Holiday Gift Guide: Odds and Ends
By Kyle Anderson on November 27, 2013
There’s all sorts of gifts for the holidays that just don’t fit into any particular category. They can’t be boxed in, these gifts! From ornaments to toys to games to accessories, this list has everything that fell through the proverbial cracks, and into your stocking.
Three kinds of Domo ornaments from Dark Horse can adorn your Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush this year: One features the adorable brown guy on a snowboard, another has him in a bobsled, and the last one is him up in the stratosphere as an astronaut. Every time you don’t buy one of these, God kills a kitten.
If you’re a practical sort, why not give your friend, loved one, or constant phone-breaker the gift of a phone case from Speck? They’re light yet durable and come in a number of different styles. Plus, their logo looks a lot like the Galactic Empire symbol. Just saying.
Speaking of phones, you can now turn your Android into a console with MOGA, the controller you snap your phone into for portable gaming done right. Just don’t try to walk around playing it or you might walk right into a sign pole and look like a doofus. Game smart.
From the world of video gamery, to the world of bookery, we have the new, and frankly fascinating, read from J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst: S. It’s a book that can be read on two different levels, with another story taking place in the margins with notes. It seems really weird, and perfect for the reader in your life. When’s the last time you saw a book with a trailer?
And on the subject of books about movies, there’s Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, which lets you into the mind of one of the most imaginative and brilliant people in filmmaking today. The book gives you access to his notebooks, drawings, ideas, and general movie magic know-how.
Speaking of auteurs, the new book The Wes Anderson Collection offers a deeper look at the man behind the whimsy in this lengthy conversation between the director and critic Matt Zoller Seitz.
If you’re talking about important bands of the 20th Century, you have to talk about the Beatles. They made some of the best loved pop songs in history, and all within a very limited time frame. In their Live at the BBC recordings, you get a chance to hear them play live, including many unreleased recordings, and chat a bit with old British fuddy-duddy announcers. It’s a treat.
For more music, with an edge of social consciousness, you’ll want to pick up Released: The Human Rights Collection 1986-1998, a 6 disc set which features the complete sets of Amnesty International’s concerts for human rights. Featuring performances by acts such as the Police, Bruce Springsteen, U2, and Jackson Browne.
Board games are always a fun thing to play on holidays; here are three that might make your Yule Tide family time a bit more interesting. First, there’s the brand new Funny or Die game which invites you to write captions for some of the strangest photos on the internet and beyond; second, there’s Trivial Pursuit Party, which has all new questions and is just like the classic game only without the boring parts; and finally, Zombie Cribbage, in which the game your parents always played when you were 5 goes undead with walkers in place of pegs. Good times all around.
If you’re wanting some television box sets for your now-very-heavy-stocking, then we’ve got plenty for you there, too. For sheer throwback goodness, you’ll want to check out the complete series sets of both Boy Meets World and Saved By the Bell. Relive your adolescence and concoct a world in which Topanga and Kelly Kapowski both went to your high school.
For something a bit darker, how about the complete series of both Dexter and Burn Notice. In one, a serial killer working for the police kills other bad guys, in the other a spy spies on other spies. Doing bad things for the right reasons seems to be a big trend in television drama these days. We would say give someone the Breaking Bad Complete Series, but you’d keep it for yourself.
And celebrate probably the best sci-fi/comedy/cartoon series ever made with the complete series set of Futurama, Matt Groening’s landmark sitcom featuring robots, Slurm, and Nixon’s head in a jar. All 124 episodes plus four feature-length movies are here for you to love and squeeze and call George.
Finally, for fans of Transformers Prime, all three of the epic CGI seasons are available now on Blu-ray, from the first trek through the desert to the final battle with the Predacons. You can also tag this gift with the massive Metroplextoy which stands over 2 feet tall and is the biggest Autobot ever.
That’s a whole lot of stuff, but we’re pretty confident it can all find a good home with you or your next of kin.