Pop Critica’s 2015 Holiday Shopping Guide

We here at Pop Critica decided to put together one of them fandangled holiday shopping guides this year (we dropped the ball last year). Below is a sampling of items that we thought would make for some good ideas for gifts and stocking stuffers for the coming holiday season.

A New Take on a Classic

If you’re a Gen-Xer, you most likely played with or owned a slot car track. For the uninitiated, slot cars are powered miniature vehicles that race along a grooved track. A pressure trigger controller acts as your throttle and the tighter you squeeze, the fast the vehicle goes. Squeeze the trigger just right and you’re spin around the track for hours; squeeze too hard around a hairpin corner and your vehicle will “crash” off the track. Flash forward today and the ingenious Anki OVERDRIVE, which reinvents the slot car experience. Gone are the restricting track slots and overly sensitive controllers. With OVERDRIVE, cars are controlled by an app on your mobile device, can be powered-up and use all of the track space in racing. But don’t take our word, check out the video of OVERDRIVE in action. Because of its, nostalgic value, innovative design and cross-generational appeal, Anki OVERDRIVE is our must get gift of the holiday season.


Get Your Gaming On!

Bundle The Goodness, Two Of 2015’s Top Games Come With Xbox One and PlayStation 4

When it comes to modern console systems, the hot ticket items are the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Both systems are the latest and greatest in pushing the boundaries of gaming tech. The hottest versions of both these consoles come with two of the hottest games of this coming holiday season, Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront.

Join In The Fun, Take Home 2015’s Hottest Video Games

You don’t want to miss out on one of the hottest games of 2015, so if you already have the console, then check out these great titles. The next chapter in the Call of Duty franchise has shown the series still has some muscle, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 calls forth for some heroes to take up the fight. If you thought the Halo series was done, then think again, Halo 5: Guardians is the start of an all-new chapter for the series. Also, if you have any Transformers fans in your life, then you will definitely want to check out Transformers: Devastation. It features many fan favorites in their Generation 1 appearances, sure to be a hit with any fan of the Robots In Disguise! There are so many great games available this season that this list is just a sampling of what to check out.


Nintendo Deserves Some Love, Too

While the Nintendo Wii U may not have the muscle of the Xbox One or PS4, it’s definitely got it where it counts—-games. One of this year’s surprise hits for the Wii U, Splatoon is available as part of a bundle with Nintendo’s flagship console. If you’re picking up a Wii U, don’t forget the amiibo, Nintendo’s RFID-equipped character figurines that interact and extend your games. -Rich


Old School Gamers Can Feel Like It Is 1987 All Over Again

Retro gaming is making a serious comeback. Over the past few years we have seen quite a few modern reboots of classic games from back in the day. This Christmas, you may want to look at the Hyperkin RetroN 5 for that loved one who loves retro gaming. Old school games have never looked better than in crisp HDMI on a HD TV. It comes with droid technology to allow for updates to improve the system functions, original controllers compatibility, and the ability to actually save your progress. So yes, you can finally beat that ridiculously hard Ninja Gaiden game. The Hyperkin RetroN 5 Retro Video Gaming System allows you to play any game from the NES, SNES, Super Famicom, Genesis, Mega Drive, Famicom, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance systems. It is available for $129.99 at Amazon. -Travis


Conquer The Lands of Westeros With Risk: Game of Thrones Edition

There is no denying the popularity of Game of Thrones. What began with the books and then eventually exploded with the television series, Game of Thrones is a pop culture juggernaut. Until the last few years though, there hasn’t been much in the way of collectibles. Maybe a statue or collectible here and there, but that changed with more statues, prop replicas, action figures and more. One definite standout item would be the Risk: Game of Thrones Board Game. This game allows you to immerse yourself in the world of Game of Thrones without the fear or losing your head! This is sure to be a hit with your GoT fan. -Rich

  • It features 2 custom maps, including Westeros and Essos
  • Over 600 unique game pieces including armies represented by the nine great noble Houses
  • There are 3 different ways to play: Skirmish, Dominion, or World at War
  • You can have 2-7 player games


Toys and More Toys!

