Holiday video-game gift guides are, by and large, worthless. Who are they actually meant for? If you're the kind of person who visits Giant Bomb--or really, any video-game-focused publication--you're already wired in well enough to know what games you want for Christmas. You read reviews, you check out demos, you comment on forums. You know what's up. If you're the kind of person who actually needs advice on what games to buy your loved ones, the chances of you finding your way here are razor-thin. It's always nice to think your website's got a big enough reach to hook such a casual audience, but in all likelihood, it just isn't so. And regardless of whether the gift guide is intended for hardcore or casual types, they'll all inevitably end up with Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Assassin's Creed II, and The Beatles: Rock Band in one order or another anyway. Again, who benefits from such obvious-ass lists?
Which is what prompted us last year to make a Giant Bomb holiday gift guide with a very specific, clear-cut audience: ourselves. Rather than reiterate the reviews that we already provide year-round, we shared some of the other stuff we'd like to find under the tree, providing our inner circles of gift-givers with some handy tips, as well as some insight for you, dear reader, into the personalities behind Giant Bomb. And now we're back for round two. Yeah, it's 2009, and we've still got more games than we know what to do with, but that doesn't stop us from coveting other material goods!
To reiterate what we said last year, our hope here is to expose you to some of the stuff outside of games that we're into. So please, don't take this as a call to actually try and buy us any of this crap. If you see something shiny that you like, feel free to follow the link to Amazon and pick it up there. Ultimately, though, these lists are provided for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY.
Drew provides proof that money can buy happiness. Lots of it.
Official Nintendo and Star Wars Wii Darth Vader Sensor Bar Holder
If you want to make it crystal clear to people who come to your house that you are a colossal nerd, look no further.
Logitech Flight System G940 Force Feedback Joystick
In another universe, where I have time to play video games, I would totally make use of this sucker. Since this is not to be, I might just buy it and look at it.
Sonic The Hedgehog - The Complete Series (1993)
The only game-related show or movie that I've ever actually enjoyed. Plus, I just discovered that Sonic is voiced by Jaleel White. Woah.
Dude, SCREW night vision goggles. These babies let you see like the freaking PREDATOR. Speaking of which...
Predator [Blu-ray] (1987)
Sometimes I watch this movie just for the Handshake. You know which one I'm talking about.
Amazon really does have everything.
Fade Gear Crunch Box Disc Golf Bag
Every time I'm out on the course and I see a dude with a bag like this, with a disc for every conceivable kind of shot, I think "man, I wish I was like that dude, except with a shirt on."
T-Rex Adult T-Shirt
Wasn't really interested in this one until Amazon told me that other users who had bought the Uranium also bought this. Now it's got me thinking...
JBL 42-inch Speargun
Fishing rods are for chumps. Also, you and a friend can both get one, and then you can fight while wearing this:
Medieval Full-Size METAL CHAIN MAIL (emphasis original)
Just look at that picture. Dude is STOKED to be wearing chain mail. And why shouldn't he be? I mean, he's practically impervious to arrows now. That's power you can't buy... or IS IT?
Brad drank way too much nog and would settle for a bottle of Tums.
Fight Club 10th-Anniversary Blu-ray
Man, I feel old. I'm confident in saying this is still the best David Fincher/Brad Pitt collaboration ever, without having seen Benjamin Button.
Air: Love 2
Dreamy-fuzzy French synth-pop warms my soul. Wait... crap. I just bought it. Curse you and your instant gratification, Amazon MP3 store. You should probably still buy it anyway.
Stephen King: Just After Sunset
King's novels are a little long-winded for my taste but the guy sure spins a spooky short story. I still go back to Night Shift and Skeleton Crew once every year or two.
Hickory Farms Family Reunion Gift Box
I don't have any long-lost family to reunite, but that's OK, I was planning to eat all this myself anyway. (One box cracked pepper & olive oil Triscuits sold separately.)
Intel 160gb Solid-State Drive
I'm tired of hearing about how snappy and awesome an SSD will make your computer. Almost as tired as I am of waiting for the price to drop below $4 a gigabyte.
Modern Warfare 2 Limited Edition Xbox 360
Actually, I just wanted the 250gb hard drive; you can keep the console.
Nintendo 2000-Point Card
My Shop account needs bolstering for all those incredible DSiWare games I'm going to be buying in 2010. Right? Right Nintendo?
Yeah, like I need another excuse not to wear shoes around the office.
SPACE INVADERS-SHAPED ICE CUBE TRAY
DUDE THEY'RE SHAPED LIKE SPACE INVADERS DO YOU REALLY NEED AN EXPLANATION
Vinny is sleeping straight through Black Friday.
Screw you Nintendo and your damn peripherals! Now I have to buy a new charger because the Wii Motion Plus adapter renders my current one absolutely useless. Why do you hate me?
1974 Cap'n Crunch Cereal Marx Big Wheel Offer Print Ad
The 70's were a strange time for everyone.
Xbox 360 Arcade
I'm still rocking my original, component only, Xbox 360. Though I'm proud of it for lasting this long, I wouldn't mind placing a new HDMI version atop its ANTIQUATED-ASS CARCASS. WHAT AM I LIVING IN 1989?
Bose® SoundDock® Portable digital music system - Gloss Black
I like to listen to music while I cook, and my crappy little thing that currently spits hot tunes at me doesn't say BOSE on it. That means it's not ridiculously overpriced, but also it doesn't say BOSE on it.
Wacom Techno Cintiq 21UX 21-Inch Interactive Pen Display PC Tablet
I'm still using the same beige Wacom tablet I've had since the dawn of time. Seeing as the DS did not satisfy my artist need to constantly draw mustaches on photos of Mario Van Peebles, I guess I need this.
