The Mirror geek squad has scoured the internet for some of the best tech, gadgets, and collectibles to wow that loveable geek in your life this Christmas!
It's that time of year again where unless you’re a clever so-and-so and got all your shopping way back in March, you, like me, will be buying presents last minute. Cement Bricks Machine
I’ve often been told by friends, family, wives, husbands, and random passers on the street that buying gifts for those with special interests (that’s a nice word for geeks) can be hard, as most require some inside knowledge and anything most people really want, they have already bought themselves.
So yet again The Mirror’s crack team of geeks, nerds, and tech dweebs are here to show you the way by passing my personal Christmas list off as a comprehensive set of cool items for the weird, wonderful, and whopping good gift ideas.
Grid has provided an exclusive discount code for our readers just enter Mirror15 at checkout on the Grid website to enjoy 15% off!
Anyone can buy a game for their loved ones and if you’re clever you might be able to track down the latest games console. But if you want to take your gift to the next level, why not display beloved old retro consoles, framed as the work of art they are? For collectors of old tech or those with an attachment to a dive of a bygone era, Grid Studio takes iconic tech like the Nintendo Gameboy, Game Gear, and PSP as well as classic controllers and deconstructs them. These deconstructed devices are then beautifully framed and labelled with the brand, model, and what each part is, which is fascinating to look at. Grid also offers the same treatment to iPhone, iPod, BlackBerry, and even the classic Nokia 3310 phone. I got to look at a beautiful original Nintendo Game Boy designed by the legend Gunpei Yokoi. This monochromatic marvel was made back in 1989 and dominated the handheld market for over a decade.
At a size of 13 x 13 x 1.8 inches this square black framed masterpiece houses a deconstructed original Game Boy.
Nothing made me feel more like a kid on Christmas day than unboxing an original Gameboy, lovingly restored, and beautifully framed. Each part has been lovingly cleaned and features an annotated background is annotated to highlight what these parts and exposed circuit boards are. At £234.51, while it may not be cheap, considering the increasing rarity of these classic devices, and the care and quality of this product it seems fair for such a unique item.
But if you wanted something smaller for your stocking, Grid also offers chips like the Apple A7 processor, skilfully frozen in plastic, showcasing a piece of tech history. This real mobile phone chip is encased in clear plastic and it’s a great gift for any Apple Fan and looks awesome on any desk or mantelpiece. It's more than a gift for tech nerds and nostalgic geeks Grid Studio’s framed tech puts a spotlight on the incredible design of the beauty of these machines that we don't often notice due to their ubiquitous nature in our everyday lives, making you look at these marvels in a completely different light.
It is high quality, unique, and very affordable. A simple idea perfectly executed if you’re a fanboy for a particular handheld console or a fan of tech.
Apple A7 Chip - £34.86 Game Boy - £234.82
VR headsets are becoming more popular and sought after due to their immersive experience that you can’t really get anywhere else. There are several headsets currently available, but Meta’s Quest 2 is one of the best on the market, due to its simplicity to use, and low entry requirements.
The headset offers something for everyone in Oculus’ rich library of games and experiences such as the recently launched Horizon Worlds alongside legendary titles such as Beat Saber or Moss Book II.
Players will be able to share their virtual experience with family and friends as Quest 2 has the ability to cast to a TV or compatible screen, and its impressive latency that everyone to witness the action in real time.
The Quest 2’s lightweight allows it to be easily transported meaning Christmas games can take a back seat while the whole family battle zombies or slice through musical beats.
The Quest 2 is an immersive experience that kept surprising me in different ways making it much more than a gaming device. Its ergonomic design is very accessible which allows me and my friends to pick up and play instantly.
The system’s UI has been streamlined, which enabled me to access all my favourite apps with ease. The Meta Quest really puts safety first by making gamers draw a safe zone to play their game in, this is great as it helps keep younger games out of harm's way.
There are two versions of the Meta Quest 2 which are identical except they have different storage capacities with 128GB for £399.99 and 256GB for £499.99.
The Quest 2 is easy to set up and operate meaning younger geeks can jump right in from the get-go, and alongside its pre-installed games, players will also be able to access a plethora of titles when connected to a compatible PC.
