Looking for a gift for that special someone but don’t feel like insulting them with some cheap piece of crap from our first list? Unlike others, you actually care about your fellow man and need to prove that bond using currency.
Perhaps you’ll be able to find something more your speed on this next list. The Moderate Edition: AiPT’s Holiday guide for gifts under the $50 mark.
Air Swimmers: $24.98
Are you fucking serious, bro?
It’s an R/C Flying Shark. Buy it. Buy two. Buy me one. The manufacturer’s recommended age is 8-10 but you know what? Fuck that. I am certain this will be a hit gift for people of any age.
IT’S A FLYING SHARK THAT YOU CONTROL.
Regularly $39.99 but you can grab it on Amazon for only $24.98.
It’s a done deal. Not only are you giving what will most likely be the best gift of this person’s holiday, you’re also making it out on the cheap. If that isn’t a win/win, I don’t know what is.
You may already know my feelings on the subject.
Despite the emotional roller coaster one goes through with this game, it is very much worth the cover price. What you are gifting is a video game with nearly endless replay value. A new experience is waiting for you every time you decide to generate a new world, and with the game reportedly getting updates until Notch dies in his bed made of solid gold, there could literally be years of new content to explore. I’ve also heard from quite a few people that the multiplayer option adds an entire new level to game play that quite frankly I’m trying my best to avoid for the sake of my poor time management skills.
AcousticSheep SleepPhones: $39.95
These things are seriously awesome. Headphones inside a headband/earmuff thing, holyshitwhydidntithinkofthat?
These are great gifts because, if nothing else, they’re so multi-faceted. Need a comfortable headset for Skype/Vent? Check. Wanna listen to your iPod while you’re falling asleep but don’t wanna wake up roommates/significant others? Check. Want to go running without worry your headphones are going to fall out, with the added bonus of keeping your ears warm? (I usually gain illusions of working out and getting into shape right around this time of year, only to fizzle out by about January 2nd) Here ya go. They’re cheaper than most head phones around, too—Apple’s in-ear buds will set you back $69, but these bad boys will set you back just $39.95 on Amazon.
Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Blu-Ray Collection: $39.99
Yes, they’re not the original theatrical releases. Yes, that means Greedo shoots first, you get awkward “NOOOOOO”s that would make even Hayden Christiansen cringe, and strange CG creatures pasted onto the screen living alongside Muppets. But at the end of the day, it’s still the Holy Trilogy, so pay some god damn respect!
Despite the baffling, unnecessary changes Lucas always likes to add to his own creations, the series has never looked better than it does on high definition Blu-Ray. And again Amazon comes to the rescue, where you can snag episodes IV-VI for just $39.99.
DrinkWel, the multi-vitamin for liquor lovers: $45.95
Get ready for even more irresponsibility whilst getting absolutely hammer-faced with DrinkWel, the multi-vitamin made especially for the shameless alcoholic. Sure, your friends and loved ones will still make horrible, drunken decisions they will undoubtedly regret, but for the small price of $45.95, at least they can act a fool with replenished nutrients and an alleviated liver.
World of Warcraft Orc Mask
Are you one of those people that always leaves Halloween costume shopping to the last minute? Perpetually disappointing both yourself and others who are forced to witness the same tired, soiled bedsheets draped over your sorry torso year after year while hearing the excuse, “I’m a Ku Klux Klansmen again?” Fear not. With this bad-ass orc mask, you can impress your peers, recreate your favorite WoW moments, and show your support for the Horde all at the same time. Lok’tar Ogar!
Bender Beanie: $25.00
Want to keep your head warm during the cold, unforgiving winter months? Or apparently blindfold the small, undeveloped head of that rich person’s child you kidnapped for ransom money? Look no further than this stylish Bender beanie. Let’s just hope your victim doesn’t all of a sudden tell you to bite their “shiny metal ass,” because, well, that would just be weird. And you don’t want them to develop Stockholme Syndrome.
