Thursday, November 28, 2013

Holiday gift guide 2013: 'Doctor Who,' 'Hobbit,' 'Thrones' and more

Click through the gallery for a peek at Hero Complex's 2013 holiday gift guide selections, ordered by cost.


Millenium Falcon guitar pick, $2.49: Here's a song for you: The Millenium Falcon, it's a smugglers' ship. It can make the Kessel Run in "less than 12 parsecs." Han Solo and Lando Calrissian use it, but neither has it as pick to strum and make rebel music. You can own your own and it won't cost you your shirt, but beware the Empire and tell folks Greedo shot first. ()


"Harry Potter" Forever stamps, $9.20 for 20 stamps: No genre franchise quite evokes the holiday spirit like Harry Potter. If you don't have an owl of your own, you can send holiday cards to your Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw friends via the U.S. Postal Service with , featuring Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, Hagrid and more. ()


"The Vampire Diaries" Elena's daylight ring, $9.95: In the hit CW series, vampires can't walk freely in the sunlight without a daywalking amulet -- a piece of lapis jewelry enchanted by witches to protect vampires from the sun's rays. Heroine Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) wears a daylight ring enchanted by Bonnie Bennett (Katerina Graham). This replica is silver-plated with a lapis stone. ()


Catbug Plush, $12: "Bravest Warriors" fan-favorite character Catbug is arguably the cutest creature in the universe. Part ladybug, part cat and 100% awesome, Catbug is personable ("You're my friends now. We're having soft tacos later!") as well as level-headed in an emergency ("Throw a blanket over it!"). Keep Catbug close with this snuggly plush, complete with zippered pocket -- handy for storing your gas-powered stick. ()


Thor hat, $12.95: Though Chris Hemsworth doesn't wear it too often during the movie, the helmet of Thor is a warrior's accessory. The knitted beanie with its winded detail should protect Earthlings and Asgardians alike from the unholy frost that bites at our ears with a fleece lining. And lest it be lost in some glorious conflict or left on a playground, the beanie can also be personalized. ()


"Fortunately, the Milk," $14.99: That imaginative, good-humored 8-to-12-year-old who loves to read (or who you'd like to help get into reading) isn't old enough yet for Neil Gaiman's but can enjoy this fantastical and funny illustrated adventure book about a father who gets wildly sidetracked (aliens! pirates!) on a trip to get milk for his kids' cereal. The writer is joined by artist Skottie Young, and both are award winners many times over. ()


"Saga: Volume 2," $14.99: OK, if they haven't yet read of writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples' multiple and Harvey-winning and bestselling mature-readers sci-fi adventure about a cross-warring-species family, maybe start with that. This is the most recent collected volume and contains Issues 7-12. If they're already up to date, maybe a . ()


Sherlock hat pendant necklace, $14.99: Whether you prefer or a previous iteration of the world's most famous consulting detective, pay tribute to the Baker Street sleuth with this hand-made pendant featuring Sherlock's trademark deerstalker hat. Shown here in gunmetal, the necklace is also available in antiqued brass, copper and silver colors. ()


"How to Speak Droid with R2-D2" or "How to Speak Klingon," $16.95 each: Whether you'd rather hitch a ride on the Millenium Falcon or on the U.S.S. Enterprise, Chronicle Books has your communication needs covered with these interactive books. Each book features an audio guide to help you master helpful Klingon phrases like "You bludgeon divinely!" and "Your mother has a smooth forehead," or to persuade your mechanical pal to play back full messages or repair mechanical issues on an X-wing. ("" Chronicle Books; "" Chronicle Books)


"Doctor Who" TARDIS night light, $16.98: Are the aliens from late-night "Doctor Who" marathons making it hard to get some shut-eye? Keep nightmares of Weeping Angels, Vashta Nerada and Zygons at bay with a TARDIS night light. The light, from a 7-watt bulb, shines through the police box windows on three sides. ()


Flying Heroes toys, $16.99 each: Send DC and Marvel superheroes soaring through the air with a pull of a launcher. Hero Complex likes Supes and Batman best (because their capes just make sense for flight), but Spidey fans won't be disappointed, either. ()


"Richard Stark's Parker: Slayground," $17.99: Acclaimed artist award-winning series of adaptations of the Parker crime novels by Richard Stark (a pseudonym of Donald E. Westlake) continues with this Dec. 24 release. Any of the volumes is a roguishly handsome way to introduce noir and crime fiction readers to comics. ()


