Like it or not, you just can’t get away from superhero-themed gifts anymore. Most of us creaky adults who grew up with a TV in the house can probably recall those holidays and other special occasions where we got our favorite caped or non-caped hero (or villain!) in a box as an action figure or printed on some sort of common object that was now even more special.
This has pretty much always been a successful business for companies jumping on the licensing bandwagon, but the sheer amount of retailers stocking these goods today is staggering. This of course is good for you as a consumer because loads of choice means plenty of retailers socking it out for your hard earned shekels. Anyway, here are another bunch of cool items to spend your loot on and sure, you can get me something if you feel like it!
Superhero Stuff from Superherostuff.com:
I bet you didn’t think you even needed a pair of Wonder Woman socks with little capes attached to them until you saw that photo. Yeah, all of those pics above probably have some of you reaching for your wallets right about now. The good thing is these items (and MANY more) are all under $25 and Superhero Stuff has plenty of other gifts above that price range that will make your favorite superhero fan (or yourself) more than happy to receive. Warning: once you clicking up, up, and away on that site, expect your wallet to start draining faster than Superman’s powers after getting bonked on the head with a Kryptonite baseball.
If you’ve got a much larger budget and lots of room on your shelves for some fine pop culture collectibles, you should check out Sideshow Collectibles for more than enough licensed goodies to ogle. For example…
Sideshow has been around for 20 years bringing collectors and fans some of the best in collectible figures, art and more cool, classy items guaranteed to get friends to stop and stare. The company’s huge lineup of pop culture figures from comics, movies, TV shows and more. Pricing ranges from quite affordable to most buyers to some really limited edition pieces that can be financed if necessary. As you can see from poking around their site, the amazing attention to detail in anything Hot Toys makes is incredible. That and the level of stylization on figures ranges from incredibly realistic to 100% fanciful and er, gravity defying on a few fronts.
Marvel Comics: 75 Years of Cover Art: DK Publishing’s latest book is going to be a fun must-have for Marvel Comics fans as well as anyone who appreciates comic art. While it relies a wee bit too much on computer recoloring of older books from the Golden, Silver and Bronze Ages of comics, the 320-page tome is still an extremely impressive book that’s going to get a lot of attention if gifted.
If your only exposure to comics have been through the more modern ones with computer art and perfect colors, you’ll get a small amount of an education thanks to a few reproductions of black and white covers that show the layers of paste-up work that went into what looked like a simple piece of comic art. At only $50, it’s a steal that not even Spider-Man would come after you for if you got it at that price.
Naturally, if you’re a DC Comics fan and want something you can call your own in a similar vein, you may be shaking your fist at whatever type of screen you’re reading this post on. Well, put down that fist, pal and pick up those reading spectacles instead. DK’s got you covered on this front with a nice and well-illustrated coffee-table book you’ll want.
DC Comics: A Visual History (also $50) is more of a 376-page encyclopedia dedicated to the DC Universe and has plenty of art and text that should do well at educating new readers while making most of the older ones quite pleased. You could just get BOTH books and quell any arguments your friends may have at your choice of comics companies. But hey, I don’t want to start any Secret Wars between people who probably don’t need to fight so much about their choice of reading materials…
Sphero and Ollie: Okay, so the bulk of consumer-ready robots aren’t all that heroic, but I may as well include this pair here because they’re part of what the future holds for the popular technology. I’m still holding out for a full-on robot servant that can help me do stuff besides vacuum floors and toddle around with drinks as it travels a pre-programmed route. Still, fun little robots like Sphero and Ollie make me pleased to see robots that can multitask at entertainment while making me want to see super-sized updates prowling the streets.
Both are app controlled robots that have you using your smartphone or tablet in order to get them doing everything from simple motoring about to stunts and even a little drawing if you’re the artistic type. Accessories allow you or the kids to customize them with different treads for Ollie and a few types of protective outer Sphero coverings. Pricing is low enough ($99.99 each) to get anyone interested in entry-level robotics up and rolling with ease, but I’d imagine one or more of these would drive your dog or cat up a wall. Hmmmm… I wonder if the next iterations of these could climb walls? That would be a cool thing to see some sort of affordable spider-legged robot doing a little walk up to and then on the ceiling. Anyway, let me stop here and let you get to clicking away and shopping if your curiosity’s piqued.