Our holiday gift guide: Best Austin shops and gift ideas for the geek in your life
Whether it’s a parent, sibling, significant other or roommate, everyone has one beloved geek in his or her life who makes it almost impossible to shop for. Lucky for you, we have some handy, local suggestions and surefire hits for the geek in your life.
(Insider tip: If you're shopping for Christmas gifts, and they don't make it to your house on time, just give it to them a few days later and say it’s a gift to celebrate Life Day. If they’re a Star Wars fans, they’ll think that’s cute and clever.)
For the gamer unimpressed by the next-gen consoles:
Retro Gaming Consoles and Games — Game Over Video Games
Two of the hottest gifts of the year are the Xbox One and the PS4, but good luck finding one in a GameStop or Best Buy this weekend. Fortunately, many old-school gamers are always happy to fire up the old Nintendo 64 with friends and play Mario Party.
Game Over has two locations in Austin and one in Round Rock, but the Anderson Lane location has the best selection of consoles and retro games. Both stores should have some of the old consoles on hand, but a true gamer should have never sold off those bad boys in the first place. If you're unsure what to get, let the friendly employees guide you toward the best options. And maybe grab a plush Pikachu for good measure.
For the comic book nerd who’s also a history buff:
The Comic Book History of Comics — Austin Books and Comics
It can be tough trying to find something for dedicated comic book readers. If they live in Austin, they probably frequent Austin Books and Comics every week, and it can be tough to know which specific comics they like.
The Comic Book History of Comics tells the story of the American comic book industry, from Superman to the dawn of the digital age, and presents it in an illustrated style that helps to make it easy to grasp not only the important players, but what they contributed. This weekend will also be a great time to check out the Sidekick Store for discounted books, collections and related merchandise.
For the geek who wants to flaunt their love of comic books stylishly:
Chrysalis Designs Shoes — Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy
There’s nothing wrong with a simple Batman T-shirt for a friend, but you can get those at Target. For something that’s more elegant and that supports local business, head over to this comic-book store that houses a miniboutique.
At Dragon’s Lair, you’ll find a selection of handcrafted, comic shoes featuring designs straight out of your favorite comics. Dragon’s Lair has several designs on hand for purchase, but if you want to go the extra distance, you can custom order a pair. Who could pass up going to work wearing shoes that show Bane breaking the Batman’s back?
For the fan who’s sad to see Futurama end this year:
Kidrobot Futurama Vinyl Figures — Guzu Gallery
Located right next to Austin Books and Comics, Guzu Gallery deals in unique art prints and collectible toys that are more than just simple stocking stuffers. On the website, you’ll find a selection of toys to commemorate the much-loved animated comedy that recently ended its run.
Retailing at $49.99 each, the Kidrobot figures feature the likes of Dr. Zoidberg and the adorable Nibbler. If your geek is a fan of Futurama, take a look at the other things inspired by series creator Matt Groening and his work, like a zombie Bart Simpson figure, or one of the artist himself. A collectible Bumblebee Man would also be pretty bueno.
For fans of Miyazaki films:
Studio Ghibli T-shirts — Mondo
Fans of animated films were deeply saddened to hear that legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki announced that he was finished making films in 2013, but you can commemorate his work and wear it proudly, thanks to local movie poster boutique Mondo.
Mondo recently expanded beyond of the world of posters and now sells similarly beautiful shirts, vinyl LPs and other collectible items. Among the apparel is a collection of screenprinted shirts commemorating several Miyazaki classics, including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and The Cat Returns, each retailing for $30. There are plenty of other items still listed as in-stock, unlike their posters, which sell out in five minutes.
For the wrestling fan always complaining about John Cena:
Indie Wrestling Tickets — Anarchy Championship Wrestling and Inspire Pro
In the hierarchy of geek cultures, wrestling fans are right there at the bottom of the totem pole. While tabletop gamers and LARPers get movies made about them, the geeks of wrestling are often denigrated by society.
Thankfully, there’s a way to support your local wrestling artists and businesses by buying your geek tickets to local promotions hosting some awesome shows in January. For $12 - $15, you can buy tickets to ACW’s flagship event, “Guilty by Association,” on January 19 at the Mohawk, featuring some of the best indie talent from Austin and beyond.
For $12, you can grab a ticket to see Inspire Pro Wrestling’s “Ecstasy of Gold” show, featuring the return of Chris Hero to Austin. Just throw that name out there and watch his or her face light up.