Geek and Tabletop Gaming Gifts - Holiday 2018 Gift Guide

Run out of video games to buy folks this holiday season? We've got a hefty list full of toys, board games, and more for that special someone on your list!

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You’ve bought all the games, controllers, carrying cases, and other such video game doodads for everyone on your holiday gift list. But, when you look under the tree at all the wrapped up presents, you feel there’s still something missing. Something that isn’t a video game or video game accessories. If you’re looking for something geeky and maybe still gaming related look no further. We’ve put together a list of products that any game would be pleased to find waiting for them on Christmas morning.


Boardgames

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Before the digital era, folks used to get together and play analog games on top of tables. It’s a time-honored tradition that still continues to this day. Here are a few board games I’d recommend for some face to face fun with friends.

It’s hard to go wrong with robots fighting in space no matter what the medium and Starship Samurai is no exception. Players battle to control planets in a race to become the shogun of outer space. There’s diplomacy and tactics, but there are also giant samurai robots that you can use to kick your opponent’s butts.

For a more Medieval experience Clank! A Deck Building Adventure. In the game, players have to sneak into a dragon’s dungeon and steal as much treasure as they possibly can before the beast awakens from its slumber. Clank can take a while to play through, but it feels very intense and quick when you’re playing. It takes a bit of strategy and a lot of luck to come out on top when playing Clank, but everyone is sure to enjoy the experience.

The thing I love about Superfight is it basically skips all the BS and gets right to what board games are really about: yelling and arguing with friends. The game is basically a bar argument about “Who would win in a fight?” but with a few augmentations. Players pick a hero card and an ability card then draw another random ability card to add to their hero. So you could end up having a brawl where you have to explain why a narcoleptic Superman with a puppy-cannon would beat up Stephen Hawking with the infinity gauntlet and a beard made of bees.

If you just can’t get away from the video games there have been a few notable board games that have taken licenses from popular titles and made something just as entertaining. The Dark Souls board game is a perfect gift for your masochistic friends who demand a challenge both on and off the TV screen. The Doom board game is also another great video game to board game pick.

For those looking for more family-friendly titles, there’s Decrypto, a game in which one team tries to decipher a code givers’ clues while the other team tries to intercept them and figure out said code ahead of them. And then there’s Don’t step in It, a game that is literally all about not stepping in dog poop while walking blindfolded, and as we all know, poop is universally funny.


Toys

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The great thing about my generation is we never really outgrew playing with toys, or at least collecting them and never taking them out of the box. And if you aren’t buying toys for an adult in your life I hear that kids still love playing with action figures as well. I went through my personal collection to select what I thought were some of the top picks for this year.

I spent a long time avoiding the Marvel Legends line of figures, mostly because I knew it would be a slippery slope for me as a collector and comic book nerd. They tend to be a bit pricier than other Marvel figs due to the highly detailed sculptings and versatile points of articulation. The latest line of Marvel Legends figures to launch celebrates the last 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and features figures and sets from Iron Man all the way to Infinity War.  Amazon also recently started carrying an exclusive Days of the Future Past Wolverine and Sentinel set that's pretty spectacular although a tad bit pricey. 

As I mentioned earlier, there’s really never a time when robots aren’t awesome so you really can’t go wrong with Transformers. Right now the Transformers: Power of the Primes series has been bringing back some of the best figures from the G1 era. I’ve already personally picked up Rodimus Prime, Grimlock and the massive Predacon figure from the latest wave and they’re perfect for the nostalgic fan in your life.

For the younger generation of Transformers fans, there’s the Michael Bay-inspired Bumblebee series of figures from his upcoming solo film, like the Powercharge Bumblebee or the Target exclusive Soundwave and Doombox.

Todd McFarlane came out with a new line of Fortnite-inspired figures this year because of course there were bound to be toys based off of Fortnite. Just like with all of McFarlane’s other line of figures these are extremely articulate and detailed. Maybe these figures will get your kids crafting their own battle royale playgrounds in real life.