It isn’t cheap but the library of games is always being constantly updated with exclusives that can only be found with Oculus.
Quest 2 128GB-£499.99 Quest 2 256GB - £399.99
The 90s are back… well, not entirely. But one of the biggest toy fads of the decade has returned in the Tamagotchi. Originally invented in Japan in 1996 these pocket pets became a “must-have toy” and it looks like they are making a return. These iconic digital pets, come everywhere with you, keep your pet fed, and entertained, and take care of them if they get sick or they’ll die. With its small simple form factor keychain attachment, egg shape design, and its simple three-button interface and LCD screen, it’s like carrying a piece of the 90s everywhere you go.
There are several types of Tamagotchi, The classic model which we all know and love gives you a nice trip down memory lane There are even themed editions like Evangelion, Gudetama, Star Wars Demon Slayer, and more. The Tamagotchi Pix Party is the latest model of portable pet., it features a colour interactive screen, as well as a built-in camera. You can use it to take photos of your food to then share with your virtual pet.
This advanced pocket pal allows you to play games with them, you can also buy items and toys for your pet by earning in-game points and sending them out to explore, where they can make new friends. You can then hold parties with your new friends or any unlocked characters, this allows you to play mini-games, take pictures or even cook with them. For kids, you can enjoy the latest model with its social features but for those wanting a little bit of nostalgia, you can carry a little bit of the 90s fun with you in your pocket at all times.
Tamagotchi Party Pix - £49.99 Tamagotchi - £15.99
Mobile phones are becoming staggeringly powerful, able to challenge some of the best handhelds on the market and our phones are nearly always with us.
However, when it comes to gaming one thing that always lets them down, is their awkward screen-displayed controls, obscuring the action as well as their lack of responsive, physical buttons making them harder to use. Competitive gaming on mobile is bigger than ever with games like COD Mobile, Fortnite, and League of Legends just to name a few, janky controls that cover your view can cost you and make you slower to react. Backbone is a telescopic controller that holds your mobile phone securely in place providing a comfortable grip as well as buttons and a layout that matches some of the best controllers available while remaining compact and portable.
You plug the Backbone directly into your phone providing a direct, physical connection so you will receive no input lag at all like you would get using a Bluetooth connection. There are two different versions of Backbone one for iPhone and one for Android smartphones, but the android edition is available from December. It's compatible with most games as well as streaming like Steam Link, Apple Arcade, Xbox and PlayStation Remote play apps, and more.
It features 4 buttons, a left and right thumb stick and a D-Pad as well as 2 shoulder buttons and triggers on the left and right, and lastly, it has 4 function buttons.
It has a handy 3.5mm jack for plugging in headphones which is a fantastic addition as most modern phones no longer have this.
It has no battery of its own to require power or charging, no updates or long-winded setup and it can also be used as a standard USB controller on a PC. It offers passthrough charging to keep the game going if your battery starts to run out. The Backbone is lightweight and compact with a low profile and no latches, hinges, or anything sticking out, making this control comfortable to play for long sessions.
Smooth controls and a comfortable shape give you an edge over other competitors while making your games feel more like a home console experience.
The new PlayStation edition looks simply gorgeous and matches the clean minimal white look of the PS5 as well as the iconic square, cross, triangle, and circle buttons. The Backbone is a compact controller that allows you to game on the go with minimal compromises, turning your phone into a dedicated gaming machine.
For Android - £99.99 For iPhone - £99.99
Who says keyboards need to be boring? unlike most monotone slabs the Logitech POP Keys Wireless Mechanical keyboard adds a little joy while also being pretty darn practical. Most keyboards are huge black slabs with extra buttons and RGB lights added to justify their high prices and make them look a little more interesting but not the Pop keys. Available in three bold, colourful layouts that all have tonnes of personality including Blast – black and yellow, Heartbreaker- red and pink and Daydream with a purple, yellow, green, and white keyboard. It connects via a low-energy Bluetooth 5.1 connection and requires two AAA batteries, which claim to offer a massive 36 months of battery life.
Set up was simple as fast making this a simple plug-and-play device that requires no additional software to function. It paired very quickly and reliably and its low latency connection also made the keyboard better for online gaming than I expected.
