Kotaku Gift Guide

Gifts For Someone Who Plays Board Games Gifts For Your Anime-Curious Loved Ones Gifts For Lego Lovers Who Have All The Lego

Gifts For Someone Who Plays Board Games

Hopefully, there is a special someone (or at least a someone you’re obligated to buy holiday gifts for) in your life that is into board games. If so, don’t buy them board games! Buy them cool stuff that helps them store or organise their board games, they’ll like that better.

Feldherr Storage Inserts & Bags

Feldherr Storage Inserts & Bags

If you know someone into a game with miniatures, whether it be 40K or X-Wing, these are the bees knees. They’re padded bags carrying special foam sheets—often custom-cut—that you can store delicate pieces in, keeping them safe both in storage and when moving around in a car or something. The item linked below is for X-Wing, but Feldherr sell loads more types for different games.

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Gripmat

Gripmat

Regular table surfaces are fine for most people’s gaming, but when you’ve gotta move pieces around and soften the impact of dice rolling around the place, a good mat is worth the price. GripMat’s are probably the best out there, as they’re thicker and grippier than most of the competition, which tend to be little more than giant mousepads. You can get them blank, or with specific graphics printed on them more suitable for games like Tanks, Wings of War or X-Wing.

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Wyrmwood Dice Towers

Wyrmwood make a whole range of gorgeous, quality accessories for board games, but the nicest are probably their dice towers, which aside from being available in a variety of woods are also held together magnetically, so you can disassemble them and tuck them away for storage/travel.

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Treasure Chests

Treasure Chests

While Stonemaier make their own games (like the excellent Scythe), they’ve also got a cool side-project where they release premium game parts for a select series of titles, both of their own and other company’s making. If someone’s favourite dungeon crawler or Cthulhu game uses cardboard/plastic tokens and pieces, these Treasure Chests offer replacements made of premium materials like ceramic and metal, which are available both in small sets of 10x tokens, as well as larger boxes.

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KMC Card Sleeves

KMC Card Sleeves

There are a lot of sleeves out there on the market for the kind of person who needs to keep their Magic/Netrunner/Pokemon cards in pristine condition. KMC’s are, I think, the best, both in terms of fit and in build quality.

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Tea Tins

Tea Tins

Tea tins are handy for keeping actual tea leaves in, yeah, but they’re also cool options for storing dice and game tokens, since they stack neatly, look nice and have transparent lids so that you can see what’s in each tin.

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Flight Deck Card Organizer

Flight Deck Card Organizer

There are a number of good organisers out there on the market (I’ve used e-Raptor’s previously and liked them), designed to keep your assortment of cards and tokens in one handy place. My favourite at the moment is the Flight Deck, because with its vertical orientation it not only keeps things tidy, but gives you some privacy and, most important of all, can save precious table space.

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Gifts For Your Anime-Curious Loved Ones

Shopping for the anime-curious? Need a quick, but special, gift for your friend who finds the whole “anime” thing confusing and intriguing? Maybe she’s seen half an episode of Cowboy Bebop and thought it was pretty sick. Or he lets out a little “squee...!” when he sees your plush collection.

There are some tried and true entry points for the prototaku, friend, and we’d be happy to share them with you. The best gifts are the ones recipients wouldn’t normally buy. So, check out our gift guide for the anime newb below.

Cowboy Bebop Box Set

Cowboy Bebop Box Set

Nobody doesn’t like space opera/infinite jazz breakdown Cowboy Bebop. It’s true. Even the most anime-ambivalent of us can get down with a little sci-fi bounty hunter action. Clocking out at a light 26 episodes, it’s not an intimidating thing to take on. Also, the big band soundtrack is gold.

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The Art of Spirited Away

The Art of Spirited Away

Spirited Away is is just as good at age 7 as it is at 26. That’s because it’s accessible, refined and gorgeous. Director Hayao Miyazaki doesn’t skimp on details: Spirited Away’s spirit bath house is intricate in architecture, full of bizarre creature and set in a stunningly strange other world. The Art of Miyazaki’s Spirited Away includes sketches, commentary and storyboards from the world-class anime, which, to those outside the fandom, could grace a coffee table or give them a lead-in to Miyazaki’s corpus of work.

