VGBlogger’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guides for Geeks & Gamers: Gadgets, Stocking Stuffers, & Beyond!

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Our grand gift guide finale for the 2015 holiday season has finally arrived. If you’re still struggling to find that perfect gift for a friend or loved one, looking to pick out stuff for your own personal wishlist, or you just need some ideas for stocking stuffers and other last-minute odds and ends, we’re here to help with a broad range of recommendations for accessories, novelty items, gadgety things, collectibles, movies, card games, and more. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Read our complete Holiday Gift Guides for Geeks and Gamers series for more shopping ideas at the following links:

Gaming Hardware and Peripherals Gift Guide
Strategy Guides and How-Tos Gift Guide
Comic Books and Novels Gift Guide
Art and Coffee Table Books Gift Guide

Puro Sound Labs IEM-500 In-Ear Monitors – Buy from Amazon or Puro Sound Labs:

IEM500

Hyperbole be damned. I’m just going to come right out and say it: these are the best damn in-ear headphones I’ve ever used! Puro Sound Labs, the self-proclaimed ‘Healthy Ears Company’, has produced in-ear monitors that far outclass other earbud-likes. They’re light as a feather yet ooze style and quality, and the angled design enables the tip to fit into the ear canal while the chassis naturally rests in the empty ear cavity. These in-ear monitors offer premium comfort. I’ve always had trouble with earbud headphones causing discomfort within a fairly short period of usage, but with these I’ve watched full-length movies on my PC and gone through multi-hour game sessions barely even noticing that they were in my ear. No pain or discomfort whatsoever!

Another key factor is the inclusion of five pairs of silicone ear tips, each a different size to accommodate the natural variations in physical attributes from user to user. It takes experimentation to find the right size for your individual ears, but once you do the tips create the perfect seal within the ear canal to promote comfort, block out background noise, and maximize audio quality. The difference in audio clarity and bass when the seal is just right is remarkable–and with a tight seal the volume doesn’t need to be as high, in turn creating a healthier listening environment for your ears. (Puro isn’t the ‘Health Ears Company’ for nothing.)

Additionally, Puro’s IEM-500s feature an in-line microphone capable of one-touch call answering and music playback with iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Android devices. A soft, stretchy carrying pouch is included for storage and transport. For those who care about such things, the packaging is super-classy–the magnetic clamshell box is nicer than some watch and jewelry boxes. My only complaint is that the wires aren’t braided or made in that flat, tangle-proof style that’s becoming more commonplace in tech gadgets. After the headphones have been coiled up inside the travel sock for a while, they tend to come out in a nest that needs to be untangled. But beyond that minor quibble, these in-ear monitors are an impressive combination of pristine sound and superb style.

Man-Pack – Buy from Amazon or Man-Pack:

ManPack

Forget man purses and fanny packs. Every guy needs a Man-Pack. Man-Pack is like a backpack, messenger bag, and briefcase all rolled up into one compact bag that’s equipped to handle everyday needs for travel, business, shopping, and so on. The bag is loaded with utility thanks to numerous compartments and pockets, and all of the materials, stitching, straps, zippers, and fasteners are excellent quality. The face of the bag features a utility pocket with a magnetic closure, as well as three pen/pencil-holder loops. There is a side-mounted, collapsible beverage pocket to hold a bottle of water or an insulated coffee bottle (depending on the size and shape). The main compartment is lined with four smaller pockets (two zippers, one open, and one Velcro), for money, loose change, keys, and other pants-pocket-sized items, and also has a plastic ring stitched into the lining for things to hang from (like the lanyard of a portable game case or a keychain). On the back, running in reverse-parallel to the main compartment, is a hidden second compartment lined with a soft, padded neoprene. This is where you’ll probably want to put your tablet or laptop. The Classic 2.0 bag can only fit a small, slim-line laptop no more than around 13″ inches, but there is an XL bag with a 15.5″ x 11.75″ compartment for slightly larger loads.

