Holiday Gift Guide #8: Stocking Stuffer and Last Minute

Geek Culture Gift Guide Reviews

With only a few sleeps left before presents start magically appearing under our Christmas trees, the time is short to finish the gift buying. Fortunately I’ve finished all my shopping with only one final present in transit at this time. Most of the items below are available for quick shipping and should make it to your door by sometime Wednesday if you order early enough.

Skylanders Minis

Skylanders minis have been updated for Trap Team and are available in two packs. No longer just side-kicks, the minis are fully upgradable characters with their own personality and abilities. If you’re quick and order today you could have these in time for Santa’s arrival, otherwise check out a local Target or other box store.

Available with Prime shipping from Amazon: Skylanders Trap Team: Spry & Mini Jini – Mini Character 2 Pack

Artisan Dice

Artisan Dice is a small company located just down the road from me in Mesquite, Texas. They produce hand made polyhedral dice in a wide range of exotic and high tech materials. I’m partial to the hardwoods but would also love a set of their titanium polyhedral dice. Prices vary greatly by material and are not cheap, but for a handmade product I think they are reasonable. A single d20 will cost around $25. Full 10 dice polyhedral sets start around $100 for the least expensive woods.

Check them out at

Pantone: 35 Inspirational Color Palletes

If you’re color pallette-challenged like I am, finding groups of colors that look great together is difficult. Sometimes you end up with garish combinations that are more effective than your strong morning coffee. Pantone has put out a clever book containing 35 different color palette combinations, four colors per palette. Use them when you paint rooms, coordinate clothes, design a quilt, or do anything else containing multiple colors.

Buy it at Amazon. (JW)

Image: Chronicle Books

Vaavud Wind Meter

If you’re an amateur meterologist (or even a professional one), sometimes you can be curious about how strong the wind is blowing. No need for a complicated weather station. Plug a Vaavud wind meter up to your phone and hold it into the wind. You’ll be able to measure wind speed, gust speed, wind direction, and more. It contains no batteries or electronics, and it fits in your pocket. It even comes with its own pouch.

Buy it at Amazon. (JW)

Image: Vaavud

star wars command
Star Wars Command play sets

Now that the Episode VII teaser has once again proven that everyone is a Star Wars fan, Hasbro’s new Command toy line is sure to monopolize Christmas stockings nationwide. These small scale figure and vehicle packs span characters and events across the breadth of Star Wars cannon, and – while there are larger, more elaborate (and expensive) sets on the market – there are ample low-priced selections sure to please fans of all ages. Imagine the green army men of days past, but with midi-chlorians that are off the scale!

[Review materials provided by: Hasbro] (Z.)

ultimate nes remix
Ultimate NES Remix

If you played the NES Remix series on Wii U chances are you loved it, and if you loved it on your console you’re definitely going to want to check it out on your handheld. Take on retro challenges from 16 of Nintendo’s own 8-bit classics – including Super Mario Bros. 3, Metroid and Excitebike – as well as sprite-swapped “remixed” content, its exciting Championship Mode and even the all new, double-time Speed Mario Bros. variant. A must for old school gamers and a solid (but still widely appealing) introduction to these titles of old, Ultimate NES Remix is the stocking-stuffer you’ve been searching for.

[Review materials provided by: Nintendo of America] (Z.)

Syrinscape Screenshot


Need a last-minute gift for the DM in your life? Check out Syrinscape, an app that creates soundscapes for use in your role-playing games. It’s not just a soundtrack, either–there are various types of sounds that play at random intervals, and you can adjust the frequency and the volume of each to create your own custom environment. If you play Pathfinder, even better–there are SoundSet packs specially designed for Pathfinder, but plenty of others (including sci-fi). Buy a few packs, or get a subscription. Check out the Syrinscape website for more. Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. (JL)


Holidays mean travel, and travel means a need for power. Not the “great responsibility” kind, but the “my shiny super device is going to be a non-functional brick in three minutes” kind of power. There are hundreds of options for on-the-go power boosts, but my favorite for this year’s stockings is the MimoPowerTube. It is a sleek, simple battery, featuring a USB port and multiple adapters for all your devices. If it’s USB compatible, it can be charged. My favorite part? The variety of geeky designs include: robots, owls, Star Wars, and more!

Buy it at Amazon (RS)

Geeky Socks

It seems that every year, socks make it under the tree. This year, mix it up. Put geeky socks in the stockings. A meta-gift, if you will. There are so many geeky options these days, it’s a great way to find the perfect gift. Many of them even have appropriately themed capes! In men’s, I’ve found Thor (caped), Wolverine, Batman (caped), and Deadpool. In women’s, I’m loving Bazinga (The Big Bang Theory – caped), Batman and Robin (caped), and Superman (caped), all in kneesocks. No matter what kind of geek you are, let your flag (or capes) fly high with style.

Buy them at Amazon. (RS)

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