Legends of the Dark Knight: Marshall Rogers: $29.99
There are a lot of classic runs on Batman and Detective Comics that warrant immediate inclusion in one’s Caped Crusader library; Batman has more “definitive” writers and artists than any other superhero I can think of. Ask around and people will tell you that the Denny O’Neil and Neil Adams issues are where it’s at, while others will insist you pick up collections focusing on the work of Gene Colan, Jim Aparo or Alan Grant. All of them are superb, but for my money’s worth, they aren’t the best.
The best run of stories from Batman’s 70s cycle would be that of writer Steve Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers. Previously collected in the long out of print (and now ludicrously priced on the aftermarket) collection Strange Apparitions, all issues of that run drawn by Rogers are reproduced in this fancy hardcover collection (going for about 30 bucks on Amazon).
True, you miss out on the beginning of Englehart’s stories where he reinvents Deadshot and creates perpetual lame-o Dr. Phospherus, but the arc didn’t really hit its stride until Rogers showed up for Detective Comics #471 and Professor Hugo Strange was resurrected as an A-list villain.
Fans of Bruce Timm and Paul Dini’s Batman the Animated Series will want to grab this collection, as the stories within were a primary inspiration for that show; from the introduction to Rupert Thorne to “The Laughing Fish”, considered one of the greatest Joker stories ever written. You’ve also got the introduction of Clayface III in a story by Len Wein, stories involving the Penguin and even Rogers’ brief return to Batman comics in 2005.
These stories are very cerebral, very dark and thanks to Rogers’ artwork, very, very beautiful (there’s a reason Silver St. Cloud is considered one of Batman’s greatest love interests and it has little to do with her personality). If you’re interested in delving into the 70s era of Batman comics that redefined the Dark Knight, transitioning him away from the campy 60s goofball and back toward the vengeful spirit of darkness, snatch this puppy up.
Monsters in the Movies by John Landis: $22.14
DK is that publisher that constantly churns out glossy, oversized hardcover “guidebooks” covering things like DC superheroes in alphabetical order or painstakingly detailed schematics of a Tie Fighter engine. These guys are NERDS. But damn, if they don’t pump out the best coffee table books on the face of the planet.
And for nerds of horror cinema, this bad boy by director John Landis (An American Werewolf in London) is an essential bit of bathroom reading or something to tote along to the DMV. It’s an essential guide to monster movies from the dawn of the motion picture to the garbage we have to sit through today, all organized by classification of cinematic creature (chapters are themed around vampires, werewolves, ghosts, mad scientists and so on).
The huge, glossy, luxurious pages are packed with stills, poster reproductions and other images taken from hundreds and hundreds of horror movies you may not have even heard of, each accompanied by a caption from Landis describing the movie and whether or not he thought it sucked. Each chapter has a thoughtful introduction from Landis, who is a dedicated and well-informed fan of monster movies, and in-between each chapter are enlightening interviews with such horror icons as Joe Dante and John Carpenter.
If anything, this book will give you plenty of ideas for cheap horror movies to go scrounging around Amazon for with your spare time, and even if you don’t agree with Landis’ opinions on every movie, you can’t deny the guy knows his stuff. It’s $22.14 on Amazon, marked down from $40 and a horror fan would do well to get a copy.
Darth Vader Nutcracker: $28.99
This is the epitome of holiday nerdgasm, and puts any other nutcrackers I have seen to shame. We can all agree that Vader is one badass motherfucker, right? Cross that with the warmth and holiday cheer of the season, and voila! Even those who *hate* the holidays can appreciate the sentiment behind this gift. Is it practical? Fuck no. You’ll be lucky to use it once. But son of a bitch, it LOOKS cool.
I find your lack of gift… disturbing.
Batman Snuggie: $27.90
The Dark Knight keeps warm while fighting crime.
I don’t know about you, but my favorite thing to do in the Winter is NOTBEFUCKINGCOLD. So I surround myself with fluffy slippers, warm pajamas, blankets, and plenty of spiced nog. How convenient to have a blanket with sleeves, to facilitate all that nog imbibing? And not just any old late night infomercial blanket with sleeves. This one even comes with muscles! Thankfully, they chose to forgo that Clooney abomination. Perky nipples not included.
Clearly, he could have used a Snuggie. Cuttin’ glass there, caped crusader!