Fill a Stocking Suited for a Nerd
Mall parking lots are a mess and Wal-Mart lines are downright scary. This week we’re shopping in Maryland Heights to find five perfect stockings for the special people in your life.
Every family has one person who knows Han Solo Shot First. Fanboys and girls may have plenty of friends online who know exactly what they want for Christmas, but finding presents is always a little bit of a mystery to people outside the subculture.
The problem is nerd gifts are typically expensive and suited to very specific tastes. It's best to err on the side of slightly generic, yet lighthearted fun if you don't want to risk being treated to a very long explanation of why the X-Men comic you innocently chose doesn't fit into the continuity arc they're currently following.
If you didn't understand any of that, we're here to help.
You can still stuff a stocking with things bought right here in Maryland Heights that will make the nerd in your life know you really care. Here's what we found for $20:
- $5 - Vertigo First Cut
- $4 - Transformers 3D Battle Card Game Pack
- $3 - The Comic Book Guy Comic Book
- $3 - Stormtrooper Toy
- $2 - Multi Sided Dice
- $1 - Flash Ring
- $1 - Hostess Snack Cakes
- $1 - Ganisto Snack cakes
The Vertigo First Cut and Comic Book Guy comics available at Newcastle Comics are real gems. Vertigo First Cut is a full sized trade paperback compiling the first issue of seven different independent comics. It's a great choice for comic nerds who think Justice League of America and X-Men are too mainstream. Since this has seven first issues inside, you don't have to worry about picking up in the middle of any ongoing storylines.
The Comic Book Guy comic from The Simpsons is exactly what you'd expect - a fun parody full of cheap laughs. Both Simpsons fans and comic lovers are likely to get a chuckle out of it. Since it also doesn't follow any 50 year old established continuities, you yet again dodge the lecture bullet.
Now for the stealth bit of awesome - the Transformers game pack actually transforms into two robots! Okay, they don't have mechanical parts, Optimus Prime's baritone voice or built-in lasers — but you still get to punch out parts and make your own toy from scratch.
The game also includes instructions on how to play a game designed like Pirates of the Spanish Main and other constructable card games. But really, you're buying it so you can make miniature robots. I advise buying no less than four packs, because constructing robots is addictive.
Walgreens has the Star Wars fans in your life well covered with an assortment of toys ranging from $3 to $20. Your average science fiction fan will be delighted to see any of these in a stocking.
They can make the Stormtroppers fight your newly built Transformers for a moment of unbridled holiday awsomeness they'll be talking about all year long.
A nerd's four food groups include sugar, salt, fat and caffeine. While you're picking up Star Wars toys at Walgreens, you could grab some Hostess Snack Cakes and a can of Red Bull. But if you're feeling extra generous, head up the street to Lara Market Mexican Grocery for some Gansito snack cakes. Snacks are good, but obscure snacks are a status item.
If you feel like you need something to round out your stocking you should probably get more Transformers packs, but neatly colored dice in sizes other than six or 20 sided are also a fun choice. We found the dice, plus a replica Flash ring, at Newcastle.
Toss all this in a big red sock and hang it on your mantle. Christmas morning, your nerd will be full of holiday bragging rights - right after the Decepticon/Stormtrooper wars raging on your dining room table end.
Where we found our nerd stocking stuffers...
Newcastle Comics - 2294 McKelvey Rd.
Walgreens - 12509 Dorsett Rd.
Lara Market #3 - 1926 McKelvey Rd.