Nobody Is Mightier Than Devastator!

When it comes to Transformers, you would think that a vehicle of some kind that transforms into a two or three-story tall robot was impressive, but some would say you are wrong. Those that transform from those single robots into a Combiner are where it is at, and Devastator is proof of that. Formed from the six Constructicons that feature alt modes of construction vehicles, these guys don’t build, they destroy and they do it with style. The Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Devastator Figure Set features all six of the Constructicons and can form the mighty Gestault. And the price on Amazon right now is a steal! This will make any Transformers fan, young or old, smile from ear-to-ear.


Bustin’ Is Good With The LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1

One of my all time favorite LEGO releases is the Ghostbusters Ecto-1, as it looks great once assembled. Not a killer on the Christmas budget in comparison to some of the other Lego sets. With the LEGO Ghostbusters Firehouse Headquarters available soon, the LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 (#21108) is a must for fans. -Travis


Visit Endor With The LEGO Star Wars Ewok Village

The Star Wars LEGO line can be quite overwhelming when shopping this holiday season. But one set you can definitely find a hit with, is the Star Wars Ewok Village, as it is one of the best sets to-date. Might want to make sure you have a few hours to spare for putting this set together before you open it though. Check out the LEGO Star Wars (#10236) Ewok Village for a gift that will deliver hours of fun. -Travis


The Force Is Strong With Hasbro’s Star Wars Black Series

One of the most anticipated films in years is about to open in theaters in just a few short weeks. Star Wars: The Force Awakens starts a new chapter in the space opera saga and the merchandising behind this movie is huge. Some of the hottest toys this season will be based on this movie. In our opinion, some of the best Star Wars collectibles for your money are the Star Wars Black Series 6” Figures, which you can get based on the movie, or from the original trilogy and prequels.


Nobody Can Hear You Scream In Space, But You’ll Hear Your Someone Special Scream With Joy Over NECA’s Aliens Collectible Figures

When it comes to sci-fi, there are many fans that the 1979 Alien and 1986 Aliens movies are at the top of their lists. Over 35 years later the original film is a fan favorite and NECA Aliens Series of action figures are great ideas for gifts too. The Xenomorph Queen Ultra Deluxe Boxed Action Figure or the Deluxe Vehicle Power Loader (P 5000) will make any adult collector jump and down with joy for some time. These are very popular collectible items. As are many of the Aliens Series 7-Inch Action Figures that include the heroine Ellen Ripley, the Colonial Marines, Xenomorphs and the deadpan synthetic, Bishop.


Heroes Come In All Sizes, The Imaginext DC Super Heroes Prove That

If you have a superhero fan that is maybe a little too young for some of the things we have suggested, then we have a suggestion for you. The Imaginext DC Super Heroes line from Fisher-Price. This line has some of the best sellers for the holiday season that is a guarantee to be a hit with the little heroes in your life. The Imaginext DC Super Friends Transforming Batcave and the DC Super Friends Hall of Justice, are at the top of playsets for kids. And what goes great with these playsets? Well that would be the heroes and villains, so grab some DC Super Friends Figures for them to enjoy as well.


Time Traveling, TV Heroes & Villains, Monsters and More!

When it comes to variety of collectibles based on pop culture, Diamond Select Toys has what you need. They have a great selection of affordable statues, busts, vinyl banks, action figures, mugs, glasses, bottle openers, ice trays and more, all based on popular movies, TV shows and comics from the present, to decades passed. This includes things like Back to the Future, Universal Monsters, Gotham (TV Series), Batman, Marvel, Clerks and more!


DC Collectibles Batman: The Animated Series 6-Inch Action Figures and Batmobile

The animated series may have ended nearly two decades ago, and the follow-up series over 16 years ago, Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures remain some of the most popular representations of The Dark Knight. DC Collectibles new line of action figures based on these two shows have proven this as the line of action figures is one of the most popular lines these days. The line includes versions of characters from both shows plus an in-scale version of the Batmobile. We definitely recommend check out the DC Collectibles Batman: The Animated Series 6-Inch Action Figures and Batmobile for gifts this holiday season.


