Tag Archive: holiday gift idea

sw comic mini cover ab sw poster mini book cd

Whether you use it as the perfect stocking stuffer, for an office party gift swap, or you just want some convenient content to carry around in your backpack, publisher Insight Editions has the right book for you.  For Harry Potter fans we reviewed the detailed MinaLima-designed treasure trove The Art of Harry Potter–Mini Book of Graphic Design a few years ago, and for superhero fans we looked at two volumes of the history of Wonder Woman in comic book covers.  These are jam-packed books that literally fit inside your pocket, and the content spans the scope of pop culture and genre.  Love Batman?  Check.  Mickey Mouse?  Check.  Beauty and the Beast and other Disney favorites?  Check.

Today we have previews from four of Insight Editions’ books featuring Star Wars, one with the artwork of Ralph McQuarrie, a two-volume collection of Marvel comic book covers, and another with famous poster artwork that spans the 11 films.  Typically available at $11.99 or less, it’s an inexpensive source for the visual details of the movies, production, and marketing that you’ve never seen before, and a quick gift idea for your favorite Star Wars fan.

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Bullitt Mustang from poster

In a recent survey of a sci-fi collecting community, I was surprised at how many people had classic cars as a hobby prior to expanding into the sci-fi universe of collecting.  Who hasn’t dropped hints to their significant other to try to get their classic Ford or Chevy on Chip Foose’s Overhaulin’ show on the Discovery Channel?  Foose has designed vehicles for major motion pictures such as Blade Runner, Gone in 60 Seconds, and RoboCop, and he’s rebuilding cars for nominees on his show.  What’s cooler than that?  And who doesn’t wish they had Jay Leno’s garage full of classic cars, and his resources to rebuild them?

Decades ago I dreamed of taking an old classic ’57 Chevy Bel Air and rebuilding it into a street rod.  So I did it–via a 1:25 scale plastic model kit, first building the model on the box, then sanding it into a rusted mess, then building it back up into a competition orange rod.  Lots cheaper than doing it with the real thing.  Finding myself wandering a local hobby shop this weekend I noticed several new retro entries in the model car kit category that I hadn’t seen before.  I wish I had time to make them all.  So check these out, and if you have a car enthusiast, young or old, on this year’s gift giving list, keep these in mind.

Ghostbusters hearse

Who you gonna call?  How about the Ghostbusters and their Ecto-IA hearse?  It’s the car Dan Aykroyd bought and thought was just perfect for the team’s new business.  It’s from AMT and available for less than $25.

Back to the Future Time Machine

Who doesn’t think Doc Brown’s DeLorean isn’t one of the coolest cars in all of sci-fi?  You can pre-order a Back to the Future time machine car fully tricked out for less than $30.  It even comes with a flux capacitor.

Scooby Mystery Machine

Do you miss Shag and Scoob and the rest of the Scooby Gang?  How about getting your own Mystery Machine?  It’s available for less than $20.

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First of all, if we were going to talk about the best sci-fi gifts ever, we would take a lot more than one article covering that, but it may very well include the Star Wars Death Star Playset for Star Wars 4-inch action figures, which despite a lot of Star Wars toy remakes, has yet to be remade.  Ohh…that giant box, the trash compactor with its own DiaNoga monster ready to gobble up Luke and his friends, a chasm for Luke and Leia to swing across, a Guns of Navarone style cannon ready to explode, and even an elevator…what a great playset!  Oh, but that’s not what we’re talking about today…

Since the Death Star playset, I’m not sure I can think of a cooler Star Wars toy than the 2010 Remote-Controlled Millenium Falcon.  It’s fun for kids and adults (it says it is for 8 years and up), as can be attested to by yours truly and a certain local comic book shop owner I know.  With flight times up to 5 minutes and recharges of only about 20 minutes, you can play with this straight from the box.  Yep, it’s plug & play.  The remote control has a 30 foot range and can hover forwards, backwards and sideways.  Whoever designed this was a genius.  It operates from a centralized rotor system as a helicopter, that allows it to hover over eight feet straight up and the controls allow for stable flights, that, with a little work, can reflect some sweet maneuvers.  The body is styrofoam, which allows for lightweight lift and zero damage to objects in the house.  Outside this will soar, too, although it is designed for indoor flight.  It lists at $50, but I found a stack of these at TJ Maxx for $19.99.  I’ve seen these at $50 still, too, so that TJ Maxx can’t be passed up.


The next item was previewed at San Diego Comic-Con this year and actually sold out there.  It’s the Han Solo in Carbonite Ice Cube Tray.  That’s right.  Ice cube tray.   As iconic imagery goes, what’s cooler than your own mini-Han, ready for Boba Fett to transport away… in his glass of iced tea.  I hear this works well with chocolate, too.  You can find these at comic shops and all over the Web for under $10.00.

A couple of books, because everyone needs more books.  First up, The Complete Vader.  I flipped through this new book this weekend and it will hold any Star Wars fan’s attention with great photos and content.  Impressive… most impressive.  It was co-written by one of the creators of the Star Wars Vault, a good thing, and this feels like its own addition to the Vault series, including pull out items and inserts like film cells.  It lists for $60, but you can get it on the Web for $30.

The second book up is The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, which was released last year.  It will take you a year to get through this as it is chock full of everything you want to know about your favorite Star Wars movie.  Lots of great interviews, behind the scenes photos and insight behind the creative process of making a sequel to one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, like adding new characters and locations.  This book is pricy, released at $85.00 you can get it for around $50.00 if you shop around.   It will be worth it for the big Empire fan.


How about Star Wars decals for your computer, iPad, car window, etc.?  You can get one for everyone starting at $1.49 each.  Would make a great stocking stuffer.


And if you know someone who is still collecting Star Wars action figures, the 2011 Vintage Card Action Figure Series look just like the original packaging from 1978, only they include updated figures and new characters not originally available.  These can be found anywhere–Target, WalMart, Toys R Us–starting at around $7.00 each.

And last, but not least… I’m not sure how good you have to be for Santa to bring you this giant set:  Death Star Trench Run Set.  It includes the full Tie Fighter and X-Wing Fighter as well as two action figures.  “Back when I was a kid” they didn’t include action figures.  If bigger is better, then this set is the best.  The price range on this one varies from $110.00 to $150.00.

C.J. Bunce



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