The Pop keys are a breath of fresh air, with their compact yet practical design and bright colours that look great and it was helpful to gain some desk real estate back.
The mechanical keys look great and felt springy and tactile while the keys themselves have a pleasing round shape that takes some practice to get used to and forces you to concentrate a little more on your finger placement. Maybe it's my urge to feel like an old-school journalist tapping away at a typewriter but those mechanical keys have a satisfying clicky feel and travel pretty far which made them really comfortable and precise to type on. You can also connect to three different devices and switch between them at the click of a button, which is handy if like me you have multiple machines running or occasionally need to switch to and from your work machine, personal, or smartphone quickly. While it is compact I wouldn’t say it’s super portable as it weighs 771g, but this does keep it stable and makes it feel solid and reliable while you're tapping away at those keys, preventing you from accidentally launching them across the room
Whether you’re a streamer or just working from home, we need to appear on camera a lot more than we used to. However, bad lighting, dark shadows, or just the eerie glow from your monitor can leave you looking like the undead (anyone whos been on a zoom call with me knows what I'm talking about). The Logitech Litra Beam is a 30mm, defuse LED light that not only looks great and is easy to set up, but due to its TrueSoft technology, gives you natural, accurate, and flattering skin tones leaving you looking radiant and ready to broadcast.
Youtubers and streamers often look their best on camera due to lots of powerful and expensive lighting to brighten skin tones and give a professional and flattering look. Now, of course, it can't work miracles but you'd be surprised how a well-placed, light source erases imperfections, making you look younger and your eyes brighter.
The Litra Glow is incredibly easy to set up and use, with its slim and minimal design it’s very adaptive allowing you to customise your set up making it fantastic for gaming, video conferencing, vlogging, and more.
You can also adjust the intensity of the light as well as the white balance to give a warmer or cooler look to your video to help counter any other lighting or reflections, so you’ll always look your best on camera.
If you are looking to light a dim/unevenly lit room this is a fantastic choice. It may not seem cheap but compared to a lot of professional photographic lighting the Litra Beam is fantastic value for money considering how much it improves the quality of your video output. Settings can be changed via buttons on the back or via USB using the Logitech G-HUB software on your desktop. This is really handy if you are mid-stream and you don’t want to be fumbling with buttons and controls allowing you to look natural and the show can go on. With the Litra beam, you can achieve all kinds of professional lighting setups like Flat, Split, Rembrandt, and even Back Lighting to give you some dramatic and strong looks. The Litra is a literal game changer and instantly makes your subject look younger and more professional, I had several comments about looking “different” and better ranging for my hair and weight when all I’d done was use the Litra.
Logitech Litra Beam - £99.99 Litra Glow - £59.99
Nothing says “we are living in the future” more than high-tech, glasses with cameras, speakers, and microphones in them, but here we are in 2022 with the Ray-Ban Stories glasses, my 10-year-old wannabe-spy self would lose his mind. The Ray-Ban Stories are a pair of smart glasses that allow you to take pictures, listen to music, and record videos on the go without ever needing to take your phone out of your pocket.
Available in three eye-catching designs and in a wide range of colours, all the frames incorporate two small cameras on either side of the lenses, as well as built-in speakers in the arms.
Firstly, they are a gorgeous pair of stylish Ray-Ban glasses that would make a great gift for that alone but built into the frames is tech that brings them into the future.
Thanks to their discreet design there is little to indicate that these are anything other than a regular, stylish pair of glasses.
Secondly, you can wirelessly listen to music, and podcasts or receive phone calls with the glasses, and they are easy to use with their intuitive tap controls.
Listening to music was awesome and the audio quality was much better than I expected especially as they do not go in your earls like buds but beware anyone too close will be able to hear them too. One of the best features is that they allow you to stay present and listen to your environment as they do not go in or around your ear so no sounds are blocked, the disadvantage is that they aren’t ideal in the busiest of places.
Thirdly, by just tapping the button on the left arm you can begin recording video and by holding the button down you can take a photo. Video can be recorded at 1184 x 1184 pixels at 30 frames per second for short 30-second bursts making them ideal for social media apps like Instagram and Facebook.
