It's that time of the year. Time for you to crack open the wallet for someone other than yourself.
Sure you could use our reference guide of games and reviews to help you sort through what video games to give and what to avoid, but why not try something a little different.
For the fourth year in a row the brains (and Mikes, Lukes, Owens and Stephens) at Kotaku Tower have put together a list of eclectic toys, gadgets and doodads - from prison toilet to dinosaur-infused iPhone case, aircraft carrier to freaky shoes, to give and ask for.
Now, for your viewing pleasure, Kotaku's 2010 Gift Guide of Obscene Nicety and Sublime Naughtiness.
Mandatory Secret Santa (Under $20)
Minecraft Magnets ($10) Building stuff in Minecraft can be hard, and take a lot of time. Building stuff on your refrigerator door is quicker, and easier.
Neon Genesis Evangelion Canned Coffee Set ($15) Know what's better than canned Japanese coffee? Canned Japanese coffee with Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion on it. Donning a "plug suit", Rei holds up a canned of UCC Coffee. The figure is from famed Japanese model maker Kotobukiya. Drink up!
LEGO Play Sets ($7 - $20) You love the video games; why not give the toys a try? LEGO bricks have been exercising the imaginations of children young and old since the 1940s. Today's LEGO sets follow an easy-to-collect formula, with themed series that start with small, under $10 sets and range all the way up to massive $100 play sets. The World Racers, Atlantis, Space Police, and Power Miner sets all offer nice entry-level sets perfect for introducing someone you have to buy a gift for the joys of stepping on jagged LEGO bricks in bare feet.
Canned Unicorn Meat ($11.99): Succulent Unicorn meat isn't easy come to by since 2009's surprise closure of Radiant Farms brought on by a nasty outbreak of Unicorn Dream Flu (UDF) and the subsequent death of millions of childhoods. Fortunately, you still land this plushie replica of a vivisected Unicorn, perfect for making children cry.
iPhone App Magnets ($13.99): A perfect gift for that OCD Apple evangelist in your life - everbody has one - who can't stop organizing his iPhone's home screen. Just don't use this set of 18 on a real iPhone, it might, I dunno, mess up the screen or the memory or something.
The Run Lola Run Soundtrack ($15 or so) Who cares if it's from the previous century. It's still the best running music ever recorded. Next time you need to go faster on a treadmill or on the track, this is what you need to hear.
Star Wars Darth Vader Flexible Spatula ($12.00) You don't know the pancake flipping power of the Dark Side! But the giftee on your holiday shopping list will with this Williams-Sonoma exclusive Darth Vader spatula. Combine it with Star Wars pancake molds and cookie cutters and you can rule the galaxy as baker and cook!
Relative You Don't Particularly Care For But Will Probably Bring A Gift For You ($21 to $50)
LaCie XtremKey ($49.95): I always worry about carrying around valuable information on USB drives, especially something like my Xbox 360 Gamertag. Good thing LaCie seems to be just as paranoid. The LaCie XtremKey is waterproof to 100 meters, can withstand being driven over by a 10-ton truck or dropping five meters and can extreme temperatures down to -50°C or up to 200°C. With this drive in your pocket you can be sure that if you survive the trip, your data will too.
The Walking Dead: Compendium One ($35) Zombie saga The Walking Dead was the best thing to hit TV screens in 2010, but if you want the full story, you should read the comics it's based on. They're way better. And people lose more body parts. Like, there are body parts being lost all over the place.
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Aroma Candle ($29.90) Finally! Final Fantasy VII hero Cloud Strife in candle form. The scent is described as "floral" and "fruity", and the candle can burn up to fifty hours. Fifty hours? Cloud Strife's floral and fruity scent goes on and on.
iPhone Case With Flip-Out Bluetooth Keyboard ($50) Sure your the iPhone is nice, but answering emails, sending texts, and navigating the web just isn't as satisfying with the pop-up touchscreen keyboard. Think Geek solves that problem elegantly with a case for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 that flips out to reveal a Bluetooth keyboard, and not just some soft, squish keyboard either. No, this little number features firm plastic keys with a satisfying click. It's all the joy of the iPhone with the added satisfaction of flipping.
