If you enjoy collecting gaming paraphernalia it's a glorious time to be alive. We can't remember the last time there were so many toys, clothes, books and super-cool doodads jostling for the gamer's dollar. Because we love you, we've sifted through this sea of electronica to bring you the ultimate loot guide. The following goodies range from cheap 'n' cheerful to cripplingly expensive. There are also links to where you can buy all this stuff online. It's summer: treat yourself! (Those mortgage/rent payments can wait.)
Last year, our buddies over at Lifehacker assembled a stupidly exhaustive Christmas gift guide aimed at self-professed geeks and gamers. Since then, a lot of this stuff has come down in price so we figured now was the time to bring some of it to your attention. Click on the prices to go the product's online store.
Raspberry Pi [$45]
The ultimate gift for DIY-ers, the Raspberry Pi will keep whizkids busy tinkering away until next summer. Click here to see just a few of the amazing hacks people have pulled off with this platform. Best of all, the latest version is smaller, thinner and cheaper. Local pricing for the new model is around $45 from the official Australian distributor. The launch list price is $US20,so it would pay to shop around.
Stormtrooper Designer Star Wars Watch [$149.99]
This bad boy is made from genuine leather, stainless steel and glass. It's water-resistant up to 50 meters and comes with a collector's certificate with serial number and a black and silver padded box.
Classic Arcade Wristwatch [$49.99]
Okay, this one is properly geeky. It’s a wristwatch shaped like a retro arcade cabinet; complete with a working fire button that makes “pew-pew-pew” noises. Sex is overrated anyway.
Nintendo Power Glove Oven Mitt [$39]
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
Portal 2 Inter-Spatial Portal Earrings [$12.99 ]
Sometimes I kinda wish I was a girl. This is one of those moments.
Black Milk Game Of Thrones collection [From $60]
If the lady in your life is a die-hard aSoIaF fan, these skimpy Game Of Thrones-inspired outfits will bring you both a lot of enjoyment. Examples include an Iron Throne skater dress, a dragon egg-print Vegas suit and Littlefinger leggings. Prices start at $60.
Black Milk Hobbit Map dress [$66]
If you/your girl prefers Middle-Earth to Westeros, this is the dress to get. (As an added bonus, you'll never get lost in the Misty Mountains again.)
TMNT Krang T-Shirt [$36]
Okay, so this one has nothing to do with video games but c'mon: it's a T-shirt that turns the wearer into Krang's exo-suit. Every gamer needs this in their wardrobe.
Black Milk Mass Effect N7 "Wet Look" Leggings [$85]
These skin-tight leggings are guaranteed to turn Paragons into Renegades -- there's just no way anything this slinky could be in any way virtuous.
Say What Again! T-Shirt [$23.57]
The Pulp Fiction Brett/Jules face-off "re-imagined" as an 8-bit adventure game. The perfect gift for gamer-cum-movie buffs.
Super Mario Bros Warp Zone Socks [$12]
Who said socks need to be boring? These retro-flavoured Super Mario Bros Warp Zone socks are geeky-cool but still understated enough to wear to a big board meeting. Maybe.
Portal Chell Romper Suit [$47.99]
This officially-licensed Romper jumpsuit lets you dress just like Chell from Portal 2. It comes in a range of sizes and appears to be gender-neutral so anybody can strut their stuff. The best bit is the tiny Companion Cube zipper pull. Awww.
8-Bit Treasure Chest [$29.99]
This one's just cute, okay? It lights up and plays a treasure-finding ditty when opened.
Game Of Thrones Legacy Collection [From $28]
The latest Game Of Thrones video game is based on the HBO TV series, which just about justifies the inclusion of these action figures. Each character boasts more than 20 points of articulation and stands up to 6.5 inches tall. Some moulds are more faithful than others: the John Snow figure looks nothing like Kit Harrington while Tyrion/Dinklage doll is spot on. Prices start at $28.
Remote-controlled Pac-Man and Ghost Racers [$41.99]
These retro 1980s throwbacks can move in six different directions and make the sound effects you'd expect. Now I want to build a huge tabletop maze and play Pac-Man in real life. The joystick-shaped remote controls are an especially nice touch.
Doom Cacodemon Plush [$15]
Remember that floating red demon from Doom? He's back -- in plush form. The perfect stocking stuffer for any veteran gamer.
