VGBlogger Gift Guides for Geeks & Gamers: Stocking Stuffers and Other Last Minute Gift Ideas

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Still not finished with all your holiday shopping this year? Need a few more ideas for stocking stuffers and other random odds and ends? Look no further than the final installment of our annual Gift Guides for Geeks & Gamers!

Consult our other gift guides for even more recommendations as you enter the final shopping crunch:
VGBlogger Gift Guides for Geeks & Gamers: Art Books
VGBlogger Gift Guides for Geeks & Gamers: BradyGames Strategy Guides
VGBlogger Gift Guides for Geeks & Gamers: BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia Board Game
VGBlogger Gift Guides for Geeks & Gamers: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Companion Books

The Hobbit 12 Hole Tenor Ocarina – Price: $59.99 – Buy From: STL Ocarina
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Ocarinas aren’t just for saviors of Hyrule and rescuers of Princess Zelda anymore. Purveyor of the fine art of real-life ocarina music and craftsmanship, STL Ocarina has a new model out inspired by the first two installments of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit film trilogy (other models are available in themes based on The Lord of the Rings). With its light green coloring accented by gold trim and brown, calligraphic patterns running across its surface like vines or veins on a leaf, this 12 hole ocarina looks like something you could totally see Bilbo Baggins sitting down to play from his front gate bench while waiting for Gandalf to arrive–as if he would ever do so without toking away at his pipe-weed and blowing smoke rings. It’s a pricey item, but beyond the inherent collector’s appeal it is a fully functional instrument, as you can see here. Each ocarina also includes a helpful tutorial guide, as well as a songbook of Lord of the Rings melodies to learn how to play.

Sonic the Hedgehog Scent-Blasters – Price: $1.99 – Buy From: ThinkGeek
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Epic-Scents proved how to make video games smell good with last year’s line of Mega Man air fresheners. While there still aren’t any signs of fine fragrances or other good-smelling products yet (I’m still longing for the days of Street Fighter colognes or Bionic Commando soap on a rope), the company does have a new line of air fresheners–also known by the much cooler name Scent-Blasters–out this year, this time inspired by Sega’s famous video game mascot. So what do Sonic and Tails smell like? Well, the Sonic unit has a cool, breezy scent, like a blast of fresh air generated by the speedy hedgehog as he sprints through Green Hill Zone. Tails smells equally refreshing, but with a subtle spicy note that tickles the olfactory glands with a mile high pop. For home or automobile, these Scent-Blasters are a fun way to make everyday life smell better while showing off your love of gaming at the same time.

GungHo Focus Shots – Price: $8.99 (3-pack) to $24.99 (12-pack) – Buy From: GungHo
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Need that extra little boost of energy and ninja-like focus to help keep your game tight during an all-night frag-a-thon? Give GungHo a try. These gamer-targeted focus shots of natural ingredients help stimulate concentration, brain energy, and memory storage, all in less than four calories per shot, and without the caffeine crash and jitters common when using more traditional energy drinks. The strong citrusy flavor and almost gel-like consistency will likely cause a reactionary pucker the first time you down a shot, but by energy supplement standards the taste is pretty good. Most importantly, they do seem to work as advertised. I received a sample 3-pack to try, and after using them I did feel more alert and engaged, without ever experiencing any crash aftereffects.

Recoil Cord Winders – Price: $9.99 individually or $27.99 for bundle pack – Buy From: Recoil Winders Store
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There isn’t a gamer or tech geek alive who couldn’t use a little help with cord management. There are a lot of cord wraps to choose from, but what’s unique and really, really cool about the Recoils is their spring loaded winding mechanism. You just fold whatever cable you want to neatly stow away in half, slip the bend in the cable over the hook inside the winder, and then pull down to unlock the winder and watch as the cable neatly wraps itself around the contained spool. To remove, just tug the end of the cord until the spool unwinds and locks into place. They work like a charm! Recoil Winders come in three sizes–small, medium, and large–but even at the largest size these are designed primarily for easy, tangle-free transportability of thinner wires on gadgets like headphones, USB cables, and chargers for your various portable devices. They’re particularly great for earbuds since they allow you to wind and unwind in a matter of seconds, and when not in use the sleek, compact form factor fits comfortably in your pants pocket.

Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia – $16.99 – Buy From: Amazon.com

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Are you a Capcom junkie? Then this is without a doubt the must-own book of the year. Published by DK and BradyGames, the Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia is a nostalgic, easy-reading compendium of biographical data on more than 200 characters from Capcom games past and present. Each character is given a page, a couple paragraphs of introductory text alongside a couple pieces of artwork, and a sidebar containing pertinent information about their first and most recent game appearances, occupation, weapon of choice, and so on. Obviously, Capcom’s character-abundant flagship franchises like Street Fighter, Resident Evil, and Mega Man dominate the pages, but inside you will also find nods to icons of classic arcade games (Captain Commando, 194X series, Black Tiger, Magic Sword), stars of modern day titles (Nilin from Remember Me, Jim Peyton from Lost Planet 3), and many of the cult favorites from the PS2/GameCube era (Amaterasu from Okami, Gene from God Hand, Vanessa from P.N. 03, Harman Smith from Killer7, Viewtiful Joe and Fiona and Hewie from Haunting Ground). The book does have some odd inclusions, especially in comparison to a few startling omissions. I mean, how does it make any sense to feature a Lost Planet Vital Suit as a “character” without actually including a spot for the original game’s actual hero, Wayne Holden? I’m also a bit miffed that some personal underrated favorites like Maximo and Kay (from Legend of Kay) didn’t earn a spot and only one character from the entire Onimusha series made the cut (Soki from Dawn of Dreams; I guess this explains why the franchise has been all but abandoned). However, it’s easy to forgive a few forgotten stars considering the huge undertaking it must have been to try to pool as many characters from Capcom’s illustrious history into a single book. At least they didn’t forget Zack and Wiki, or even acknowledge the existence of young Dante from Ninja Theory’s reboot DmC. You’ll only see original Dante in this book!

Titan Books Graphic Novels – Buy From: Titan Books

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We already covered a number of Titan’s art books in an earlier gift guide, but the publisher has also released a number of high quality graphic novels and comics based on video games that are well worth checking out. In addition to Devil May Cry: The Chronicles of Vergil and the trio of Dead Space graphic novels we reviewed previously, this year Titan has released a hardcover all-in-one collection of the three Max Payne 3 prequel comic books, as well as the fourth book in the Assassin’s Creed series, the first three of which we talked about in last year’s gift guide. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will make it out in time for Christmas, but Titan also has Lost Planet: First Colony scheduled for release at the end of the month. Maybe grab that one if you end up with some gift money from Grandma and Grandpa.

Hitman Absolution Agent 47 Mini Figure – Price: $9.99 – Buy From: Square Enix Online Store
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The latest Hitman game may be a year old at this point, but it’s never too late to get the Agent 47 fan in your life one of these cute sons-of-a-gun. These menacing yet completely adorable mini-figs come in two sizes — 3″ and 10″ — each packing a dual-wielded pair of Silverballers and an egg-shaped head shiny enough to kiss or rub for good luck before heading out on your next contracted assassination. For maximum stocking stuff-ability, I say go with the 3″. It’s just the right size and sells at a better value ($10 compared to $40 for the larger size).

Space Invaders Playing Cards – Price: $12.99 – Buy From: Square Enix Online Store
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Another fun Square Enix online shop collectible worth checking out is the retro-fab set of Space Invaders playing cards. Younger gamers probably haven’t seen a playing card outside of computer solitaire or maybe watching poker on TV, but gamers old enough to have a love for Space Invaders will know exactly what to do with these old instruments of tabletop entertainment. These aren’t ordinary playing cards either. All the suits and face values are the same as any standard deck, but the cards have a really cool transparent perforated style that mimics the pixelated look of the games. The cards are also incredibly light and seemingly more resilient to the bends of shuffling than regular paper stock cards. When they aren’t in use, a nice plastic case is included to store the deck in.

BradyGames Limited Edition Strategy Guide Bonuses – Buy From: BradyGames
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Previously in our gift guides we talked about this year’s lineup of strategy guides from BradyGames. One of the additional benefits of getting a limited edition copy of one of their guide books is the fact that each one comes with some sort of collectible bonus, such as a metal bookmark, a keyring, a set of patches or maybe even a lithograph or other piece of artwork. If you’re tight on cash and need to stretch your shopping dollar as far as it will go, you can always buy a limited edition guide and give the book itself as one gift and then use the extra prize as a little stocking stuffer. The bonus items typically come in their own special box packaging separate from the guide to begin with.

Digital Download Gift Cards – Buy From: Widely available online and at retail
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Now more than ever, in this increasingly digital age in which we live, I can’t think of a gamer alive who couldn’t use some extra funds in their digital wallets to spend on new games, DLC, or other goodies like profile avatars and themes. Whether it’s Steam, Nintendo eShop, PlayStation Store or Xbox Live, gift cards of various values are widely available in stores across the country. Even as little as $10 can go a long way. And for PlayStation and Xbox gamers, don’t forget about those PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold cards. With the PS4 and Xbox One generation now upon us, having memberships to those online services has never been more important. I’d almost bunch Vita memory cards into this group, but they’re still too gosh darn expensive if you ask me.

Disclosure: Products in this guide, including the STL Ocarina, Capcom Character Encyclopedia, Titan Books graphic novels, Sonic the Hedgehog air fresheners, BradyGames strategy guides, Recoil Winders and GungHo focus shots, were provided to VGBlogger.com for free by the manufacturers. The Agent 47 figure and Space Invaders cards were personal purchases.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!