My favorite aspect of the Man-Pack is its clever strap design that allows you to carry the bag over one shoulder or sling it over the shoulder and neck with the strap going across your chest. The strap also has another utility pocket to hold an item or device you want to have within immediate reach. It’s not large enough for the bigger smartphones, but most traditional cellphones and MP3 players should fit just fine. What I like the most, though, is the way the strap is designed to keep the bag tight to your body and allow you to smoothly slide the pack around your side and onto your stomach, giving you access to all pockets without having to take the pack off. When you’re done, just slide the pack back around to your back. It’s so comfortable and intuitive. I’ve been taking mine with me while Christmas shopping, and it has proven quite handy. I had my cellphone in the pocket across my chest, a pen in the front pen loops to mark off my shopping lists and notes, various coupons in the main compartment, and my 3DS in the largest interior zipper pocket.

Harry’s Shaving Products – Buy from Harry’s:

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With so many razor brands and online shave clubs, it can be hard for a fellow to sort through the crowded marketplace and find the right balance of affordability, design quality, and comfort. Let me help narrow things down: if you’re tired of being gouged by the big-box brands, give Harry’s a shot. Harry’s offers a wide spectrum of single razors, starter kits, and holiday gift bundles ranging from as low as $10 to as high as $95, as well as blade cartridge refills and other grooming supplies like gels, creams, a travel toiletry bag, and a razor stand. The best place to start is probably with a free trial to the Harry’s subscription plan, which starts you off with a kit containing a razor handle, three blade cartridges, a 4oz. can of shave gel, and a travel blade cover. You just need to pay the $3 shipping. Blade refills are a lot more affordable than the major store brands–a pack of four is $8, which is about half the price of what I typically spend on the same number of refills for a Gillette Fusion or Schick Hydro, and the per-blade pricing gets cheaper at higher quantity tiers. More importantly, everything from the razor handles to the sharp, smooth-shaving blades to the classy travel bag (seriously, even if you’re happy with your current razor the bag is worth getting separately), exudes the quality of a premium shaving experience. Even the packaging is a cut above the competition. And for maximum gift appeal, the Winston (aluminum) or Winter Winston (copper) razor handles, as well as the razor pedestal, can be personalized with engraved initials.

Orbitkey – Buy from Amazon or Orbitkey:

Orbitkey

Tired of loose keys jingle-jangling around in your pocket or, worse, scratching up you wallet or touchscreen device? Orbitkey to the rescue! With a simple strap of material anchored by a screw-like locking mechanism, up to seven keys can be neatly stacked together. When not in use, the keys are tucked inside the hollow space created by the looped band, secured and organized to take up less pocket space, and do so without the clanging metal noise of keys hitting off one another. When you need to use a key, the stacked formation allows you to pinpoint the key you need and easily swivel it out and insert into the lock or car ignition without the nest of other keys dangling around. Orbitkeys are available with premium leather bands ($40), for work and dress occasions, as well as an array of neon-colored Elastomer polymer models ($30), which are better suited for people with a more active lifestyle. With an Orbitkey, there’s no longer a need to fret about a wad of keys jostling around while jogging or working out. Extra accessories are also available as add-ons, turning the Orbitkey into a key ring Swiss Army Knife of sorts with key-shaped bottle openers and USB flash drives (either 8GB or 32GB). Instead of yet again getting your dad an ugly necktie or some tool or gadget he’ll never actually use, surprise him with one of these. In general, the Orbitkey is a wonderful gift idea for that person on your list that you can never figure out what to get. And it comes simply yet beautifully packaged, so you could probably get away with sticking a bow on top if you hate wrapping.

Star Wars Frames: 100 Postcards – Buy from Amazon or Abrams:

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As if there weren’t enough Star Wars memorabilia and novelties to choose from amidst all the Force Awakens hype, Abrams Books, under its Noterie imprint, is offering Star Wars Frames, a deluxe box set of 100 postcards, each printed with a key scene from Episodes I-VI of the original and prequel trilogies, as selected by George Lucas. The postcards can be used for their intended purpose, but no self-respecting Star Wars fan would dare mark up these beauties with handwriting and postage and stick them in the mail to get used and abused. Crisply printed on heavy card stock of a little under 10″ x 5″ in size, each postcard is like a collectible lithograph print worthy of being framed and hung on the wall. Fortunately, no additional framing expense is required as the packaging itself features a die-cut window that displays the top card better than any desktop picture frame you could find separately. Like one of those 365-day flip calendars, you can keep the display box on your desk and run a daily cycle through the postcard artwork. The Force is very strong with this Star Wars collector’s item.

