PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Gift Guide: Bread In A Can

canned bread

breadsYeah, bread in a can. There is such a thing. If you haven’t heard of it before, it sounds hilarious, but it’s real, and apparently a New England regional favorite.

For those who are unfamiliar with brown bread in a can, it may seem like some bizarre, atomic-age contrivance. However, as those lucky enough to have been reared on this wholesome treat can tell you, it’s a throwback to old New England. B&M’s version has been tantalizing taste buds since 1867.

Extremely moist and dense, this mouthwatering bread is made using only natural ingredients and has a rich molasses taste that comes through with every bite. Slice and serve right out of the can or, if you prefer, toast, bake, or microwave it. Great with cream cheese, peanut butter and jelly, or flavored cheese spreads topped with cold cuts. Available plain or with raisins. Approx. 8 servings in 16 oz. can.

As a foodie gift item, this treat can come off as exotic, old-fashioned, alien, down-home, arcane or just plain weird. Apparently, you open each end of the can and push the loaf out. As unappetizing as that may sound, this stuff is apparently quite good, and possibly addictive. A half-inch slice is 130 calories, so it’s not bad as a bread item if you refrain from eating the entire loaf.

I have not yet found this delicacy locally, but you can order it from The Vermont Country Store in a package of two for under eleven bucks, or head to Amazon where you can find this canned bread in configurations ranging from one to dozen, with the prices plummeting the more you buy.

thrones color

61eZyjekVlLThe Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book (A Song of Ice and Fire)
by George R.R. Martin and various
Bantam
ISBN-13: 978-1101965764

The perfect gift for fans of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones, this one-of-a-kind coloring book features forty-five exclusive illustrations.

In a world where weddings are red, fire is green, and debts are paid in gold, countless images leap off the page thanks to the eye-popping intricacy of the vivid settings and details. Now, for the first time, fans of this blockbuster saga can fill in the blanks and marvel as this meticulously imagined universe comes to life, one sword, sigil, and castle at a time. With dozens of stunning original black-and-white illustrations from world-renowned illustrators Yvonne Gilbert, John Howe, Tomislav Tomić, Adam Stower, and Levi Pinfold, this unique collector’s item expands the reach of an international phenomenon with flying colors.

Proably not suitable for young children, this coloring book is aimed at older teens and adults who have read Martin’s books or watched the HBO program. The list price is $16.95, but most booksellers will discount it considerably.This should be available where ever books are sold.

bub

Glow_Purr_Plush_w_BUB_2_cdaf4311-f6bd-4186-aeb3-f668ac945bfd_1024x1024The all new Lil BUB Glow & Purr started shipping on Friday, November 13th. This fun plush item was one of the things we were privvy to see, but not photograph, at Toy Fair last February. We saw the prototype, which actually purred, using recordings of the real internet sensation, Lil BUB. Since that time, they’ve added a glowing collar, so that Lil BUB can also act as a night-light for the young-uns.

The Lil BUB Glow & Purr Plush Toy makes real actual BUB sounds (squonks, purrs and all) when you pat or pet her head. Not only that, but when she purrs, she lights up with magic! The BUB sounds are real, they were recorded by BUB’s dude. You can see it in action HERE.

Cosmetically, it is almost identical to the original BUB plush except it is slightly larger to accommodate the electronics, and the eyes are a magical sparkling green.

Appropriate for cat lovers of all ages, this toy is only available at the moment from the Official Lil BUB website. Thirty two dollars brings you a plush replica of the internet star that makes real BUB-like sounds.

This toy was very carefully created by Cuddle Barn and is about as close as you can get to a real BUB.

A portion of the proceeds of the BUB PLUSH benefit Best Friend’s Animal Society – a national organization working to save the lives of pets in shelters with no place to call home.

ray gun

Atomic-Ray-Gun-Metal-Sign_-TINARG_image1__22705.1438876002.600.600Retro A Go Go has all sorts of great, custom-made, metal signs, but today we’re focusing on three classic Ray Gun designs. Inspired by ultra-cool space toys from the 1950s and earlier, these large recreations will look great on your wall. They let people know that you’re willing to defend your home, but your preferred method is atomic-powered hand-guns.