Top Chef Quickfire Challenge Game
Kevin is going to win.
Wall Mount Fish Bowl Aquarium Tank Beta Goldfish
Two things about this item. One, it's a ghetto-ass fish tank that mounts to your wall. Two, I would totally mount it to the ceiling! Ideally, when some super-cop comes to take me out, this will shatter in slow motion as I hit the floor. [CUT TO] Goldfish is gasping for air [FADE OUT]
3M Performance Plus 8979N Nuclear Grade 48-Millimeter-by-54.8-Meter Duct Tape, Slate Blue
"It is with the profoundest regret that I report that the Nuclear Grade duct tape does not . . . and I mean definitely not . . . eliminate the seepage of the unique form of energy created by cold fusion." - Amazon 1 Star Review
Skeleton Clock by Loricron Clocks - Antique Brass Finish Skeleton Clock
I don't know if it's because I've played too much Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time or what, but I've really wanted a nice mechanical clock recently. This just looks classy, like an acryclic wall mounted fish tank.
Klipsch Synergy SUB-12 Subwoofer Speaker
Ever wonder if your downstairs neighbors know exactly how many shots it takes to get through a certain level? Now you can eliminate all the mystery with a giant subwoofer! Nothing says "I LOVE YOU, AND THIS AWESOME SHOTGUN" like giant speakers in a tiny apartment.
Ryan is disappointed that Amazon doesn't sell handguns.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 4 (Girl in Gold Boots / Hamlet  / Overdrawn at the Memory Bank / Space Mutiny)
I'd rather that Shout! Factory just release a single, ridiculously expensive package with the full run of MST3K, but of the stuff that's been released so far, this volume's a highlight for me. Space Mutiny 's pretty good, but Raul Julia's performance in the breathtaking made-for-PBS sci-fi epic Overdrawn at the Memory Bank needs to be seen to be believed. It makes Street Fighter seem like a dignified way to go out.
Star Trek: The Original Series - Seasons 1-3 [Blu-ray]
It's true, JJ Abrams reminded me what I already knew: Star Trek is awesome. A nice, crisp transfer of the original 35MM filmstock, plus the option to toggle between the original special effects and the (tastefully restrained) new CG effects shots, make this a must-have for me.
Star Trek: The Original Series: Classic Captain's Chair Replica
Is there a simultaneously more awesome and tragic way to spend three thousand dollars? Probably, but I can't think of anything off the top of my head.
Apples to Apples Party Box - The Game of Hilarious Comparisons
My girlfriend turned me onto Apples to Apples a few years ago, and it's an ideal way to make interacting with your family during the holidays more bearable. Also available in Junior, Jewish, and Bible editions. Weird.
Apple MacBook Pro MB991LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop
SPEAKING OF APPLES!!! Going into its third year of service, my current MacBook is starting to feel its age.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Its A Very Sunny Christmas
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is basically a live-action South Park but with a central cast that is more openly vulgar, stupid, selfish, and hateful. This is their Christmas special. Happy holidays!
The Beatles Mono Box Set [BOX SET] [LIMITED EDITION] [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED]
In proper Beatles fan fashion, I'd just like to declare “Hey Bulldog” as the best, most underappreciated song in the band's catalog. Discuss!
Omaha Steaks Precooked Bacon Slices
As novel as the whole bacon-flavored food craze is, you can't beat straight-up bacon. This is 100 strips of pre-cooked bacon, the perfect gift for your loved ones who love life, but hate living it.
Trademark 10-HT1F 84 x 42 Texas Holdem Poker Padded Folding Table
As a first-time homeowner, I can't help but feel like my house won't be a home until it features a large, permanent poker table.
TOTO Seats SW554 01 Washlet S300 Toilet Seat - Elongated, Cotton
I threw something similar to this on last year's list. It's a year later, and I don't have a crazy-expensive toilet seat that performs all manner of magical feats on one's undercarriage. What is this, communist Russia?
Jeff doesn't know it's Christmas.
This is something I'd probably dig, but would never buy myself... because I typically buy one to three books a year. Right around the time I get into the second book I think "man, I should get a Kindle." But that would just be stupid.
Executive Draw Poker
I live a life of elegance and I demand the finest video poker that money can buy. Thankfully, this one has been helpfully marked "executive," so you know it's good.
Moose Mountain 100 balls in a mesh bag
I'm still thinking about sectioning off my living room and turning it into a giant ball pit. Come on, that'd be rad.
Apple Cinema 30-inch HD Flat-Panel Display
The four screens I currently have don't heat up the room enough. This second, gigantic monitor should do the trick. Naked computing, here I come!
LG 27in Washing Machine Front Load - Cherry Red
My current washing machine is a complete pile of junk. Also, this one is cherry red.
Cold Steel Knife Voyager XL
I don't know about you, but nothing makes sitting on the couch and watching mindless television more enjoyable than having a gigantic knife to play carefully flip open and shut over and over again. This one can stab through the hood of a car.
Victor Electronic Rat Trap
The only good rat is a dead rat.
iTouchless Bio-Matic Fingerprint Door Lock For Right Hand Door, Silver
Keys are so played. If I could use fingerprints to open my front door, we'd be living in the future. Next up, voice verification. At that point, I'd just feel like I was living inside Sneakers 24/7.
Valley-Dynamo Hot Flash 2
My air hockey dream continues to be unfufilled. This one has room for a black light to make stuff glow.
State by State With the State: An Uninformed, Poorly Researched Guide to the United States
OK, you got me. I already own a copy of this that I bought when it was new, and it's terrific. But since then, it's gone on to become some kind of collector's item. So I figure I should probably start hoarding them. When the apocalypse comes, pages from this book will be the only hard currency left!