Pillow Nunchaku ($42) Two lumbar pillows chained together make for a death-dealing pillowfight combo and a perfect training tool for six-year-old ninjas. From Etsy, only one left, that we know.
Luther DVD Boxed Set ($30 or so) Idris Elba, who TV viewers with taste may remember as Stringer Bell on HBO's The Wire, is a police detective who doesn't just bends rules but gets advice from a serial killer. What sounds formulaic is not, in this fantastic, taught, six-episode series from BBC America.
Wisdom, Courage, Power tee from Fangamer/Attract Mode ($22.00) For the fashionable, Legend of Zelda-loving fan on your list, Cory Schmitz's Triforce-inspired tee exhibits a love of the Nintendo classic while keeping it classy. Both Fangamer and Attract Mode carry it.
The Sweet Spot - Not too 'spensive, Not too cheap ($51 to $100)
Famicom Gloves ($70) Winter is here, and your fingers, they need to keep warm. While you may be tempted to wear mittens, or perhaps even stuff your hands in your jacket, you should at least consider getting these rather sharp knitted gloves, inspired by Nintendo's Famicom console.
Shimmering Water Reflection Projector ($65) Billed as a calming and relaxing form of ambient light, it's also a good way to fool yourself into thinking your tiny apartment has an indoor pool. The box projects a shimmering pattern on the walls and ceiling, mimicking the reflection of light off a pool of water. Enterprising geeks might figure out a way to put a black light in there for a super psychedelic effect.
¥5,000 Japanese PSN Card ($70.50) While it's possible for those outside of Japan to create a Japanese PSN account, you'll need a Japanese credit card to start buying games. Don't have one? Pick up some Japanese PSN cards and start downloading titles like Square Enix's 2D shooter Einhänder and Japanese garden simulator Shiki-tei.
Body Massage ($60-100) When last we checked the average age of a gamer in the U.S. Was 32-years-old, with PC gamers specifically averaging 42-years-old. We're older, wiser, and much, much more achy. Whether we're the sedentary gamer stereotype or one of the new generation of motion gaming athletes, we could all benefit from a little rub down. A day at the spa used to be a gift for your mother, but in today's stress-filled world nothing beats an hour-long session with a licensed massage therapy technician. Gifting 60 minutes of massage will run you from $60 to $100 in most states, and you'll be able to tease your loved one later that you paid someone to touch them. As long as you find your therapist through the American Massage Therapy Association website you should avoid unnecessarily happy endings.
Retro Videogame Propaganda Posters ($49.99): Take to the skies! Defeat the beast! P0ump to keep free! This set of retro propaganda posters feature art worthy of any video game war effort. Games featured are Tron, Dig Dug, Frogger, Joust and Donkey Kong.
Boba Fett's Ship In Lego Form ($80). Look, no one is going to buy you the $400 Lego Death Star and you're probably not going to get it for anyone unless you're rich and spoil your kids. But how about a Lego Slave I or any of the other cool new Empire Strikes Back Lego sets that will help you celebrate the 30th anniversary of many people's favorite Star Wars movie?
Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Boxset ($72.00) Get the big box of Bryan Lee O'Malley's kinetic and cool Scott Pilgrim comic book series all at once, collected in a handsome slipcase beautifully designed by Paul Robertson. Or, simply buy the box and poster a la carte, and give your loved one a new place to stash their books.
Person You Are Or Hope To Be Sleeping With ($101 to $500)
Half Of Halo: Reach's Noble Team in Action Figure Form ($149.99) Show the Halo fan you're willing to go halfway for them by giving them more than 75 points of articulation this holiday with half of the Noble Six team from Halo: Reach. The other half of the Halo squad, part of Square Enix's highly detailed Play Arts Kai line of toys, is coming later, but this is a great way to start the collection
1:6 Iron Man Figure ($180) While many toys can be derided as being cheap, or tacky, or childish, Hot Toys' Iron Man Mark IV is nothing short of spectacular. Sure, he's pricey, but he is also quite possibly one of the best-looking desk ornaments of all time.
Tron Earrings ($495) When you think of Tron merchandise, you probably imagine figures and ill-fitting costumes. Add pricey inspired designer accessories to that. These $495 sterling silver earrings come with dangly "drops" that come in red garnet, black onyx and white topaz. Matching lightcycle not included.