Mass Effect Bobble Heads [$7.99]
First, the bad news: no FemShep. Boo-urns! Now the good news: each bobble head costs just $7.99 and they all look totally adorable. You can choose between Garrus, Grunt, Miranda, Shepard, or Tali.
Console Wars by Blake J Harris [$37]
Blake J Harris' Console Wars gives a fascinating insight into the battle for video game supremacy waged between Sega and Nintendo in the early '90s. It focuses on the exploits of Sega America's CEO Tom Kalinske and his gung-ho team of marketers, strategists and engineers. A movie adaptation is currently under development (ironically from Sony) with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg tipped to star.
The Art of Naughty Dog [$48]
This fascinating tome charts the visual evolution of the video game developer Naughty Dog: from Crash Bandicoot all the way through to The Last Of Us. The book includes introspective essays from studio staff as well as a selection of jaw-dropping fan art. It also comes with its own slipcase.
Cosplay World [$28]
From Kotaku's own Brian Ashcraft and Luke Plunket comes this glossy celebration of all things cosplay: it contains a detailed history of the phenomena, interviews with the biggest cosplay celebrities, tips on creating your own costumes and over two hundred photographs.
Nigri by Larry Alan [$40]
Cosplay queen Jessica Nigri also has a new book out showcasing her collaborations with photographer Larry Alan. The result is a 150-page coffee table book chronicling three years of highly creative cosplay. If you know any closet Nigri fans, this is the gift to get them.
The Art of Alien: Isolation [$40]
Alien: Isolation was one of the most visually arresting video games of 2014. This 176-page art book contains a gallery of nostalgic terror, including swathes of promotional paintings and concept art from the game's production team. There are over 300 images in all. You may want to pair this with a nightlight: you're going to need it.
Star Wars Concept [$42]
This is a lavishly illustrated coffee table book that collects the best conceptual artwork from the Star Wars universe; from Ralph McQuarrie’s designs for the original trilogy to the latest video game output.
Seconds by Bryan Lee OMalley [$28]
The hotly anticipated follow-up to Bryan Lee OMalley’s Scott Pilgrim series is finally here. His new story follows the time-bending exploits of Katie; a young chef who attempts to do-over past mistakes with the help of a magical stranger. If anyone you know enjoyed Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World or the comics it was based on, they’ll be sure to get a kick out of this.
Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull [$28]
Here's one for our white collar readers. This is a fascinating business book from the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, Ed Catmull. Drawing insights from the studio's famous "Braintrust" sessions, Catmull explains how to build a creative culture in the workplace that will lead to better profits.
Harry Potter: The Creature Vault [$39]
It's a new Harry Potter book! Actually, it's just a collection of concept art that takes a look at how the various creatures that populate J.K Rowling's world were translated from the page to the silver screen. Nevertheless, Potterheads will lap it up.
Dungeons & Dragons: Monster Manual [$47]
This year, Wizards of the Coast completely overhauled the D&D rule book for the fifth time in its 40-year history. The jewel of the new collection is the updated Monster Manual which contains hundreds of creatures from the game world, complete with details histories and full colour illustrations. Even if you've never rolled a die, it's worth getting as a bestiary.
Good Night Darth Vader by Jeffrey Brown [$15]
Remember that Star Wars-loving couple we mentioned? If they happen to have a kids, get this awesome picture book too!
The World Of Ice And Fire by George R. R. Martin, et al [$35]
This lavishly illustrated, 336-page coffee table book chronicles the complete history of Westeros; from the Age of Heroes through to Robert's rebellion and beyond. It's basically George R. R. Martin's version of The Silmarillion that spans his entire world; including the Free Cities of Essos, the Dothraki, Asshai by the Shadow and the savage jungles of Sothoryos. This is an engrossing tome that any Game Of Thrones fan will be sure to treasure.
Halo 2 Anniversary Digital Soundtrack [$21.99]
To celebrate Halo 2's 10-year anniversary (blimey, I feel old), Microsoft has re-recorded the complete orchestral score. There are a whopping 35 tracks to digest, including some original music inspired by the game. The Halo 2 Anniversary Soundtrack is available on iTunes and Google Play for $29.99 and $21.99, respectively. `
The Music of Grand Theft Auto V collection [$55]
Nobody buys CDs anymore, right? Nevertheless, this will make a very cool present for any die-hard GTA fan. This handsomely produced box set contains 59 tracks from the game spread across three discs; including original music from A$AP Rocky, Tyler, The Creator, Twin Shadow, Wavves, Flying Lotus, Yeasayer and others. An LP version is also available which comes with six vinyl records.
