Reading Time: 6 minutes
I hope by this point that most of your shopping is done, but in case you’re procrastinating here’s a list of things you can probably get in the last week before Christmas. Most of these include Amazon links so you won’t even have to brave the “cheerful” drivers on the way to the mall and back.
Pixel Pals are great as a night light, geek decor, or to spruce up your office. Retailing for about $15, Pixel Pals come in a variety of 8-bit designs from Capcom, Marvel, Nintendo, and more. My only complaint was that the life of the 3 AAA batteries was rather short. For last minute purchases, be sure to check that it ships Amazon prime. There were a few 3rd party sellers that may not ship in time.
For about $8 you can buy an adapter that replaces the battery door with a Micro USB plug. Though if you’re DIY capable, there is a standard JST port on the bottom of the “try me” ones you could wire up to a rechargeable battery pack.
Choose You: A Guided Self-Care Journal Made Just for You! by Sara Robinson
Suggested By: Dakster Sullivan
Mfg: Adams Media
Purchase: Choose You: A Guided Self-Care Journal Made Just for You! by Sara Robinson
Choose You: A Guided Self-Care Journal Made Just for You! by Sara Robinson is a self-guided self-care journal that takes the writer on a journey of discovery into their self-care routine. It asks informative questions about what they are doing to see if the activity is actually helping them or is something they should substitute for something else. It’s a wonderful addition to anyone’s self-care routine and Dakster Sullivan highly recommends it!
Next Base Dash Cam is the gift you give for the driver you care about. The clarity during the day is only matched by the clarity during the night. It comes with built-in wi-fi, GPS logging, 140-degree-wide view, a built-in G sensor, and time lapse capability. It’s really a great addition to any vehicle whether the driver is new or seasoned behind the wheel. It captures video at full 1080p 30fps.
Around the World in 80 Trees by Jonathan Drori (author) and Lucille Clerc (Illustrator)
Suggested By: Jenny Bristol
Mfg: Laurence King Publishing
Purchase: Around the World in 80 Trees by Jonathan Drori (author) and Lucille Clerc (Illustrator)
I’m always drawn in by a substantial book with gorgeous illustrations and exceptional writing and made from quality materials. Around the World in 80 Trees ticks all of those boxes. Educating readers on 80 different tree species from around the world, you’ll learn about each species’ particular features, environment, needs, benefits, and more. The back of the book includes a healthy reading list for those who want to delve into the subject further. See my full GeekDad review, which includes a video tour of the book and a couple of photos reflecting my own passion for trees.
If you’re looking for a private cloud storage experience at home (and no bandwidth usage!), My Cloud Home from Western Digital fills the bill. It’s incredibly easy to set up, and, with an affordable price and a number of capacities, this device will store your photos, audio and video files, and any other files you want to store. Everyone in your family can access a shared folder, and each of you can have a private one for your own files. You can also share links to any of your files with those outside your home network. And you can access it all when you’re away from home. Choose between the single drive and dual drive models. Read my full review at GeekDad.
As you’re wrapping up your year and looking back at what you’ve spent your time doing, consider what you do with the time you’re not working. Are you working toward something else important? Are you building relationships, developing projects, finally writing that book that embodies your soul? As you look ahead to next year, consider what the new year will bring for you. Ali Almossawi’s book The Point of Pointless Work provides a real-life example of what the ideas we have in our off time can lead to, and how they can be transforming in addition to being learning experiences. Read my full review at GeekDad.
Ascension: Delirium is a hot new edition for fans of the ever-growing giant that is Ascension and its many expansions. With new mechanics, twists on an old theme, and stunning new art, every tabletopper is going to want this set.
This edition introduces the Delirium Die, which grants players one of six random effects when rolled. This new feature is complemented by the Recur effect, which allows players to play some cards twice, at a cost. Insight—a previous currency mechanic—returns and may be used to pay the Recur cost, but it has other new uses, too, so spend wisely!
The return of the Insight and Dreamborn mechanics warm the veteran player’s heart, and new mechanics send them on the path of rethinking tried-and-true strategies. After all, this version of the game is not just about the next hand, it’s also a toss of the dice.
Fortify your gamer’s gaming experience with a new set of metal dice. Haxtec’s zinc-alloy dice are hefty, well-weighted, and beautiful, making them the ideal dice trifecta. They also come in 17 colors, so the perfect fit is easy to find. Be wary of dropping these in a stocking, as the 7 dice are about a quarter-pound, and can pull a stocking out of place if it’s not secure!
Haxtec has a great reputation with their customers, too. They value feedback, and are very responsive. They came out with a second edition of the dice, just so they could make the D6 more to their customers’ liking. If you have any problems at all, they’re there to take care of you. Their motto is “Order is just the start of our service, which never ends.”
LEGO Super Heroes The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition 76105 Building Kit (1363 Piece)
Suggested By: Will James
Purchase: LEGO Super Heroes The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition 76105 Building Kit (1363 Piece)
If anyone in your family is a LEGO and Avengers fan, this is the ultimate version of the Hulkbuster. This premium version Hulkbuster features interchangeable arms, a light-up arc reactor, and an exclusive Mark 43 Iron Man minifig! If 1300 pieces and $120 is out of your budget, there is also the smaller edition for only $24.
The difference between an arcade purist and an arcade hobbyist tends to come down to one or two simple things: finances and/or floor space. Having a personal collection of full-size working arcade games is every nerd’s dream, but most just don’t have the money or the real estate. For the rest of us, there’s My Arcade, maker of fun, affordable, modern miniature throwback games. Their Pac-Man Pocket Player is a bright yellow handheld featuring the original Pac-Man, the isometric Pac-Mania, and Tetris-inspired Pac-Panic (better known as Pac-Attack) on a full-color 2.75-inch screen. Its arcade emulation is tight and the directional rocker pad is nice and responsive, even if the lone, tinny speaker doesn’t exactly do the sound effects any favors.
If you’re in the market for a full-fledged gift as opposed to a stocking-stuffer, though, definitely check out the Data East Mini Player. This 10-inch-tall beauty boasts a 4.25-inch screen, an onboard speaker and headphone jack, and a removable joystick for those who prefer d-pad controls—and, yes, it’s officially licensed by Data East. While the native display is 16:9, you can easily switch to a more accurate 4:3 or even the original aspect ratio by holding Coin and Back buttons on the selection screen. Speaking of, its game selection includes heavy-hitters like Bad Dudes, Burger Time (and Super Burger Time), Karate Champ, Side Pocket, and Heavy Barrel alongside more esoteric fare like Darwin 4078 (and its sequel, Super Real Darwin), RPG beat-’em-ups Dark Seal and Wizard Fire, and rugby game Scrum Try—some 34 titles in all. [Review materials provided by: My Arcade]
The TV Lynx cable system from bionik makes a bold claim—namely, to allow you to connect your Nintendo Switch to a television’s HDMI port without docking. Surprisingly, it works. Very well. Its integrated cable management system keeps the product nicely compact for travel (I keep mine in my PDP Play and Charge case), its braided construction is both durable and attractive, and the included dynamic power adapter charges your device while also providing enough juice for output in full 1080p resolution. If you’re looking for a travel or replacement docking solution, don’t like having to remove your favorite system case every time you want to play your Switch on the big screen, or if you simply don’t like the bulky (and allegedly scratch-prone) first-party dock, the TV Lynx is for you. The only catch? With a street date of December 18, finding one in time for Christmas may be a challenge. [Review materials provided by: bionik]