Hearkening back to the days of buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, these metal signs have the perfect sense of retro-futurism that makes us nostalgic for what the future used to be.

There are three styles of Ray Gun Metal Signs available:

The Atomic Ray Gun would let you zap and disenigrate anything that stands in your way!Harness the power of atomic energy to settle neighborhood disputes. It’s safe as mittens, but deadly, too.

Super-Sonic-Gun-Metal-Sign_-TINSSG_image1__65248.1438876215.600.600The Supersonic Space Gun overwhelmed your foe with a blast of sonic energy, possibly rendering them immobile or inducing severe bodily functions.

The Space Jet Gun would destroy your opponents with the fury of a thousand Jet Engines, leaving nothing but a smoking pair of space boots in its wake.

Who doesn’t love the retro look of rayguns? Blast your walls with some real retro coolness  This die cut metal sign is great for fun kid’s décor or the young at heart.Be honest, you’re not going to put this in a kid’s room. Your PopCulteer is trying to find a blank spot on his living room walls for these beauties.

Space-Jet-Gun-Metal-Sign_-TINSJG_image1__61577.1438876516.600.600Each plasma cut out metal sign is hand made in the USA using heavy gauge american steel and a process known as sublimation, where the image is baked into a powder coating for a durable and long lasting finish. There’s a hole punched for easy hanging!

The signs range from 16.5″ to 19″ in size, and are colorful and nifty-looking. You can only order these from Retro-A-Go-Go, and be on the lookout, because we’re probably going to feature more of their great metal signs and other goodies in a few days. They cost $21.99 each, plus shipping, and are made-to-order, so you should expect a few days extra delivery time.

Gift Guide: Roku 4 Streaming Media Player

roku
51VtSEWO4NLNow it’s more tempting than ever to cut the cord and kiss your cable bills goodbye. The newest upgrade to the Roku streaming device is better than ever and ready for the future of Ultra High Definition Television.

With brilliant picture quality for 4K Ultra HD & standard HD TVs and powerful wireless for the best streaming experience, the Roku 4 is a winner. The included point anywhere remote offers voice search, headphones for private listening, gaming capability, and even a lost remote finder. You can enjoy more than 2,500 streaming channels, most of them free, offering access to 300,000+ movies and TV episodes.  Plus there are games, music, sports, International, kids programming and more.

You will need WiFi and an HD TV is recommended. The Roku will pull in pay subscription services like NetFlix, The WWE Network, HBOGo and others, plus there are component channels like FXNOW, which offer you on demand access to existing cable and satellite channels. The real treat is the free stuff. You can surf YouTube in your living room, or watch any of the thousands of free channels that offer up everything from wild niche and genre programming to sports, hobbies, exercise, foreign news, public access and more.

51+8KLtfQRL._SL1500_

It is a wonderful device that opens up your television to almost as vast an array of programming as the internet-only you get to watch from the comfort of your own couch. This newest model retails for $129, but if you don’t want all the bells and whistles, you can find older models for under a hundred, and in some cases, under forty bucks.

The Roku experience is as much fun as the early days of cable, only with thousands more channels to explore. For all ages, but parents of young kids might want to use the parental controls.

pudding tote

51iOEMCxXALWe saw this at Toy Fair in New York last February, and Mrs. PopCulteer had to have one. Made by The Coop, this is a thermal lunch bag in the actual size, and with a perfect replica of the graphics, of the giant can of chocolate pudding that Carl found in the “After” episode from season four of The Walking Dead. You may remember him sitting on the roof of a house eating his pudding while a zombie growled and reached at him from a nearby window.

This handy little tote has a PVC material Interior that’s insulated to keep items warm or cold A short top handle makes for easy transport and it has a zippered lid Of course, this is no uni-tasker. This tote can also be used as a purse, a man-purse, a camera case, or a place to store all your Walking Dead Mystery Mini Figures.

It’s the perfect gift for any fan of The Walking Dead who wants a souvinir of the show that doesn’t have bloody zombies all over it. You can find it online at Amazon and The Woodbury Shoppe.  It’ll set you back between twenty and twenty-five bucks.

