It seems like just yesterday we were talking about the hottest items at the end of 2013, and now here we are ready to do it all over again. Time sure flies when you’re having fun, and that’s exactly what the Christmas season is all about right? Laughs, heart-warming reunions and presents…presents…presents! Yes that might sound materialistic, but there’s no better time to wittiness capitalism at its finest than the last two months of the year. So before you waste your money on neck ties and horrid ink pen sets, peruse our top 20 list regarding the best the world of tech/geek has to offer. Your loved ones will thank you for it!
I can only assume the Wallet Ninja was invented by one of MacGyver’s kids, as this thing does it all. No matter what situation you find yourself in, this credit card sized gadget will slice, dice and do everything short of julienne fries. It’s not only a cell phone stand but a letter/bottle/box opener, screw driver and much more. Your old Swiss-Army Knife will likely develop self-esteem issues next to this sexy beast.
D&D Starter Set
Admittedly, I’ve only ever admired D&D from afar. I remember watching some of my friends play Magic: The Gathering back in high school and thinking it was some kinda’ weird voodoo. After recently becoming hooked to MTG in my 30s, I can imagine there are others out there (both young and old) facing a similar dilemma with D&D . This starter kit is intended as an entry point to the game, with an expansive rulebook and everything else needed to become a true Dragon Master! Dice, character sheets and more are also included.
Stackable Tetris Lamp
Who says interior illumination has to be boring? Proof positive can be found with this stackable Tetris light that is too awesome for words. The light works by assembling the classic 8-bit pieces in any formation you choose (I was never that good at solving the puzzles either) and will turn off when you disassemble them. If you’re searching for a fun gift for the college-age gamer, look no further.
Feeling like your wrapped in a giant cloud of bean-baggy goodness is the only way to rack up those headshots and achievements, trust me on this one my friends. Sumo Lounge is a staple of our holiday guides, as they offer products which are insanely comfortable at prices that won’t bust your bank account. The SWAY 2.0 comes in micro-suede or corduroy, weighs a massive 42 pounds and promises never to go flat. Can your significant other claim that? I think not.
While sometimes overshadowed by its 3DS counterpart, you could do a lot worse in the handheld gaming department than the PS Vita. Actually, I guess those really are the only two choices. But at any rate, the Vita is an awesome little piece of tech. Its power is on par with that of a last-gen console placed right in the palm of your hands. Combined with a steady stream of new releases and Sony support, the Vita will ensure your next PlayStation fix is never away (even on the go).
Halo Action Figures
There are so many big-boy toys floating around these days, at times the kiddies tend to get lost in the shuffle. These latest Master Chief figures should help in that regard, as each comes with 25 points of articulation and a nice set of accessories. The Halo 2 version sports dual-SMGs as well as several other weapons first seen in the 2004 Xbox hit. Second is the more recent iteration of Chief from the 2013 E3 footage, complete with inactive Cortana data chip and chain. And who we kiddin’…we all know more grown-ups than children will probably end up owning these in reality anyway.
Star Trek Phaser
If there is one thing better than marathoning your favorite episodes of Star Trek on your DVR during a holiday weekend, it’s doing it with an honest to goodness phaser in your hand! This universal remote was crafted from laser scans of the last screen-used prop to appear on the original run of the 1960’s Star Trek TV program. It’s programmable and even comes with a sleek looking carrying case (for when your friends want you to bring it over…which will happen). Both phaser I and II models are interchangeable for you purists out there.
Assassin’s Creed Kid Playset
The words “ Assassin’s Creed ” and “Playset” may not seem to fit together at first, but it may not be as weird as it sounds. These cute little figures are intended as a way to introduce children to the series (according to comments made by Ubisoft’s brand manager at a recent conference). Actually, never mind. That still sounds weird. Although attempting to hook kids on a fairly bloody franchise may not win you any parent of the year awards, adult fans of the game will likely find these toys a great way to fill the empty space on their desk at work.
If you yearn for the psychedelic visuals of a rave but don’t feel like hitting the club on a Saturday night, simply plug in the Supernova cube and have a ball! This crazy little gadget not only pumps your tunes with superior audio quality, but provides a stellar light show in the process. With over 36 unique displays to choose from and Bluetooth connectivity, this speaker will likely cause your ordinary old iPod dock to collect dust from now on.
R2-D2 Measuring Cup Set
This is one of those items you simply don’t see on the shelf at Walmart! Only venturing into the wilds of the online jungle do you stumble across a gem like the R2-D2 cooking set! Built much like a Russian nesting doll, four individual measuring cups assemble to form this resourceful little droid when stacked one atop another. The arms also detach (transforming into measuring spoons), which should appeal to the dorky Martha Stewart in all of us. And in the realm of cooking, it’s vital to remember one valuable lesson: if you do end up with a dark side…it’s probably burnt.