The two 5-Megapixel cameras take pictures at 2592x1944 pixels, which aren't quite as sharp as most modern phones but it's more subtle and offers a unique first-person perspective. Low light performance wasn't amazing, they worked well in bright conditions, i.e. when you'd want to be wearing sunglasses.
The Ray-Ban Stories glasses are a fantastic way of sharing your world with friends, and followers due to them being so close to your eyes they offer a very personal perspective.
Sticking with this clever and subtle design the case is also a charging case., the case works as a charger for glasses just like earbuds carry case.
Photographers often say "the best camera is the one you carry with you all the time" and Ray-Ban Stories can potentially ensure you never miss a moment.
– Starting at Round - £299 Wayfarer- £329 Meteor - £329
Bitmap Books are an independent publisher of gaming books focusing on retro and classic games and hardware, they have produced award-winning books on a variety of gaming subjects including beat-em-ups, CRPG’s as well as exploring specific systems in depth like the Super Nintendo, Gameboy, Master System and Commodore 64 to name but a few. They have produced some beautiful, detailed books covering the fascinating history of video games all while illustrated with brilliant box art and the pixel art that made these games iconic. The unofficial SNES Pixel Book is 272 pages of stunning pixel artwork from the golden era of 16-bit of gaming. It's fantastic for gaming geeks of a certain age and anyone who loves the classic pixel aesthetic. Featuring art from the iconic Super Nintendo games including Streetfighter 2, Donkey Kong, Chrono Trigger, and Star Fox to name a few. These pixel-based games have aged really well with generations of gamers and titles even to this day inspired by these classics.
Featuring some stunning full-page images and detailed background information including how they were designed the unofficial SNES Pixel Book is a celebration of this much-loved era in gaming history.
Game Boy: The Box Art Collection is a brilliant celebration of some of the finest cover artwork for Nintendo’s console, which started the handheld games industry.
This visual spectacle is nicely packaged in a metallic silver textured cover with a metallic blue foil logo. The thread-sewn binding holds the book together giving it extra durability.
A 372-page-long celebration of Nintendo's first handheld, Game Boy: The Box Art Collection also boasts a metallic silver textured cover with a metallic blue foil logo.
The gorgeous visuals have been printed lithographically on high-quality paper to showcase their vibrant designs making it stand out even amongst other high-quality books.
The book is filled with a wide variety of games that have excellent descriptions and gameplay screenshots. Game Boy: The Box Art Collection is a great present that will inform and astound whoever it is gifted to.
The SNES Pixel book - £29.99 Game Boy: The Box Art Collection - £29.99
Drawing with a mouse is awful, as it's not the natural position for sketching and offers no feedback. Even though the latest tablets and devices have come a long way they still don’t feel receptive enough for illustration, editing, and note-taking.
While I do have a soft spot for notebooks and doodling with a pen and paper, I much prefer the malleable nature of digital art being able to edit, and easily share my work as well as keep multiple copies. I’ve used Wacom tablets for years and have always enjoyed their quality and accuracy of them, so it's understandable why they are the industry standard for digital artists.
The tactile nature of the Wacom products allows you to put a pen to the tablet in a way that feels more natural and easier to use.
The Manga edition Intuos can help you create your own unparalleled manga-inspired art. This is a standard Intuos tablet bundled with specialised software and offing access to helpful tutorials.
The Intuos is slim, compact and an incredibly portable graphic tablet weighing only 230g making it easy to throw in your laptop bag and forget about without sacrificing much in the way of functionality. You won't need loads of cables of power bricks either as it connects via Bluetooth. Another really useful feature is the four customizable short-cut buttons at the top which you can assign to certain tools and brushes, making drawing faster and easier.
With 4,096 levels of pressure, and sensitivity Intuos pen is incredibly accurate and responsive and it just a pleasure to use.
The Pen feels comfortable and natural to hold and is light due to the lack of any battery needed so you’ll never worry about the battery dying.
Included is Clip Studio Paint Pro, a Japanese illustration and drawing tool that is a very good Photoshop substitute.
It can carry you a long way for painting and illustration and has a lot to offer and including tools that can also be used to create effects in your artwork. y have a ton of free tutorials and a great community for educational purposes, aimed to help you improve your art skills. This software definitely offers value for money.
