2012 Holiday Gift Guide
February 19. 2013 6:29PM
By Rich Howells, Weekender Editor and Infinite Improbability Columnist
1. The Walking Dead: Compendium One and Two: Everyone has seen the TV show, but these are the comics that started it all. With nearly 100 issues conveniently collected in two hefty volumes, they can easily get caught up on the ongoing series. Comics On the Green (307 N. Washington Ave., Scranton): $59.99 each.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Complete Classic Series Collection: Whether they grew up with the Turtles in the ‚??80s and ‚??90s or are just discovering them now with the new Nickelodeon series, the Party Wagon-shaped box makes this 23-disc set a must-own. Amazon, Best Buy, FYE: $99.99.
3. PaperHeroes jewelry: Looking for superhero jewelry that isn‚??t a Green Lantern power ring? Edwardsville native Crystal Phan sells handcrafted pieces made from real comic books. Etsy.com/shop/llpaperheroesll, Comics on the Green: $12-25.
4. TeeFury t-shirts: This online store sells a clever new design, usually based in pop culture, for 24 hours, then discontinues it forever, making it practically guaranteed that they won‚??t already have it. Teefury.com: $10.
5. USB Flash Drive: In the digital age, everyone needs extra space, but not everyone has a flash drive that looks like Yoda, Spider-Man, or the Joker. Shop around and you‚??ll find one from any major franchise. Best Buy, Walmart, etc.: $9.99 and up.
For the Kids
By Christopher J. Hughes, Times Leader Online Editor and father of ‚??two great kids‚?Ě
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures: The heroes in a half shell return in full style with a new line of figures to support the Nickelodeon series. The radical reptiles have their own personalities with unique scratches on their shells, adding to the excitement of opening each one on Christmas morning. Toys ‚??R‚?? Us: $9.99 each.
2. Incredible Shrinky Dinks Maker: The fun of designing your own Shrinky Dinks was always a thrill when we were younger. Share that magic ‚?? albeit with less viewing space than Mom‚??s toaster oven provided ‚?? with this re-imagined classic. Toys ‚??R‚?? Us: $29.99.
3. ‚??Where‚??s My Water?‚?Ě board game: Take the fun off of your iPhone or iPod and eliminate some of the kids‚?? ever-growing screen time. This app-meets-Plinko-style board game lets you clean up Swampy the alligator while avoiding poison traps and more. Toys ‚??R‚?? Us, Target, Walmart: $19.99.
4. Decorate Your Own My Little Pony: Friendship is even more magical when you let your little girl (or Brony, if you have one at your house) decorate her own My Little Pony figurine. Use whatever art supplies you have around the house and let your kids‚?? creativity fly as free as Rainbow Dash. Hasbro.com only: $4.99.
5. Hot Wheels Angry Birds Slingshot Launch Track Set: Another app store port into your holiday shopping cart, this die-cast car launcher is sure to be a hit. Just make sure your kids aim any jumps and loop-de-loops away from the Christmas tree and television. Toys ‚??R‚?? Us: $9.99.
For the Music Lover
By Matt Morgis, Weekender Correspondent and Music Reviewer
1. Spotify Premium: Everything that Pandora and iTunes offer in one interface. Stream unlimited music on all of your devices, listen to the radio ad free, create playlists, and share with friends. Spotify.com: $9.99/month.
2. Skullcandy Aviator Headphones: This is for the audio enthusiast on your list. Over-the-ear headphones that are fully customizable, block out background noise, and reduce ear fatigue. Zumiez: $149.99.
3. TicketMaster gift card: There is perhaps nothing better than the atmosphere at a live concert. The gift card can be used at any venue that uses Ticketmaster, which is a majority. Gallery of Sound (24 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre): Buyer discretion.
4. ‚??The Road Most Traveled‚?Ě: This book, assembled and edited by solo artist and Hot Water Music frontman Chuck Ragan, is a collection of tour stories and adventures from many bands of different genres. It has a behind-the-scenes look into the rough touring life of artists. Barnes & Noble: $16.95.
5. ‚??Babel,‚?Ě Mumford & Sons: A great album for any music fan that doesn‚??t like auto-tune. Mumford & Sons does a great job hollering, hooting, plucking, and strumming on this platinum-selling album. Gallery of Sound: $13.97.
For the Oddball
By Paul Shaw, Weekender Digital Specialist
1. Jingle Jugs: When Santa can‚??t pull through with an actual pair of jiggling, dancing jugs then shoot for the next best thing - fake ones! They sing, they dance, they make the family uncomfortable and are perfect for a guy‚??s garage! Spencer‚??s: $19.99.
2. Melting Time Warp Clock: Seeing art come to life will make any art appreciators‚?? eyes light up! Good conversation piece, too. Spencer‚??s: $9.99.
3. Deep Tea Diver: Everyone knows someone who loves tea ‚?? this at least makes them interesting. PerpetualKid.com, $14.99.
4. Dog Toilet Water Dish: For the pet lover, make your dog feel at home and probably inadvertently train them to drink out of the actual toilet at the same time. PerpetualKid.com, $25.99.