Mmmm...that's good pudding!
Mmmm…that’s good pudding!
who watch

A1Ek8FIXTYL._SL1500_We are here tonight to tell the tale of Underground Toys’ Doctor Who Adult Analog Gallifreyan Watch

The perfect gift for the Whovian on your gift list, this Officially Licensed Doctor Who Collectible Watch will make any wearer an instant Timelord. The best part is that this is a subtle collectible watch that looks cool, but doesn’t scream “NERD” to anyone who isn’t a fan of the show. At the moment, this watch can be found for half-off its $80 list price at Amazon.

Doctor Who Gallifreyan Watch is an Adult Analog Watch with a brown strap. Embellished with Gallifreyan markings, this watch comes packaged in a Doctor Who tin. Your giftee may not be a Time Lord like the Doctor, but they can always reset it to whatever time they want it to be and pretend that they’re manipulating the chronal forces.

 

lead imageThe PopCulteer
November 13, 2015

As you have probably noticed, we are in the midst of a very ambitious PopCult Gift Guide. For our tenth annual presentation of cool and offbeat gift ideas, your PopCulteer decided to start the guide early, and run at least three items each day until early December.

Because of the onslaught of gift ideas, every few days we’ll post a recap, with links to our suggestions, organized into categories. The reason for this? Well, less than one week in, we’ve already bumped our first gift ideas off of the first page of this blog.

So, here’s the first batch of 2015 PopCult Gift Guide Ideas:

Books

Humans of New York: Stories
Harry Potter Coloring Book
Sandman: Overture
INVICTA Challenge: Flash and Thunder
Beatles 1+ Deluxe Edition
King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate

Cooking

The Cuisinart Dual-Sandwich Grill

Games

Classic Yahtzee
INVICTA Challenge: Flash and Thunder

Continue reading…

Gift Guide: The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition

sandman

710ruxFRduLThe Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition
by Neil Gaiman and JH Williams III
Vertigo
ISBN-13: 978-1401248963

Twenty-five years since THE SANDMAN first changed the landscape of modern comics, Neil Gaiman’s legendary series is back in a deluxe edition. This volume collects Gaiman’s return to his signature character, which has been published as a comic book mini-series over roughly the last two years.

THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE heralds New York Times best-selling writer Neil Gaiman’s return to the art form that made him famous, ably abetted by artistic luminary JH Williams III (BATWOMAN, PROMETHEA), whose lush, widescreen images provide an epic scope to The Sandman’s origin story.

From the birth of a galaxy to the moment that Morpheus is captured, THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE will feature cameo appearances by fan-favorite characters such as The Corinthian, Merv Pumpkinhead and, of course, the Dream King’s siblings: Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction and Destiny.

Definitely not a “funnybook” for young children, THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE, is manna from Heaven for fans of Gaiman, who recently spoke at the West Virginia Book Festival. This is probably not the best starting point for readers who have yet to take in Gaiman’s magnum opus, but for folks who are already fans, it doesn’t get any better than this. The book has a list price of just under twenty-five dollars, but is easily found everywhere books and graphic novels are sold, usually at a discount.

humans

91ZK0oNfTyLHumans of New York: Stories
by Brandon Stanton
St. Martin’s Press
ISBN-13: 978-1250058904

In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton began an ambitious project-to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. The photos he took and the accompanying interviews became the blog Humans of New York.

His audience steadily grew from a few hundred followers to, at present count, over fifteen million. In 2013, his book Humans of New York, based on that blog, was published and immediately catapulted to the top of the NY Times Bestseller List where it has appeared for over forty-five weeks.

Now, Stanton is back with the Humans of New York book that his loyal followers have been waiting for: Humans of New York: Stories. Ever since Stanton began interviewing people on the streets of New York, the dialogue he’s had with them has increasingly become as in-depth, intriguing and moving as the photos themselves.

Humans of New York: Stories presents a whole new group of people in stunning photographs, with a rich design and, most importantly, longer stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor. Let Brandon Stanton and the Humans of New York he’s photographed astonish you all over again this October.

This should be a great gift for teens and adult readers who are familiar with Stanton’s blog. The book has a list price of $29.99, but can be found for much less from most booksellers.