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Octopus Sushi Plush

Octopus Sushi Plush

So cute. So cute. I have one of these. It brings me joy every god damn day. Is it a cat? Is it a sushi? Is it both? Many of my friends have asked these questions. I won’t call this a conversation-starter, but it sure looks like it fell right out of an anime.

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Revolutionary Girl Utena Box Set

Revolutionary Girl Utena Box Set

In 1997, Revolutionary Girl Utena broke ground in the magical girl anime genre. It’s about a chivalrous girl who wants more than anything to be a prince. The anime features gender-bending, lady love and awesome fight scenes. In 2016, Revolutionary Girl Utena is, objectively, a little silly and over-earnest. The art book inside the box set, also, is stunning. A friend actually bought this for me last year and I was pretty floored.

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Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Volumes 1-4

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Volumes 1-4

Nausicaä is hardcore. She’s a princess and a fighter who’s inherited a kingdom in a post-apocalyptic world, overrun by a toxic jungle. Behemoth insects destroy everything in their path. It’s on Nausicaä to strike a compromise between human settlements, the bugs and the scientific realities of living a chemically hostile environment. The graphics novels are a great buy for anyone passionate about the environment, and especially for people who love strong female protagonists.

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Gifts For Lego Lovers Who Have All The Lego

The Lego lovers in your life probably aren’t wanting for little plastic bricks. While adding to the pile is a quick and easy method for marking them off your gift list, why not show off your own creativity by thinking outside of the blocks?

Here is a selection of Lego gifts selected to inspire builders to new heights, or at the least show them how much you appreciate the passion they possess for their pastime.

A Book Of Ideas

A Book Of Ideas

A pile of bricks is nothing without a plan to bring them all together, and even the most gifted Lego designer can benefit from a fresh set of original designs. There are ton of Lego idea books out there, including the official Lego Ideas Book, which is so ubiquitous a blind gift purchase might be risky. For something light and thematically appropriate, we recommend The Lego Christmas Ornaments Book by oft-featured creator Chris McVeigh. Chris has a real flair for making amazing tiny versions of awesome things, and these 15 creations can teach builders of all skill levels a thing or two.

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More Surface To Build On

More Surface To Build On

What to do when every horizontal surface is covered with spaceships, volcanoes, fire trucks and minifigs? It’s time to go vertical, or maybe even upside-down. While gluing official Lego base plates to walls and ceilings is certainly an option, peel-and-stick third-party solutions are much more convenient. These babies cling to surfaces tenaciously, transforming them for boring to Lego-bearing.

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You Put Your Lego Bits In There

You Put Your Lego Bits In There

As a builder who has Lego bits in at least fifteen different drawers around my home, this one is personal. Organization is essential to a smooth Lego workflow. Being able to see a small drawer filled with red single circle studs is so much better than thinking you saw one in the one of a dozen junk drawers. While others may prefer something with a bit more visual flair, I love the utilitarian feel of Stack-On’s line of stackable storage cabinets. They make building even the most random nonsense feel like a delicate operation.

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A Fancy Display Cabinet For Their Fancy Lego Things

From kit builds to custom creation, every Lego build deserves to be seen in the best possible light. A quality curio cabinet is a much better display space than on top of that one cabinet in the kitchen or on the top shelf of your children’s closet because they’d never think to look there. Unless cantankerous kids are present, tempered glass is the way to go. Not only does it afford the best view, it’s also great for applying backdrops and custom lighting.

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Lego Office And School Supplies Are Totally A Thing

If you’re looking for something that’s officially Lego but decidedly different, Lego makes an entire line of office/school supplies, combining connectable brick elements with everyday items like gel pens, erasers, colored pencils, buildable rulers and more. You can find all of those and a lot more over at Amazon.

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If All Else Fails, Mug 'Em

If All Else Fails, Mug 'Em

What do you get the Lego fan who has everything? Something they won’t mind having more of, like a coffee mug with plenty of brick-sticking area. One of the more popular brick-i-fied everyday items, the Build On Brick coffee mug is the perfect accessory for any desk on which Lego might be assembled. I’m primarily a kit builder, and there are always extra parts left over. They could really use a mug to cling to, I’m just saying.

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