Marvel bottle openers, $18: After a long day of conquering villains, pop open a cold one using one of these bottle openers. Thirsty for power? Choose the Infinity Gauntlet design. Thirsty for justice? Go for the Punisher. Other designs include Galactus, Deadpool, Ghost Rider and more. ()


Thor hammer earrings, $18: With Mjolnir, bejeweled lightning bolts and sparkling Swarovski crystals, these Thor-inspired dangle earrings are the perfect gift for the Asgardian lady in your life. ()


"True Blood Drinks and Bites," $18.95: For the ravenous "True Blood" fan in your life, this hardcover recipe book offers 45 tantalizing appetizers, cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks inspired by the vampires and victims of Bon Temps. The book also features commentary and unpublished photographs from the show's first five seasons. ()


"Grimm: Aunt Marie's Book of Lore" (Titan Publishing), $19.95: Portland homicide Det. Nick Burkhardt might still be wondering what the heck these strange creatures are that he alone can see if not for the help of his Aunt Marie's Book of Lore. The book contains the notes of Grimms throughout the ages. Nick's ancestral monster hunters chronicled names, descriptions and powers for those who would follow in their footsteps -- or like to read even more in-depth about their favorite shows. ()


"Game of Thrones" Direwolf plush, $19.99: For all the death, violence and betrayal in "Game of Thrones," the Stark children have constant and faithful companions in their direwolves. These plush toys may not be able to protect you from White Walkers, but they sure are adorable. Choose from Ghost, Summer or Grey Wind. ()


"Thor: The Dark World" Lightning Strike Hammer, $24.95: For those who are worthy, the makers of Nerf toys have created a soft foam hammer that booms with thunder and crackles with lightning when it smites foes or kitchen tables. A storm displays on a screen mounted within the hammer, and the whole thing is motion-activated. It may not be called Mjolnir, but it is battleworthy nonetheless. ()


"Batman Volume 3: Death of the Family," $24.99: The bestselling, acclaimed "Death of the Family" story spread from writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo's "Batman" into several related titles as the Clown Prince of Crime terrorized the Dark Knight's allies as part of a truly twisted crusade to "help" him. Other volumes collect the event's issues in each series, and there's one that traces the havoc the Joker -- the skin of his face freakishly secured to the head it's no longer a part of -- wreaked across multiple titles. But this is the one where it starts and ends, to dramatic effect. ()


"The X-Files: Season 10, Volume 1," $24.99: X-Philes who say they aren't into comics have been writing into this one to say they're hooked. This book collects the first five issues by writer Joe Harris, whose dialogue for Fox Mulder and Dana Scully seems to channel David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson's delivery, and artist Michael Walsh, whose art captures the characters without trying too hard to look exactly like the actors. The Cigarette Smoking Man, the Lone Gunmen and other classic characters from the TV show pop in. If the late December release doesn't make it in time to go under the tree, treat it as a paranormal mystery that will be solved soon. ()


X-Men 50 Years poster, $25: The X-Men's Battle of the Atom story line brought the original five -- Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman and Angel -- to the future from the past so that they could see what was going on and what they had become. They had to get reacquainted with a world with many mutants in it and a burgeoning school. So do current readers who haven't kept up with X-happenings, and this poster gives a thorough rundown of who is at the mansion, what other mutant characters are out there and the heirarchy at the school. It's daunting, but there's a for just the students, too. ()


"Doctor Who" Dalek Mr. Potato Head, $27.99: The classic toy gets a sci-fi twist when childhood's favorite spud dons a Dalek shell. With detachable pieces, the Doctor's archnemesis was never so adorable. ()


"Doctor Who" UNIT tee, $28: Featuring the designation "U.N.I.T. Black Archive Personnel," this black T-shirt pays subtle tribute to the "Doctor Who" 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor." Fellow Whovians will recognize the reference, while the uninitiated won't give it a second glance ... much like U.N.I.T.'s secret headquarters in the Tower of London. ()


"Game of Thrones" House Lannister headphones, $29.99: Adorn your mane with these headphones in Lannister red and gold, featuring the regal house sigil on the earphones. Choose music loud enough to drown out the screams of your foes on the battlefield. ()


