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The Nerdy Gift Guide 2021

by Andrew Asberry | December 16, 2021December 16, 2021 8:30 am EST

At The Nerdy, we know what nerds want because we’re nerds ourselves! So, to help you navigate the hectic holiday season, we’ve curated a guide to some of our favorite gift of the year. And it’s a diverse list, too! You won’t find six consecutive Mandalorian offerings, no, instead we tried our best to suggest items that would appeal to a wide range of fandoms. There’s something in here for Magic the Gathering players, retro gamers, avid readers, horror aficionados, and more! Oh, and to make things even easier, we went ahead and sorted all of our top picks of 2021 by price!


DC Universe Infinite Subscription ($7.99/month)


A subscription to DC Universe Infinite will grant your giftee access to over 25,000 comics and graphic novels from DC, Vertigo, DC Black Label, and Milestone Media– all of which can be read digitally on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop. It’s an incredible value for anyone who loves to read comics, especially when you consider how a single new issue of any physical DC book will be at least $3.99. Paying $7.99/month for the ability to read almost anything at all seems like a no brainer.


Marvel Unlimited Comics Subscription ($9.99/month)

Same deal as DC but with over 29,000 Marvel books at your fingertips AND they just so happen to have an offer going on right now where you can subscribe your True Believer to a year’s worth of unlimited reading for $55.


Peacemaker Mug ($15.00)

What can we say? We loved The Suicide Squad and we’re excited for HBOMax’s upcoming Peacemaker series. There’s not much merch out yet, but if you know someone who is equally pumped for Cena’s new show, get them this hilarious coffee mug.


Tubbz Shenmue Ryo Hazuki Duck ($16.99)

Look, we could’ve simply suggested any Tubbz cosplaying duck for whatever fandom you or your giftee are a part of, but instead we’re getting ultra specific because this is the only piece of Shenmue merch we’ve ever spotted in the wild. So if you’re buying for a gamer who loves a good deep dive into gaming history, they’ll be sure to enjoy this quirky nod to a Dreamcast classic.

Available from Amazon.

Mondo’s 1000-Piece Puzzle

Chances are the last time you tried to get a puzzle at the store you found nothing but the same ol’ same ol’ assortment of Thomas Kinkade knockoffs, but what about something that speaks to a particular fandom? The dollar store will have a few 100-piece Batman and Spider-Man puzzles, sure, but for a well crafted, challenging puzzle that speaks to your giftee’s niche interests you should look at Mondo’s catalogue. They have everything from Castlevania to Labyrinth and Planet of the Apes to Masters of the Universe. And these are 1000-piece affairs, too, so these jigsaw pieces will be reminding them of how thoughtful you were for several weeks!


Darth Vader Ice Mold, Set of 2 ($21.95)

With the Book of Boba Fett coming soon, everyone needs to plan their watch party now. But do you know what every party needs? Ice. Lots of ice. And if cubes shaped like Darth Vader’s helmet don’t impress a gaggle of Star Wars fans, nothing will.


A Gentle Rain ($22.00)

This tile-laying game is easy to learn, has a calming effect on everyone who plays it, can be played solo or with friends, and it’s surprisingly addictive as you chase after that perfect score. All you have to do is draw a tile and then match any of its blossoms (cut in half and aligned at the edges) to another tile on the table to create a beautiful lake scene. The problem is that you’ll need to be sure all sides that touch a neighboring tile match those adjacent petals as well. Now, blooming all eight flowers can be tough, but it’s never stressful. And even your worst game will, honestly, not lead to much aggravation. Gameplay wraps up in 10 minutes or so and if you had a bad run, it’s no big deal at all. You’ll shuffle them up and go again and again. It’s quite Zen, and that’s the point. Replay value on this game is extraordinarily high (I just leave it on the coffee table at all times now, ready to play at any moment) and the build quality is also terrific and features darling artwork. This is a must-own.

Available from Amazon.

Raptor Claw Bottle Opener ($22.00)

Factory Entertainment, Inc. offers a heavy-duty zinc alloy bottle opener that’s scaled to the size of the original prop seen in the motion picture classic Jurassic Park. 

Available from Amazon and Entertainment Earth.

Mondo Apparel ($25 and up)

Famed for their limited edition posters and vinyl, Mondo also produces well-made clothing with creative designs you won’t find anywhere else. We particularly love their shirt of Bill and Ted falling through the bottomless pit, their bodies printed on an all-black shirt to really capture the look of that hilarious scene from Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. But don’t sleep on their pieces paying homage to Godzilla, Jurassic Park, The Bride of Frankenstein, Iron Giant, Big Trouble in Little China, and on and on and on… Even their garments flaunting the Mondo brand are great, like the comfy 10th Anniversary crewneck sweatshirt.


