A problem that every geek has had to face in their life is if they wish to keep their collectables boxed, or to do the unspeakable – unboxing it. This article will look at the merits of both sides, as well as my own personal opinions on both routes. Whether you’re a boxed collectible kind of person, or the sort to ravage the wrapping, this article will look at both sides in a positive light, whilst discussion reasons for both.
Fifteen days to go until the jolly man in red descends down our chimneys once again, in the world’s greatest game of Thief. But don’t you worry, he’s not going to rob you – Only put some things down your stockings. Oo-err. But never you mind what this phantom of kindness is doing late at night, creeping around – He means well!
However, if you can’t rely on Santa’s most recent sat nav system, then you needn’t worry! We’ve devised a Top 10 worthy to stuff your stockings, so strap yourselves in – We’re going to sleigh you with these Top 10 Geeky Stocking Fillers. Before we rush into this one and unwrap all these awesome gifts, the base rule for this was: It should fit in a pretty standard sized stocking, rather than a sack. It should also be relatively inexpensive (The maximum price of an item is £15).
10) Tabletop Minis
Quick and easy, something nice for the tabletop gamer in your life, or just someone who likes to build and paint creatively. The beauty of a new mini is that you can’t go too far wrong, at least if you’ve got the right genre. A good looking mini isn’t just a pretty ornament, but can often serve multiple uses; today’s cleric is tomorrow’s captain of the guard, what’s a power-armoured soldier now could easily be a cargo android in another game. Alternatively there’s no reason not to canibalize a gifted mini for spare parts, your new pirate could sacrifice an arm to give your ranger a musket.
There’s a surprising amount of high-quality, cheap miniatures, and even miniature scenery out there that’d make a great gift for gamers of all stripes, or someone with a penchant for crafting and painting might find a new challenge in a model they’ve never seen before. And if your recipient has a particular fandom, by-and-large you’ll find a miniature out there for them too.
Not Borderlands though, I tried.
9) Dice Games
I’m sure you’ve probably at least heard of the game Zombie Dice if you’re on this website? If not, then don’t worry – It’s a teeny tiny little game that features some specifically labelled dice. You roll them, check the action, keep score and keep going until someone is a winner. There’s also Cthulhu Dice, which is exactly the same, but with more insanity involved. Simple, easy, small – Perfect stocking filler.
But what if that special geek doesn’t actually want a dice game? Well, you can very rarely go wrong with a special set of dice. Websites are popping up all over the place, offering custom dice sets, so why not check them out?
8) Cardboard VR Headset
Right, so get this. In the year 2014, VR was definitely becoming a reality. I mean, it was all brand new and all a bit fledgeling, but it was certainly on our horizon. Jump forward a year or two and BANG! We’re hit by wave upon wave of Google Cardboard-wannabe’s – but this is a great thing to the average consumer.
If the geek in your life loves a little bit of cheeky tech, then why not consider buying a VR headset for their phones? They come either pre-built or flatpacked, depending on the package you pick up. They have cheap little lenses inside of them and bang – You can see in a VR world. How exciting is that? It’s all rather new, plus they have to have a relatively good phone, but hey – They can get involved with VR right now for dirt cheap.
7) Giant Microbes
Did you always want to give someone the plague, but you were never sure how to get hold of it? Want to post anthrax to a friend without getting arrested? Want to smack people in the face with yeast but couldn’t get a solid handful? The good news is you can get these and many more microbes, cells, viruses and parasites in plushy and adorable form.
This season you can give the gift of gangrene, cholera, or blood. There are also… less tasteful options for the people in your life with a sick sense of humour, basically anyone with whom you’ve played a game of Cards Against Humanity. That said, many of these little gifts have a far friendlier side, right now if you give your friends the Zika virus, some of the proceeds from the sale will also go towards supporting relief for those currently suffering in the recent outbreak.
6) Booster Packs
We’ve a tendency to collect, is that fair to say? We like stuff, and the stuff we like, we want more of. Boosters of collectible card games, Lego minifigures, Minecraft mystery boxes, Marvel dice, all of these little randomly selected additions to our ever growing collection take just a sliver more space away and yet add so much value.
Plus boosters are often cheap and easy to grab a fistfull of and shove them in with some of your well thought out and carefully selected presents. Didn’t get the card you wanted? Don’t blame me, blame the booster.
A specific example of high-quality geeky t-shirts at an amazingly good value. These guys are regulars to the convention scene and yes, I’ve got quite a few of their t-shirts. They’re comfortable, they’re light and they look amazing. The designs are really well thought out and I often get comments on the ones that I wear.
