added paid subscription is a must to tap the complete library of activities, but the device definitely gets everyone moving and laughing. $200


Lego Avengers Tower

Marvel fans need look no further for a collection centerpiece than this massive display build of the iconic building from the MCU movies. Standing just shy of three feet in height and constructed from 5201 individual pieces, the set is stuffed with easter eggs, from the appearance of the Tesseract to Arnim Zola staring out from a computer monitor. Hundreds of windows and unique display opportunities for the 31 included minifigures let you set up a proper comic book diorama filled with action and a sense of dynamic motion, making this a memorable way to celebrate a love of these familiar characters and stories. $500


Sky Team

The affordable pricing on this board game belies a surprisingly rich and long-lived experience that can supply many hours of fun. Built exclusively for two players, a pilot and co-pilot must work together to land an airliner at a selection of airports, placing dice out in spaces on the board to manage speed, deploy landing gear, and complete other essential tasks. Each airport has its own scenario that changes the experience, from gas leaks to high wind. It’s exciting, cooperative, and easy to pick up – a perfect fit for two friends or partners looking for a great series of game nights. $30


Elden Ring Melina Figuarts Mini

Not every shelf-worthy collectible needs to be a towering giant. Bandai Namco’s Figuarts Mini line presents fan-favorite characters in a stylized sculpt, but also with impressive poseability for figures that only stand a bit over three inches in height. As your mysterious and occasional companion through the lengthy journey of Elden Ring, Melina is a good choice for display, but you can also track down the likes of Ranni the Witch, Blaidd, or the dreaded Malenia. $25


Indiana Jones Bust

With new details finally emerging about the game, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, we may once again be celebrating the adventurous spirit of the famed archaeologist and adventurer. This new bust features Doctor Jones as he appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark, complete with leather jacket and trademark fedora. The half-scale bust captures subtle facial features from stubble to eyes, but it’s clear from his expression that he hasn’t yet noticed the hated snakes wrapped around the pedestal base. $200



Wingspan is one of the most celebrated board games of the last decade, thanks to its fascinating mechanics and way of communicating a love of birds and their unique nature. That earlier success inspires this standalone project that translates the fun into a fantasy setting and an enduring enthusiasm for that most iconic mythical creature – the dragon. Players build and maintain a dragon sanctuary, gradually trying to draw more species of wyrms to their caves. Multiple strategies can lead to victory, lending the game powerful replay value. The art and overall production value are top-notch, making it a joyful game to look at spread out on your table. $65


Display Vault Air

Longtime collectors of Funko Pops may like the united visual style of the popular figures, but it can be tricky to find a good approach to display. Vaulted Vinyl’s solution is an elegant way to help your treasures look their best. Each vault includes tailored spaces that perfectly fit a standard Pop box, though the individual slots are also perfectly sized for unboxed characters. Because it uses high-density foam in a carbon fiber finish, the unit is light enough to mount easily on the wall but also has an understated, slick visual style that helps your favorite Pops stand out. $95


Timbuk2 x Astro Gaming Backpack

If you find a significant portion of your gaming hobby is played on the go, a confident storage and transport solution is a must – bonus points for style. The BP35 backpack is specifically built for carrying your gaming gear, whether as a flight carry-on or just across town. The roomy sleeves can handle two separate laptops up to 16” in size. A padded interior pocket has space for more sensitive gear. There’s a loop holder for headset hanging, a front magnetic flap pocket for easy access items, and dual zippered side pockets for water bottles (or whatever else you’d like to imbibe). $200


TCL QM8 Series

For many years, TCL has been quietly pumping out excellent gaming TVs priced much lower than the competition, even if the full feature set isn’t necessarily at the bleeding edge of the available tech. The company’s flagship QM8 series takes another step up, providing gamers and cinema lovers a desirable option, often regularly available at sale prices below both the competition and the list price we show here. An extremely bright display uses QLED Mini LED technology to create many local dimming zones across the screen, leading to phenomenal contrast between deep blacks and rich, vibrant colors. It’s an easy recommendation if you’re ready for your next step up and want a meaningful advancement without completely breaking the bank. $1,700 (65-inch)


The Walking Dead Universe Roleplaying Starter Set

Mature role-playing gamers looking for a change of pace should consider a trip into the dark and dramatic arena of Free League’s new Walking Dead game. Set in the same shared universe as the shows, it won’t surprise you to learn that characters are fragile and prone to sudden deaths as they deal with the many dangers of a Walker-filled world. The Year Zero engine that drives the game is flexible and rewarding, modified here to tell cinematic and tense survival stories. The Starter Set gives you a taste of the action, getting you into danger quickly with six pre-generated characters, including some favorites from the TV show. The boxed set is a good way to test the system first to find if a more robust RPG campaign down the line fits your group. $42


QRD Stellar T3 Wireless Joy-pad for Switch

Even many years into its lifecycle, the Switch’s capability as both a docked TV console and handheld continues to be one of its standout features. But it’s hard to cite the Joy-Cons as especially popular due to their small size and uncomfortable hand fit. QRD’s T3 controller is a notable step up, usable as a pad while on your TV or slotted into the Switch for handheld play. Hall effect joysticks, customizable LED lights, and a back macro button are all pluses. Still, the real win (especially for adult players) is the larger size, which makes games far more enjoyable to play over long stretches than the original Joy-Cons. $59


AndaSeat FlyQuest Edition Gaming Desk

Whether you’re familiar with the eSports partnership team involved or not, AndaSeat’s Gaming Desk is a solid and feature-rich option for your PC setup. Adjustable height permits platform height between 2’5” and 3’11”, allowing for standing or seated play and work with just a few button presses. Customizable LED lighting helps set your preferred ambiance. A comfortable and sturdy desk mat keeps everything in place and moving smoothly. And while not strictly necessary, the inclusion of a cupholder, headset rack, and cable management options are all welcome additions. $450