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Culture » Big Shiny Robot!

Geeky Gifting

Find some special ideas for the pop-culture fanatic in your life



It’s holiday time again, and you’re probably looking to buy something for the geek in your life. Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t be looking at this column for help. But have no fear: There’s something for everyone.

Stereotypically, most of us geeks work at a desk all day. We always need something to proclaim our geekiness, while at the same time providing us with entertainment while no one else is looking. That’s why I’d recommend buying action figures for your loved one.

Nothing goes better on a desk than some new or vintage action figures. I have a desk that boasts a TIE Fighter and Death Star playset from 1977, and they look quite classy. My desk also hosts DC Collectible’s Justice League action figures. They’re gorgeous sculpts, with many points of articulation of some of everyone’s favorite superheroes. Whether the figures are new or old, any geek in your life could do with some more action figures.

Another, more practical, thing you could get the geek in your life is themed apparel. Costume hoodies are the coolest thing in the world, and you can get one of just about any of your favorite pop-culture characters. I wear my Boba Fett costume hoodie all the time; it’s one of the best holiday gifts I’ve ever received.

For the geek girls in your life, you could do no better than to check out It sells clothing items and accessories exclusively for female fans, from franchises such as Star Wars, Star Trek, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica.

Many  geeks love to receive books under the tree, both of the literary and comic varieties. For the more literary-minded geek in your life, you might consider buying a nice leather-bound collection of H.P. Lovecraft’s work, popular for his Cthulhu mythos. Or you could pick up the new, beautifully illustrated hardcover edition of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride from Houghton Mifflin. For lovers of comic-book heroes, it’s no trick to snag a graphic novel or two featuring their favorite characters from your closest comic-book store. For those looking for more literary graphic delights, don’t shy away from saying “Merry Christmas” with Art Spiegelman’s two-volume masterpiece about the Holocaust, Maus.

There’s an entire world of games you could delve into—I covered board games in another recent column [“Holiday Board-dom,” Nov. 21, City Weekly]. Board games aren’t always the best way to go, of course; sometimes, a video game can go a long way to winning the heart of a geek. For Nintendo’s brand-new 2DS (or 3DS, if that’s how your loved one rolls), you could pick up the brand-new handheld Legend of Zelda game, A Link Between Worlds. It’s a direct sequel to what is, in my opinion, the single best Zelda game ever made, the 16-bit A Link to the Past.

There is no shortage of things to get the geek in your life, but maybe the best thing you can get them is something you can do together. Play a game with your geek. Read some of their comics and chat with them about it. Go see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug with them. Do your best to share in what they love, even if it’s something you never thought you’d find yourself doing.

That togetherness is what the holidays are for. Embrace that time while you have it, because you never know: Your geek friend’s parents might get gunned down in an alley, turning them into a bat-themed vigilante. At that point, they just won’t have time for you—but they’ll have a great use for that costume hoodie you got them.

Bryan Young is the editor-in-chief of