It’s that time of year again when there is a nip in the air. Parents are out and about trying to figure out what to get all the children on their list. For some of us who are still kids at heart, it is also about trying to reign in our intense need to shower our children with all the cool geek merchandise so that we can play with it too! Between my own children, friends and family, I have been lucky enough to have a wide range of ages to shower with some of the best gifts that the geek-o-sphere has to offer. We have sorted out who has been naughty and nice and these are the things that are going to end up under our tree.
I have to admit, I love that Fisher Price has really embraced the DC Universe and the Little People collection is a great way to give the littlest geeks on your list some exposure to their favorite heroes. The chunky figures fit perfectly in chubby little hands and there are a variety of vehicles and playsets that will rev up their imagination and start them on the road to saving the galaxy! Also, female characters are well represented which is not usually the case for comic book toys. Finally, many of the characters can be purchased individually so it is the perfect stocking stuffer for your little hero!
For the next age group, we have gone back to Fisher Price and are bringing Imaginext Batman and the rest of the Justice League and their villains to our holiday. The Imaginext brand has developed into the collector’s dream with a rapid cycle of releases of products and characters. There is once again, good representation of female characters and attention to some of the less prominent comic book personalities. Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, and Poison Ivy have all made an appearance. And recently they have added Deathstroke/Slade to the mix! The names and appearances are softened in an age appropriate manner. Honestly, my wife has had bring me back to reality or I would be surfing eBay right now to find that hard-to-find Imaginext Batman and his dog, Ace.
Like so many other geek parents out there, I get frustrated by the lack of appropriate merchandise for young girls and tweens celebrating positive female superheroes. For example, the last time I went to a convention, my daughter’s only request was for a t-shirt with Raven from the Teen Titans. It seemed like an easy enough request but it proved to be a challenge. I finally lucked out and found this brilliant shirt from TeeTurtle. They were sold out of her size but one quick visit to their online store and she will find it in her stocking! TeeTurtle has a huge selection of clever geek merchandise for a host of different interests.
And who doesn’t need something to keep them warm during this long, cold winter? Wade Wilson is everyone’s favorite anti-hero and the incorporation of his costume into this hoodie is ingenious. They have a lot of other cool designs including Spiderman, Magneto, Wolverine and more available from a variety of online providers. I picked mine up from ThinkGeek.com where they have all kinds of great products to warm a nerd’s heart!
My kids have been exploring the new world of Disney’s Infinity 2.0 and are looking forward to adding a few more characters to their toybox. Just in time for the holiday, there has been a great selection of new character releases. Marvel’s Infinity Universe, including the characters from Big Hero 6 and Guardians of the Galaxy, keeps expanding and it is a great combination of straight-on adventure gaming, with side challenges. Also, the landscape and world building will allow you to build your own superhero headquarters and defend it!
And although Infinity allows you to play some of your favorite Marvel and Disney characters, no one provides the breadth of character representation like Lego video games. That is certainly true with their newest release of Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. My son has been begging for this since its November release but will have to wait to open it on the holiday! As the title implies, players get to travel beyond the city limits of Batman’s hometown and even explore the reaches of space. With fun additions like Conan O’Brien, Kevin Smith and Geoff Johns, it should provide hours of entertain for all of us as we suffer through the cold winter nights.
For stocking stuffers, everyone likes a candy cane, but this year they also get to chomp down on some Chocolate Frogs, straight from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Every Griffindor and Hufflepuff can find their favorite wizard trading card inside and taste a little bit of the world that they came to love through the books and movies. Just remember to eat the legs first, so they don’t jump away.
That last nerdtastic item on my list is something for both the kids and me to enjoy together. We hated to see this series leave the air and really enjoyed getting to know some of the peripheral characters represented in Young Justice: Invasion
and now can watch it again and again on blu-ray. There is nothing better than sitting back under the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree to watch teenage heroes slug it out with aliens and villains over and over again!
I am lucky that my family shares so many of my interests and that we can enjoy so many things together. Sometimes I think they just do it to indulge me inner geek but most of the time, their eyes light up with excitement when someone jumps from the darkness to protect the innocent and then flies off into the sunset. Luckily, convention season is just around the corner was we can start trolling the aisles for inspiration for next years' birthday and holiday gifts. What geek and nerd gifts are on your list this year? We would love to hear about them in the comments! Happy Holidays!