5. World‚??s Largest Gummy Bear: For the sweet tooth in your family. Give the gift of diabetes. It‚??s the gift that keeps on giving. PerpetualKid.com, $31.49.
For the Fitness Guru
By Kieran Inglis, Weekender Account Executive
1. Nike Free 4.0 running shoes: Great running and high-velocity training sneakers that are perfect for your box jumps and squats day. Finish Line, Champs Sports: $70-90.
2. PowerBlock Selectable Dumbbell: Change weights easily with this cost-effective strength-training tool. Dick‚??s Sporting Goods, Amazon.com: $159.99 and up.
3. Gym membership: There are many local training studios to choose from. Cost varies.
4. Protein or pre-workout supplement: These can be found at any local supplement supplier or in some retail stores. Cost varies.
5. New cook/kitchenware: Fitness is just as much about diet as it is sweat. Cost varies.
For the Gamer
By Kieran Inglis, Weekender Account Executive
1. ‚??Call of Duty: Black Ops II‚?Ě: This game has loads of features: the intense storyline, online multiplayer, and the revved-up Zombies mode. Available for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC. Gamestop, Target, etc.: $59.99.
2. Wii U: Nintendo‚??s newest console is sure to be a big seller this season, so grab it if you can. Gamestop, Walmart, etc.: $299.99.
3. ‚??Assassin‚??s Creed III‚?Ě: The historical action-adventure series just released its latest installment and it‚??s getting rave reviews. Available for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC. Gamestop, Toys ‚??R‚?? Us, etc.: $59.99.
4. Turtle Beach Gaming Headset: These premium audio peripherals help gamers really get into the action with stereo or Dolby surround sound. Best Buy, etc.: $79.95 and up.
5. Extra controller: You can‚??t put a price on playing with friends. Various retail outlets: cost varies.
For the DVD Watcher
By Mike Sullivan, Weekender Correspondent and Movie Reviewer
1. ‚??Get a Life: The Complete Series‚?Ě: On one hand, this set suffers from grainy picture quality and lacks the participation of co-creators Adam Resnick and Chris Elliott. But on the other, buying this DVD is far more preferable than catching a computer virus from a torrent site. Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com: $59.99.
2. Eclipse Series 35: ‚??Maidstone‚?Ě and Other Films by Norman Mailer: Has a loved one ever expressed the desire to watch the author of ‚??The Naked and the Dead‚?Ě viciously take a bite out of character actor Rip Torn‚??s ear? Make their Christmas wish a Christmas reality by purchasing this DVD. Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com: $39.95.
3. ‚??Father‚??s Day‚?Ě: Astron-6‚??s clever deconstruction of grindhouse movies is bound to become the next cult classic. If you really loved me, you‚??d buy the special four-disc Blu-Ray/DVD set. But you don‚??t ‚??really love me,‚?Ě do you? Amazon.com: $24.99.
4. ‚??Blade Runner‚?Ě 30th Anniversary Collector‚??s Edition: Remember that ‚??Blade Runner‚?Ě Blu-ray set that came out a few years ago? The one that came in the briefcase? Well, this one is not as good, but it‚??s cheaper and it comes with a little car. Open your wallet! Amazon.com: $49.99.
5. ‚??Popeye‚?Ě: Robert Altman‚??s ‚??Popeye‚?Ě! At Big Lots! For three bucks! Buy it for a friend. There‚??s at least a 43 percent chance they won‚??t look disappointed on Christmas morning. Big Lots: $3.
For the Photographer
By Amanda Dittmar, Weekender Graphic Designer
1. Rare Film Gift Pack: The ultimate gift for your photographer. Yes, most have moved to shooting digitally; however, if your photographer still has a film camera, they will appreciate this. The pack includes three imported 35mm film rolls that can be developed at any one-hour photo. Photojojo.com, $49.
2. Keyboard Short Cut Skin: For Photoshop, Aperture, Final Cut Pro/Express, Pro Tools, After Effects, Logic Pro, and Lightroom, this keyboard cover marks shortcuts to help you breeze through editing. The downside is they only work for Macs. Photojojo.com, $30-40.
3. Wide Angle Macro Fisheye Lens 4-in-1 Kit for iPhone: This is an attachment for iPhones that allows some creativity with taking photos.Amazon.com, $31.99.
4. Lens Cap Strap Holder: Every photographer at some point has misplaced their lens cap. This is the perfect gift that makes it easy to keep track of it. Photojojo.com, $15.
5. Camera Lens Mug: A fun thermo cup perfect for a photographer and relatively inexpensive. Amazon.com, $10.
For the Drinker
By John Popko, Weekender General Manager
1. Brewery gift sets: A lot of breweries put together special gift sets during the holidays that include some pretty cool package presentation and will often come with a glass to add to your collection. Krugel‚??s Georgetown Deli & Beer (720 Wilkes-Barre Twp. Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp.): $9.99 and up.
2. Growler Fills: Growler Fills have become a popular concept locally. Growlers can be found in a variety of sizes and allow you to purchase a favorite beer straight from the tap. Great as a gift or to bring to a holiday party to share with friends. Arena Bar and Grill (380 Coal St., Wilkes-Barre): $15 and up.
