An Unexpected Hobby
Recommended by Barbra Dillon
This recently launched crafting company is sure to provide countless gift-giving options for the creatively inclined geek on your holiday shopping list. Founded by Fanboy Comics’ very own Claire Thorne in early 2015, An Unexpected Hobby is a crafting haven for those who love geek-themed sewing and embroidery. With original stitching patterns and do-it-yourself cross-stitch kits, Thorne has provided a creative outlet for those who want to display their geek pride and don’t mind putting in the needle work to do it!
The patterns and cross stitch kits currently available cover a wide variety of properties within geekdom, including Star Trek, The Walking Dead, Sherlock, Dark Tower, Doctor Who, Firefly, Lord of the Rings, Steven Universe, and Star Wars, just to name a few.
All of An Unexpected Hobby’s crafty goodness may be found on the official Etsy store, and you can also stay up to date by following the AUH blog, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
‘Tis the season to be crafty!
Anxious Dragon Stickers
Recommended by Jodi Scaife
The holidays aren’t just a time for really big gifts that make a statement. Sometimes, tiny, little gifts can make the biggest impact. That’s where Mittie Paul’s adorable Anxious Dragon stickers fit! The Atlanta, GA,-based artist created a sheet of stickers of dragons with all type of issues that show that the fearsome creatures just need love and understanding, too! Fans of dragons and tongue-in-cheek humor will both appreciate the adorable artwork.
These quirky, reptilian critters can make someone’s season bright for only $5, and you’ll be supporting an independent artist to boot. Besides, we all need stickers to add excitement to electronics and other daily objects!
Pick up a set of Anxious Dragons here!
Batman: The Animated Series Batmobile
Recommended by Erik Cheski
If you are like me at all, Batman: The Animated Series will always hold a special place in your heart. Well, a new piece of that series is available and the perfect gift for any Batfan: The Batmobile.
Designed to scale with the recent slate of action figures from the series, this thing is huge and nearly two feet long. The design is absolutely flawless, from the clean lines of the hood to the incredibly accurate detail work in the cockpit. This may be one of the most faithful recreations from an animated show that I’ve ever seen. (If I could just persuade someone to do the Seaduck from Talespin like this, my life would be complete.)
Everything gets better when the lights inside transform this from a working model to something that drove off the screen. The headlights, taillights, and cockpit are done with perfect coloration, and the body melts into the night as it did in the show. When I opened mine, I just sat and looked at it for 20 minutes. It’s beautiful and made me feel like I was ten again watching the “Grey Ghost” episode, or when I was fifteen and learned how important and wondrous that episode was. Get it for any fan of the series. They’ll never forget it.
BB-8 by Sphero
Recommended by Joshua Desjardins
Not so long ago, in a galaxy not so far, far away, Sphero created a fun, spherical robot that could be controlled by our iPhones and other mobile devices.
But now, Sphero has teamed up with Disney to bring us BB-8 from the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now, you can have your own droid follow you (or your kids) around wherever you go! This must-have toy of the season also adapts to your own voice, depending on how you interact with him. How cool is that!? Not to mention, BB-8 makes a great toy for dogs and cats to chase around the house—or be chased by—depending on whether your child is a Jedi or a Sith.
But, no matter who gets to play with BB-8 by Sphero, ALL will enjoy his company! May the droid be with you . . .
Ben Byrd Art
Recommended by Claire Thorne
I discovered Ben Byrd Art earlier this year at Long Beach Comic Con (September 12-13th). As I wandered through Artist Alley, I was stopped in my tracks by a table covered with 4 x 6-inch prints of . . . well, every geeky character you can imagine. Each print was a charming watercolor illustration with equal amounts of artistic detail and charm. My personal selection that day was a set of 5 portraits from Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, and Zukko.
There is no excuse for not heading directly to Mr. Byrd’s Etsy store and placing your order today. Certainly no excuse for price; individual prints are $7 apiece with great deals on themed holiday sets available now (including a limited-time offer for a free Jack Skellington / Santa print with the purchase of any holiday set).
Star Wars, Harry Potter, Dragons, Disney Princesses, Doctor Who, Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Firefly, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and on and on, Ben Byrd has little bit of happiness for everyone on your gift-giving list. And, I’m sure more than a few things for yourself, as well!
Boonzy Arts Candles
Recommended by Barbra Dillon
As a candle lover (Read: obsessed), nothing makes my home feel more “homey” than with the soothing scent of a particular candle wafting through the halls. The only thing that could make my candle obsession more powerful would be the existence of candles with a geeky theme . . . which is why I fell in love with Boonzy Arts Candles!
Led by the very talented Lauren Rock, Boonzy Arts Candles is an LA-based company that makes hand-poured soy candles with geeky, bookish, pop-culture-y themes! From Twin Peaks and Little Shop of Horrors to The Big Lebowski and Star Trek: The Next Generation, Boonzy’s candles pack a powerful aroma while adding elegant geek style to your home or office.
