Kotaku's Secret Santa Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again — the parties, the forced mingling with co-workers, the Christmas Party Committee (CPC) that decides that it’s a good idea to mark the end of the year with lawn bowls (man, has anyone stopped to wonder why it’s the chosen sport of retirees?) and, most tediously, the Secret Santa gift buying. To take some of the pain out of shopping for people you would rather not give anything to, we present you with the Kotaku Secret Santa Gift Guide, where everything is below $20.

First, a disclaimer! All these items are gaming-themed, so if the colleague (or school mate (or play mate (or friend mate))) you have been assigned as your Secret Santa happens to strongly dislike video games, then too bad for them!

OK, let’s’a’goooo!


Every office worker needs their own mug, and a well-designed 15oz beverage holder that also has a thick handle is the key! Some people might argue that there is nothing wrong with communal office mugs, but my mother would shout such people down and make it known that sharing anything with anyone will only lead to the spread of disease and, eventually, death. This is the same woman who believes that wearing second-hand clothing will, without doubt, lead to the wearer contracting scabies. I bet she’s at least a little bit right.

thinkgeek.com, $US12.99


Ho ho, I kid. This is not a thing used for Pac-Man ventriloquism at all! (Although if one were to have a Pac-Man ventriloquist doll, it is hard to imagine that it would look too different from this.) This novelty silicon oven mitt is perfect for anyone whose hand is capable of getting burnt by metal that has just come out of a used oven, which is basically everyone, which basically makes it The Perfect Gift. Man, I sure am helpful.

thinkgeek.com, $US14.99


I often wonder what kind of message the gift of bandages sends, especially gaming-themed bandages. The dark recesses of my brain are quick to jump to: “Hey there, DWEEB. Since you WILL hurt yourself at some point in the future, you will probably NEED bandages. In fact, this gift is only useful if you do manage to hurt yourself, so why don’t you go FALL RIGHT ON OVER, OK?” The nicer part of my brain says: “Hey, here are some cute bandages. I hope you like them! :-3”

Think about it.

fredflare.com, $US9.50


On a recent trip to the US, I brought back a whole bunch of these tins for the Kotaku/Gizmodo/Lifehacker teams. Boy did it make me (temporarily) popular! These tins are filled with little mushroom-shaped sweets that come in red flavour and green flavour. Mark told me that they are delicious but they also cut up his tongue. This made me image ninja star-wielding candies slinging themselves around his mouth. Well, that was unfortunate.

fractalspin.com, $US3


Hey, these are neat! Although, here’s a thing: a few years ago I received a baking kit as a gift because the gift giver had seen me post photos of cakes on the internet. This year I received another cake baking kit from a friend who said that she’d seen that I’d been baking. It was incredibly sweet for these two individuals to pay some attention to the things I do and respond accordingly with gifts. What these people didn’t realise is that I was baking cakes not because I like baking, but because I like cakes. I like putting them right into my mouth hole and chomping repeatedly until the delicious is in my tummy. Screw baking. Baking is for chumps. What I am trying to say is if you give someone a cookie cutter set they might really hate it!

suck.uk.com, £12


    i had a hard time choosing between the tetris and aperture science mugs. Aperture it was.

      I've just ordered the Aperture Science Pint Glass, can't wait for it to arrive! :D

    I can attest that those mushroom candies are like crack. Yum

      Hahahahahaha, just tried to order some.

      1 x Super Mario Brothers Mushroom Candy: $3.34
      Shipping: $116.77

      Hahaha thanks for coming.

    Some video game related reading material which I really recommend:

    1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, $24.39

    Yes such a book exists! Released in 2010, contains a full guide of 1001 games starting from the 70s which you must before you pass-on!

    The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic, $26.40

    An in-depth guide about the production of Star Wars: The Republic including a vast gallery of concept art. Includes a foreward by webcomic series Penny Arcade.

    Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts, $48.07

    I well in-depth look at the history of LucasArts. Includes interviews from past and current employees, detailed looks into past games, a vast look at various pieces of concept art from the game's library and a revelating read on many of the company's cancelled games including the lost Knights of the Old Republic 3 development!

      Great books and good recommendations, though I must insist we include in this list the sublime tome by Tom Bissell, "Extra Lives". It is superb, not just for the gamer in the family but the neglected spouse/children/parents/animals of the gamer in the family.

      Brilliant book which can be had for bugger all from the bookdepository.

    You can pick up some of these over here, I got some of the mushroom candy in gametraders parramatta, I've seen those pacman bandages in Kinokuniya in galleries Victoria in Sydney cbd, and I also saw the cookie cutters somewhere else. So look around, you might not have to order them from overseas and wait for them to be delivered!

      You can get the mushroom and bandages at most gametraders. I have a blue mushroom and yes they are delicious. Someone has jammed the lid on mine so I can't eat them anymore D=
      Btw there's a whole gaming lolly range including Zelda Hylian shield mints, coin block lollies, Pac man ghost sours and Bob-bomb sherbet bombs

    Pffffft... I can do better :P LOL

      Also - REALLY love those cookie cutters :D

    I'm a trade baker, so does that make me a chump?!

      "Screw baking. Baking is for chumps." Apparently you are!

      A professional chump!

      No but seriously I love baked goods. You can tell by looking at me.

    We still in time for ThinkGeek shipments?

      Yep - you've got until the 12th.

      Plus i ordered 2 lots of things from them and they got to me in 3 days! :D
      <3 UPS

      Also also - they have having a "buy on get one half-price" on all tees

        Also also also...

      Pretty sure everything I want is right here: http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/plush/e71c/?srp=5

    Hot damn, thanks for the tip. Amazon shipping is le murder, most of the time.

      Got my amazon.co.uk order in three days from dispatch! 5 days in all from ordering!! Omg

    Someone say HotDamn!?

      My name is Patrick Bateman. I'm 27 years old.

      (I'm going to be thinking this every time I see your gravatar.)

        ...but...I'm really not a soulless monster!

          So after our banter here, I watched the opening scene of American Psycho on YouTube. It was at about the two-minute mark that I realised I was at work and watching quite a lot of footage of a mostly naked man.

    Is it just me or did anyone else think you only need two cookie cutters for a pac man set? Pac Man and a Ghost, the three ghosts are all the same shape just different colours.

    That's not going to show up in the cookies... or at least I hope not.

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