Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Gift Guide for Dorks 2011

Do you smell that? Take a moment and breathe in your surroundings. Is there some apple spiced cider in the air? Or some hint of peppermint candy canes and vanilla sugar cookies? Or pine. I'm sure some of you can smell pine right now. That can only mean that it is the holiday season! And no matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year there is no hiding the fact that at some point you will have to buy something for someone. And if you have been spared that fate, please, don't rub it in. That is just rude.

So here is an interesting statistic brought to you by the University of Higher Dorkette Knowledge. Three out ten people you know are dorky. You may even be one of the three. Don't panic, there is no reason to freak out. I don't think dork is contagious. Though you never really know these days.

With that information out there, let's look at a real stone cold fact. Non-dorky people find themselves completely perplexed at what kind of gift to give to the dorky person in their life. It is even more difficult when the non-dorky person has no idea that they are even amongst dorks. Now I could break down all the tall tale signs to see if that person you know is dorky, but I don't have the time. To save a minute of your life let's take a look at some really great gift ideas for that special dorky someone be it a friend, family member, lover, or whatever. Feel free to also leave comments with other ideas as well!

1. Comic Subscription- Reading comics is a process. A long time ago you could take a gamble and walk into a convenient store to see if the latest comic story was out. The plan was always simple enough, hold your breath and live on a prayer. Then you'd quickly walk into the corner store, buy some Sprees and get the latest issue. Unless of course some other dorky person had already been there. As for finding independent comics? Forget it, that might as well never existed. Now with the advent of comic stores everything is much easier, unless you live far away from one. I am truly sorry if you live far from a comic store, it must be very hard. This is why a comic subscription would be a great gift for a dorky person. The subscription could come directly from the comic company (i.e. a Marvel subscription) or there could be a subscription set up with a local comic store. Most dorks probably have this set-up already, but if you know someone that is wanting to start, this could be perfect! 

2. Animation on DVD- What would the world be like if we didn't have dvd and blu-ray? How would we ever remember our favorite moments in cartoon history? I guess there'd always be youtube, but come on, nothing beats watching an old cartoon on a dvd whenever you want. So if someone in your life is obsessed with a particular cartoon from yesteryear chances are that show is out on dvd (and even blu-ray in certain cases.) Got a fan of Transformers? Or how about My Little Pony? Jem? Even He-Man and She-Ra have their own shows on dvd. I even hear that the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special is quite popular this time of year. My goodness they even have the Reboot series for crying out loud. Of course the perfect accessory to any old cartoon would be the third item on this guide...

3. Cereal Geek- Know someone who loves animation from the '80s? Well head on over to Cereal Geek and prepare to hand out one great gift (or two, or three.) Cereal Geek is a fantastic glossy magazine brought to you by James Eatock and features great photos and articles from many talented people. There are no ads in the magazines, which means more content. They are perfect for anyone who is a fan of '80s animation. And really, who isn't?

4. Books- Forget the Nook. There are just certain books that must be physically in your hands. Here are some favorites for all kinds of dorky folk-

  • Just Can't Get Enough by Matthey Robinson and Jensen Karp. A fabulous book that breaks down many cool things from the '80s. Toys, games, and even scented stickers are covered!
  • Totally Tubular '80s Toys by Mark Bellomo. A larger book that covers toys from the decade of excess. We really collected a lot of shit back then didn't we?
  • The Lego Book by Daniel Lipkowitz with extra book entitled Standing Small: A Celebration of 30 Years of the Lego Minifigure by Nevin Martell. Quite possibly the greatest compilation of Lego information ever.
  • Barbie Doll Photo Album 1959 to 2009 Identification & Values by J. Michael Augustyniak. This book contains tons of Barbie information.
  • Barbie: All Dolled Up by Jennie D'Amato. This book celebrates 50 years of Barbie. Homegirl looks pretty good all these years later.
  • The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy by Yoshitaka Amano. This book isn't out yet but can be pre-ordered. It covers all the art from the Final Fantasy series.
  • All My Life by Susan Lucci. 'Nuff said. Why this book isn't on everyone's must read list is beyond me.
Gift cards- Forget trying to find action figures or dolls for a dorky person. Unless you have been properly schooled in the ways of a toy master it is really difficult to come across hidden joys of plastic, which is why I find it very important to know thy local Toys-R-Us. A gift card can never go wrong and this year's crop of plastic cash cards are super fun. I am thinking of purchasing the unicorn card for myself. (They make excellent bookmarks.)

Get artsy- Are you good at making things? Well some dorky folk might appreciate a custom made doll or action figure. No I don't mean running out to sculpt and mold the plastic into an actual product. That would just be excessive and it would make everyone else's gifts look like crap. What you do is take already existing products and customize them to fit the needs of the person you are giving the gift to. For example I am done waiting for Mattel to stop scratching their back sides and get to making a special edition set of She-Ra Barbie dolls. So I made my own custom Glimmer Barbie doll below (and am working on other members of the Great Rebellion too!)

She was real easy. I simply studied the vintage toy and took notes for what types of items I would need to make a fun updated version. The doll itself was new. I just used a Swappin' Style Barbie body and bought the head which was perfect! Next I simply went about searching for the right clothing to make this doll look the best she possibly could to the vintage Glimmer. It wasn't that hard, it just took awhile. However the holidays are upon us so this gift idea might be pushing it timewise. There is always next year though!

I think that is good for now on the gift guide. There are many wonderful gifts out there to give to a dorky person. I have only mentioned a few, so get out there and look around! Access those hidden dorky areas of your otherwise non-dorky brain! Show that person in your life that you care about them and their love of all things dork. Make it the dorkiest holiday season yet!

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