The new Wacom Intuos Manga Edition includes free access to more than 30 professional manga tutorials with countless insider tips and tricks.
The Wacom One is a 13.3 creative pen display, it’s a professional tool for artists, illustrators, and photographic retouchers. You can feel as soon as it’s set up this is a more complex and expansive piece of editing equipment.
The Wacom One is classified as a Pen display, meaning it’s a blend of drawing tablet and screen all in one, it also does not operate independently of a computer.
Unlike a standard Tablet, this also functions as a display which helps alleviate the disconnect that sometimes happens when drawing digitally because you can see your pen strokes in real time.
The display felt more natural to draw on and helped me practice and refine my drawing ability further than ever before. The fold-out legs let the screen lean at a 19 degrees angle making it easier and more comfortable to use.
Shockingly the One can even be connected to some android allowing you to continue editing to a professional level while on the go, it even supports Samsung’s Dex app, creating a full desktop experience.
The One features a 13.3-inch display that supports a resolution of 1920 x 1080 but doesn’t support touchscreen input, so you’ll need to use a pen to work on it.
A special film is applied to the surface of the One to make it feel slightly textured especially compared to some of the smoother competitors making it feel nicer to draw on and easier to grip.
The pen is elegant, ergonomically balanced, and contains no battery or complex parts, making it very comfortable to use it has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity which make it very accurate and precise
For those serious about their drawing, painting, digital arts, and even animation the Wacom One is a more affordable professional-level tool at £304
Wacom Intuos Manga Edition –£89.99 Wacom One 13 - £359.99
I often wear a headset all day for meetings, to listen to music, and in my off time when I’m gaming or streaming, so besides demanding the best audio quality I can get I also need a headset that’s comfortable and ideally one that doesn’t keep restrict my movement or keep me pinned to my desk.
The EPOS H3 Pro Hybrid is one of the best headsets I've used and improves on the already very impressive H3 headsets, by adding wireless functionality and Active Noise Cancelling letting me concentrate on work or gunning down the last bad guy. Its chunky design isn't all for show, it's pretty durable and the extra padding keeps the headset from putting too much pressure down on your head or ears. It also has a long 20-hour battery life with ANC which can hit over 30 hours if you don't use the ANC, so you won't need to charge them all the time. It even has a detachable mic, if, like me, you prefer to use a dedicated microphone for streaming and recording. Speaking of the mic it did a fantastic job of making me heard, keeping my voice crisp and clear even when I was in a busy office.
Whether you use the added wireless functionality and ANC or not they are worthwhile additions and help you adapt to your environment and get the most out of your games.
For £239 The H3Pro Hybrid does not come cheap and they are many more affordable alternatives, but given its array of features and impressive build, audio quality, and incredible comfort the H3 Pro Hybrid is the only option for gamers who want the best audio experience available.
There is also a version without ANC for £149.99 and a cabled, non-ANC version too which is much more affordable without sacrificing quality.
EPOS H3 Pro - £169.00 EPOS H3 - £89.00
Hori is a legendary company that is renowned for its excellent craftsmanship when it comes to designing third-party hardware.
They have a strong history of partnering with the biggest names in the gaming industry to create fantastic products that aim to greatly enhance the user’s experience.
Their wide range of innovative products are built with the highest quality which has kept them at the forefront of third-party companies for several years.
Early this year Hori stepped out of their comfort zone to release the 3D Surround Gaming Neckset mainly PlayStation 5 and Xbox consoles, but it is also compatible with PC and older generation consoles.
The aim of the Gaming Neckset is to immerse the player in 3D audio to make them feel as if they are in the game.
The Neckset’s futuristic U-shaped design is akin to a travel pillow, this is so it can comfortably sit around the neck and rest on the clavicle area.
It's a light device weighing in at 235g, that’s really comfortable and won’t irritate over long periods of play.
Hori’s Neckset is accessible to all as it is easy to use straight out of the box by plugging it into the 3.5mm jack into the console's controller
Hori already released the Split Pad Pro which was a robust alternative to the Joy-Con. They were much more durable and felt a lot more satisfying when playing handheld games, however, they did lack a few features like gyro and weren't wireless.