The cute little Japanese import toys known as Nendroids have made a splash here in the US over the last year or so. They’re adorable and come with a lot of accessories for posing and playing. Their licenses run the gamut from animes to video games and beyond, but they are rather costly for their size. They’re definitely the kind of thing that I wouldn’t mind getting as a gift but would probably never buy for myself. In particular, I’m a fan of the Overwatch Mei fig and the Mega Man series of Nendroids, but there’s a ton to chose from so you’re bound to find just the right one for the geeky friend in your life.

While I’m personally not a huge fan of those beady-eyed Funko Pop figures, the company did put out a line of Rick and Morty toys that aren’t dysmorphic giant-headed freaks. The 2nd wave of Rick and Morty figures features Squanchy, Rick and Morty in their “Purge” suits, Giant Head Worshipping Summer, and Scary Terry. If you buy all of them you get all the parts to make a Krombopulos Michael figure as well.


Gadgets

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You don’t have to be an inspector to love gadgets. Just about everyone out there loves a fancy hi-tech bauble they can mess around with. I’ve picked up a few fun little things to pick up and fiddle with.

The classic Tamagotchi digital pets came back in a big way this year and they make a great distraction when there’s some down time. Feed your Tamagotchi, play with it, pet it, clean up its digital waste and watch them grow. As an added bonus, they make a great primer for a kid who’s working their way towards their first real pet.

Once again, I make my case for the robot revolution. Vector Robot by Anki is one of the most intriguing consumer-level interactive robots out there and they are a ton of fun. You can chat with these little fellas, play games, and give them some basic tasks like running cooking timers. It’s like having a little Wall-E that lives on your shelf.

There was no way I was going to get through a nerdy gift guide without bringing up Star Wars. The Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewbacca is sort of a modern-day Furby. Kids can pet, tickle and talk with this Ewok-sized Wookie

For those looking to wield the power of the gods, you can’t go wrong with this massive light-up Infinity Gauntlet. Maybe I’m a little biased since I’ve wanted one of these ever since I read the original comic book crossover back in the day, but this thing is pretty rad. If I had one complaint about it, it’s that I can’t get my thumb around the hook on the inside of the glove to operate the finger. Still, this thing has light up gems and makes some cool mechanical sounds when you move the fingers, plus you feel like the king of all nerds when wearing it. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is entirely up to you.


Other Great Ideas

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These items didn’t really fit into any of the other categories, but hopefully, they can inspire you to make some great last-minute gift ideas that are a bit outside of the box.

I did my best to keep stuff from ThinkGeek off this list because I know most people already know about the site and have probably already got the nerd in their life something from there. But this Super Mario Boo Bean Bag is just too dope to keep off the list. I just wanna flop into it and take a nap.

Hopefully, The Fallout Cookbook has kept all its cannibalistic meals out of the publication, but even if not this is a great stocking stuffer for a geek chic chef who wants to learn how to cook like a four-star chef in a post-apocalyptic world.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the nerdy hipster in your life Iam8bit has a ton of vinyl soundtracks from both classic and modern games. Everything from Battletoads to Undertale can be found in their impressive catalog.

For the more fashion-forward of your friends, sites like TheYetee and ShirtPunch offer up a daily selection of pop-culture inspired clothing made by various artists. Every 24 hours a new crop of designs goes up for purchase, but after that, they could be gone forever. The one issue you may is that it can take some time for the designs to be printed and shipped, so you may want to double check that your orders will arrive before the holidays.

If you’re still stuck on what to pick for your geekier friends, Fangamer has a great selection of original apparel, household items, and collectibles based licensed from some of today’s most popular indie titles.

And, of course, you could not go wrong with a Shacknews hoodie or t-shirt from our very own site store!


Think we missed something? Got some ideas of your own? Feel free to leave a comment in the Chatty and let us know what you’re thinking!

Reviews Editor

Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, www.cartoonviolencemusic.com. If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

From The Chatty