Dream Crush ($30.00)

We play a lot of board games, and no game had us laughing more in 2021 than Dream Crush. All you have to do is reveal three potential suitors, turn over three more cards that detail an odd trait for each suitor, and then pick who you would have the biggest crush on while also writing down who you think the other players picked for themselves. When everybody is ready, show your answers and tally up how many guesses you got right. Each round, you reveal more traits that will very likely change your mind about who you like and who your “opponents” are sweet on as well. I put “opponents” in quotation marks because nobody I have ever played with (and I’ve played with a lot of friends, this game is in high demand in our house) actually cares about winning. It is the least competitive non-cooperative game I have ever had the joy of playing. It’s all about laughing about the photos of the crushes and their bizarre trait cards and, the best part, hearing the explanations your friends have for why they love or hate the options on the table. You must play this game!


NECA Gremlins ($30 and up)

Who doesn’t like Gremlins? Not only is this a great gift for anybody who adores a good monster figure, but just think of all the possibilities for next year’s Christmas décor!  The carolers two-pack is obviously a great display on its own, but the more Gremlins you collect the more options you have for creating a Christmas village overrun with Gremlins! Or create a diorama of a movie theatre or, heck, even a full skyscraper filled to the brim with these destructive critters! NECA already produced quite a few different styles of Gremlin for you to choose from (gamer, flasher, Stripe, Gizmo, etc.) and promises even more for 2022.

Available from Amazon and Entertainment Earth.

Hung, Drawn and Executed: The Horror Art of Graham Humphreys ($31.00)

Whether they know it or not, your horror fanatic is already well familiar with the work of Graham Humphreys. The artist behind some of the most iconic scary movie posters ever created now presents this tome of over 40 years of his best work (much of which has gone unseen until now). This is the ideal coffee table book for anyone who can’t get enough slashers, creature features, and other motion pictures that celebrate the macabre.


Undead Unleashed Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Commander Deck ($37.00)

Does your giftee play Magic? Are they the type who would love to overwhelm their opponents with a horde of decaying zombies? Then this is the ideal present! It includes one ready-to-play Blue-Black deck of 100 Magic the Gathering Cards (2 traditional foil, 98 non-foil), 1 foil-etched Display Commander, 10 double-sided tokens, 1 deck box (with sleeves for 100 cards), 1 life tracker, and 1 reference card. 

Available from Amazon.

It Takes Two ($40.00)

It Takes Two is the 2021 winner of Best Multiplayer Game, Best Family Game, and, oh yeah, Game of the Year. If none of that convinces you, I can personally vouch for this title. I love couch co-op games, and it’s refreshing to see one as good as this get so much well-deserved attention. It’s challenging enough for hardcore gamers but with simple controls that casual and non-gamers can pick up and play with ease. Also, each level introduces entirely new mechanics so it feels like a dozen games in one. And nothing beats being able to sit side by side with your partner as you help (or humorously hinder) each other. And don’t worry about your more competitive friends maybe being turned off by a co-op game (get better friends, by the way). This title is loaded with player vs. player minigames that they’ll be challenging you to again and again. It Takes Two is available on Playstation, Xbox, and PC.

Available from Amazon.

Thanos Tiki Mug ($50.00)

Pop-culture drinkware has come a long way from its days of being relegated to mere plastic cups from the drive-thru window, eh? Now you can get premium-quality, designer drinkware in the shape of Venom’s head or a Xenomorph egg or just about anything else you can think of, all beautifully sculpted and glazed to a shine. We picked up a Thanos Tiki Mug in power stone purple from Mondo!


Playstation Classic ($70.00)

You’re probably not going to find a Playstation 5 again this year and, honestly, retro gaming is popular right now. So get your gamer the re-release of the classic console! It’s not the exact same design, however, it’s an upgrade. This one is 45% smaller than the OG, includes a virtual memory card and HDMI cable, and it even comes with 20 pre-loaded games including favorites such as Final Fantasy VII and Tekken 3

Available from Amazon.

Wooden Dungeon Master Screen ($100.00+)

Take their D&D campaigns to the next level with a handmade screen crafted from wood and etched with your choice of mythic beast and ornate filigree. There are a wide variety of options to choose from over on Etsy, just know that the more elaborate the design, the more cash you’ll need to fork over.


Pokemon Snorlax Bean Bag Chair ($150.00)

Pokemon fans already own more than enough cards and they’ve probably already beaten every game they cared to, so we knew we had to think outside the Pokeball on this one. That’s why we went with… furniture! Yep, Gamestop offers a big ol’ fluffy Snorlax bean bag perfect for gaming, reading, and, of course, slumbering. This oversized seating option boasts an easy-to-clean polyester exterior and plump cotton and polyester fill for maximum comfort.


