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Tue, 20 Nov ’12

Holiday Shopping Guide: Toys and Games

From Cybertron to Atlantis, it figures we’d have some ideas.

Whether you play naughty or nice, ’tis the season for toys, because after all, Santa’s elves don’t knit sweaters, do they? No. They don’t. They make playthings, and you don’t have to be a kid to appreciate them. Remember: we only grow old when we stop playing. Here are some suggestions for keeping your inner child awake:

WarGames –
It’s one thing to play a video game in which you step into the shoes of a futuristic soldier, but you can’t take pixels out to the sandbox, parachute them off the roof or build their vehicles from scratch. In that last category, you’ll want to be on the lookout for Gears of War Erector Sets, which let you build a C.O.G. arsenal piloted by the cutest Marcus Fenix minifigs you’ll ever see (just don’t tell him we called him cute). More of a Master Chief type? McFarlane Toys’ Halo 4 action figure line offers poseability and interchangeability that’s far from spartan in its pleasures, while their Micro Ops let you own a mini-armada at a reasonable price point. If toy guns aren’t your thing and you’d rather use intellect and sarcasm as your weapons instead, The Big Bang Theory Party Game by Cryptozoic will help you get your geek on.

Super Sirens – Too much testosterone in the toy soldier pool? Balance it out with some battle-ready beauties whose looks can and do kill. These depictions of said ladies, however, will do you no harm, and even add some style to your shelf. Sideshow’s Premium Format G.I. Joe Baroness Figure is one Cobra lady you won’t want to keep under the hood, while their Legendary Scale Emma Frost Bust can warm your heart through the icy months. Those eschewing evil can go for the good with the Power Girl Bishoujo from Kotobukiya, and make up your own minds whether she hails from Krypton or Atlantis. (Trick question: we all know women are from Venus. A book told us so)

And Men Are from… – You probably thought we were going to say Mars, but Optimus Prime and his mostly male cohorts are from Cybertron, though they have a great affinity for this here world of ours, something we’ll be grateful for every time the Decepticons rise again. Transformers Prime may be the best animated iteration of the toy robots in disguise so far, borrowing elements from prior cartoons and the live-action movies for an ultimate, unified interpretation. Seasons 1 and 2 are on Blu-ray now, and we predict they can transform your frown upside down. If for some reason you’re stuck with relatives who don’t dig morphing machines, insert your discs into a PS3, then conceal yourself in a metaphorical alt-mode and capture stray sound waves with the aid of a Sharkoon X-Tatic Air Gaming Wireless Headset.

Hip to Be Square (Enix) – For characters in the Final Fantasy games, it seems there’s nearly always a Chocobo somewhere nearby, willing to shake its tailfeathers for a few Gysahl Greens. Mere players of the games may be jealous, but now you too can use your hard-earned Gysahl greenbacks to snag a plush version of the big bird from Square Enix in honor of the franchise’s 25th anniversary. If that’s not enough FF cuteness for you, they also have Play Arts KAI minifigures of Cloud, Squall and Yuna which are a mere 4″ tall with adorably oversized heads. On the other end of the scale is their Hitman: Absolution figure, who’s a little more rough and ready for action. His work may be bloody, but his fashionable red tie means he can go to a post-mission cocktail party and it’ll mask any stray bloodstains. Tres chic, Agent 47, tres chic.

Tune in to Nerdist News tomorrow for our final Holiday Gift Guide – because once Cyber-Monday comes around, you’ll be glad you did. Got friends and relatives whose cluelessness rivals Inspector Gadget’s? Make sure they’re subscribed as well – you know they need the inspiration.