December 6, 2013
We did the local-centric PopCult Gift Guide last week. This week we bring you ten cool things that you will probably find online (but you might want to shop local first). Links to the best deals online are included. This is in the grand tradition of the nine Christmases we have spent with you here at PopCult. Here is your 2013 Popcult Gift Guide:
We always have to have something for the Beatles fans. This year you have two great new items. There is a new collection of previously-unreleased songs recorded by The Beatles during their BBC radio show, and Mark Lewisohn has released the first volume of his comprehensive trilogy of Beatles books.
“The Beatles On Air Live At The BBC Volume 2″ contains 63 tracks, 37 of which are full songs, with the rest being studio banter and skits. This is a sequel to the first Beatles at The BBC album, released in 1994, and is the first time any unreleased Beatles songs have been offiically released since the Anthology albums came along a couple of years later. You can buy this as a two-disc set, or as part of a boxed set, along with the newly-remastered volume one and a forty-eight page book.
“Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years” is the first of three volumes of a meticulously-researched history of The Beatles. Mark Lewisohn is the go-to guy when it comes to Beatles books–his are the ones I don’t leaf through in the bookstore and find mistakes–and he has spent ten years tracking down every thing he can to paint as complete a picture as possible of the Fab Four. How detailed is this book, you ask? Its 944 pages only take us up to 1962. This is the bio that the most rabid Beatlemaniacs have been dreaming of.
Everybody needs a rubber duck. Why not get yourself one that celebrates De-Evolution? The DEVO Duck arrives with a DEVO Energy Dome (well-known to fans of Radio Free Charleston) and a box that, among other things, exclaims “Quack That Whip!”
The Aquabats Super Show is, quite simply, the greatest show in the history of television. A combination of the original Batman TV Show, The Monkees, The Power Rangers and DEVO (there they are again), The Aquabats Super Show is easily the best thing that should never be acronymized. The entire first season, with lots of extras, is available on DVD now.
Hess Oil Truck
A Christmas Tradition, the Hess Oil Company has released limited-edition vehicles with all kinds of cool features for nearly fifty years. This year’s Hess toy truck is a beautifully chrome detailed truck and trailer with loading ramp, custom designed to haul a versatile, self-propelled tractor. The truck has light and sound features, plus a hidden pull-out ramp. The Tractor is self-propelled and also has lights and working functions. You can order it from the Hess Oil site if you don’t live near a Hess station.
Check out this promo clip…
Grumpy Cat Plush
For a generation too young to remember Morris The Cat, Grumpy Cat is the ultimate cuddly little font of negativity. If you are felinally-obsessed, or just think the little ball of claws is funny, you can now have your very own plush incarnation of the Ed Asner of the kitteh world. As an added bonus, since this is a plush toy, and not a real cat, it won’t destroy all your stuff and stink up your house. These are selling out very quickly, but Amazon seems to have a decent supply.
Walking Dead Action Figures
You can relive all the action and gore of the most-watched (in the key demographic) show on television. The Walking Dead action figures are a great gift for the Dead-head on your list. If you’re lucky, you may venture forth unto Walgreens in search of the rare exclusive Rick figure. Even if you strike out with Rick, you might be able to snag Andrea, Carl or that bastard, The Governor at really low prices. If you don’t find them in stores, you can pay a premium and buy them here.
Unicorn Head Mask
Everybody’s wearing that tired old horse mask. Why not surprise the life of the party in your life by gifting them with the most horny of equine headgear, the unicorn mask? Watch as they run around poking people with their horns until they get punched by someone or run into a wall and knock themselves out. Laughs all around!
From Archie McPhee, of course. Y9u can also find Pug, Crow and Squirrel masks there.
I wrote about Cinematic Titanic starting up back in January 2008 (Oddly enough, in the same column where I wrote about The Aquabats TV Show, which didn’t happen until 2012). . Now they are winding down. Joel Hodgeson and his crew of Mystery Science Theater 3000 veterans are retiring from the world of riffing on crappy movies. But you can still order their DVDs, and relive all the wisecracking glory. The DVDs are pretty cheap, too.
Figures Toy Company Batman Wave One
The first wave of Batman MEGO-style reproduction figures is available now. For twenty-five bucks a pop, you can get your hands on Batman, Robin, The Joker and The Riddler. The actual MEGO figures would set you back hundreds of dollars each. These figures are a blast of pure nostalgic glee for the action figure collector of a certain age.
You can find these guys all over the net, but they’re made by Figures Toy Company, and they sell direct.
New Cartoon Network Shirts
If you head over to the Cartoon Network shop site, you can find T Shirts emblazoned with the newest Cartoon Network starts, Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe. These shows are so new that no store has their merchandise yet. It’ll be months before these shirts show up in Hot Topic, so you can gift these buggers to the trendoid on your list and force them to be ahead of their time. Plus they look cool.
That’s almost it for the PopCult Gift Guide. Next week the PopCult Toybox and The PopCult Bookshelf will look back at the toys and books that most deserve to be given as gifts this year. We will have all our regular PopCult features, too–the RFC Flashback tomorrow will bring you our first Christmas show, restored to its former glory. A new RFC MINI SHOW will wing its way to you Monday and as usual, there will be tons of other neat stuff here as well.