Retro Super Mario Bros. Stationary – Buy from Amazon or Abrams:

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Also from Abrams’s Noterie imprint comes a collection of Super Mario Bros. stationary for the retro videogame enthusiast. Three different products are available, each for $12.95: a 5″ x 7″ 160-page ruled journal; a pack of three notebooks, including two 5″ x 7″ pads and a pocket-sized 3.5″ x 5″; and a box set of 12 die-cut notecards. The journal features a Super Star foil-stamped in gold on the front cover, plus red-dyed page edges. My favorite part, though, is the pixel art in the bottom-right page corners that animates an 8-bit Mario like a flipbook. For the three notebooks, each one contains a different paper type. The pocket pad is graph paper, and the larger books are lined and blank, respectively. These notebooks don’t have any flipbook animation, but each page is printed with decorative pixel art depicting different characters and levels from the original NES Super Mario Bros. I also got a chuckle out of how the last page of each notebook (and the journal, too) shows the game’s final scene of Mario rescuing Princess Peach with the ending text, “Thank you Mario! Your quest is over.”

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The notecards are also really cool, because they’re so much more than just basic notecards. They’re actually papercraft models of Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach in their original 8-bit forms. Sure, they can be mailed inside one of the included envelopes, but the real novelty comes from being able to fold them up as displayable paper figures. These would be great for adding an extra flourish to that “big” gift you got your child or loved one, or as a fun addition to a holiday party or a kid’s themed birthday party. Or, if you’re a huge dork of a grown ass man like me, you’ll simply get a kick out of setting up the characters and bouncing them around like action figures. Who knew you could get so many uses out of notecards?

Fallout 4 Journal – Buy from Amazon or Insight Editions:

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Alongside its art books and novels, Insight Editions has a running series of pop culture-themed journals. There are plenty of other options to choose from–Angry Birds, Assassin’s Creed, Destiny, Game of Thrones, Halo, Harry Potter, the list goes on–but right now, in the year of Fallout 4 tie-in merchandising overload, the obvious choice for most gamers is the Fallout journal. It’s roughly 5″ x 8″, with 192 pages of ruled notebook paper just waiting to have quest info, location reminders, and other notes from the Boston Wasteland written on them. The pavement-textured, rubber-coated hardcover sports a debossed Vault Boy graphic, and the inner sides of front and back covers are printed with more Vault Boy artwork. The interior lining on the back cover even has a camouflaged pocket for stashing secret notes. Last but not least, the journal has an elastic wrap-around strap to secure the book closed, as well as a ribbon bookmark. The only thing missing is a matching writing tool, like a Vault Boy pen.

PlayStation 4 Universal Media Remote – Buy from Amazon or PDP:

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The official Universal Media Remote for PS4 wasn’t made in-house by Sony. PDP was tasked with developing the remote–and it’s pretty good! It has some inconsistencies with media app functionality and amp compatibility, so unfortunately it’s not the best one-size-fits-all remote for high-end entertainment systems. However, for general, all-purpose media playback, it is a whole lot more intuitive than trying to control movies and videos with the DualShock 4. Volume punch through (change volume without having to switch device modes) is supported, but only for controlling TV volume. The remote itself is sleek and streamlined, with a slight curve and textured underside for comfortable grip. Some of the buttons are quite tiny, but overall I haven’t had any troubles with miss-presses. Currently supported apps include YouTube, Netflix, PlayStation Vue, PlayStation Video, Crunchyroll, DirecTV, NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA Game Time, HBO Go, and FUNimation, with plans for expanded app functionality still to come.

Nintendo 3DS Donkey Kong Storage Barrel – Buy from Amazon:

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PDP has a fun line of novelty Nintendo accessories out for the holidays. Let’s start with this one: a plastic Nintendo 3DS storage piece fashioned as a Donkey Kong barrel, with three-dimensional ‘DK’ logo text for added visual pop. The barrel has a vertical nook on the right side for holding styli (or you could always use it as a pen/pencil holder for your desk) adjacent to a staggered series of slots capable of holding up to eight game cartridges, both 3DS and DS. This is a great way to keep a small game collection tidy and within easy reach for at-home play time, while also serving as a collectible display piece to fit in alongside any other Nintendo memorabilia you may have.

