By Nicole Chapman – Naughty or Nice? The question on everybody’s lips as this favourite time of year starts to approach. So as I resist the urge to play festive music and break into the mince pies, it got me thinking, have I been a good girl this year and what are my top 10 nerdy gifts that I’d like Santa to leave me under my Christmas tree?
To me, nothing says Christmas like a good old fashioned family board game. And released early this year from Games Workshop is a real nostalgic game for me, Blood Bowl. If you’ve never heard of Bloodbowl I’m assuming you were one of the cool kids in the 90’s, but that’s ok this is a game for all the family. The game’s gist is as follows, think American football, add Orc’s, a general helping of friendly violence and you’ve arrived at Bloodbowl. At £65 the set, that will get you the board, a full reimagined rule book, enough dice to throw at your grandma when she starts to sing on the sherry, and two teams of well-moulded resin figures. The game is really simple to pick up and as a warning can bring out the competitive side in anyone. (Not guilty!) If that’s not enough to tempt you, the figures themselves are great fun to paint, alongside the two teams you get in the base game set,others are available to purchase to expand your fantasy football needs! One of my particular favourite Bloodbowl teams available from the deep depths of the internet is the scantily Clad Nun Gridiron Team, from Shadowforge, who doesn’t want a big busted Hench Nun in shoulder pads as their quarterback?
So moving on from Nuns and violence brings me to number 2 on my list of things I need for Christmas….. Harry Potter baubles, yes you heard me correct! With the release of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ hot in the cinemas, Primark is a wonderland of HP merch at this time of year! In fact walking into your local Primark these days is like a trip to Diagon Alley. Not only can you find your usual Geeky glasses wearing fandom on t-shirts, socks and even underpants….Primark has branched out into Marauders Map bedding and my personal favourite, Hogwarts House Christmas Decorations! How can anyone resist the need for a Gryffindor inspired Christmas tree, to hide all your Nerdy pressies under on Christmas Eve?
Okay…..So Harry Potter doesn’t tickle everyone’s Pickle, but here something we can all agree on. Virtual Reality headsets, the little girl inside of me is just dying to get her hands on one of these things. In particular, I’ve recently had first-hand reviews that the Samsung Gear VR Headset is really something to get excited at. The newest design allows a wider field of vision, with low light leakage and a smoother fit for the wearer. It boasts to sync up effortlessly with your Samsung Galaxy immersing you in an ever-expanding universe where no man has set foot before….What’s really awesome about the Gear VR is that Samsung has collaborated with Oculus to bring you the virtual technology that would have cost you in the range of £300 however you can buy this tech at a fraction of a price of £65. Unfortunately, if you don’t own an android mobile you will get left behind with this one, as iPhone has yet to own its own VR set, but it’s only a matter of time before apple catches up.
Next 3 on my list are all card games that I feel any lucky boy or girl should get in their stocking! Starting with my all time favourite that I’ve still yet to own, “Hint Hint Santa!* Tentacle Bento, It’s 2-4 players so a real group activity where you assume the role of a tentacle-endowed creepy monster from outer space, attending Takoshi university in the form of a kawaii Japanese school girl, (stay with me here). And your mission is of course to capture other school girls! It’s a real tongue in cheek game for the anime fans out there, and lots of fun to play. If tentacles aren’t your thing the next game in my stocking would have to be Exploding Kittens, it’s a highly strategic game of Russian roulette, players draw cards in the hope to not pull an exploding kitten, but all is not lost if a player can diffuse the situation with a catnip sandwich card or laser pointer. I can see me and the grandparents playing this one on boxing day for sure! Finally, my third choice of card game if kittens and tentacles haven’t tempted you would have to be Munchkin: Nightmare Before Christmas! Do I need to even continue? Arm yourself with a vampire teddy bear and a mayor’s badge and go up against Oogie Boogie, Zero in tow! You can play this as a stand alone card game or expand your hopefully already existing world of munchkin cards. Again another really fast paced simple card game to play that leaves players ruthlessly setting each other up for horrific failure.
Enough about card games though and another surprise nerdy Christmas entry for me and cheapest on the list would be a trip into Poundland this year. After last year the man in red was over-shadowed by a Space cowboy and his Wookie returning to the big screen and causing many of us to almost forget about turkey, Starwars is everywhere. A trip to Poundland can get you stocked up on everything a Starwars nerd needs for the 25th, R2D2 Santa’s hats, Chewie stockings for your fireplace and some Sith Lord tinsel just to get the festive feel into your home! As always I don’t like to be accused of bias, so if you’re not into Starwars, (as if right?), there’s also a selection of marvel wall stickers, a little friendly neighbourhood Spiderman for your tree, or dare I even mention the dreaded Frozen word?
However no Christmas would be complete without an instruction manual and lots of tiny coloured plastic bricks, of course, I mean Lego….for me there is only one Lego boxset I want to see under my tree this year, with 4080 balls of feet destroying pieces, Disney and Lego have teamed up and created a behemoth in the Disney Castle. However, this amount of awesome comes at a not so friendly price tag of £289.99, however, with the Lego Disney mini figures released earlier this year for me it’s a price id be willing to pay to set up a miniature Disney world in my lounge!
So, we have the card games, the tinsel and the harry potter tree what’s next? The next thing on my Christmas list is a bit naughty So I apologise in advance but it’s just too fun not to mention!
It’s no secret Unicorn fever has hit 2016 hard…the brightly coloured single-horned little cuties are everywhere! And now I literally mean everywhere, whilst browsing the deep depths of the internet a few weeks back I stumbled across a piece of unicorn merchandise I did not expect to see! The comic con famous brightly patterned shop of Tokidoki have teamed up with Lovehoney in an unexpected partnership, bringing us in 2016 the Tokidoki X Lovehoney Unicorn ‘massage’ wand! If nothing else it’s a conversation starter and almost too adorable to keep hidden in ‘that’ draw! But whether you buy it for yourself, your girlfriend or whomever, (I’m not here to judge) I definitely think it’s £99 well spent!
Right, waffling almost at the end and you’ve done well to stick with me this far! My final gift for my Christmas list this year is a yule time favourite with a twist! Pokémon Kanto edition Monopoly. At just under £30 for the entire board game, that gives you 6 metal Pokemon tokens including Eevee and Jigglypuff plus the famous 4 and custom Pokemon money! You travel through 8 gyms and battle Pokémon gym leaders to catch them all! For me, if I get one gift this year it will be this! The artwork on the game is a thing of beauty and it’s so reasonably priced for a Monopoly set, this is one I think even your Aunt and Uncle will secretly enjoy playing around the pickles and cold meat!
There we have it, the top 10 nerdy gifts for everyone! Now there’s no excuse to receive that dreaded Lynx shower set on Christmas morning! And remember boys and girls Santa is watching so it’s never too early to turn over a new leaf and get those Christmas goodies under the tree!
Have a merry little Christmas and I’ll be back in the new year no doubt with more reviews of the nerdy and unexpected.