The Split Pad Compact’s design is a cross between its predecessor and Nintendo’s Joy-Con. They are fairly bigger than the Joy-Con granting the user much more grip which is a godsend for gamers with larger hands.
One of the main features of the Split Pad Compact is the assigned button which allows players to remap the button layout with a few simple clicks.
Hori’s Split Pad Compact is a great alternative to your Joy-Cons with its ergonomic design improving the player's experience over long periods of play.
The larger buttons and D-pad feel satisfying, granting players much more accuracy during gameplay.
3D Surround Gaming Neckset - £92.89 Split Pad Compact - £48.46
LEGO is excellent at taking characters, devices, locations, and more from famous franchises and recreating them in brick form allowing you to own LEGO versions of your favourite things and even modify them. They have an outstanding back catalogue filled with epic characters like Optimus Prime or sets from TV shows like Friends as well as consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System and Atari 2600.
What makes these LEGO counterparts so special is the attention to detail paid in creating these epic homages and their stunning design making them beautiful ornaments.
Lego’s Might Bowser is a huge 2807-piece model that celebrates Nintendo’s legendary villain. This complex model measures over 32 cm towering over other models. Super Mario fans will be able to build Bowser in different poses, taking full advantage of his moveable head, neck, arms, and tail.
The fun doesn’t end there as this Bowser comes fully equipped with a fireball launcher. Lego has also included a Battle platform that has a hidden POW Block for enhanced play with Super Mario Starter Courses. But what would Bowser be without his rival Mario, yes players will be able to use their Lego figure to interact with the Kooper King, which elevates the overall experience.
The Might Bowser is one of LEGO’s finest models that will please Super Mario fans and Lego enthusiasts alike.
LEGO’s Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder is the perfect nostalgic gift for Star Wars fans, especially those who love A New Hope. It is an 1890 piece recreation that once complete will measure 10 cm x 49 cm x 30 cm wide, which may not be identical to the original but it’s still a huge model.
Star Wars connoisseurs will love the authentic details that have been made possible through clever building techniques. The model is completed with two mini figures including Luke Skywalker with a lightsaber and electro-binoculars plus the charming but erratic C-3PO.
The Mighty Bowser - £229.99 Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder- Price - £209.99
As its name states, the ODD Ball is definitely one of the most unique items on the list. This Bluetooth MIDI controller will let music enthusiasts create beats by bouncing the ball while out and about. It’s pressure-sensitive meaning that users will be able to control the sound levels by how much pressure is applied to the Ball.
ODD Ball is a MIDI device, which means it can plug directly into your favourite DAW such as Ableton, Logic Pro, FL studio Pro Tools, Cubase, and more.
The App grants the user a plethora of options allowing them to lay beats over their favourite songs, and create new tracks from hundreds of different sounds. The best feature is that the App can connect multiple ODD Balls allowing the music enthusiast to really be creative with their music production. The Odd Ball can be purchased from Reverb an Online Marketplace For Buying and Selling New and Second-Hand Music Gear.
ODD Ball from Reverb - £85.44
Crunchyroll is an anime streaming service that started in 2006, since then it has established itself as one of the biggest names in anime distribution and production.
But the anime titans provide more than just a streaming service, they have an enormous catalogue of merchandise, immortalising your favourite series and characters in numerous ways.
Amongst the trendy apparel, bold figures, cute plush toys, and more, Crunchyroll has the biggest collection of home media that come in stunning limited editions.
Dragon Ball Super: The Complete Series - Steelbook Collection - £189.99
An amazing twenty-disc collection that features all 131 episodes of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Super. Fans will be able to relive Goku’s adventures in stunning Blu-ray with the option of the English or original Japanese dubs. This collection comes with a plethora of extra features, giving fans extra insight into the world of Dragon Ball. Each arch comes in its own exclusive case which is protected by a beautiful steel case.
Attack On Titan: The Final Season: Part 1 - Limited Edition - £47.29
The final season of Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan has been split into several parts and the first has been released in a fantastic limited edition. This six-disc box set includes a 32-Page Art Digibook, 3 Exclusive Enamel Pins, 5 Art Cards that every fan of the series will relish. But what’s even more special is that this collection includes a Blu-ray and DVD version of the available episodes giving fans the option to watch them as they see fit.