Alto C Ocarina Flute [$17]
The Lengend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time is one of the best video games of all time. You can now get a ceramic, kiln-fired version of the titular flute for just $17. It contains 12 holes with a pitch range of A4 to F6, including sharps and flats. The box includes playing instructions and a picture of Link getting his groove on: a perfect gift for musically-minded Zelda fans.
Monopoly: The Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition [$75]
If you know any Zelda fans who also happen to love Monopoly, this gift is a no-brainer. The gameboard spaces are all based on Hyrule locations while the houses and hotels are replaced with Deku sprouts and Deku trees. But the best bit are the specialised game pieces which include the Hylian Shield, Triforce symbol, Boomerang, Slingshot and Bow.
Caffeine Molecule Stainless Travel Mug [$4.95]
Stainless steel travel mug is perfect for brainy caffeine addicts.
Magic The Gathering: Khans Of Takir Fat Pack [$60]
Yeah, it doesn't get much geekier than this. If your friends are into card-based role playing or you suspect they might enjoy it, start with the Magic The Gathering: Khans Of Takir Fat Pack, which includes a Player's Guide, two full deck boxes, nine 15-card booster packs, 80 basic land cards, and a special-edition life counter.
Extravagant (over $100)
Fallout Vault-Tec Aviator Watch [$265]
Wear your Fallout devotion on your sleeve with this stylish wristwatch officially licensed from Bethesda. Limited to 500, each Vault-Tec Aviator watch is individual numbered and encased in a custom-designed "vault" that includes a certificate of authenticity. It boasts Japanese 6-Hand Seiko VD53 Chronograph Quartz movement with hours, minutes, seconds and date displays.
Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device [$119]
The Chell suit we mentioned earlier isn't complete without this bad boy. This is a 1:1 scale replica of the Handheld Portal Device that can be customised with different outer shells and LED colors. It also plays sounds from the games when you hit the fire button.
Loot Crate [From $27 per month]
The gift that keeps on giving! Loot Crate is a special gift service that delivers a mystery batch of geek-and-gamer gear every month of the year. Past goodies have included Zelda T-shirts, Halo trading cards, Minecraft merch, Pokemon figurines and Street Fighter Bobble Heads. Recipients also score a bunch of movie and comic memorabilia. Pricing starts at $27 per month including shipping. Each crate contains a combined retail value of at least $40.
Nintendo 3DS Retro NES Edition [$299]
It's a Nintendo 3DS designed to look like a classic NES controller. You know you want it.
Dragonborn Metal Print [$275]
For the Skyrim fan who has everything. There are only 100 of these limited-edition aluminum prints in existence. Measuring 17x30 inches, each print is glassless and frameless with a chromaluxe aluminum white gloss finish. The applied coating process provides an incredible depth of color that can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner. Fus Ro Dah!
First 4 Figures Tanooki Suit Mario Statue [$170]
This exquisitely detailed statue depicts Mario in his famous flying suit from Super Mario 3D Land. It stands 15 inches tall and boasts hand-finished detail and paint work. It's limited to 2000 pieces and includes a hand-numbered base and certificate of authenticity.
Assassin's Creed Altair cosplay costume [$168]
For the parkour fan who has always wanted to get into cosplay, but can't be arsed making their own costume. This is a hand-crafted replica of Altair's iconic threads. The package includes a vambrace gauntlet, waistband and boots. You can also get one custom-tailored.
Shenmue Ryo Statue [$169.99]
No, your eyes don't deceive you: you're looking at an officially licensed Ryo Hazuki statue from the cult-favourite Shenmue series. It stands an impressive 12-inches tall and has been painted by hand. Now if only Sega would pull its finger out and release Shenmue III.
Sonic Screwdriver Official Replica [$1800]
How come there haven't been any good Doctor Who video games? It's literally one of the most game-friendly premises imaginable: you could have the Doctor traveling through time and space as he battles famous foes with a mixture or brain and brawn. Telltale Games would totally hit it out of the park. But I digress. This is an exact replica of the 11th and 12th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver that also plays sounds from the show. This one isn't shipping until early 2015, but we reckon the recipient will let that slide when they consider the price tag.