Got a roommate who won’t let you near the TV when Doctor Who is on? Or a buddy who gets so excited telling you about the latest Batman comic, he almost chokes on his Star Wars-themed breakfast cereal? Then this is the gift guide you need…
The Sandman Omnibus, $150 for Volumes 1 & 2
The chances of your geeky roommate not loving Neil Gaiman – and specifically his epic, sprawling classic fantasy series, Sandman – are about as high as the odds of him not smelling of Mountain Dew and pizza rolls. Silly nerd stereotypes aside, this is a beautiful, hardcover collection of maybe the most respected comic book series of all time, and it deserves a place on your friend’s bookshelf – right next to his chess trophies and his signed photos of Nichelle Nichols. And if you really, really love him, you could always splurge on this $500 deluxe version, with silver-gilded pages and an autograph from Gaiman himself. But no one loves their roommate that much, right...?
It’s a working, flying helicopter that you control with your mind! If you have a friend who keeps getting caught trying to bend spoons with the mutant power of telekinesis, give him this instead. Operated by an EEG headset that communicates with the device via Bluetooth, it works by interpreting your brainwaves and translating them as commands. Just don’t be in the room when he tries to command it by mentally reciting his 10,000-word Kitty Pryde/Robocop fan fic.
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series, $199.99
The show that made people everywhere believe that a geek could become the ultimate badass, Breaking Bad is one of the greatest TV shows ever made. What makes this Blu-ray collection irresistible is its storage case, which is shaped like one of Walt’s money barrels and comes with commemorative coins, a Los Pollos Hermanos apron, and 55 hours of special features. We’ll smoke a bowl to that!
Buy It Now!
The retail version of the gaming world’s virtual reality darling is still about a year away, but that’s not stopping Oculus from selling dev kits of the Rift to anyone who wants one. Even in beta, the Rift is still supported by quite a few PC games, and joining the grass roots movement of amateur developers who are currently porting games to the Rift means you can finally make your dream of creating a virtual reality Leisure Suit Larry come true.
Subscription to LootCrate, $13.37 per month
Every month, six to eight gloriously geeky toys and trinkets show up at your door. The items could include anything – a Portal pillow, a Transformers t-shirt, an Iron Man lunchbox, a Darth Vader bobble-head – but they all have two things in common: First, your geeky roommate is going to love and cherish them forever (unless they’re one of the things that trigger his nerd rage, in which case, duck). Secondly, they’re all things that you’re going to regret giving him when the apartment gradually starts to look like an episode of Hoarders.
Samsung Galaxy Gear Smart Watch, $299.99
Short of a Rolex, getting a watch that only tells time is a pretty big disappointment in 2013. The Samsung Galaxy Gear Smart Watch doesn’t just connect to your Galaxy S4 or Note 3 smart phones to provide you with schedules, alerts, and voice control of your phone, it also has a built-in camera for those sneaky spy shots you wanna take when you can’t pull out your phone for a selfie.
NVIDIA Shield 16 GB, $299.99
To the uninitiated, the NVIDIA Shield is a goofy gizmo that looks like the lovechild of an iPhone and an Xbox controller. However, in a capable set of hands, it’s the most versatile handheld on the market, able to play old-school Nintendo games, full-blown Steam PC offerings, and even putting a tactile spin on Android games. Just don’t confuse this with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson hates that.
With so many wireless, portable speakers to choose from, how do you know which one’s most appropriate for your geeky friend? Simple – you choose the one science has proven best! Or as close as we come to science at Maxim, which is to say we used a Hometown Hottie and some ping pong balls. Still, we ended up showing the merits of this versatile, 360-degree speaker with 15 hours of playback and multiple color options. And the merits of ping pong, obviously.
Griffin PowerDock 5, $99.99
If you’re sick of seeing all your buddy’s gadgets take up every wall socket in the place, give him this and, after explaining that it’s not a toaster prop from Star Trek, watch him tidy all his phones and tablets into a space the size of a single iPad. Able to charge five devices at once, it’s best with Apple products, but it will charge Android and Kindle gizmos too.
HAL 9000 Life-Size Replica, $499.99
For hardcore sci-fi fans, there is no other movie that quite measures up to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Give your friend the gift of senile computer terror with this beautifully accurate model of the Discovery One’s deranged HAL 9000. It speaks 15 different phrases from the movie, with the added bonus that it won’t attempt to murder you in the freezing vacuum of space (probably).
“I Just Blue Myself” Pint Glass, $8, or two for $12
Did you ever meet a geeky guy who didn’t love to spout endless quotes from Arrested Development? Give him this tribute to one of the show’s most classic scenes. Just make sure he washes the paint off before hugging you. And when he tells you he’d always wanted to find a man’s face inside his stockings, remind him, there’s got to be a better way to say that.
Damson Jet Speakers, $199.99
Appearances can be deceiving, so when we opened up these cute little guys we expected sub-par sound and poor battery life. Instead, we were blown away by the nine hours of play time and the crisp sound quality, and that was before we even set them down. When you place these chippy blasters on a smooth surface, they use it amplify the jams and emphatically kick up the bass (scientifically, the sexiest part of sound). These Damson speakers could almost make you go, “Damn, son.” Yeah, we went there.
Sonic Screwdriver TV Remote, $99.99
Based on the 11th Doctor’s iconic green, glowing screwdriver, this isn’t just a sweet replica – it’s also a gesture-based universal remote. So if you don’t have the timey-wimey required for hunting down the remote under the couch, simply wave the screwdriver in one of the 39 programmable gestures, then decide to turn the TV off completely and play with the 13 sound effects from the show instead. Geronimo!
Star Wars Tauntaun Sleeping Bag, $149.99
If you want to recreate a scene that involves keeping your friend alive by covering him in space-goat guts, today’s your lucky day! Complete with a plush lightsaber zipper, it’s the most awesomely nerdy sleeping bag in the galaxy. Just be careful when you haul him out of the thing after he’s slept in there for eight days straight. Remember, you thought those things smelled bad on the outside…