Due to our non-stop obsession with gadgets and technology, battery power has become a precious commodity (comparable to the air we breathe at times). To avoid the sheer terror of your smartphone dying before you hit send on that oh-so important text, having an extra charger in your car is a must for hipsters and regular folks alike. If you’re a Back to the Future fan, you can simultaneously keep your devices running in style and live out your time-traveling fantasy with this sweet mini FluxCapacitor. It connects to your cigarette lighter, sports two USB ports and is quite the conversation piece when offering rides to skate-boarding weirdos who wear deflated life jackets as an everyday fashion statement.
These little figurines could become much more than play things in 2015. After announcing them during their media briefing back at E3 earlier this year, Nintendo hopes to capitalize on the Skylander buzz by carving out a piece of that market all their own. The Amiibos come in many flavors (depicting various mascots such as Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong and countless others) which will let you level-up your favorite characters and then transfer these stats from game to game. Only time will tell if this proves to be a huge homerun for Nintendo or a gimmick that falls flat (but things look promising).
Now here is one area where Nintendo is completely on top of things. Even though I personally feel the GameBoy (or the 3DS for you young whippersnappers out there) typically goes through far too many permutations during its lifestyle, the handheld front has been completely revolutionized by the touchscreen (and now 3D) technology that Nintendo has brought forth. With its innovative design and incredibly strong library of games, 3DS equals F.U.N. any way you slice it. In short, just buy one. You won’t regret it.
It’s time to give our PC brethren a shout out, and I can think of no better way to do so than with this monster of a system. Made by Alienware, the Alpha ASM100-7980 is a Steam-powered machine that looks to combine the causal experience of a console with the power of a desktop. It sports a 2 TB hard drive and 8 GB of RAM under the hood, while its interface can be navigated 100% via controller. It’s one of the more pricey big-ticket items on our list, but packs a punch where it counts. It also ship with Windows 8.
Video Gaming Chair
When you settle in for those 5+ hour gaming sessions, it’s critical you do so in style. When the couch is just too far away (and you’re not interested in chillin’ on the floor because…well…you’re not 10 years old anymore) the 51396 Pro Series is a great choice. The Rockers have been on the gaming-chair scene for years and keep upping the ante with each new release. Here you get a pseudo-recliner with built in stereo sound that can even hook up to other chairs (to achieve that old school arcade feel of a multiplayer racing cabinet).
No matter if you’re a hardcore Comic-Con goer or just a simple enthusiast, it’s easy to spot the difference between a simple action figure and the legitimate works of art Sideshow Collectibles routinely produces. This studio has been blurring that line for years, crafting some of the finest pieces seen in toy collecting over the last few decades. One that Mass Effect fans should find particularly appealing is the 1/4 scale premium format figure of Commander Shepard. In addition to the accuracy and detail being of their usual high quality, the item also ships with a nifty light-up base to help make your display even more eye-catching.
Why wait for the new Arkham Knight game to hit store shelves (where you can quote “become the bat”) when you can don a screen-worn replica of your very own and fight crime in your spare time! This mask was crated from 3D scans of the original prop (much like the Star Trek phaser mentioned earlier) as seen in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever starring Val Kilmer. If you’ve been trying to track down a legit cowl fit for a real superhero, you’ll find this puts those cheap Party City knocks-offs to shame.
OK, so you knew this was coming right? What type of gaming site would we be without showing the next-gen a little love! First up is Microsoft’s struggling console the Xbox One. This has been a rocky year for the little green machine to say the least. However, Phil Spencer and others behind the scenes have made strides to turn things around in 2015 (and seem to be on point to do just that). Ever since dropping the Kinect and then slashing its price tag, the One is looking more appealing each and every day!
If the Xbox One is a demonstration in how not to launch a next-gen system, the PS4 is the polar opposite. I honestly don’t know if Sony could have done a better job with their roll-out even if they tried. Not only has the latest PlayStation platform completely dominated the gaming landscape for the better part of a year, its innovations in hardware and services are likely what will keep it at the top of the heap for many more to come.
But wait. This is only the #2 spot. We have one entrant left and there’s still a big name we’ve not yet touched upon. Oh my gosh…does that mean…could it be possible…
Nintendo Wii U
Do you hear that? If your quiet and listen VERY carefully, you can almost make out the sound of the Internet breaking. Granted this may come as a shock to many of you (considering my long and tumultuous history with the Wii U), the time has come to call a spade a spade. As journalists, our job is to be fair…first and foremost. With the built-in success of Super Smash Bros. , new content coming to Mario Kart and the Amiibos looking to launch a whole new craze in 1st party accessories, the Wii U could very well be one of the best values this holiday season. Couple that with a very reasonable price point and you have our motivations for closing things out with it at numero uno.
So there they are! 20 of the most “must-have” items any gamer, geek or average Joe would simply love! Black Friday is just the beginning of the crazy shopping march towards December 25th, so be sure to keep our list handy when deciding what items to purchase for that special someone in your life. CheatCC has been bringing people and gadgets together in perfect harmony for a very long time now. You’re safe in our hands…we’d never lead you astray!