It’s the final countdown. Dunuh na naaaa. Less than two weeks to go until Christmas, so naturally now’s the time to start buying things. Who needs organizational skills when you can imbue that action-film frenzied spirit into your final rounds of festive gift buying?
Since I’m the collectible fiend around these parts, I’ve been tasked with listing the essential holiday gifts from that world for every film fan. It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve mentally spent way too much money in compiling the list myself. But hey, occupational hazard. Anyway, here follows 15 of the must-have collectibles for this holiday season, some regulars of the Merch Hunter column will recognize, and some will be brand new. Either way, they’re what movie lovers want.
As this is my handiwork, you can expect a general mix of the uber-expensive and ultra-collectible as well as the affordable and accessible, more charming options. No snob am I….
For The Festive Dork – Holiday Yoda
There is nothing cool about this at all. It’s Yoda dressed as Santa Claus. And yet, it’s still one of the most irresistible collectibles I have ever seen (or bought come to think of it), combining the geek-chic credentials of the Star Wars universe with all the Christmassy goodness of a big fat dude in a red suit, and all executed with the incredible finesse typical of Sideshow Collectibles. Don’t even think, just buy one.
For The Hipster Geek - Iron Man Hoody
Cool in the geek world is something completely different to conventional cool. And here’s the ultimate example. Just a word of warning though. Fatties should probably avoid it, as it’ll just look comical to have Iron Man’s precise technology stretched across a formidable belly-keg.
For Disney Loving Plastic Junkies - Disney POP! Vinyls
Plastic junkies are how I refer to those collectors (and I am one of them) who shell out an inordinate amount of money acquiring beautifully crafted pieces of colourful plastic. Those toys that usually have a manga-influence to their design, and boat-loads of big-eyed charm. Disney have entered this market in force in recent years, and the latest collection – called POP! Vinyls are the finest of the lot. Seriously, they’re so cute they should be flaming well outlawed. Which of course makes them horribly, horribly collectible.
For Nostalgic Futurists - Marty McFly’s Hoverboard
Great Scott! I can’t help but get over-excited by this replica even now. Immacutely designed based on the Back to the Future original, and expertly crafted, it is the pick of the bunch of available replicas (which explains the rather lofty price), and if I can just get someone to invent the technology that’ll allow me to careen around my local town square chased by simile-confusing hoodlums I’ll be all set.
There is actually a cheaper alternative available for just over $300 here as well.
For Everyone - Close Encounters – The Five Tones T-Shirt
If you don’t want this T-shirt immediately, I fear there might be something wrong with you. Still, while there’s no hope for you, there is no doubt in my mind that someone you know and love will be mighty thankful if you spring for one of these. Shipping costs are involved, but it’s a stunning T-shirt, so who cares?!
For Big Kids - LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean The Black Pearl
Have to love LEGO. The universally appealling little colourful blocks have enjoyed almost total market domination in the build-it-yourself universe for decades, and the relatively recent move into movie tie-ins has created a new world of essential collectibles for toy fans. Big, prestigious sets like this Black Pearl are always highly sought, which is why the prices are invariably pushed up, but the quality isn’t ever to be doubted.
For The Stunt Driver Fantasist - Ryan Gosling’s Scorpion Jacket from Drive
One of the favourites of this year’s Merch Hunter columns, the original Scorpion-emblazoned jacket from Drive is now also the coolest bit of movie apparel thanks to Steady Clothing. It’s also a collectible that you can actually wear, so mind the mustard spillages. As an affordable alternative to the just not buyable original jacket, you can do no better – but for now you’ll have to be content with giving the recipient a pre-order slip as the third run of the jacket is not set to ship until January 15th.
For Old School Bat Fans - Batman (1989) Figure & The Joker (1989) Figure
Right now that pretty much covers anyone, thanks to the powerful grip that Nolan’s reinvigorated Bat franchise has commanded over everyone. But these two figures from Sideshow celebrate an earlier, more colourful Bat universe, when Tim Burton’s wild imagination was pulling the strings and the character designs were a wonder to behold. Yes, they remain only available for pre-order, but are still essential Christmas purchases, thanks largely to the fact that they’ll be long gone before they even hit shelves. So tell someone you love them this Christmas by giving the gift of Batman or the Joker. Or if you really love them, both.
For Little Monsters - Boo Precious Moments Figurine
Bestill my beating heart. How bloody cute is this? Okay so Boo definitely has darker hair than that in the Pixar classic film, but this collectible from Precious Moments is still wonderfully designed and beautifully crafted. It’s also a snip at $64.50.
For The Undead Family Gamer - The Walking Dead Board Game
Who wants to play boring old Scrabble and Monopoly on Christmas Day afternoon, agonising over three letter words with a belly full of turkey, when you could be making your granny shoot zombies with a cross-bow instead? It’s not exactly collectible, but this board game from Crytozoic Entertainment is a fine merchandise option for fans of Kirkman’s excellent AMC adapted zombie show. And brain-munching beats Boggle by about a million times.
For The Comical Alcoholic - Christmas Vacation Moose Mug
Make light of your boozy uncle’s chronic alcoholism by serving his 70% proof rum/lighter fluid in this charming Moose Mug inspired by National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and officially licensed by Warner Bros. Any excuse to buy one for someone really, as tis the season to buy totally unnecessary tat with impunity.
For Super-Rich Shoe Lovers (But Not That Kind) - Limited EditionNike Air Mag 2011 Back To The Future
The best shoes of this or any year. Scandalously expensive, and difficult to get hold of, but completely worth it to collectors. Definitely not to be worn, so don’t worry about the sizes, unless you have like NBA amounts of money to throw away. And not even NBA players are happy with their pay these days…
For The Cold But Fiercely Independent Couch Potato - Bazinga Snuggler
In the last Merch Hunter of 2011, I brought you the DC Snuggie which itself is a good call for a Christmas Gift suggestion, but this Big Bang Theory inspired alternative is just that slight bit more charming. It is also completely devoid of cool, so is in my eyes much more in keeping with the fundamentals of comfort. As a Snuggler/Snuggie it also allows for warmth as well as retained arm and hand function, so your recipient will never have to choose between total cosiness and eating/remote controlling ever again.
For Cosmic Home Security Concerns - Star Wars Ultimate FX Lightsaber
ZZZZZZZZZZZRRRRRRRRRRMMMMMM. ZZZZUMMMM. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZmmmhhmmm etc. Quite difficult to spell that sound effect it turns out. That is about all of the reasoning you need to buy this for anyone in the family who likes Star Wars. Because it’s a new lightsaber. So they definitely already want it.
For Bloody Wierdos - Strahm’s Crushed Dead Body From Saw VI
There’s always one in the family. They tend to keep themselves to themselves (or so the neighbours will say when the police interview them), and have some questionable habits and addictions. Feed the beast by buying this bargain prop from Saw 6 of a delightful crushed dead body. If that doesn’t scream centre-piece I don’t know what does…
For more ideas from the nerd braintrust at FSR, check out the rest of The Holiday Gift Guide.