But it’s as if they are aware that Christmas is a thing. They do a whole section dedicated to £10 t-shirts. From sizes Small to XX-Large, there are plenty of different designs which are of a high quality. So, why not get that geek in your life a super cool t-shirt from some guys who are also absolutely super cool.
4) Love Letter
How very sweet. Or… actually no, not very. If anything this is a cutthroat and underhanded little game in which all players are seeking to win the favour of the princess, and using their sway in court to pass a token of their affection to someone as close to her as possible.
It’s actually one of the most simple games I have ever played, consists of no more than sixteen cards and a fistful of tokens all contained in an elegant drawstring bag, and you never have more than two cards at a time. It takes moments to learn, but time to master, as you start counting every card in play, guessing what each play could mean.
This is a very specific present, but hold on there. This speaker is teeny tiny, at something daft like 6cm tall by 6cm wide. Yeah no, that’s the size, it’s teeny tiny and it’s been on offer for £8 for quite some time. It’s typically only £15 normally and I’d gladly pay the full price, but I got 2 for the price of 1 and £1 extra. Well worth it.
This is the speaker that’s inside of our brand new GOCade (more info on that to come by on Mondays article). This is also a teeny tiny speaker that was vastly superior to our little TVs sound quality… And it’s loud as hell. It’s amazing, for such a tiny little device and so we figured, if you’re looking for a gift for an audiophile, this is that gift. What’s more, it won’t break your bank, but it might break your windows!
For every fandom there is merchandise, most of them made by Funko of course, but there’s always your Fallout bobblheads, special edition statuettes, or a comicbook shop’s glass cabinet filled with superbly made sculptures that most certainly should not appear in someone’s stocking – too big and too pricey. A well made, high quality figure needn’t be big or pricey, but they’re a lovely way to celebrate your fandom, or perhaps show your understanding for that of your friends and family.
Of course it’s always hard to find space for these things, and a tough decision to be made as to whether or not to keep the box – always worth debating your resale value – but no reason to let such considerations hold you back from getting some for other people. You never know when you might stumble across that unique find, or the one thing they’ve wanted but would never buy for themselves.
1) Nerf Gun Jolt & Darts
If you’ve never had the power of the air-propelled pistols in your hand, you’ve been missing out. I received my first Nerf Gun during the 2014 Super Secret Santa and you know what? I’ve kept it ever since – So if The British Bumpkins ever read this, huge thank you to both. I remember who gives me gifts – Especially when they own up to it!
So Nerf Guns are really simple little things. You put a spongy little foam dart into the a slot, then you aim the Nerf Gun at your friend and POP! You pull the trigger and your friend explodes backwards in a firey inferno, screaming “OH GOD WHY THE NERFS?!” Thankfully, this is just a dramatisation of what happens when I get hit by a Nerf Dart. The truth is, they don’t hurt what so ever and they’re great fun. I often have fired them off of walls, letting them come bouncing back to my hands and doing it all over again.
We’re getting somewhere near the bottom, almost time to start interacting with the relatives, overeating, and silently dreading returning to work. All the good stuff is gone, but there’s still a couple of packages down here before you reach the satsuma that’ll end up back in the fruit bowl before dinner.
Posters – GeekOut Posters
Ah yes, the poster is a very simple concept that everyone can buy into. I mean, it might be that the special geek in your life is really into Minecraft. There are posters dedicated to Minecraft. What about Game of Thrones? Don’t you worry: There are definitely posters for the hit show! Heck, posters are a perfect and relatively inexpensive item to put down somebodies stocking. You can even buy specific poster tubes, which again are relatively inexpensive and can be picked up at your local post office. Lovely.
Wait a minute, what’s this?! Your favourite website that produces Top 10s every single week without fail also sell posters?! Let us know in the comments if you need one for Christmas! We’ll do a Christmas deal! That’s right, 3 posters for £1.50 + PnP! That’s just 50p per poster! PnP will be £3.50! Just £5 for three posters, ho, ho, ho that’s a merry deal for you! (No serious, leave us a comment and we’ll sort you out.)
This is a bit of an odd one. Personally I’ve no dislike of vouchers, it’s not exactly high-effort but it shows a lot more consideration than cold cash. Both are a kindly gesture for sure, but at least a voucher shows better knowledge of the recipient, and who doesn’t like some control over what they get for Christmas; wishlists exist for a reason. But here’s why we dumped vouchers into the honourable section.
