Friday, December 11, 2015

K.A.C. 2015 - T - 14 ...

      Figures ... I do Reader Submission Day yesterday and Dave comes up with a SPECTACULAR entry too late for me to include it. Sooooooo - without further ado, crank up your speakers and enjoy the Krampus Quartet and their accordions!

     Now on to our regularly scheduled entry:

     Two weeks to go, kids! It's time to take a look at the most 'out there' gifts for fanboys and fangirls alike, courtesy of the annual exhaustive lists compiled by 'Quint' over at Ain't It Cool News! Kudos to him for coming up with this year after year - I can't imagine how long it takes to track all this down and sort it out - heck, I only do 24 pages of the K.A.C. every year and I start working on it in October ... to do any type of heavy-duty daily blog is a true labor of love. By the way, get yourself a cup of something hot and settle in for a LONG block of time when you look at the links themselves - they are HUGE! I'm only highlighting a few of the ones of special interest I think you might like (well, that I like, anyway)!  

     First up, one of my favorite films of 1977 is finally available on crystal-clear Blu-ray and it is a gem! STAR WARS, you say? Never heard of it! No, I'm talking about that non-stoppable drive-in (and over ... and through ...) hit THE CAR! A guilty pleasure of the 'Satanic Panic' '70s (and a GREAT double feature with that other '70s stalwart, RACE WITH THE DEVIL), it's all you could ask for in Road Rage Frenzy! I just wish I had this back in 1994, instead of the nightmarish Cinemascope 16mm print I made do with (to read how well THAT disaster went down, click here: ). 

     Speaking of all things STAR WARS, trust me, it is HIGHLY represented on these lists, thanks to the upcoming release of THE FORCE AWAKENS. If you can think of it, it's probably in here, from DVDs to books to apparel, and you can get it for yourself or that certain special someone. For example, I have a friend who would look right at home with these X-wing earrings! 

     Don't forget your pets during this season! I'm sure there's plenty of dogs who would be PROUD to go walkies with these outfits! For your larger four-legged friends, they can be transformed into furry AT-ATs at the drop of a hat. For your smaller members of the Empire, they can slip into a dewback outfit (complete with Stormtrooper)! 

     There's so much more for you to peruse in Part 1 of the Guide, from DVDs to art prints to wearable items to ... a Wrist-Mounted Flame Thrower for those of you who REALLY want to show off when you light the cozy fire in the fireplace this Christmas (word of warning: make sure you HAVE  a fireplace before trying this)!  

     Part 2 of the guide covers books, games and music of all types. Some of the stranger selections include: Perchance To Dream, a collection of short stories by Charles Beaumont. If you're not familiar with the name, you need to change that STAT! Beaumont wrote a number of tales that were filmed on the original TWILIGHT ZONE series, including "The Howling Man," which we showed as part of one of our Conjure Cinema TV Trilogy of Terror months. Well worth your time!

      With the release of KRAMPUS in theaters on December 4th (you HAVE seen it by now, right?), there's a number of tie-in materials, including the comic - excuse me, 'graphic novel' adaptation of the film, as well as The Art of KRAMPUS book (seems almost EVERY major film release has some 'Art of/Making of' book attached to it these days). The comic adaptation makes me happy, as it reminds me of the old tie-in comics from my youth (see my earlier blog posts on SWORD AND THE DRAGON and THE MAGIC SWORD for examples).

     For games for your inner geek, I've already mentioned the Cthulhu Monopoly Game in an earlier post ... if you want to go mad on a smaller budget, may I recommend the Cthulhu Yahtzee Game! Same Old Gods, same sense of foreboding doom, all in a tiny package! 

     For hardcore gamers, there's a HUGE list here of this year's hot games and their variations, from Fallout 4 to The Witcher, Halo 5 to Batman, the list goes on and on. I readily admit I'm out of my depth on this stuff - thankfully (?) I have an 18-year-old I can turn to who can talk me deaf, dumb, blind and foolish about it all! :)

     What has truly surprised me on this list is the resurgence of vinyl LPs! There is a growing specialty market for the music format of our (well, my) youth - I've seen a number of online chat boards talking about how much cleaner a sound they have compared to the compressed digital format. Well, you young whippersnappers, we could have told you that if you'd just asked! :) What's bizarre is what is being released. Yes, there's major film soundtracks and important albums, but there's also the LP release of MANOS, THE HANDS OF FATE! The mind boggles ...