In addition, Boonzy recently added a fantastic set of products to their repertoire with the Wheel of Flame Candles Set with Embedded Metal Dice. Launched through an amazingly successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, the Wheel of Flame set is perfect for the roleplayer on your holiday gift list, as GMs and gamers can light a new candle every time the group ventures into a different realm, setting the stage – and the mood – with an evocative scent. These candles also have a hidden treasure: a metal die from Norse Foundry! You will find a beautifully crafted and satisfyingly heavy D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, D20, or percentile die embedded in the wax, emerging after several hours of burn time. (These candles are currently available for pre-order for those who did not participate in the Kickstarter campaign.)
All of Boonzy’s candles may be found on the official website, and you can also stay up to date by following the company on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
There is not a doubt in my mind that Boonzy Arts Candles is THE start-up company to watch in 2016. For now, get in on the ground floor and make Boonzy the one-stop shop for the candle-loving geeks on your holiday shopping list!
Planetary Glass Set
Recommended by Claire Thorne
2015 has been a happy year for we Space Nerds. New Horizon’s flyby of Pluto, major advancements in our understanding of the history of water on Mars, Cassini’s recent low-orbit fly-by of Enceladus . . . and, of course, the rescue of astronaut Mark Watney from Mars. (That last one is fictional. Gotta keep you on your toes.)
What better way to celebrate all this nerdy excitement than with Thinkgeek’s Planetary Glass Set ($49.99), a gorgeously rendered set of glassware with high temperature heat-wrapped artwork representing each of the planets in our solar system. And, don’t worry, they haven’t forgotten lonely little Pluto . . . or the Sun! The eight planets weigh in at a 10 oz. capacity, with Pluto a bit smaller and the Sun a bit bigger, as it should be.
Keep in mind, these are delicate items intended for hand-washing and not suitable for your microwave or dishwasher or probably the toddlers in your house. You won’t want to share them anyway. (Saturn is mine, people! Hands off!) Whether you use them to consume liquids, as a decorative conversation piece, or to play planetary Quarters, you will love having this little speck of the cosmos in your home.
Recommended by Lee Morrell
Let’s face it, we’re all geeks . . . and geeks collect stuff. We collect all kinds of stuff. Comic books, toys, autographs, DVDs. Whatever we can get our geeky, little hands on, we will collect it, put it in some kind of protective casing, and stare at it for years. Sometimes, we play with it, but most of the time we just look at it, hoping we can get a few more things just like it. With that in mind, here are a few collector boxes that pack all sorts of really cool, themed geeky things into a single box to bring out a huge smile once a month.
Marvel Collector Corps: From the collective minds of Marvel and Funko comes an every-other-month box of goodies, themed to please. The first boxes launched to sell this summer and at San Diego Comic Con were Avengers and Ant-Man, followed by the Secret Wars and Villains boxes. All of the CC boxes include a limited edition Funko POP!, collector badge and pin, a t-shirt, and a comic book. The box has a stated value of $50 and sells for $25. Click on www.collectorcorps.com to get your box.
Star Wars Smuggler’s Bounty: Also a joint project of Funko, this box, which debuts later this month, features goodies from the Star Wars universe . . . most specifically, from the world of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. The debut box features a Captain Phasma figure, as well as a t-shirt and several other cool items. These two partners know how to please their fans, so this is a must-see box. This box is also priced at $25. Head to www.smugglersbounty.com to order yours.
Geek Fuel: Easily the most “all over the place” box in this space. Past boxes have included some of the same, like POP! and other collectible hero figures and t-shirts. But, GF also occasionally adds hero-themed candy and books, as well as other “you won’t get it anywhere else” items. This guy’s favorite? The Doctor Who TARDIS ice trays . . . for glasses that are bigger on the inside. Plans start at $23.90/month, but Fanboy readers can save a few bucks by heading to www.geekfuel.com/fanboycomics.
Hero Crate/Villain Crate: Two separate crates for each of your geek sides. The Hero Crate has featured some really cool exclusive collectibles from art to t-shirts and socks to mugs and everything in between. Geeks of all stripe will love the hero side . . .
. . . unless you embrace your villain side, in which case Villain Crate is your jam. Filled to the top with good stuff from legendary baddies. The most recent box featured some very cool stuff, including the long rumored Thanos POP! Figurine, a must have for real fans of villainy! Plans for both start at $19.95 and can be found at www.herocrate.com and www.herocrate.com/villains respectfully.
Hero Box: Love this box for so many reasons - chief among them is the ultra cool socks that come with each shipment. Batman socks, Captain America socks . . . all just plain old fun and cool. Hero Box is different in that they curators collect a high volume of themed items and randomly pack the boxes full with different goodies. Each box is a little different than the next, so you might have to buy more than one to get everything they have . . . but that’s a good problem, right? Hero Boxes have more stuff and start at $49. Head to www.superherostuff.com to claim yours.
Fan Mail: This box is for the geek girl in your life. My daughter is a subscriber and has gotten so much cool stuff that she doesn’t know what to do with it all. Licensed cool stuff from Buffy and Zelda are exceptionally cool, but let’s not forget the first edition iZombie trade paperback. Fan Mail was started by geek girls for geek girls and has definitely lived up to that cred. Get this “Lady Geek” box for $21.99 at www.myfanmail.com.