Nintendo 3DS Super Mario Game Storage Keychains:

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For portable transport of game cartridges from the Nintendo 3DS/DS device family, check out these storage keychains. Available in two flavors–a red turtle shell and a super mushroom–these plushie keychains feature a zippered compartment with two pockets capable of comfortably holding four game cards. Upwards of eight games can be squeezed in with some effort, but any more than four begins to put potentially damaging stress on the zipper. They’re a bit bulky to use as actual keychains, but they’re perfect for hooking to the zipper or lanyard of a system carrying case or backpack. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find any trace of these keychains online. PDP sent me review samples so they’re definitely out there–you may just have to do some digging around your local brick and mortar game retailers and hope to get lucky.

Nintendo 3DS Super Mario Game Case – Buy from PDP:

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This offering from PDP is a more functional and practical storage case for 3DS and DS games. The double-sided clamshell compartment has a total storage capacity of 12 cartridges (six per side). Bracketed slots hold game cards securely in place, and the lids close nice and snug so you don’t have to worry about the case popping open if dropped. The case is made of a transparent red plastic so the contents are visible without having to open it. Mario artwork printed on the top-half of the case adds a fun visual flourish.

Warp Pipe amiibo Stand – Buy from Amazon or PDP:

Amiibo_WarpPipeStand

Another PDP Nintendo novelty offers amiibo collectors a display pedestal to show off that one special figure they call their absolute favorite. The warp pipe stand looks straight outta the Mushroom Kingdom, complete with a grass and dirt paintjob around the base to replicate the platform terrain Mario is often seen running, jumping, and wahoo-ing across. A Mario amiibo is a natural fit, but the stand can display any of Nintendo’s money-printing, toy-to-life figures. Doesn’t Chibi-Robo (from the Zip-Lash bundle, one of only two amiibos I own) look particularly adorable sitting atop his new warp pipe throne? Yep, that’s going up on my “wall of geek” bookshelf right now.

Gunnar Computer Eyewear – Buy from Amazon or Gunnar Optiks:

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For the hardcore gamer and/or heavy duty computer user who has everything, Gunnar Optiks gaming eyewear is a cool, health-conscious gift idea to consider. Gunnar glasses are built to look stylish while also promoting enhanced vision and reduced eye strain for anyone who spends extended periods of time with their eyes glued to a TV screen, table, or computer monitor. The lenses are coated and tinted to diminish glare, dry eye, and eye fatigue. So do they actually work? Yes, they do–though the differences may initially be incredibly subtle. When you first start using them, the color change from the tinting takes some getting used to, but the longer you use them the more prevalent the impact becomes. Even if you don’t currently suffer from any eye or vision impediments, after a couple weeks playing games and using the computer with a pair of Gunnars, you’ll begin to notice an increase in focus and less eye fatigue. The benefits really stand out once you’ve been using them for a while and then take them off and carry on without them. As an added perk, there is a slight magnification effect that, when combined with the other benefits, is especially helpful when playing adventure, hidden object, and puzzle-type games that require a lot of pixel-hunting focus and put a heavy workload on the eyes.

KontrolFreek Analog Stick Grips – Buy from Amazon or KontrolFreek:

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KontrolFreek thumb stick grips for PlayStation and Xbox controllers are always a surefire stocking stuffer for any gamer, and this holiday ushers in two new models to choose from. For Call of Duty fans, the Black Ops III-themed FPS Freeks feature an all black design with an S.O.G skull laser etched into the concave grip surface. They aren’t as cool as the neon orange Black Ops III “reveal edition” grips that were released earlier in the year, but they are fully optimized to enhance your FPS game with a staggered alignment which includes a shorter height extension for the left movement stick and a higher extension on the right stick for a broader range of motion to increase aiming accuracy and precision. KontrolFreek’s other new model is the FPS Freek Galaxy, which offer a similar setup of one low-rise stick and one high-rise stick, as well as a glorious purple-on-silver color scheme and sort of starburst design meant to evoke a sci-fi theme to pair with games like Halo 5, Star Wars Battlefront, and Destiny. In addition to their super-sweet aesthetic, the Galaxies may just be the grippiest KontrolFreek analog stick grips yet. Your thumbs won’t be slipping off of these bad boys, that’s for damn sure.

KontrolFreek Controller Grips – Buy from Amazon or KontrolFreek:

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“KontrolFreek Grips are the newest addition to the company’s growing arsenal of controller accessories. Available for PS4 and Xbox One, these adhesive grips wrap around each controller handle, cushioning the solid plastic surface with a thin layer of foam padding coated by a honeycombed outer layer that helps to alleviate moisture buildup from sweaty palms so you can maintain a non-slip grasp at all times. Think of it as the equivalent of a Nike Dri-FIT shirt, only applied to a gaming controller. Needless to say, they feel great–soft and smooth to the touch, with just the right amount of grip texture and a good balance of cushioning to increase comfort without having an overly squishy give.” Read our original review in full here.

CleanFreek Pure Asset Protection – Buy from Amazon or KontrolFreek:

CleanFreek

“For controller cleanliness and general tech upkeep, KontrolFreek offers “Pure Asset Protection” in the form of CleanFreek, a foam cleaner that quickly and easily wipes away grimy buildup from dust and oily fingers and Lord knows what else might be on your hands. For $9.99, you get a 2.4 fluid ounce bottle of cleaner and a 10″ x 10″ microfiber cloth. A small dab of foam on the cloth is all it takes to give your controller a shiny, sanitized finish.” Read our original review in full here.

Dead Man’s Draw Card Game – Buy from Amazon or Mayday Games:

DeadMansDraw

Stardock Entertainment’s swashbuckling digital card game has been adapted into physical form by Mayday Games. Whereas the Steam PC game is single-player only, the physical card game is playable for two to four players, which makes things a bit more interesting. The game itself is an incredibly simple to learn hybrid of Blackjack and War, a risk/reward pirate battle of chance. The object of the game is to take turns drawing cards and build up long point combos based on the number values on the face cards. On a given turn, you can bank at any time or continue to draw as many cards as you like, but if at any point duplicate suits are drawn the entire hand is bust. Once all cards from the deck have been drawn or discarded, everyone tallies up only the highest value card they’ve banked for each suit, and the player with the highest point total wins. Much of the game is based on luck and trying to balance when to play it safe and when to let it ride, however a little bit of strategy creeps into the proceedings when you start to play with suit abilities, which allow players to canon blast other players’ high-value cards into the discard pile, sword swipe cards from another player’s bank, or anchor cards in place to lessen the blow of going bust. Games can also be played with trait cards, which gives each player two randomly drawn special abilities for the duration of that game.

Epic and Star Realms Card Games – Buy from Amazon or White Wizard Games:

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White Wizard Games has two new card games to pick from this holiday season, both available in starter decks perfectly sized for stocking stuffing. Star Realms: Colony Wars is a deckbuilding spaceship combat game for the sci-fi geek, while Epic is a dueling strategy fantasy game alternative to the more complicated Magic: The Gathering. The rules and mechanics for both games are very easy to grasp, the card art is well done, and both are quickly paced and more combat-driven without getting bogged down in land/resource management or complicated turn orders. These are fun, accessible games that anyone can learn how to play and enjoy within a game or two. Star Realms is even available as a free-to-play digital app for Android, iOS, and PC/Mac if you want to give it a trial run first. Hopefully at some point there will be a similar videogame adaptation of Epic.

Legends of Cthulhu Action Figures – Buy from Amazon or Warpo:

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“Warpo’s Legends of Cthulhu action figures are a pure nostalgia play, aimed squarely at those of us geeky collectors who have been alive and kicking for at least three decades. They look, feel, and even smell (you know what I’m talking about!) like long lost artifacts that some toy manufacturer secretly sealed away in blister card packages decades ago and is only just now releasing.” Read our original review in full here.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game – Buy from Amazon or Paizo:

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Fantasy nerds who enjoy board and card games but maybe don’t have the imagination to get absorbed by the full-on Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is a fantastic alternative. The latest base set, Wrath of the Righteous, contains 500 cards, enough to support up to four players, as well as a 110-card Worldwound Incursion Adventure Deck to expand the adventure and increase player count to a maximum of six. Each player chooses a character class and then uses the guidelines on their character card to build their deck of weapons, spells, armor, items, blessings, and allies. From there, you can choose to play standalone scenarios or adventure paths consisting of multiple scenarios linked together in succession. As you slay villains, explore new locations, and complete adventures, you get to build upon your deck and further customize your hero. PACG is a cooperative game best played with friends, but rules are available for solo play when there isn’t time to gather people up for a game night, which is a welcomed option many board/card games don’t offer. Playing alone is also a helpful way to study the rulebook and ease the somewhat steep learning curve. The card art is also beautifully illustrated, making it easier to fully immerse in the experience.

Pathfinder Battles: Iconic Heroes Miniatures – Buy from Amazon, Paizo, or WizKids:

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This holiday season marks the release of the fourth set of Iconic Heroes miniatures in the Pathfinder Battles line by Paizo and WizKids. This set features figures for Crowe the Human Bloodrager, Hakon the Human Skald, Jirelle the Half-Elf Swashbuckler, Kolo the Stone Spirit Animal, Lirianne the Half-Elf Gunslinger, and Shardra the Dwarf Shaman. Standing roughly an inch or two tall, the miniatures come posed and pre-painted, the armor and weapons and character faces sculpted in immaculate detail. These miniatures are ideally suited to serve as avatar play pieces for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game or the aforementioned Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, but they’re also great as collectible display pieces that any fantasy nerd would be happy to show off on their desk or bookshelf. Additionally, each box set comes with a bonus pack of six exclusive boon cards–one for each hero–to expand play options in the PACG. The first three box sets are available now with the fourth set currently still in pre-order status for an expected ship date sometime this month.

Marvel Dice Masters and HeroClix Tabletop Games – Buy from Amazon or Wizkids:

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Wizkids has launched new sets in both of its Marvel tabletop game series, including the movie tie-in Avengers: Age of Ultron for HeroClix and The Amazing Spider-Man for Dice Masters. HeroClix is a turn-based tactical combat game in which two to four players assemble teams of superheroes, represented by collectible miniatures mounted on dials that display their attributes and are rotated a certain number of clicks to reflect changes in stats as the game unfolds, and fight it out on huge poster-sized maps. The Avengers: Age of Ultron starter kit includes six figures–Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, the Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor–and a double-side poster with gridded maps set in Avengers Tower and Strucker’s Fortress. Modeled in the likenesses of the Avengers movie cast, the miniatures sport exceptional detail (just like the Pathfinder miniatures) and sturdy build quality. Coming from the video game world, there is a similar approach of collectability meets functionality to toy-to-life games like amiibos, Skylanders, and Disney Infinity. I imagine there will be some Marvel fans who would be happy to buy the figures with no intention of learning how to play the game.

Dice Masters, on the other hand, is a team-based superhero battle game that takes the deck-building aspects of a card game and applies them to a dice game–with a collectible trading card game element to boot. The Amazing Spider-Man starter kit comes with everything needed for two players to face off against each other, including cards and dice representing eight characters–Carnage, Drax, Ghost Rider, Kingpin, Silver Sable, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and White Tiger–two paper dice bags, and general action cards and dice. Further deck expansion is available via foil booster packs, each containing two character cards and matching dice.

I’m new to both Dice Masters and HeroClix so I’m still foggy on all of the rules, but I’ve been surprised at how deep and complex they are. (No wonder WizKids hosts tabletop tournaments around these games.) Personally, they have taken me on a blissful nostalgia trip, rekindling fond memories of my youth when I collected Marvel trading cards and played the old Marvel OverPower card battle game that served as a fun break from my main Magic: The Gathering obsession. Card and board game fans, as well as collectors of all things Marvel should definitely check these out.