"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" Mirkwood Hero Pack, $29.99: Legolas, Tauriel and Thranduil from the realm of the elves and dwarfs Kili and Fili team up in this figurine box set. For the collector, each 3.75-inch scale figure features up to 12 points of articulation and replicates the facial features and clothing of the character in painstaking detail. But if the Tolkien fan in your life prefers his or her toys out of the box, each character has several weapons for battling action. ()


Captain Marvel Pop Art Pullover Sweater, $30.00: Captain Marvel has proven that she is a great leader, a powerful warrior, and a hero the people look up to. So why wouldn't you wear a sweatshirt featuring her? She's a cosmic Avenger who lives in the Statue of Liberty for crying out loud, and probably second-in-command to Captain America. If you're going to wear anybody's sweatshirt, it should be hers! ()


"Hawkeye" Volume 1 hardcover, $34.99: Know someone who you think would like comics but hasn't tried them? You might consider drawing your bow and launching this distinctive book about the archer's time away from the Avengers at them -- but it'd be better to just tie a bow around it and hand it to them. This volume collects the first 11 "Hawkeye" issues (including the one told from ) and a "Young Avengers Presents" issue. Clint Barton often says "This looks bad," but the -written hit features art by David Aja, with some issues drawn by superb guest artists. ()


"The Legend of Korra: The Art of the Animated Series Book One - Air," $34.99: Know someone who wants to know what goes on behind the scenes of Republic City? Show creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are the guides for a look at the development of Season 1 of the heroine's show that follows "Avatar: The Last Airbender." It includes many pieces of never-before-released art. ()


S.H.I.E.L.D. messenger bag, $39: This canvas bag features the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo, four outside pockets for easy access to your Night-Night Gun, an inside zipper pouch to store forbidden memory cards, and a large main compartment, big enough for a prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella sandwich, with just a hint of aioli, of course. ()


"The Big Bang Theory Clue," $39.95: Someone has done something to Sheldon, so it's up to us to figure out who did it. There may not be any Col. Mustard or lead pipes, but there's a Penny and a damaged comic book. An equation board, a laptop and a dismantled Shelbot are also pieces of this puzzle. Players add their brain power to Sheldon's considerable smarts, and the answer should be cleared up quickly. Unless .... ()


"Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz," $39.95: Illustrator and "Star Trek" mega-fan takes his love of the Gene Roddenberry series to new frontiers, creating a retro-style poster for each of the 79 episodes and first pilot of "Star Trek: The Original Series." His work is collected in this gorgeous hardcover book from Titan Publishing. ()


"Star Trek: The Next Generation" ties, $39.95: Yes, you would actually be out of uniform on a Starfleet starship with a tie on -- but you'd look good on Earth, whether in Capt. Picard command burgundy or Mr. Data service gold. Probably the most discreet and awesome accessory? A miniature Starfleet communicator badge that can be magnetically applied or removed. Come one, you've got to 'Engage!' that. ()


"Lois Lane: A Celebration of 75 Years," $27.99: Much has been made of her superhero love interest Superman/co-worker Clark Kent's , but don't dare forget about the Daily Planet's star reporter. This book collects tales starring Lois from throughout her comics history, including her and Clark's mutual first appearance in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and the acclaimed 2006 reimagining "All-Star Superman" by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Some of the stories haven't aged well -- the 1958 "The Fattest Girl in Metropolis," for example -- but there's plenty to offer readers who look up to Lois and anyone who relates to Spin Doctors' (And, yes, Clark has a too.) ()


"The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia," from $20.99: For anyone who wants to know all there is to know about the land of Hyrule. It's been 27 years since Link's first video game quest, and there have been more than a dozen games over that span. This is an in-depth look at the art and history of the franchise. ()


"Peter Panzerfaust: Deluxe Edition Volume 1," $39.99: This clever Peter Pan-inspired adventure series about a group of lost boys in World War II by writer Kurtis J. Wiebe and artist Tyler Jenkins gets a special presentation with additional illustrations and a look at the comics' Pan "Easter eggs." It's serious material (its Captain Hook equivalent is an SS officer) while still being welcoming to younger readers. ()


