UK Christmas Gift Guide 2012

Need help gift-buying for gamers this Christmas? Here are some items to look out for.

Mass Effect Cards

As a galaxy-saving, alien-bedding hero, Shepard probably doesn't have much time to play cards. If he did, though, he'd almost certainly be the first to say "I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favorite deck of playing cards in the galaxy." All of the aces and royal cards feature different characters; Miranda is Shepard's queen of spades, Jack is a jack, Joker is a joker… you get the idea.

8-Bit Sunglasses

Ever wondered what your family and friends would look like as 8-bit characters? Well, keep on wondering; donning these sunglasses won't make folks look like videogame characters at all. It'll make a small portion of your own face look like something out of a retro game, but the people and places around you will just look darker. That's what sunglasses do.

Spelunky Minis

Much like the characters in Spelunky that they're based on, these diminutive figurines are best kept away from fire, explosions, mammoths, and bottomless pits. If none of these potential hazards are prevalent in your home, Spelunky Minis will thrive there and, assuming you're not looking to them for companionship, they make great pets. That's assuming your blind box doesn't contain the snake.

Olly Moss Book

Remember that cool Resistance 3 box art that cleverly incorporated New York's skyline into the dental work of a Chimera skull? Olly Moss did that. He also put together this book titled Silhouettes from Popular Culture that features exactly what you think it does. Images aren't labeled and there are no answers pages at the back, so if you don't recognize someone, you're out of luck.


The enjoyment that can be derived from toys is often proportionate to the quality of your imagination. For some, bedrooms and backyards can become battlegrounds beyond compare; for others, there are Skylanders. Give your imagination a rest with toys that, once placed on the portal of power, come to life inside a videogame world that's already been imagined for you.

Prices correct at time of writing

Operation R2-D2

Operating on a guy with a red lightbulb for a nose apparently doesn't cut it anymore. Perhaps because his most obvious abnormality was the one thing you couldn't attack with a pair of tweezers? Regardless, nowadays you can perform surgical procedures on all sorts of licensed characters and, of course, no conversation about licensed products would be complete without Star Wars.

Donkey Kong Jenga

If you've ever played Jenga before, you can't help but have noticed that what the game really lacks is a compelling narrative featuring an antagonistic ape. Donkey Kong Jenga addresses this common complaint with the addition of Mario quadruplets who, as the game progresses, must climb to the top of the Jenga tower to rescue Pauline from the titular simian kidnapper.

The Metagame

Which is more tragic, Tetris or Tekken? Which is sexier, Passage or Pac-Man? These are just a couple of the countless question and answer combos that you might debate with friends during a game of Metagame: Videogame Edition. Warning: In the States of California and New York this game has been proven to cause intelligent discussion, learning, and podcasting.

Prices correct at time of writing

WoW Monopoly

Remember when every game of Monopoly used to be preceded by an argument about who got to play as the car and who would get stuck with the iron? Well now you can argue about mechagnomes and flight path boots instead. World of Warcraft Monopoly is one of many themed sets available. Other videogame-themed sets include Nintendo, Street Fighter, and Sonic the Hedgehog.

iCADE 8-Bitty

Purportedly compatible with "thousands of games" on iOS and (most) Android devices, this boxy little Bluetooth controller works well with the kinds of games that were originally released on cartridges and cassette tapes. Assuming your touchscreen device's protective case of choice incorporates rainbow and faux wood motifs, the 8-bitty will also look right at home alongside it.

Minecraft Lego

Last year it was Skylanders figures, this year it's Minecraft Lego. The world of Minecraft always seemed to have an uncanny resemblance to the Danish construction toy, so it was inevitable the two mega-brands would come together. Like any must-have Christmas item, prices on these sets have increased as supply has become an issue, but if you do find one, they're bound to please the Minecraft fan in your life.

Retro Duo Console

Looking to spend significantly less than £300 on a new Nintendo console this Christmas? Not hung up on what the word "new" really means? For just $50 (£32), you can get your hands on a RetroDuo console that functions as both a NES and a SNES. Back of the box features include a power switch, air vents, two controller ports, and more! Comes with two controllers and zero games.

Halo Risk

Like Monopoly, Risk is a game that's available in a myriad of different licensed flavors at this point. Unlike Monopoly, the different licenses have a significant impact on how Risk plays. This Halo Legendary Edition comes with a couple of two-player maps in addition to its oversized Halo ring map, for example. Other gaming editions of Risk include Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

Aperture Gear

No doubt engineered using science of some kind, these matching Aperture containment and carrying apparatus are no longer reserved for test subjects. Available in orange and orange, they can be used to transport cake, potatoes, hopes and dreams, and even other, smaller containment and carrying apparatus. Well, except for the small one; that's designed specifically for your iPad.

Minecraft Vinyls

Given that their primary means of human interaction is to pursue you and then blow up, why you'd willingly invite a Minecraft creeper into your home is a mystery. Fortunately, this vinyl creeper is both inanimate and explosive-free, so it's relatively safe. Vinyl models of Steve and Diamond Steve are available at the same 6" scale, but only the creeper comes with a sweet diamond block.

