Happy December everyone! We’re officially into the Christmas season which means it’s time to send out those wish lists and start shopping for your loved ones. There are tons of cool gifts in store and online but we’re here to provide some pop culture themed inspiration. From boxsets to beautiful books, there’s a little something for everyone.
1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 3D Extended Edition – £19.99 AmazonIf you’re a Tolkien and Peter Jackson fan, there’s nothing better than getting your hands on the extended editions of the Middle Earth-set movies. The latest release to hit the shelves is the 3D Blu-ray version of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
The 5-disc set features both 3D and 2D versions – so not as to ostracise watchers without the oft-irritating blue and red glasses – but it’s really the 11 hours of special features that you should be buying this for. From featurettes that show what it was like to be on set in New Zealand, to production stories that reveal how the filmmakers created Tolkien’s enchanting world, these appendices give an inside look at one of the biggest film franchises ever made.
As with the LOTR’s extended editions, the special features are fascinating if you love the art of filmmaking. Once you’ve worked your way through the 10+ hours of features, you can immerse yourself in the concluding epic for the umpteenth time. These movies never lose their magic but with this boxset, The Battle of the Five Armies truly comes alive.
Read our film review here.
2. Mad Max Anthology – £24.99 AmazonMad by name, mad by nature…George Miller’s post-apocalyptic Fury Road was one of the surprise hits of 2015. Combining a bonkers concept with captivating visuals, the Mad Max reboot – starring Tom Hardy in the titular role – provides a high-octane adventure that will have you holding your breath from start to finish.
For fans of the original movies, the Mad Max Anthology brings all four movies together in one delightfully madcap boxset. Start with the Mel Gibson original and have the ultimate movie marathon by watching The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome before concluding with the latest addition. There’s also Fury Road deleted scenes to enjoy and a bonus documentary disc providing a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film that started the legend that is Max.
To sweeten the deal, there are artwork cards for each movie that would look awesome framed on the wall in any home cinema.
Read our film review here.
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens BB-8 Sphero – £129.99 Forbidden PlanetWith the imminent release of The Force Awakens, it would be criminal to create a Christmas list and not feature some sort of Star Wars gift. So allow us to introduce you to the BB8 Sphero.
You’ve probably already seen this authentic little droid toy which responds to voice commands. It can work with your phone or tablet and is just about the coolest Star Wars gift around. What’s even better is that it’s not just for kids; it can record holographic videos and project those recordings onto different surfaces, making it more than just a novelty gadget.
It’s on the pricier side but it’s worth the money if you’re a seasoned Jedi fan. Who knows, these could even be worth something in years to come. Probably best to keep it in the box so that it doesn’t get damaged…
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Christmas Jumper – £33.29 Forbidden PlanetTacky Christmas jumpers were once something that Nan knitted and adults dreaded wearing. Fast forward to 2015 and the Christmas jumper has had something of a revival. They’re actually cool now, and it seems the tackier they are, the more people adore them.
Sticking with the cinema theme, there are tons of movie inspired jumpers to don over the festive period. Our favourite is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles number. Pizza might not be on the menu on Christmas Day but you’re never too old to wear a sweater with little green reptiles and festive slices on. If ninja turtles don’t take your fancy, there’s always Harry Potter and Star Wars jumpers, which we also unashamedly love.
5. Game of Thrones Monopoly – £29.99 FireboxAfter you’ve stuffed yourself with turkey and got a little tipsy, it’s time to plonk yourself on the sofa, put your feet up and gather the family for a game. Nothing beats a classic board game, specifically monopoly, specifically Game of Thrones monopoly, the collector’s edition.
This custom designed board comes complete with hand-sculpted tokens and special GOT themed cards and property. Collect the different locations and houses as you move around the board (watch everyone battle for Stark and Targaryen), carefully avoiding losing your hard-earned cash to the Hand of the King and the Master of Coin. The rules are the same but the themed board ups the fun factor. Season six of GOT is still a long way off but you can bring Westeros a little closer with this gift.
6. Perfume: A Century of Scents by Lizzie Ostrom – £12.74 AmazonWhen it comes to buying bookish gifts at Christmas, the prettier the book, the better – which inevitably means splashing out on a hardback. One of the most gorgeous covers this Christmas is Lizzie Ostrom’s Perfume: A Century of Scents, which selects ten scents for each decade of the twentieth century, delivering 100 fragrant stories.
According to Ostrom – who’s been labeled ‘the Heston Blumenthal of perfume’ – every scent has a tale to tell. Whether it’s the stories of the visionaries that created them or the sagas of the people who wore them, A Century of Scents will inform and entertain with wit and interesting historical anecdotes.
This lighthearted read is the perfect non-fiction stocking filler for perfume aficionados and beauty lovers. And even if you don’t know your Chanel No.5 from your J’Adore, this book is simply too pretty to ignore.
7. Harry Potter Colouring Book – £4.99 AmazonIt’s hardly a secret that the literature world has been ruled by the colouring book revolution this past year. We’ve had secret gardens, animal kingdoms, enchanted forests, tattoo collections, even a Benedict Cumberbatch book…but out just in time for Christmas (Warner Bros. sure know how to time their releases) is the Harry Potter Colouring Book.
When this was first announced Potterheads went mad. We went a little mad. Who doesn’t love Harry Potter? Fans of the franchise want to continue the Hogwarts love in any way they can and this colouring book is a little piece of magic. The artwork is stunning, displaying characters and locations from the series. You can colour in everything from Dobby to the final battle between Harry and Voldemort, and what’s even better is that this interactive book doesn’t break the bank. We all love a bargain but a Harry Potter bargain beats them all.
8. The Girl on the Train (Hardback) – £12.99 WaterstonesWe couldn’t do a Christmas gift guide without featuring some sort of special edition fiction. Our number one hardback selection this year goes to Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train. With numerous accolades to its name – most notably ‘thriller of the year’ – this compulsive read is the ideal present for fans of Gone Girl.
The exclusive edition features a gorgeous black and silver cover, top and tail binding, a placeholder ribbon and sprayed red edges, making it a real treat for any bookshelf. It’s so nice you won’t want to ruin the pages by actually reading it!
9. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (VINYL) – £13.99 AmazonIf Max Mad was one of 2015’s most celebrated films, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was certainly top of the list last year. The effortlessly cool soundtrack was one of the reasons the film was such a hit and in keeping with the retro spirit of the music, the only way to listen to the Awesome Mix Vol. 1 is on VINYL.
Kicking off with Blue Swede’s Hooked on a Feeling and concluding on Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, this record is bound to have everyone jigging on Christmas Day. Considering how much VINYLs can sell for, this is an absolute steal at £13.99. It’s limited edition but currently temporarily out of stock on Amazon, so you might have to scout around for this one!
10. The Art of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (Limited Edition Hardcover) – £40 Forbidden PlanetIf you or a loved one can’t get enough of video games, the Art of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate book from Titan is an absolute must-have. For starters, there are only 500 copies worldwide, bringing new meaning to the term limited edition.
Celebrate the latest game in the Creed universe by delving into this detailed hardback with its Industrial Revolution slipcase. It features rare concept art and commentary from the artists and developers that will give you an inside look at how the game’s world is created.
The book is £40, which would seem on the steep side if it didn’t include two signed art prints by game artists Felix Marlo Flor and Tony Zhou Shuo. This is the ultimate collector’s item for game enthusiasts and it won’t be available forever, so make sure it’s on your list for 2015.