Creature from the Black Lagoon ⅙ Scale Figure – Silver Screen Variant ($185.00)

If you’re shopping for a horror fan, you can be sure they have a soft spot for the Universal Monsters. And if you’re shopping for a horror fan with high standards for their display shelf, we have to show you the silver screen variant of Mondo’s Creature from the Black Lagoon 1/6 Scale Figure. Crème de la crème isn’t used too often to describe something that came from a swamp, but we’re saying it here. This hand-painted, 12-inch figure boasts 16 points of articulation, switch-out hands and feet, and two swappable head sculpts that are highly detailed and expressive. And that monochromatic paint application makes it feel all the more authentic since motion picture classic is black and white as well. Plant this beast before the included backdrop found within the fold-out packaging and you have yourself a diorama of a moment in film come to life. We love The Creature and it’s our hope that Mondo continues to release more Universal Monsters in the future. Oh, and we appreciate how this figure is so sturdy that you don’t even need to use the included stand!


The James Bond Archives “No Time to Die” Edition XXL ($200.00)

This extraordinary tome is the ultimate coffee table book for the James Bond fan. Featuring behind the scenes details on every single movie in the franchise as well as production memos, storyboards, and over 1,007 images (many never seen before), this comprehensive XXL edition is guaranteed to astound the Bond die-hard in your life.


God of War – Kratos ⅙ Scale Deluxe Edition Figure – Mondo Exclusive ($235.00)

If they’re hyped to return to Midgard in 2022 with God of War: Ragnarok, they’ll be absolutely floored by this gift! Mondo’s Exclusive Deluxe Kratos Figure features 25+ points of articulation and genuine fabric belts, pants, apron, and ptergues (those are the strips that are attached to the armor). Swappable weapons include the Leviathan Axe (fully upgraded and original), Blades of Chaos (bloodied and not), and a shield. You’ll have a wide variety of hands to choose from, plus an extra head sculpt if you want your Kratos to look like he’s bellowing “BOY!” And, lastly, you even get the head of Mimir! You better believe we display Kratos with the head in hand for a look that always gets a reaction from houseguests. Yes, this collectible is a true work of art that deserves a spot beside every Playstation. Meticulously crafted for a spot-on game accurate look, Mondo’s Kratos figure is the ultimate God of War collectible.


Rick & Morty Statue – Mondo Exclusive ($270.00)

Wubba lubba dub dub! The first official polystone statue for Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon’s hit series is here! Rick & Morty obsessives will already have a Pickle Rick figure and a portal gun, so don’t even try. And that Total Rickall game? Yeah, they’ve got that one, too. So go big! Get them this limited-edition Mondo Exclusive that comes with a swap-out Squanchy wrapped in an alien tentacle! There’s a swap-out hand with a flask for Rick, too, of course. We love a statue that tells a story and this lively, vibrantly painted design feels like it was lifted directly from a lost episode.


The Sword of Inigo Montoya – Princess Bride ($400.00)

Every nerd, inevitably, owns a sword. Make theirs a good one with this stunning replica copied directly from the original prop used by Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride (the board game is excellent, too, by the way). The sword features a high-carbon sprung steel blade and ivory leather-wrapped handle with a basket wrapped in gold-plated brass embellished with reproduction gemstones for a little extra razzle dazzle. A numbered wall mount and certificate of authenticity is also included. Note: This product will not ship until January, so give your giftee a nice card with a note saying the weapon that cut down The Six Fingered Man will soon belong to them.


Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 Series Gaming Chair ($500.00)

Anyone who spends long hours in front of the computer, whether it’s for work or gaming, needs this ergonomic chair. The Titan Evo 2022 boasts research-backed lumbar support and a plethora of personalization options so it fits any individual’s frame. Reliable comfort that lasts through lengthy spans in front of they keyboard is important and that is exactly what this premium-grade chair offers. And it does it in style with a wide range of upholstery to choose from as well as optional theming like designs that pay homage to Harry Potter, League of Legends, Overwatch, Game of Thrones, DC Comics Heroes, and more!


Marvel vs. Capcom Clash of Super Heroes Arcade Cabinet ($550.00)

No quarters required! This retro gaming cabinet sports original artwork and a light-up marquee and light-up deck protector but it also boasts some modern updates like a 17-inch LCD display and built-in wifi for online multiplayer. Controls include a full-size joystick and buttons for that real arcade feel, and if you’re playing solo you can pop a squat on the matching Marvel vs. Capcom stool that comes bundled with the upright cabinet. But don’t think that it’s like the way way back when a cabinet only offered one game. This stunning addition to any den features five games: Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Heroes, Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes, and X-Men vs. Street Fighter.

Available from Amazon.

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