"Tearaway," $39.99: Sony's handheld device the Vita is home to one of the year's oddest, most adorable games. The digital paper universe looks hand-drawn (it isn't), and "Tearaway" utilizes the full breadth of the Vita's controls. Blow into the screen to create a storm, and when monsters come a-crawling, one needs only to tap the Vita's rear touchscreen to send the bullies, which look constructed out of the remnants of a paper shredder, scurrying. All of it serves the purpose of inviting the player into one of the most fragile, magical interactive worlds of 2013. ()


"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" Bofur's scarf knitting kit, $43.99: Bundle up against those Misty Mountain winds with a tri-color scarf like the one Bofur (James Nesbitt) wears in "The Hobbit" films. This kit includes knitting instructions and the same New Zealand wool used by the films' costume department -- enough for a crafty Middle-earth enthusiast to make a 2.8-yard scarf. ()


"Star Trek Stellar Cartography: Starfleet Reference Library" by 47 North, $49.99: Trekkies know space, but an interstellar geography lesson is always fun. Lest we be considered vain, this cartography not only navigates Federation space, but has detailed maps of the Romulan Empire, a Cardassian Union map from the time of Bajor's occupation, a Klingon map and an ancient Vulcan map. The final frontier just got a bit smaller. ()


Star Trek Transporter Room bath mat and shower curtain set, $49.99: Get that deep space clean feeling as you step on your Starfleet rug and are beamed away by the transporter shower curtain to a watery world that many of us see every day. Most people rarely want to take photos of themselves in someone's bathroom, but this shower mat and curtain will turn your drab waste station into a desired destination. You can even keep the theme going with ! ()


"Game of Thrones" 4D Cityscape puzzle map of Westeros, $59.99: Fans of the "Game of Thrones" title sequence will love this puzzle map of Westeros, featuring more than 1200 jigsaw pieces with three different layers to replicate the topographical landscape of the Seven Kingdoms. The puzzle also includes replica models of key cities and castles, including King's Landing, the Eyrie, Winterfell and the Wall. And once your puzzle is built, Hero Complex suggests transporting your "Risk" pieces to the map for an exciting game of Starks vs. Lannisters. ()


Knight Rider K.A.R.R. Hot Wheels Elite Vehicle (1:43 version) -- Mattel, $59.99: "The shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist" was made even more shadowy when K.A.R.R. (Knight Automated Roving Robot), the evil prototype version of K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand), was introduced back in 1982. K.A.R.R. was programmed for self-preservation instead of saving human lives, which made it unstable. It was taken down by Michael Knight and K.I.T.T. ()


"Man of Steel" 3-D Limited Collector's Edition, $59.99: Zack Snyder's Superman reboot was a blockbuster hit this summer with Henry Cavill wearing the iconic suit and cape. This collector's edition is packaged in a metal "S" glyph box and features the theatrical version of the film in high-definition 3-D, high-definition 2-D and standard definition, as well as hours of bonus features. ()


"Super Mario 3D World," $59.99: If you happen to own a Wii U, you're in luck, as "Super Mario 3D World" is one of the most inventive, imaginative Mario adventures yet. The secret? Cats. Yes, cats. Mario and his pals -- including the oft-kidnapped Princess Peach -- can essentially morph into cats, meaning they now crawl, scratch and meow their way through fully roamable 3-D landscapes. Oh, you can also chase rabbits. Or eat a cherry and watch Mario double, triple and sometimes quadruple himself. Did we mention you can essentially turn into a cat? ()


Aardman DC Nation action figure set, $74.95: As seen in the Cartoon Network , these iconic DC heroes and villains get a makeover from the Oscar-winning team behind "Wallace and Gromit." Batman and Superman look dopey, the Joker carries a creepy-cute balloon, Robin towers over the gang, and Catwoman has never looked so good. ()


Ouya console, $99: There is a world of great games being developed right now that don't necessarily have a home on fancy machines from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. The Ouya opens your television up to a number of independent, innovative and more casual gaming experiences. It runs on Android, so expect to find the sort of off-the-wall games you're used to playing on your mobile device here. The tiny cube-like system has a sci-fi look, every game is free to try and it's far more transportable than its more expensive competitors. If you already have a PS3 or an Xbox 360, you can use those controllers with a number of Ouya games, too. ()