Video Game High School Board Game – Buy from Amazon or Plaid Hat Games:

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Based on the cult-followed YouTube web comedy of the same name, Plaid Hat’s Video Game High School is a board game fit for all ages and skill levels. In the world of VGHS, gaming is the most glamorous professional sport, and specialized gaming schools are always on the hunt for elite recruits. In the board game, two to four players each choose their favorite character–Brian D, Jenny Matrix, The Law, Ted Wong, Ki Swan, or Calhoun–and take turns placing their character standees on different classrooms and school facilities while also attempting to set high scores on video game cards of five different genres, including FPS, RTS, fighting, racing, and rhythm. Every player starts at level 50 on the rank track bordering the play board, and by setting high scores players move their character token up the rank track one space per rank point earned. The objective is to be the first player to make it all the way up to the #1 ranking. Video Game High School is a quick romp of a board game that requires very little setup or play space (the board is pretty small compared to most board games), is easy to learn, typically takes no more than 15-20 minutes to finish, and has a cartoonish charm that doesn’t require any knowledge of the show to enjoy.

Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask Jigsaw Puzzles – Buy from Amazon or USAopoly:

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USAopoly is on hot streak of high quality videogame collector’s jigsaw puzzles. I previously showed off the Super Mario Bros. 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker puzzles I put together over the summer, so definitely pick those ones up if you haven’t already. (At some point a world map puzzle for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim also came out, but unfortunately I don’t have that one yet.) The latest additions to the Nintendo-themed lineup include a pair featuring art from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D. One is a dark and atmospheric image of Skull Kid standing in a moonlit forest, which is easily the more advanced of the two given the large spaces of black and blue shadowing that are challenging to distinguish between. The second puzzle, a colorful world map of Termina, is balanced with more easily distinguishable colors and patterns, so it’s a better choice for a younger or less-skilled jigsaw assembler. Both puzzles are 18″ x 24″ and made up of 550 pieces, the only difference in dimensions being that the Skull Kid puzzle is vertical in orientation and the Termina Map is assembled horizontally.

Hatsune Miku Project Mirai Complete – Buy from Amazon or KawaiiKakkoiiSugoi:

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This box set is like a collector’s edition for the new Nintendo 3DS Vocaloid rhythm game Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX, only without the actual game. It’s a supplemental pack of collectibles, including five soundtrack CDs, a Blu-ray disc with bonus content, a Mikudayo Petite Nendoroid figure, some stickers, a lyric booklet, and some other little bits and bobs. It’ll surely steal the heart of any Hatsune Miku fan.

The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition Box Set – Buy from Amazon:

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After numerous standalone extended edition releases and standard edition bundles, Warner Bros. has launched Peter Jackson’s complete The Hobbit movie trilogy in a Blu-ray extended edition box set for the holiday season. That’s 15 discs–five per movie–and somewhere in the ballpark of 600 minutes of epic fantasy action-adventure gold and supplemental behind-the-scenes appendices. I still haven’t seen the third film in any form or the extended editions for either of the first two parts, so this box set is definitely on my own personal wishlist. It’d sure go nice alongside the similarly packaged extended edition Lord of the Rings trilogy set.

Zoolander Blue Steelbook – Buy from Walmart:

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With Zoolander 2 scheduled to strut the movie-theater catwalk shortly into the New Year, Paramount Pictures has finally decided to release the original film on Blu-ray for the first time, in a “Blue Steelbook” special edition no less. This version includes a Digital HD copy, new bonus features, a voucher good for $8 towards the purchase of a movie ticket to see the sequel in theaters, and an authentic Derek Zoolander headband. You know you want it so you can perfect your own Blue Steel look in the bathroom mirror when nobody’s looking.

HUB IT Sync & Charge Station – Buy from Amazon or Eggtronic:

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“HUB IT is a wonderfully versatile and seemingly future proof docking station that looks nice, is lightweight and easy to transport, delivers reliable charge and sync performance, allows for a lot of user customization and expandability, and significantly reduces cable clutter. When not in use, all of the wires retract and all of the connector cartridges remain safely locked away under the hood so you never have to worry about losing them. Overall, it’s an ingenious little product that has certainly boosted my recharge game. The HUB IT is a no-brainer for any gadgeteer with a lot of mobile devices that need recharging on a daily basis.” Read our original product review in full here.

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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!