Would you really expect to see a voucher in a stocking? Envelope, sure. Cards, or even the bit of card it card it was hung upon in the first place, but surely a stocking is no place for it. A voucher is flat, easily folded, spindled and mutilated beyond use, and a stocking is usually filled indiscriminately with assorted stuff. By all means get your friends and family a voucher (perhaps Steam, League of Legends, or the local bookshop, keep it geeky folks) but if you’re going to load it into their stocking then you’re weird, and frankly wrong.
We’re all out of wrapping paper for all of these amazing gifts, so why don’t you get on down to your local shops to pick some of these up? I mean, after all, we’ve given you enough ideas to start buying gifts for that geek in your life, so why don’t you just get on with it?! Honestly, we couldn’t tell you anything else to buy – But you can tell us what we should do a Top 10 of next week by voting in the votes below! We’re fast approaching the end of the year..!
Now of course, we didn’t accommodate those boys and girls who were naughty – They don’t deserve geeky goodness, but perhaps a pop with a Nerf Gun will put them in check. What do you think of our list of geeky goodies in a stocking? What will you be putting in a Christmas stocking soon? As always, leave a comment below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.
I recently discovered that these are coming soon:
I’ve no great love for Pop Vinyls, they’re nice enough but not to my taste, and I do love that they are trying their damnedest to hit every corner of geekdom with their appeal, it’s a dream we share. I’d also like to say that these had better be the first in the range, because I am not seeing Father Cornelius, Ruby Rhod or a Mondoshawan.
This discovery also led to another: Our very own Tim has NEVER SEEN THE FIFTH ELEMENT!
So my recovery process in the face of this shocking news is naturally to talk about this film at length.
This is such a Fantasy/Sci-Fi, practically a role-play group in the making: Korben Dallas the fighter, hard-done-by ex-military turned taxi driver thrown into a fight to save the world; Leeloo, the living weapon, near perfect except for a general lack of real world knowledge; Father Cornelius, the profoundly knowledgeable priest; and later on a generally useless DJ, like the DMs younger sibling who just doesn’t get it.
On the subject of saving the world, the evil in this film is – well, basically that – evil. Big, dark, destructive, apocalyptic evil made whole. It’s a little generic, but Gary Oldman as the mortal agent of the Evil is fantastic. Jean Baptiste Emanuel Zorg is a weapons dealer and general all around jerk, even to the band of mercenaries he enlists to help him blow a bunch of stuff up.
I hate warriors, too narrow-minded. I’ll tell you what I do like though: a killer, a dyed-in-the-wool killer. Cold blooded, clean, methodical and thorough. Now a real killer, when he picked up the ZF-1, would’ve immediately asked about the little red button on the bottom of the gun.
Oldman is the stand-out performance, but everyone in this film gives it their all, even Bruce Willis, whose general attitude seems to be that he’s in a film to do a job and then go home (especially in the last couple of Die Hard’s). Milla Jovovich brings her usual so-so skills but with a great deal more enthusiasm, not to mention the infamous “thermal bandage” outfit. Chris Rock is perhaps the most enthusiastic cast member, delivering in a very short space of time a fast paced performance more memorable than any other.
The film tears along at a breakneck pace without compromising story or characterisation. It builds a history, a world, a veritable mythology all within the frame of an action packed blockbuster that maintains a cult following (as evidenced by the new Funko range). It’s also got a pretty memorable soundtrack, not only the incredibly mutated operatic performance of the Diva Plavalaguna, but there are some other fantastic pieces if you listen closely.
This film is riddled with flaws, and I mean just filled. Plot holes abound, pretty massive questions left open, like “how exactly does a human as smart as Zorg not figure out that the thing he works for clearly wants to destroy everything, himself included. And why did John Bennett‘s priest character not simply open the ancient door and let the Mondoshawan out? And where was the body when they went back to the weapon chamber?
A flawed film can still be a good film, of course it can, and here’s a prime example. Dialogue is occasionally sloppy with a hint of cliché here and there, but there’s also an epic villain monologue and some hilarious gags to brighten the mood. The aliens are rubbery which looks pretty unnatural against the capabilities of modern graphics, but in 1997 as it is today the use of practical effects is a welcome relief at times. The storyline is literally good vs evil in a fight to save absolutely everything and in the most excellent use of a hackneyed resolution, love saves the day. No, that’s not a spoiler!
The Fifth Element is a big fan favourite, and something that’s still worth geeking out about. Much like Firefly, it’s a film you want to present to your friends. Tim. Tim watch it. Tim watch the film.
After all of this time, I’ve put my money where my mouth is and I’ve found the perfect little geek figurine to go with my Chibi Qubeley.