“I Am The Law!” Give The Gift Of The Coolest Judge Dredd Figure!

Announced earlier this year, Mezco Toyz new line of 1/12th scale (6 inch) of high-end collectible figures has become a hit with fans. The second figure in the line, Judge Dredd, is an incredible looking figure and fans of the character will not be let down. This looks like it jumped from the pages of the 2000AD comic books. This is a very collector friendly line of action figures that offers a few display options, ideal for any collector. So check out the Mezco Toyz One:12 Collective Judge Dredd Action Figure for a gift for that someone special.


Look No Further For Fans Of Adventure Time, Mega Man, South Park, The Simpsons And Others

Looking for something a little more unique? Then look no further than Kidrobot. They offer a great variety of designer vinyl and plush toys based on popular shows like The Simpsons, South Park, Adventure Time, Family Guy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, plus stuff based on Marvel and DC Comics. These are all pretty cool and different, great for gifts or stocking stuffers, so check them out!


Give The Gift Of Courage With IAmElemental’s Courage Series of Action Figures

When they appears on the scene, toy manufacturer IAmElemental aimed to change stereotypes with their line of action figures aimed at girls. The first series of 4 inch action figures are based about the theme of Courage and represent things that one thinks of when the exhibit it. They even have a larger figure, a 6.5 inch figure that represents the embodiment of Courage. All of these female figures were designed with real women in mind, so their looks and proportions are meant to be inspiring to women of all ages, great for gifts to inspire.


Blockbuster Movies and TV

Give The Gift That Keeps Giving With 2015’s Hit Movies!

They may have come and gone at the theater, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them time and time again. Who doesn’t want to watch some of 2015’s blockbuster movies again? This year there was plenty of fun superhero action, emotional fun, dinosaurs, road rage and lovable minions at the box office that it would be a shame to not own these movies.


Big Screen Heroes From Your TV — The Flash, Gotham and Arrow!

Superheroes are not just on the big screen, they also appear on your television weekly and DC TV’s current lineup is the top of the list for fans. The Flash proves itself to be the best of the batch and you can catch up with the complete first season. For the Batman fans, we suggest checking out Gotham, the series is a prequel of sorts with the birth of the city which will eventually be home to The Dark Knight and his gallery of rogues. Lastly, if you haven’t been watching it the last three years, we definitely suggest checking out Arrow. This is the show that started it all for the DC TV and it still going strong. Plus it features annual crossover episodes with The Flash now (started in Season 3). So pick up a season or two of top shelf superhero TV!


Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Ghouls Wanna Have Fun, Too!

It seems that when you’re shopping for the ghoul in your life, you can’t go wrong with Monster High. Over the last few years the monster / doll franken-brand has helped promote individuality through its message of acceptance and that’s commendable. This year, Monster High’s big-ticket holiday item is their Monster High Deadluxe High School Playset. Featuring eight rooms of playspace in the three-story, over two-foot-tall institution of spooky, the playset is a great compliment to any Monster High doll collection.


Ponies for Bronies

There’s no denying that Hasbro My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has transcended age and gender lines. With a legion of male fans known as Bronies having a soft spot for the traditionally girls brand–thanks to an amazingly written and witty television series–we think Hasbro’s My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Collection Sweet Apple Acres Barn Pack is a great gift for any MLP lover out there.


Get Some Tsum Tsum

A derivative of the Japanese verb tsumu meaning “to stack,” Disney’s Tsum Tsum plushies come in several size, including the popular 3.5-inch mini and 10-inch medium sizes. Tsum Tsums are a great gift for fans of Disney brands or plushies lovers. Alternatively, if the girl in your life is looking to begin curating her own collection, Tsum Tsum’s might be a good starting point since they’re reasonably priced and fairly easy to find at retail.


Clothing And Other Unique Items

Become A Stylish Geek (or Nerd) With Apparel From WeLoveFine

If you want to get your someone special something, special, then we suggest checking out WeLoveFine. They also have a pretty good selection of unique and stylish clothing featuring pop culture icons from comics and video games. This includes hoodies, shirts, leggings, accessories, plush and vinyl toys.

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