3. Home Brew Kits: Brewing your own beer is easier than you might think. It‚??s also fun and can become a pretty cool hobby. Beer Solutions (507 Blackman St., Wilkes-Barre) $80 and up. Ask for Curt.
4. Tr√∂egs Mad Elf Ale: This beer is perfect for the holidays. It has a combination of cherries, honey, and chocolate malts with fruits and spices. It‚??s a fantastic seasonal beer with an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 11 percent! Available in many beer distributors, cost varies.
5. Dr. McGillicuddy‚??s Intense Apple Pie Liqueur: In case you have someone on your list who prefers liquor over beer, this is for them. Nothing says the holidays like apple pie and sharing some drinks with family and friends. Dr. McGillicuddy‚??s makes it easy to do both. Pennsylvania Fine Wine & Good Spirits: cost varies.
For the Techie
By Nick DeLorenzo, Times Leader Director of Interactive and New Media and Tech Talk Columnist
1. Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T Tablet: Featuring an 11.6 inch HD screen, an Intel Atom Processor, and an 8 Megapixel camera, along with full USB capabilities, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T is ready for serious productivity that will make an iPad green with envy. Best Buy: $699
2. Sonos Play 3 Wireless HiFi system: This is designed to integrate with Smartphones, including your iPhone, iPad or Android. Instead of listening to music over the small built-in speakers or your headphones, or having your beloved smartphone stuck in a dock for the whole day, the Sonos lets you shed the wires. The Sonos App allows you to control the system from your phone. Target: $299.99.
3. LG Intuition from Verizon Wireless: It‚??s half phone, half tablet or all phone, all tablet, depending on how you look at it. Packing an extra large screen, a stylus, high-end camera and processor, along with Google‚??s Android Operating System and Verizon‚??s 4G network, the LG Intuition makes getting things done on-the-go a portable proposition. Verizonwireless.com: $149.99 with contract.
4. SuperShell iPad Holder for Kids: Kids today pick up new technology amazingly fast. They also seem to drop it just as quickly. The SuperShell iPad holder protects your precious iPad from bumps and drops while still allowing them to play games or use educational apps. Thinkgeek.com: $29.99.
5. The Barnes & Noble Nook HD: For both avid readers and families wanting an easy-to-use, inexpensive tablet device, the Nook HD is a great choice. Featuring access to over three million books, tons of magazines, movies, and apps, the Nook HD is powerful, affordable, and useful. Barnes & Noble: $199.99.
For the Fashion-Conscious
By Sara Pokorny, Weekender Staff Writer
1. Faux Rabbit Fur Gloves: When phones with touch screens are the norm, gloves in the winter begin to take a backseat, but that doesn‚??t have to be so with these gloves that free up your digits to make texting on the fly easier. Bratty Natty‚??s Boutique (Wyoming Valley Mall): $12.99.
2. Perry Ellis Super Slimfold Wallet: Guys, don‚??t let one of the most important things you carry prevent you from being able to sit down comfortably. The three interior pockets in this sleek wallet should help contain all your money essentials. Macy‚??s: $18.99.
3. Bulova Precisionist Watch: The price may be on the higher end, but what do you expect to pay when you‚??re getting what‚??s termed the ‚??world‚??s most accurate watch?‚?Ě Dunay Jewelers (428 Hazle St., Wilkes-Barre): $419.
4. Alberto Makali Black Studded Sweater: It‚??s the comfort and warmth of a sweater combined with the edginess of what are now ever-present studs as accessories. Tallulah (651 Wyoming Ave., Kingston): $225.
5. Converse exclusive comic book-themed shoes: Geek culture is very much the thing right now, and with comic books making a comeback from screen to their original paper form, these are a must-have for any fan. Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Thundercats ‚?? take your pick. Journeys: $60.
For the Foodie
By Sara Pokorny, Weekender Staff Writer
1. Refurbished KitchenAid 5-qt. Mixer: KitchenAid mixers are key for a chef or baker, but they can run at a pretty high price ($350 and upwards.) Thankfully, Kitchen Collection is selling refurbished ones for much cheaper, but only until Nov. 26. Kitchen Collection: $179-199.
2. AnimalHouse Mouse Cheese Grater: There was never a better time to actually want a mouse in your kitchen. The mouse-shaped appliance not only looks like an adorable rodent, but fits in your hand comfortably. JCPenney: $9.
3. ‚??The Cooking Show‚?Ě tickets: This show is held at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs‚?? Rustic Kitchen on Fridays at 7 p.m. It‚??s not only nice to get another chef‚??s perspective, but you also get an excellent meal hosted by Chef Liz Bramwell. Rustic Kitchen: $75/ticket.
4. Rachel Ray Kitchenware: Whether it‚??s a whole set of pots and pans or just a spoon that can rest easy on a stovetop item while cooking, Rachel Ray has it covered and in a funky way, with her products coming in green, orange, and purple hues. Kohl‚??s: $7.99-233.
5. Peanut Butter Chiffon: Peanut butter and chocolate. Locally made. Need I say more? Jon L. Stopay Candies (Plains Plaza, 17 N. River St., Plains Township): Buyer discretion.