Marvel Unlimited Plus one-year membership, $99.99: Love someone who's ever exclaimed "Make mine Marvel!"? Whether they're newer House of Ideas readers interested in characters' histories or past Merry Marvel Marching Society or FOOM members who want to revisit classics and catch up on newer titles, they may be interested in this subscription to a digital library of more than 13,000 Marvel comics issues for reading on computers and mobile devices. Membership also brings an Ultron action figure and exclusive variant edition of "Age of Ultron" No. 10. ()


Six-month Loot Crate subscription, $105.99: Give a gift that keeps on giving with a subscription to Loot Crate -- a club that delivers a monthly box of geek- and gamer-friendly goodies from the likes of Nintendo, Marvel, Capcom, Blizzard, Star Wars and more. Purchase the themed boxes in increments of one-, three- and six-month subscriptions. ()


Nintendo 2DS, $129.99: It's the Nintendo 3DS, but without that system's 3-D effect. It's not a deal breaker, as 3-D is never a requirement to enjoy a game and the 2DS is a slightly cheaper way to get your hands on one of the better systems on the market right now. Added bonus: It's more kid-proof than the 3DS, even though it lacks the ability to neatly fold up. But titles such as "Super Mario 3D Land," "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon" and "The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds" are approachable games that tinker with control schemes. ()


"Star Wars" Darth Vader auto accessories interior combo kit, $129.95: Pimping out your ride has never been so evil. The Dark Side of the Force is strong with these car accessories as you make Lord Vader your copilot with these seat and steering wheel covers and floor mats. The items probably fit all types, since they're universal (get it?). They are not guaranteed to increase your mph (mitichlorians per hour), but they could make your driving experience more fun. ()


"Star Wars Frames," $150: This gorgeous two-volume hardcover set features nearly 1,500 film frames from the "Star Wars" movies, hand-picked by creator George Lucas from more a million stills. Previously available only as a $3,000 limited edition, this new more affordable (but still beautiful) set includes one volume for the original films and one volume for the prequels, with an introduction by Guillermo del Toro. ()


"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" Tauriel's necklace, $179: The second installment in Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" trilogy introduces a brand new character to Middle-earth -- elf warrior Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly). The only piece of jewelry she wears is a delicate pendant with a star-shaped stone in its center. This replica, of sterling silver and cubic zirconia, comes in a gift box made from cherry timber and red velvet. ()


Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One: Avengers Assembled Collection, $199.99: If rewatching the first six Marvel Studios films -- "Iron Man," "The Incredible Hulk," "Iron Man 2," "Thor," "Captain America" and "The Avengers" -- on Blu-ray isn't satisfaction enough, this limited edition gift pack comes with an extra Blu-ray disc of bonus features, exclusive dossiers, a Tesseract replica and more. Rewatch the superhero movies before "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" hits theaters. ()


"Battlestar Galactica" replica Lee "Apollo" Adama bomber jacket, $234.96 Back when Lee was a young, hot shot pilot strutting around Caprica, he used to wear this jacket. Straight out of the Caprican Flight Training Academy, this bomber jacket is from the show's production designers, and could make you the envy of the fleet and the object of Starbuck's competitive affection. ()


"Doctor Who: The Complete Series 1-7" limited edition Blu-ray gift set, $349.98: This comprehensive set includes the entire rebooted series so far, including seasons 1 through 4 in high definition for the first time and hours upon hours of . Equally exciting for Whovians are the set's array of goodies, including original art cards, a "Doctor Who" comic book and, best of all, a sonic screwdriver universal remote control. (The remote is also .) Allons-y! ()


The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, $399 and $499: Finding one of these big-ticket items may be tricky, and then there's the struggle of choosing between the two. The arguments they put forth about how games can and should be integrated into our lives vary greatly. Sony's PS4 ($399) takes a targeted approach by emphasizing games and the places players go to talk about those games. Microsoft's Xbox One ($499) has broader, nongaming ambitions, relying heavily on voice controls (look, Ma, no remote!) to have viewers magically shifting among television, film, music and sports apps. ( and ) Photo credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times.


Star Trek Pinball, starting at $5,395: Star Trek is Stern's first all-LED Pro Model, with six missions, 18 complex treks and three action-centered flippers -- and that's all the tech talk you'll need for this battle, which puts players in Capt. James Kirk's chair of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The crew's key mission? Destroy the U.S.S. Vengeance. But there are classic battles between the heroic Enterprise team and the villainous Khan, as well as run-ins with Nero, Klingons and the Narada. Engage flippers! ()


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