     Now you're going to need something to PLAY your MANOS soundtrack on (plus all your older LP's ... or your parents or grandparents LP's ... just go with me on this). Look no further! If you're even remotely in the market for a new turntable and are on a budget, may I recommend the Audio-Technica model to your right. Not only will it faithfully reproduce the sounds of your old albums, it also comes with a USB port to transfer them down to the more horrible-sounding MP3 format I was just complaining about to take your music on the go - and it won't break your bank in the process! 

     For all the rest of the amazing items along these lines, click here! 

     In the third and final part of Quint's mega-complete list, he covers Housewares, Toys and Collectibles - things you may not necessarily NEED, but things you know you WANT and MUST HAVE! For example: for the bathroom, keep your favorite Doctor Who fan clean and fresh with some TARDIS Soap On A Rope! When it's all gone, they still have a nice zippered wash bag to hold all their toiletries.

     Once they're all scrubbed and tidy, they can move on to the kitchen and channel their inner Khaleesi by becoming the 'Mother of Dragons' - how? By creating a nesting dragon and its eggs via the Game of Thrones Dragon Cake Pan. Just think of the fun you could have with that! Be the hit of the next birthday party when you arrive with THIS tucked under your arm!
      Did I say Game of Thrones? Well, let the battles begin in your garden with the new usurper/challenger to the Iron Throne with the 'Game of Gnomes' Lawn Ornament! Novelty gnomes seems to be the newest untapped kitsch item to appear, with many variations - this just happens to be one of the more clever ones.

     Next up is my FAVORITE item in this year's list ... the Weeping Angel Christmas Tree Topper! For serious Doctor Who fans, especially the kids, put this on the pinnacle of your tree and be guaranteed there will be no sneaky little fingers rattling packages under the tree ... or coming ANYWHERE near it! Of course, that may be a problem when it comes time to water it ... plus with this on top, you and your Whovian can start a brand-new holiday tradition, namely seeing how many presents you can open WITHOUT BLINKING! :)  You can see the effect they're already having by clicking on this link:


      From Etsy comes this magnificent Menorasaurus Rex, sure to be the hit of the season! The artist who makes these Bad Boys has already sold out for this year, but is taking pre-order for the 2016 Hanukkah season - order yours today!


     I know a certain someone who is going to be on the computer ordering this next item as soon as he sees it! A great new variation on the 'Clutching Hand' bank from the 1960's (which REALLY took off when it was re-christened the 'THING' bank from the Addams Family TV series), this modern edition has the one and only King of the Monsters, Godzilla, saving money for you the old-fashioned way ... by popping out of the ocean and dragging your hard-earned change to the bottomless depths! Did I mention he lights up? Did I mention he roars with the disappearance of each coin? Mere words don't do this justice - take a look at the video demonstration of our favorite kaiju banker in action!

     There is SO much more to see on these lists that I've barely scratched the surface, but I wanted to leave you with One Final Item for the year. If you hit the lottery over the holidays and COMPLETELY lose your mind over all those new-found riches, then make your first idiotic purchase this 1:1 full-scale Hulkbuster armor from AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. It stands over 10 feet tall and weighs in at over 1400 POUNDS !!! It lights up and does so much more ... the best part is the price! For only $18,499.99, this massive beast can be YOURS! Hey, at least it's not $19,000 ... that would be FOOLISH to spend that kind of money on something so extravagant!

     Here's the link to all the rest of the ginormous gift possibilities in Part 3 of Quint's list:

     Finally, I mentioned earlier that the list is skewing heavily in favor of all things STAR WARS this year, thanks to the new movie opening in just a few days. If you'd rather just cut to ALL the STAR WARS items and forego everything else, he has a link for you to do just that:  


     That's it! Why are you still reading this? Start shopping! See you tomorrow!

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