Friday, December 13, 2013

Gifts For Geeks

It's nearing that holiday time of year again and you may be thinking to yourself, "What in the hell do I get the geek who has everything?"  The immediate answer is that they don't have everything - no matter what flavor of geek a person is, there's always that one extra cool thing that they'd like.

Now, there are many kinds of geeks - from audiophiles to Trekkers to trivia kings/queens - but in this post I'll be giving you a hand with the more "traditional" geek.  Again, there are so many slices and flavors of geek that in reality a traditional geek is undefinable, but I'll focus on the geek who's into sci-fi/fantasy, superheroes, and/or technology.

If you're not a geek, it's hard to know where to shop so here's your handy guide!  I'll mention a few sites as well as some possibilities in your local area.

Think Geek is one stop shopping for your favorite geek.  Items are grouped by general categories (electronics and gadgets, T-shirts and apparel, etc) as well as by interest.  So if your geek is a Firefly fan or is into The Big Bang Theory, their potential presents are just a click away.
There are constant sales going on as well as a bunch of clearance items, so you may get lucky and find that the gift of your geek's dreams is a few bucks off.  All the better! 
In addition, as you shop there you accumulate Geek Points (10 points/$1 spent) that you can use to either get flat out free stuff or a serious discount, depending on the item.  And, believe me, shop there a bit and those points add up.
Hollywood Is Calling
Hollywood Is Calling is a company that has celebrities available to either give your geek a phone call ($19.95 for < 30 seconds) or send them a video greeting ($5).  It's a novel service that I'm sure that your geek would love.
I've never actually ordered either before, but every year I at least look over the list of celebrities and try to think of who I'd pair them up with giftwise.
Here's a quick list of geek possibilities for you:
Marina Sirtis (Counselor Troi - Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Erin Gray (Col. Wilma Deering - Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)
Gigi Edgley (Chiana - Farscape)
John De Lancie (Q - Star Trek: The Next Generation, et al)
Definitely read their FAQ before you order!
Sideshow Collectibles offers very realistic, collectible statuettes for many of the geekly categories.  You can shop by characters or brands and their products are really stunning.  They'd definitely make your geek's heart go pitter-patter when they open it up.
We are talking the more expensive side of gifts here, starting at $70 or so and going on up to over $500.
Lots to choose from, so I'd recommend taking a look even if you don't plan on buying.
Albion Swords
Albion Swords - these are the real deal.  While they do make swords to be used in Ren Faires or movies, their bread and butter is in making historically accurate swords for enthusiasts.  And by historically accurate I mean that they have people who's sole job is to go out into the world, find historical swords, and take countless measurements of them to make certain that their smiths create a duplicate version.  The ARMA (Association for Renaissance Martial Arts) guys that I know swear by them.
Again, this is on the pricey side, starting in the high $600's and going up toward a couple of thousand dollars, but if you want to see your geek actually quiver and maybe tear up with joy, this will do it.
No matter what your geek is into, I can almost guarantee that there's something at Museum Replicas that they'd drool over.
They've got items from most of the popular franchises of today from Harry Potter to Assassin's Creed to Lord of the Rings and more.  Gifts can be found on the cheaper side as well as the more expensive goodies.  I dare you to go there and NOT find something that piques your interest!
Where else could you go to get a Doctor Who fez and bow-tie for just $15? :P
Local Game Shops & Comic Book Stores
And last, but definitely not least, let's remember to support your local gaming shops and comic book stores.  I know that, in my area at least, these dens of geek wonder have taken a hit in the past few years with the availability of products online.
Let's not forget that the heart and soul of being a geek means meeting at these meccas of wonder.  In fact, many a geek was "born" when first they stepped into such a brick and mortar store and gazed around in curiosity and excitement at the ideas and the worlds that they could explore through games and comics.
So do your local shop a favor and Google RPG, game, comic, or what have you along with your city and see what pops up.  These places are manned (and womanned) by experts who will guide you to excellent gifts that your geek will enjoy for years to come.

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