My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission Steelbook - £24.99
My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission is the third film from Kōhei Horikoshi’s superhero anime, that sees Deku and co take on a doomsday cult while working for Shoto’s dad Endeavor. This special edition comes with a beautifully designed steel case and includes both Blu-ray and DVD versions of the movie.
The Transformers: The Movie 35th Anniversary - 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray Steelbook Limited Edition - £32.99
The 1986 Transformers movie is an epic that’s packed with a plethora of stars including Orson Welles, Peter Cullen, and Lenoard Nimoy to name a few. In celebration of its 35th Anniversary a stellar limited edition steel book has been released, and for the first time will allow fans to watch the film in 4K. This edition also included a Blu-Ray version of the film alongside exclusive art by Matt Ferguson and plenty of extras fans will simply adore.
Ghost In The Shell 4k Ultra-HD - £19.99
Ghost in the Shell is one of the most critically acclaimed anime films of all time that can now be watched in 4K Ultra HD. This brand-new edition comes with several extra features to elevate the already amazing experience. Fans will be able to watch the film with audio commentary and see exclusive featurettes
Anime fans will be able to subscribe to Crunchyroll’s streaming service here
When you think about sound recording, you probably think about an XLR microphone that plugs into some kind of interface. It buzzes, and it comes with a mass of trailing cables.
The Blue Yeti wants you to rethink this image - it’s digital, plugs in by a single micro-USB cable, and with its large table stand and new-age rock-and-roll aesthetic, it looks like it means serious business.
Blue, the company that makes it, claims it is the “#1 best-selling USB Microphone”, and with the amount you’ll see it around it’s hard to disagree with that - flick through a dozen decent streams on Twitch, and you’ll probably see a Blue Yeti half a dozen times.
There’s a good reason for this. The sound quality is insane and it’s really easy to get started with it, since it just plugs in by Micro USB and you’re good to go right away without any complicated set-up or software.
In addition, it has four different settings for input - known as “pattern settings”. These can be chosen to best suit what you’re trying to do, whether it's recording a solo podcast, doing an interview, recording an instrument, or laying down some vocals - be it solo or as a duet.
Conventionally, a streamer who also recorded vocals for their band would need two mics. If they also wanted to go and record an event they’d probably need a third omnidirectional mic, and none of these mics would be of any use to them for recording an instrument or a duet.
The Blue Yeti does all of these and more. You can even plug headphones into it directly and use them as your system's main audio output.
This makes the microphone incredibly versatile, and reproducing it in an analogue setup would easily cost thousands of pounds in multi-heads, mixers, and mics.
Some people will be put off by the fact that it’s a micro USB, and also reports that it’s overly sensitive. There’s a gain knob on the side that can be used to control the amount of input, and this needs to be used carefully and accurately to get the best experience. It’s worth it though - the resultant control and sound quality are unparalleled by mics in this price bracket.
It’s impossible to think of “geeks” without Dungeons and Dragons at least crossing your mind, so if the geek in your life is looking for something new to try with their friends or family, this Starter Set is a perfect nudge in the right direction.
Your favourite geek might not seem that social at first glance, but sitting around a dimly lit table with nothing but a stack of paper, books, and dice is something geeks have loved for decades, and it’s becoming more popular and more mainstream as time goes on.
Dragons of Stormwreck Isle is a new and modernised Starter Set that gives players looking to get started with D&D everything they need to dive into the hit Tabletop Role Playing Game.
It comes with an adventure, aptly named "Dragons of Stormwreck Isle", a Starter Set Rulebook, a set of dice, and five premade characters. This is everything you need to play, meaning you can open the box and get going immediately.
The Starter Set Rulebook is a slimmed-down version of some of the rules according to the Fifth Edition rule set and includes everything that you might possibly need to know to run your first adventure.
The character sheets come with instructions on how to roleplay a character, as well as a little drawing of what they might look like. This is a nice touch and adds that little spark of D&D that players will be looking for on their first trip into the world of Tabletop Role Playing.
The adventure offers combat, roleplaying, side quests, and an exploration element - parts of the story don't have to be done in a particular order, meaning players can feel like they're seeking the adventure, rather than it happening to them.
It's a good blend of everything that makes Dungeons and Dragons what it is, and the players will really feel like they've achieved something by the end of it.
