Since no store has really thrown down the gauntlet and assigned a specific section to all their geeky holiday items, folks like us are forced to scour all those sparkly isles to find the gems among the chocolate gift packs, specially packed bath sets, and the most obvious, the holiday stockings, shelf sitters and dust collectors. In our travels, three stores stood out, displaying an awesome array of geekery the likes of which would make the Comic Book Guy flatly exclaim...I will take one of each. Here are the all stars and a sampling of their goods...
NUMBER THREE: WALMART
Try as they might to refurbish our local Walmart, it is still a rather depressing stop for toy hunting and just shopping in general. With this in mind, I always have low expectations when it comes to holiday offerings, so I often hit more than one to get the overall picture. This year saw more than a few repeats including the always popular Star Wars ceramic goblets (featuring Chewbacca, Yoda and Darth Vader), which seemed to have dropped in price, if I'm not mistaken, lil Star Wars character candy dispensers and multi packs of lip gloss or body wash featuring Hello Kitty, My Little Pony and so forth. We spotted an awesome retro Star Wars design among the wrapping paper as well as a fairly distinctive Batman pattern. We also spied MINIONS PEEPS!! Genius. ..and yes, there was plenty of Frozen items among the piles of sweets. Check it...
NUMBER TWO: TARGET
What will always set Target apart from other stores is their urgency for exclusives. In the toy isles, an entire end cap is dedicated to their exclusive offerings including a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 figure pack featuring Leonardo in the classic toy style, classic comic style and new cartoon style, The Star Wars Black Imperial Shadow Squadron, a Marvel Legends 3 pack with Captain America, Ms. Marvel and Radioactive Man, a Hot Wheels Star Wars set, a My Little Pony figure and more. Breezing down the holiday isle, I hit the back wall and see the lower priced "impulse" items, most of which are holiday themed this time of year. We find new Monster High mini figures, mini Barbie figures, and Disney Princesses among the goods. Swinging through the actual isles doesn't reveal much, but their selection of stockings with familiar faces is rather impressive. Also notable were glassware 4 packs, found in another isle all together...so make sure your search extends to other parts of your local Target.
Elf glasses for me, please and thank you.
NUMBER ONE: K-MART!
Shocker..I know. If you think Walmart's dingy, worn interior is depressing, stay clear of K-Mart entirely. The stores are so old they are practically yellowed, like the tanned pages of your favorite choose your own adventure book. As run down as my local mart may be, these folks sure do know their geek stuff. Rolling down one isle in particular revealed an entire section of Star Wars holiday items from floor to top shelf. You'd expect half of these things to be the familiar mugs and such you'll find at the other retailers, but NOOP! We spotted an awesome snowglobe with Darth Vader practically whispering to us..."Do you want to build a Stormtrooper?" At waist height was a dizzying selection of stockings with art I'd never seen before (the singing rebels standing out as my favorite) and above my head, giant plush Star Wars characters you'll want to tackle-hug daily. Down other isles we also spotted a retro G1 Transformers hot chocolate set (for those still being mentally scarred by movie designs on EVERY DAMN PIECE OF MERCH) and a retro My Little Pony set right alongside. The slow clap goes to K-Mart this year!
Shave that beard you Jedi Hippie.
Stay tuned for more holiday shopping ideas from the drool worthy to the ridiculously geeky from Bandai, ThinkGeek, Target and more!