From 'Hobbit' Legos to Thor's Helmet: A Last-Minute Geek Gift Guide
Plus, "Dr. Who" kitchen essentials -- and what to give the "Star Wars" fan in your life.
If you’re like me, you're busy watching (and talking about) movies ... and you’re a procrastinator. Then you look at the calendar and realize it’s a week before Christmas and you haven’t done any shopping.
But fear not. Just because my loved ones aren’t going to get presents doesn’t mean yours don't have to.
Here's Heat Vision's guide to late-season gift-giving:
The Kitchen Ware:
Yes, fanboys can step out from behind a comic or away from the console and go to the kitchen and cook. It just takes encouragement.
And nothing says encouragement like these Doctor Who salt and pepper shakers ($19.98, at BBCAmericaShop.com) and the Doctor Who teapot (on sale right now for $35.98). The shakers -- a Tardis for salt, Dalek for pepper -- are handpainted porcelain. The teapot is ceramic and can hold more than 25 ounces.
All those men buying Legos aren't just buying them for their kids. “Bricks,” as constructor sets are called, have become highly sought after by collectors (have you seen the Star Wars Death Star selling for $399.99?). And studies have shown that playing with the toys is good for the brain for both kids and adults.
But they are, most importantly, fun.
The Hobbit, nicely timed to the movie, has two sets to watch for: 1) An Unexpected Gathering ($69.99, online at Target), which comes with Gandalf, Bilbo and four dwarves, and may be the first time in Lego history that a set has called for rounded windows, which had to be specially designed; and 2) The Goblin King Battle ($89.99), which is all odd angles and irregular shapes, out of step with the Lego usual. And who doesn’t want to fight goblins?
The Star Wars Item:
Four words for you: Han Solo ice cubes. Whether you’re gaming by yourself or entertaining your understanding family, nothing says cool drinks like a set of "Han Solo in Carbonite" ice cubes. Officially called the Han Solo in Carbonite Ice Cube Tray, available at ThinkGeek.com for $9.99, the item is basically a tray that houses six small 1.75-inch Han Solos and one large, 3.5-inch Han Solo.
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story ($26.99) tells the history of the comics company, its heroes and the all-too-human men behind it.
No one walks away clean, and the book pulls Stan Lee away from the image of Smiling Stan and paints him as (sometimes sadly) passive-aggressive. Some will quibble it doesn’t go deep enough, but that just leaves work for future historians.
It’s a great and entertaining read, informative even to those who know a lot of the stories by reading blogs from Jim Shooter and John Byrne, or old fanzines.
The Ultimate Procrastinor's Gift:
OK, you screwed up. There’s no way a gift is going to get to your giftee in time. So why not make your gift the promise of an item that isn’t even available yet?
And what an item: A life-size Thor helmet replica from eFX. It’s made from the original master patterns and molds used to create the helmet seen in The Avengers, complete with a display hand and certificate of authenticity. It's available for pre-order now but won’t be ready to ship until in first quarter 2013.
One caveat: Only 250 of these are being made, and they are going for $599. Each. (Lateness has a price, I'm sorry to say.)