You’re giving a gift of more than just a Starter Set, which is great in its own right. D&D is a rewarding and social experience - it has a huge community that is both fantastic and supportive. What’s more, roleplaying with friends can be a great way to bond, build confidence, and nurture creativity.
It starts with a Starter Set, but who knows where it ends? They’ll be creating worlds in no time.
Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle - £22.99
Tabletop roleplaying games aren’t just about the roleplaying and the game - the dice are almost a feature in their own right, deserving of their own spot at the table.
We spend hours comparing dice, looking at dice online, and coming up with excuses as to why we like some dice more than others.
New campaigns and new characters are an excuse for new dice, and it turns out there’s a whole world of dice out there courtesy of Awesome Dice.
Of note are two of my favourite dice they offer - the Thunder of Dragons Silver Hollow Metal RPG Dice, and the Ghostly Glow in the Dark dice.
The Thunder of Dragons dice are metal, but they’re hollow, meaning they’re far lighter than you might expect. What’s more, they’re covered in beautifully carved dragons, ready to put the “Dragons” in “Dungeons & Dragons”.
They’re durable, easy to read, and they make a really satisfying noise when you roll them. Most importantly though they make everyone at the table really jealous and want to borrow them.
You get 7 dice, a d20, d12, d10, d8, d6, d4, and a percentile dice.
Their cheaper cousin, the Ghostly Glow in the Dark dice also come as the same set of 7, and they’re set in swirled pink that glows blue in the dark.
To be honest, you’re not likely to use these dice in the dark that much. That said, they look awesome in the light, and the glowing is a fantastic gimmick which, even if it literally just makes everyone else jealous, is completely worth it.
If you’re looking for an affordable set of dice to give as a gift, you’ll be hard-pushed to beat these, although a quick word of warning: If you buy these as a gift for someone else, be prepared for all their friends to ask you where you got them from and how much they were.
Thunder of Dragons Hollow Metal RPG Dice Set - £56 Pink Ghostly Glow in the Dark 7-Dice Set - £11.00
The future is here - and it’s bright, blue, and themed after a fictional supersonic hedgehog.
Looking for something that combines someone’s love of tech with their love of gaming? Well, we’ve found it.
Nanoleaf is a well-known brand when it comes to smart lighting, and they’ve partnered with the makers of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to bring us a kit designed around our favourite blue mascot.
The set comes with 32 light panels, which can be arranged into the shape of Sonic’s head. Think that’s as cool as it gets? Think again, because you can also arrange them to look like Knuckles, or Tails just by following the pictures on the box.
Although they’re Sonic-themed, and they come with designs for the three characters from the series, they are actually really versatile - with enough creativity, you could almost make them look like anything. There are a lot of third-party instructions online that will help you bring to life hundreds of other designs.
The panels connect together using small plastic connectors and have adhesive on the back to let you stick them to your wall. You can then control them with the mobile app, which comes with preset light patterns.
Alternatively, you can make your own - there are 16M+ colours with brightness control, and they can even respond to touch, music, or layout. When using the app you can choose dynamic or static lighting, and even colour in the lights yourself one by one to recreate any effect you’re imagining.
Not only are they fantastic looking, but they’re also really functional, capable of lighting up a room on their own merit. They’re also really fun to tinker with - the possibilities in terms of shapes, patterns, and functions can provide hours of entertainment alone.
What’s more, they integrate with your current smart home system perfectly, connecting to the WiFi with no fuss, and offering compatibility with Alexa, Google, SmartThings, and even Razer Chroma.
Gotta go fast... to the Nanoleaf website.
Sonic Limited Edition Starter Kit- £299.99
And that's it! That’s the best I can think of for this year. I hope my elves and I have at least given you some ideas on what to get your loved ones - there were loads more we could have included that may go into next year’s guide.
If you’re still at a loss though with what to get the geek in your life, just take the time to sit down and talk to them about their interests and watch them talk about the things they love.
I guarantee that anything geeks are passionate about they won’t shut up about if given an excuse.
Fully automatic hydraulic brick making machine Merry Christmas from all the geeks at the Mirror and have a happy new year. Please remember - a geek is for life not just for Christmas.