A Trip to the Strong National Museum of Play ($9-11 admission plus plane or bus fare) The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the history of video games, toys, superheroes, or just having fun in general. The eGameRevolution exhibit alone is enough to justify the price of admission, which only runs $11 for adults, $10 for children, and $9 for senior citizens. Produced by the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the eGameRevolution exhibit features everything from Ralph Baer's first Brown Box games to the flashy, graphics-heavy games of the current generation. Gifting a trip is as easy as picking up a plane or bus ticket, unless of course you live in Rochester or the surrounding area, in which case you should have already been there.
Applause Sign ($319): For those in need of constant recognition, try this broadcast studio-quality, art-deco style, polished metal, light-up APPLAUSE sign. Perfect for the boss. Or customize the text so he can send the perfect two syllable reply without saying a word.
Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek ($125): Don't get these freaky-looking five-toed shoes to stand out, buy them to prepare for the impending zombie apocalypse. Last year, we suggested picking up a solid pair of trail running shoes to be prepared for a quick, terror-filled run anytime, anywhere. But we forgot to prepare you for those moments when you're not wearing shoes. While the FiveFingers do offer a think layer of rubber skin protection, they are specifically designed to toughen the muscles in your feet and legs to prepare you for shoe-less runs.
75 Years Of DC Comics: The Art Of Modern Mythmaking ($200 or so) - This is both a fancy Taschen art book commemorating three fourths of a century of the publisher that brought us Superman, Batman and Ambush Bug. It's also a densely illustrated, detailed history of DC Comics, written by longtime publisher Paul Levitz.
Our Prices Are Insane ($500 and up)
HMS Invincible (N/A) Want a boat? Sorry, not a boat, a ship? Britain's Royal Navy is selling one. An aircraft carrier. The HMS Invincible saw action in the Falklands and the Gulf, but can now see action on your next fishing trip if you can win it at auction.
ConverTTable (roughly $6,700) The worst thing about racing wheel set-ups isn't only the sheer space that they take up, it's how ugly they look. Do you really want a racing seat with plastic wheel in front of your sofa all the time? Or would you rather spend a little over $6,700 for a designer coffee table that transforms into a racing set up? Don't answer that. It is even possible to order a custom table in any color built from an array of woods. Ah, the price of having an uncluttered living room.
Harmonix Music Systems (N/A) - Media conglomerate Viacom is selling the best music game developer of all time, creators of Rock Band, Amplitude and Dance Central. They need a buyer and surely you need a stocking stuffer?
iPhone Case Made From The Essence of Meteor and T-Rex ($63,000) This iPhone 4 case features a bezel of flawless diamonds and platinum and diamond Apple logo, but that's not why you're going to pick this phone protector up. You need the iPhone 4 HISTORY edition because it's the world's first to be made of polished meteor and shaved T-Rex tooth. That's right, a fucking dinosaur tooth and space rock.
Prison Toilet ($1,077.97) - For the ultimate gesture of passive aggression toward unwanted holiday visitors, this all-in-one crapper-and-sink is a must for the guest bathroom. For the urban studio dweller seeking to conserve space, it's perfect for the living room. Cast as a solid, single unit that cannot be broken apart into shiv material or used for pruno distillation/concealment. No longer manufactured, very few of this model are in stock anywhere. Act now.
A Real Goddamned Slurpee Machine ($15,000) We're not talking one of those little plastic frozen drink machines you find at Best Buy or Wal-Mart. We're talking a gas station quality standing frozen carbonated beverage freezer. Something like the Taylor Freezer C300, with dual 7 quart freezing cylinders, automatic defrost, Sure Set flow control to help maintain proper water, CO2, and syrup pressures, and electronic viscosity control, which regulates refrigerate for the best possible slushie texture. Add the optional syrup storage cart and you're looking at close to $15,000 worth of mobile frozen beverage power. A fair price to pay for an end to unfortunate Slurpee adventures.
Apollo 11 Space Suit Hi-Fi Replica ($9500.00) Recreate man's first landing on the moon at home or on a local soundstage—just like NASA did!—with total authenticity. SpaceToys' Apollo 11 NASA Space Suit is custom made stuff, so don't expect it to ship before Christmas, but expect attention to detail!
Want more insane gift ideas? Check out our previous GGOONASNs: