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Fanbase Press’ Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Geeky Extras

The holiday season can be a stressful time of year. Amidst the craziness of booking flights to visit your family, preparing feasts, or simply maintaining your sanity while maneuvering holiday traffic, the last thing on your mind may be finalizing your holiday gift list. Fanbase Press is here to help with the best recommendations for gifts to give the geek in your life as suggested by our staff and contributors. Not everything falls into the categories of graphic novels, movies, or games. Geeks also like gifts that help them decorate their home, entertain the little geeks in their life, and toys to play with. Highlighting such items and closing out our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide, we present to you our geeky extras. Happy Holidays! ~ Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

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Batman: The Animated Series Batwing Replica
Recommended by Erik Cheski

Last year I wrote about the animated series Batmobile in this space. Well, the folks at DC are making magic again this holiday season with a scale-appropriate Batwing toy. Y’all, this thing looks amazing! Knowing how much care and detail they put into the Batmobile means this is a must-have for me and anyone else who holds Kevin Conroy above all other Bat-iterations. It’s enormous (36 inches, a full foot bigger than the Batmobile), able to seat two figures just like its terrestrial counterpart (which means that the extra Batman figure my wife got me for my birthday becomes a reason that I have to get one. Love you, honey!) and will look great displayed on the top shelf or whooshing over my son’s head. (Not for you, buddy, this is a Daddy Toy.) I wants. If you’ve got a Bat-Fan on your list, this will make them squee. But, you know, in a manly, dark, and imposing way. Available through your local comics shop.

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Boonzy Arts Candles – “Coins of the Forge”
Recommended by Barbra Dillon

It is often said that one’s sense of smell carries with it the strongest link memory. Perhaps this is why certain aromatic fragrances conjure such delightful recollections of holidays gone by, of cherished time with family and friends. As the holidays fast approach, there can be no better gift for your loved one than a Boonzy Arts Candle, capable of evoking the most wonderful of holiday memories (combined with a bit of geek-themed merriment).

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 Ghostbusters and Stranger Things, Boonzy’s candles pack a powerful aroma while adding elegant geek style to your home or office.

Last year, Boonzy Arts led a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for their “Wheel of Flame” Candle Set with Embedded Metal Dice, and this year the company continued its Kickstarter success with the “Coins of the Forge” Candle Set. Each candle represents a different genre of board game, and the candles also have a hidden treasure inside the wax: five metal coins from Norse Foundry!

Be sure to visit the Boonzy Arts Candle website to peruse the various “Coins of the Forge” candles available, and check out all of the additional geek-ified candles that are available for sale through the online store.

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Dave Crosland, Original Art and Prints
Recommended by Claire Thorne

This year, in my never-ending quest for more geeky artwork to hang on my walls (Thank goodness for vaulted ceilings!), I discovered Dave Crosland. Author of Ego Rehab and a series artist on Oni Press’ Invader Zim comic, Crosland is a master of the bizarre and imaginative.

A quick trip to his online print store will introduce you to cocktail-drinking dinosaurs, murderous quiches, and fierce Warrior Women. His takes on Batman, the Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars are dark and delightful. His art is full of movement and electricity, vibrant color, and ominous noir. Every piece is a statement worthy of a prominent place on your wall.

After you’ve stocked up on prints, be sure to check out Dave’s convention schedule and take some time to stop by, say hi, and watch him doing some sketching in person. Oh, and save up a little something to commission an original sketch.

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Fathom One (a.k.a. “Underwater Freaking Drone!”)
Recommended by Simply Jack

What more can I say? This is freaking so cool! Chilling in a lake in a volcano during an eclipse and want to see Cthulhu underwater? Just send in the drone! Looking to perv out on your latest crush who happens to be drowning? Send in the drone! Searching for sunken treasure and don’t want to get wet? DRONE! Looking to terrify the squares? Bump them with the drone!!!

It’s an under-water freaking drone.

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Fisher Price “Code-a-Pillar”
Recommended by Erik Cheski

I’m a parent now, so those kid toy commercials that I’d often overlook are now worming their way into my consciousness, and when I saw this little guy, I was thrilled by the change. This thing is super cool, each segment of this buildable caterpillar has a command, and the position determines the order of that command. Each time you switch it up, your little guy will be taking a new path through the room, and if they’re old enough they’ll be able to learn about sequences and actions. Plus, it looks darn adorable (and with some mods and dark paint could be slick for an adult I may know). I’m not saying that this is the perfect toy, but I know one little kid who’s getting one. I mean, he can’t read and doesn’t know what the Internet is, so I can say it’s mine. He’s a bit under the age range, but I figure that I can reconfigure this one until he’s old enough to begin learning to do it himself, and until then it’s a great toy for him from a company I’ve come to trust to an incredible degree.

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Macallan Ice Ball Maker
Recommended by Simply Jack

Sometimes during the holidays, you need to self-medicate. Scotch is my preferred tonic. With this Macallan Ice Ball Maker, you kill two birds with one stone. It looks so COOL! Seriously, it takes giant CUBES and makes the giant BALLS right before your eyes. Then, you put an Ice Ball in your drink, and everyone is jealous and you are somewhere between 2% and 7% more attractive. These are cool. Also, if there is a snowball fight…. You absolutely won’t lose. Just sayin’.

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Mister Sam Shearon’s “Creepy Christmas” Coloring Book
Recommended by Michele Brittany

Over the years, I have enjoyed coloring books from the specialty art stores, so I have been thrilled that coloring books have become so popular in the past couple of years. The trend has swept book shops, grocery stores (Yes, there are now coloring magazines!), and not surprisingly, has spilled into our revered geekdom with books covering Doctor Who, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter. As a longtime fan of Sam Shearon’s art, I was excited that he came out with a coloring book that showcases the creepier folklore characters that have long inhabited European Christmas stories through Sam’s dark artistic style. In addition, Sam wrote wonderful prose stories that summarize his research and accompany each character that adds a depth of engagement with the material that would have been lost if Sam had only included his drawings. Nicely done! And, I’m anxiously awaiting a sequel.

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Mouse Guard Coloring Book
Recommended by Claire Thorne

The adult coloring book phenomena that has been raging online and at your local bookstore over the last year doesn’t seem to be slowing down any. Geekdom has its own long list of coloring book titles to choose from, including Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Benedict Cumberbatch in all his Sherlock glory. (I’m sure there will be Doctor Strange coloring books hitting bookshelves in just moments.)

There are few comic book worlds more intricately and lovingly crafted than David Petersen’s Mouse Guard stories. We’re talking Tolkien with adorably furry creatures…and some terrifyingly toothy ones, as well. Petersen has been amazing audiences through multiple series and stand-alone stories and, to his audiences delight, has recently released the Mouse Guard Coloring Book. Out of all the coloring books on my own shelf, none compares with this amazing world. It offers hours and hours of crazily complex double-page spreads, character portraits, action scenes, and nature studies.

Whether you are familiar with the Mouse Guard series or a complete newbie to this world, you’re going to love every minute you spend in it.

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Smart Girl Accessories
Recommended by Michele Brittany

Animals wearing glasses. It is such a simple concept, and the women at Smart Girl Accessories, who are fabulous and wear glasses too, have been putting glasses on animals for the past three years. The first time I came across a Smart Girl Accessories table was a couple of years ago, and I was immediately smitten with a v-neck charcoal t-shirt with a spectacle-wearing purple kitty printed low to one side of the shirt. If a feline isn’t your favorite, then there is a unicorn, bird, otter, sloth, and fox to choose from in the v-neck (awesome!), crew neck, and tank top styles. And, as a shorter person, shirt length is often an issue – binding around the hips and just darn long; however, my Smart Girl t-shirt fits well and it has to be one of the best fitting t-shirts I own. In fact, this year at one of the cons, I picked up “Smart Fox” and love both my shirts immensely. Lastly, the quality of the material breathes on the warmer days, stitched very well, and long-lasting printing, which makes the $20 a sound investment of geeky goodness!

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Star Wars Tiki Glasses
Recommended by Michele Brittany

I can hear the cantana music stirring in my memory of the original Star Wars in which we were introduced to Han Solo (swoon!) and Chewbacca far, far away in a distant galaxy. ThinkGeek comes of with some of the geekiest items around, and the Star Wars Geeki Tikis have got to be one of the best mash-ups ever. I think the designs were well done for each of the six characters that include R2-D2, Yoda, Chewie, Darth Vader, a stormtrooper, and Boba Fett. Even the color choices are in keeping with the traditional concept of the tiki motifs and decors, but is also true to the Star Wars character. (For example, Vadar is black and Yoda is green.) Officially licensed from the franchise, you can buy your favorite character or the set. I picked up Boba Fett and sipping a tiki drink is pretty darn cool and unique.

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Tauntaun Sleeping Bag
Recommended by Simply Jack

With this eviscerated Tauntaun sleeping bag, you’ll always be able to snuggle up (in) to your dead Tauntaun to stay toasty warm. What more is there to say? Plus, members of the opposite sex will totally dig it.

Those are the things that will make your holidays bearable. Once again, you’re welcome.




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