Holiday Gift Guide 2011

It’s that time of year. Time to crack open your wallets for that very special nerd in your life. Need some ideas? We’ve got some. Here’s some of our writers picks for this years gifts to get.

Citizen-Bot’s Pick:
Nintendo 3DS Bundle with Zelda: Ocarina of Time


Dear Santa,

I’ve been a very good robot this year and kept my gears oiled and servos polished (but not too much, cuz MamaBot says polishing it too much will make your optic relays fail), so what I really want is a Nintendo 3DS Bundle with Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

I had a hard time settling on just this one gift. This year we have $49 Roku boxes (which I highly recommend), Star Wars: The Old Republic (which is also amazing), Kindle Fire, etc, but I settled on this as the ultimate geek gift this holiday, and here’s why: First, look at those 3DS systems. The awesome black color with the gold engraving-style print on it is so cool looking. But it’s also the bundle, and who doesn’t want their new system to come with a guaranteed great game? I played this at Comic-Con (I also played it on my N64 in 2000, but that’s a different story), and it is awesome. As much as I think the 3D is gimmicky, the gameplay on this is great– actually using the game system to aim your hookshot and arrows is fun and challenging at the same time. I’ve waited to buy a DS until more games came out (and more have!!! Mario, MarioKart, StarFox are all amazing) and so now is the logical time to buy. And with so many people probably going to take the 3DS plunge this year (almost by default since nothing else new is out there), the critical mass is going to swell for all of the opportunities to play games via their social networking/geo-locational tools. Especially since I also fully expect to get Zelda: Skyward Sword for Christmas, having the 3DS to pass around while taking turns on the Wii will be important. Great system, Great design, Great game.

Kill-tacular-tron’s Pick:
Syma S107 Helicopter $20

Always wanted to fly an RC helicopter but couldn’t afford it? Or hell, you were just too afraid to bust it into a million pieces due to the overcomplicated controls? This copter may be for you. With three channels, you handle throttle, forward / backward tilt and rotating left and right. The trick to the simplicity is the two propellers spinning in oppisite directions. This causes a gyro affect that keeps your copter super stable. Very easy to fly and durable, plus a helluva deal.

More-than-a-sex-machine’s Pick:
ALL STAR SUPERMAN: THE ABSOLUTE EDITION by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely $99.99

For my money, not only the best Superman story of all time (which, to be fair, is kinda like being the cleanest whore at the Bunny Ranch), but also one of the best superhero comics of the last decade, reissued here in well-deserved Absolute Edition format. Grant Morrison breathed new life into the character by not only giving him new powers, but also an expiration date. The result was an iconically potent, yet pleasantly human answer to the question of “What Would Superman Do if he had 12 issues left to live?”, perfect for both comic book novice and seasoned superhero nerd, and wonderfully illustrated by Frank Quitely, whose art dazzles even more in this gloriously oversized format.

There’s really nothing to add to any of this, except to ignore the pricetag, and all that crap about “waah, times are hard, I can’t afford it”, and buy this book. See that woman over there? The one who gave birth to you, raised you, fed you from her once firm breasts, and gave up her dreams of finishing med school so she could afford to buy you comics and Star Wars toys and other crap that decades later you still find yourself obsessing over? Did you really think there was nothing else she could do for you? Well, you were wrong. She has a kidney that people will pay good money for. Go sell that kidney and buy this for the geek in your family. And then buy another for me.

Proletaria-Tron’s Pick:
Amazon Kindle $79

Give someone a Kindle this year, they are cheap enough now that at least one person on your list should get on. Don’t give me any shit about “I like the feel/smell/weight of a real book.” Yes I know books are great. However, I don’t like lugging around a hardback or carrying multiple books at once. Kindle makes life less cluttered and easy and with so many free or cheap books there is no reason to not give one as a Christmas gift. People need to read damnit! Facilitate it!

Scarlett Robotica’s Pick:
Kindle Keyboard $139.00

While several options for Amazon’s Kindle now exist, I thought I would share the version I own, and the one I’d recommend to anyone. It has a full keyboard that allows you to make notes throughout the text, and it makes searches easier. I’m the type of person who gets an adrenaline rush just by entering a bookstore, so took me a while to jump on the digital book bandwagon. Still, I can’t ignore the benefits of owning a Kindle. If I finish the first book in a series and can’t wait to read the next one, I can download it instantly via Wi-Fi. No waiting for the bookstore to open or for Amazon to deliver it to me. No waiting lists at the library. It’s in my hands instantly. Plus, I’ve run out of bookshelf space, so this allows me to still own all the books I want without worrying about where to place the physical copies. I still read paper books just as often as I did before, but having a Kindle is so convenient, and it reduces book weight in my luggage when I travel, too. Buy one for yourself and for any booklovers you know this holiday season.

Swank-mo-tron’s Pick:
Lego Star Wars III $20

I was pretty sure I was done with this franchise. Sure, it’s Star Wars, but I felt like I’d had my fill of Lego Star Wars games. Lego Star Wars III, though, takes the entire franchise up a notch. There are new puzzles, character types, and graphics that make it a cut above the other two games. It’s fun and really gave the entire series a shot in the arm. This game takes place during The Clone Wars, as well, so we’re able to play characters from the TV show and replay some of our favorite arcs. My favorite episode is represented as well, Duel of the Droids, and it’s a lot of fun to play. I picked it up on PS3 (which is also against the grain for me, I always get Wii versions) and found that it was just as much of a blast. And I got to be Ahsoka! (They had her two saber technique down perfectly.)

I don’t often play video games, but playing this with my son, I’m going to spend a lot of time back in the world of Lego Star Wars and it would be a perfect Christmas find for any adult-kid combo.

And for $20 who could argue?

Vagatron’s Pick:
LevelUp Icon Gaming Storage Tower for Sony PS3 $49.99

My Christmas gift pick is a snazzy little gaming storage tower. This can fit in the corner and keep all my equipment organized, hold my game system, and (for those of us who still play Rock Band and Guitar Hero) hold two guitars. I like the color, I like the sleek look and I like the not-over-the-top price. It is available at Toys-R-Us and is also available for PS3, Wii, and Xbox.