2009 Holiday Geek-Gift Guide, Part 3: The best presents for Trekkies, Jedi knights and fanboys
Stressed about finding the perfect gift for that special muggle, Trekkie, Twi-hard, Jedi or Bat-fan in your life? Relax and read on: You’ve come to the perfect place at the perfect time, because this is the 2009 Hero Complex Holiday Gift Guide — just think of us as a sort of retail Yoda guiding you through the complicated swamps of holiday shopping. “Buy or buy not. There is no browse.”
“Live Long and Prosper” business card holder: I hear people say Spock is back. But did he ever really leave? “Star Trek” was the best fanboy film of 2009, and Spock was so important to the story he was played by two actors. Zachary Quinto acquitted himself nicely in the role of the half-human, half-Vulcan, and, more than that, he was smart enough to seek out the counsel and friendship of the great Leonard Nimoy. I can’t wait for the sequel. If someone on your Christmas list is the same way, here’s a great stocking stuffer that is both sleek and practical and priced nicely at $12.99. It’s got a nice sheen and a durable clasp and, for those Trekkies who travel on business, it all adds up to a gift that is entirely logical.
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man bank: Want to save up your pennies to buy a proton pack? Well here’s the perfect way. It’s a vinyl, 8-inch bank that re-creates the grinning visage of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from “Ghostbusters.” This is the 25th anniversary of the paranormal comedy classic, and one of its most memorable images is the big fella stomping through Manhattan right before he becomes the world’s biggest s’more. Old Stay Puft always looked like a mash-up of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and Michelin Man, but there was something about his grin that made him unique. The banks is made by Diamond Select and costs $20. It’s also available at various other spots around the Web.
Nautilus replica from eFX: If money is no object, there is no better new fanboy gift than this maritime marvel. Harper Goff’s startling design for Captain Nemo’s submersible warship stole the show 55 years ago when Disney released “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” and its unforgettable profile became an prescient example of steam-punk and retro-tech. (To get a sense of how very special the design was, check out our recent guest essay from Berkeley Breathed paying homage to the sub and the film.) And now you can build an entire home office around a meticulously rendered 4-foot model that has interior views of the wheelhouse and salon, LED lights and a custom display. You can claim the Nautilus as your own for $1,799 (or, if you order before Dec. 10, there’s a $100 discount). There will only be 500 made and sold.
“Clone Wars” remote-controlled flying vehicle: This is going to be a big hit this holiday season. This is a foam-bodied flying toy tied into the Cartoon Network animated series that is essential viewing for young boys across America. There are two models, the Jedi Starfighter and the Republic Gunship, and (for little guys or big guys) it’s a hoot to finally have a viable, reasonably priced flying toy that hails from the George Lucas universe that redefined the toy aisles of the world three decades ago. There’s a really good in-depth review of these two airships over at Kids Tech Review that gets into some of the nagging problems (charging time is the big one), but I can tell you that, all things considered, the Force is with this holiday gift. Various merchants have it, usually for about $44.
“Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series”: Was “Battlestar Galactica” the best written sci-fi show ever? Yep. I dearly love “Star Trek,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “The X-Files” and all the other obvious contenders for that honor, but in my opinion this series on Syfy (née Sci Fi) has no genre peer in the sophistication and ambition of its storytelling. The cast was outstanding as well, led by Mary McDonnell, Edward James Olmos, James Callis, Tricia Helfer and Katee Sackhoff, and, thanks to this era of home video, the show’s audience and legacy will only grow in the years to come. Which brings us to this handsome collection, which hit stores last summer. A robust 67 hours (!) on 20 discs, it’s not just a gift, it’s a relationship. It even comes with a cool Cylon toy. (Just so you know, there have been some consumer complaints about the packaging, but I myself found the entire product to be a dandy with plenty of gee-whiz appeal.) The Blu-ray version lists for $350, the DVD counterpart is $280, but there are deals to be found. The best thing I can say about “Battlestar”? If you haven’t seen it yet, I envy you because of the revelatory experience that awaits you.
— Geoff Boucher