Mini Portal Gun

Portal guns can be tricky to get a hold of; limited edition life-size replicas sold out within 30 minutes of going on sale, new replicas won't be available until December, and real portal guns simply don't exist. Yet. These mini replicas, on the other hand, are available right now. They also cost less than the life-size ones and have the added benefit of making you feel like a giant.

Shepard Figure

Your Commander Shepard might look nothing like this one. He might have different hair, he almost certainly wears different armor, and he might be a she. This action figure comes with approximately 100 percent fewer customization options than the in-game character that it's based on, as well as a code that can be redeemed for some Mass Effect 3 in-game content.

Prices correct at time of writing

RC Mario

Efforts to recreate Mario Kart in the real world have, to date, been hampered by a shortage of red shells, blue shells, bloopers, and mega mushrooms. This 1/8th scale (huh?) RC Mario does absolutely nothing to rectify this unfortunate situation, but throw down some banana skins, pick up an RC Yoshi as well, and you can enjoy Nintendo-brand racing anywhere with a lot of floor space.


Balls don't usually cost nearly £100, but they also don't usually have robots inside them. Sphero does. It's a robot that you can drive around using an iOS or Android device. There are already a good number of different Sphero apps available, including a shooter that's played using the ball as a controller and a multiplayer game that uses its color-changing capabilities. Cats love it.

Minecraft Jacket

Far more comfortable than Minecraft outfits created with leather, gold, iron, or diamonds, this fleece jacket is perfect for those cold nights when you're stuck outside of your cave, cabin, or castle. There's not enough of that green lining for this to double as a crappy creeper Halloween costume when turned inside out, but get yourself a hat and a beard and maybe you can go as Notch.

USB Monitor

If you've ever tried to check your email, your bank balance, or a game guide while playing on your computer, you know that sometimes one screen just isn't enough. This 14" monitor isn't one that you'll want to play games on, but it's powered by USB, has a stand that supports it in both landscape and portrait orientations, and it's light enough that you can carry it around with your laptop.

Prices correct at time of writing

Turtle Beach Ear Force SIERRA Headset

Turtle Beach's flagship headset is built with the eSports market in mind. Its Digital Signal Processor allows you to finely tune every aspect of both the audio output, and microphone input. And with this being the official Call of Duty: Black Ops II edition, developer Treyarch has programmed a host of presets that help emphasise sounds such as footsteps or grenades, which could prove the difference between life and death for those addicted to the game's multiplayer.

M-3 Predator Replica

This weighty replica pistol from Mass Effect 3 is presumably crafted using rare space minerals that sell on Earth for around $40 a pound. How else it warrants a $400 price tag is a mystery. Yes, only 600 of them are being made, but for that money you might at least expect it to come with some sort of display stand. Or a holster. You get the gun and a USB charger for its LEDs, that's it.

Street Fighter Chess

Capcom's Street Fighter series celebrated its 25th anniversary this year and, in a bizarre coincidence, the game of chess has been around for ages as well. It makes perfect sense, then, that the two should come together in this limited edition chess set. Ryu and M. Bison are the kings, Chun-Li and Juri are queens, and other favorites from the SF roster have roles as bishops, knights, and rooks.


Bored of fighting over the family TV when you want to play games? Looking for a solution that can double as an oversized lunchbox in a pinch? This mobile gaming environment has a built-in 15.5" LED 720p display, stereo speakers, and can accommodate an Xbox 360 or slim PlayStation 3. Larger "Vanguard" models with 19" displays and bigger price tags are also available.

iPod Touch

Owning a new iPod Touch is a lot like owning an iPhone 5 with AT&T. You can use it to listen to music, to watch movies, to play games, and--assuming you're near a wi-fi spot--to download all manner of apps. It's not a phone, of course, but that just means there are no contracts, monthly fees, dropped calls, overage charges, or annoying ringtones to worry about. Also, it's available in pink.

Astro A50 Headset

If you game on multiple systems and have ever described yourself as an audiophile, these wireless headphones from Astro are for you. They're comfortable; they go for hours on a single charge; the mic is good; and the sound quality is excellent. They're also compatible with every system that you're likely to be playing games on, assuming you're not from the future. Or space.

Nintendo Wii U

In case you missed it, Nintendo launched a new console this holiday season. It looks like a regular Wii, and you can use the same Wii remote controllers with it, but it's a whole new thing. Buying the black rather than the white system is the way to go; not only does it look better, but for just $50 more it comes with a game and significantly more internal memory for downloadable games and such.

Prices correct at time of writing

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These gift ideas suck.


8-bit glasses lol


Instead of these I think I'll just ask for an actual game for xmas.


Lego Minecraft at £75... Someone is trying to cash in on this.

I got my brothers one for £34.95 from the Lego store in Blue Water.

Or order it there with post for roughly £40 total.


Only thing from the list above I would consider wanting is the Wii U, GAEMS G155, Astro A50 Headset and maybe the Ipod touch. In other words the expensive stuff. :D


I would have thought the SNES/NES console would cost no more then £20-£25 for UK gamers