The deadline for buying a decent gift is approaching fast. OK you’re on a budget, or the secret Santa list gave you someone you’re not close to but know that he or she is a genre fan. Sure you’d love to gift some kind of toiletry gift set or a desk calendar, but let’s be real here. He or she will really geek out for that super expensive Batman statue by Sideshow Collectibles or anything along that vein. But we’re on a budget here or you just don’t feel like breaking your bank and there’s no way you can reasonably afford to get the ultimate Jurassic Park trilogy Blu Ray gift set that comes with a T-Rex statue.
However, it’s not too hard to get by with gifts costing $25 or less. Here are some ideas. Ornaments Hallmark puts out the best ornaments and have catered to genre fans. This year has many offerings, but forget the spaceships, they cost more than $25 and aren’t very interesting except for die-hard collectors. (They consist of a little seen Romulan ship from the original Star Trek and a second version of Boba Fett’s Slave I ship.). So that leaves the character ornaments. Unfortunately the Star Trek ornaments aren’t too interesting (generic looking Spock ornaments, one that is out of the price range), while the Star Wars stuff aside from a LEGO Darth Vader seems repetitious (yet another Yoda ornament, and a costly Han Solo/Greedo diorama that doesn’t adequately answer the question of who shot first) Hallmark put out some reasonably priced cool stuff that could be collectible. First up is a Cylon ornament from the original Battlestar Galactica that features that infamous electronic speech pattern from the robots. There’s also the Nautilus submarine from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, a cute Gizmo wearing a Santa hat from Gremlins (already selling out so run out and get it, there are more fans of that film than you think), and a good selection of super hero figures. The Spider-Man and Batman ornaments are kind of bland but there are ornaments of Green Lantern and Thor that look good and the original Batmobile is a classic. If the person on your list is more of an animation fan, there are dozens of ornaments priced under $25 featuring characters from Disney, Pixar, Peanuts, Dreamworks, and the Rankin-Bass holiday classics like Rudolph and Frosty. If Hallmark doesn’t suit you, many companies put out their own ornaments themed after popular genre characters. Take Target or the Disney Store for example, they put out ornaments that are just as good as Hallmark. Blu Rays/DVDs This is easy, find out what his or her favorite film and see if they have it in their collection. If the film is not there, then voila! Run over to Best Buy or Wal-Mart and pick up the DVD or Blu Ray. DVDs priced from $5 and up are everywhere, while Blu Rays are starting to come down in price. If they just bought a Blu Ray player and need to upgrade then that’s a no-brainer. Practically all of this year’s genre offerings are available including Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Super 8, Thor, Battle: Los Angeles, and even obscure fare like Another Earth. Statues and Figures It’s true that most statues are mega expensive, but a quick look at sites like eBay and Amazon will yield very good results. For instance if you’re not too discriminating just look at the clearances, Amazon has this bust of Venom from Spider-Man 3 for under $10. And if you’re intended is into anime then the sky’s the limit with the available choices. You also can’t fail with bobblehead figures and even action figures. DC Direct and Marvel put out some terrific well-detailed and affordable figures that don’t have to be played with, they look great just plastered up in their display boxes. Though that kind of defeats the purpose of a toy, then again these are intended for grownups, um, never mind. Books and Collections Good choices here, find out what author they enjoy and get them the latest work. Amazon had Stephen King’s 11/22/63 for under $20 and his other stuff on paperback for half that price. It’s best to get nice, thick novels that take a while to read. Better yet, if they have tablets, then get the digital versions, the prices are great. The same goes for comics. Graphic novels and collections of story arcs are perfect and usually affordable. A nifty trend tailor made for gifting are the Vault books. Part memorabilia collection, part coffee table book, they include looks at Star Trek, Batman, Spider-Man and more. Usually they’re called for example Alien Vault and are sealed. They run a bit high on price but if you have time, you can find some for the $25 range with some careful shopping. Gift Cards The ultimate fall back and in many ways the best gift. Get your in-law or co-worker or buddy who has everything a gift card from any merchant and let them run wild. Even the larger comic book stores will sell their own gift certificates. Just be a little creative in the wrapping to make the gift more memorable. No matter what, it is pretty easy to get a gift for a genre fan. Annette DeForester