Photo: Courtesy of vendors
This weekend, the starting gun for gift-buying season will go off and the panic won’t stop until midnight on December 25. Let Vulture take the edge off your shopping anxiety with our pop-culture gift guide: Thirty-three suggestions for the earbud-rocking, remote-dominating, minutiae-devouring entertainment obsessive on your list. With picks optimized for TV junkies, bookworms, music nerds, and movie buffs, there’s bound to be something for everyone. (Note: While this slideshow will mostly direct you to New York City merchants to buy each product, they are available everywhere or online.)
This feature originally appeared in the November 19, 2012 issue of New York Magazine.
Breaking Bad Heisenberg T-shirt No matter how mundane your life, wearing this will make you feel like you’re the one who knocks ($21 at Hot Topic, Queens Center, 90-15 Queens Blvd., nr. 59th Ave., Elmhurst; 718-760-3585).
The Chronicles of Downton Abbey Prepare for season three with exclusive photos of what’s ahead and a look back at each character’s history, motivations, and ridiculous outfits ($30 at Strand Book Store
, 828 Broadway, at 12th St.; 212-473-1452).
Walking Dead Shane and Rick Figurines They may have fought to the death over unlikable Lori, but as action figures, Grimes and his dirty deputy will band together to keep the walkers away ($18 each at Midtown Comics
, 200 W. 40th St., at Seventh Ave., second fl.; 212-302-8192).
True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps Churning out recipes from this cookbook is almost as good as dining at Merlotte’s. Ask friends to treat you like dirt for the full experience ($30 at Exit 9
, 127 Smith St., nr. Dean St., Boerum Hill; 718-422-7720).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Collection If your 9-year-old self knew he could one day buy every episode of TMNT packaged in a toy TurtleVan, he’d have peed his footed pajamas ($100 at Barnes & Noble
, 97 Warren St., nr. Murray St.; 212-587-5389).
Girls: The Complete First Season Buy two copies of Lena Dunham’s HBO show on Blu-ray: one to watch and one to put in a time capsule so future generations know that sex has always been kinda grotesque ($50 at HBO Shop, 1100 Sixth Ave., nr. 42nd St.; 212-512-7467; 12/11).
Game of Thrones Personalized Poster No need to fantasize about joining House Stark when you can start your own, complete with animal, motto, color, and name of your choosing. You’re on your own for the furs though($50 at kimrisi.etsy.com
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Mug Shamelessly gobble “sketti” from a cup dedicated to Alana’s ex–pet pig Glitzy, the only member of the Boo Boo brigade with an excuse for behaving like an animal ($13 at tlcstore.com
Homeland: the Complete First Season One day you’ll buy the complete series packaged in a novelty-briefcase bomb, but until then this Blu-ray version will have to do ($65 at J&R Music and Computer World
, 23 Park Row, nr. Beekman St.; 212-238-9000).
Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade: 1940–1950, by Todd Herman, et al. This hefty tome depicts the American master’s artistic evolution from figurative work to abstract colorscapes ($50 at St. Mark’s Bookshop
, 31 Third Ave., at 10th St.; 212-260-7853).
Kurt Vonnegut: Letters Edited by Dan Wakefield. Sixty years of personal correspondence from the sometimes depressed and always hilarious Vonnegut, essential for anyone who considers himself a member of his karass ($35 at Word
, 126 Franklin St., nr. Milton St., Greenpoint; 718-383-0096).
Diaries, by George Orwell, Edited by Peter Davison. Dead at 46, Orwell never had a chance to tell his own story. The diaries here do the job with such detail it’s as if they were meant to be private ($40 at Three Lives & Company
, 154 W. 10th St., at Waverly Pl.; 212-741-2069).
Hunger Games Cookie Stamp Nothing improves a dystopian novel about starving children like munching on themed cookies every time you turn a page ($12 at totalum.etsy.com
Saul Steinberg: A Biography, by Deirdre Bair. You’ve seen the illustrations on the cover of The New Yorker, now read about the wit who created them. Or just look at the pictures ($40 at BookCourt
, 163 Court St., nr. Pacific St., Cobble Hill; 718-875-3677; 11/20).
Punk: An Aesthetic, by Jon Savage, et al. It’s not very punk to make a book about iconic punk imagery. But putting that book on your gift list so some conformist uses his slave wages to buy it for you? That’s punk ($55 at Greenlight Bookstore
, 686 Fulton St., at S. Portland Ave., Ft. Greene; 718-246-0200).
Reservoir Dogs Original Soundtrack Quentin Tarantino’s breakthrough film celebrates its twentieth anniversary with colored vinyl for Mssrs. Blonde, Orange, Blue, Brown, White, and Pink ($20 each at Sound Fix
, 44 Berry St., at N. 11th St., Williamsburg; 718-388-8090; 11/23).
The Velvet Underground’s Verve/MGM Albums Rare mono renditions of the first three VU records, rounded out with the band’s “lost album” and Nico’s Chelsea Girls debut ($118 at Permanent Records
, 181 Franklin St., nr. Huron St., Greenpoint; 718-383-4083).
Fat Boys’ Fat Boys Pizza Box LP Lurking behind those elastic waistlines is a stone-cold classic, immortalized in an actual pizza box by the hip-hop historians over at reissues label Get On Down ($32 at Turntable Lab
, 120 E. 7th St., nr. Ave. A; 212-677-0675; 11/23).
The White Stripes’ Limited-Edition Seven-Inch Reissues Three flawless singles from the White Blood Cells era get re-pressed on opaque red vinyl ($10 each at Kim’s Video & Music
, 124 First Ave., nr. St. Marks Pl.; 212-533-7390; 11/23).
Reggae Golden Jubilee: Origins of Jamaican Music CD Boxed Set A former Jamaican prime minister curated this four-disc compilation of the country’s greatest hits, from roots-reggae giants like Marley and Tosh to guilty-pleasure Shaggy ($49 at Turntable Lab
Bruce, by Peter Ames Carlin. This biographer—the first writer in more than two decades to be given access to Springsteen’s inner circle—tells the story of the working-class hero and his allegiance to pre-Snooki Jersey shore ($25 at Strand Book Store
Eccentric Soul: Omnibus Boxed Set Numero Group, one of the country’s leading reissue labels, crams 45 45’s and a hardback book into a portable case that’ll appeal to anyone curious about the genre’s golden years ($265 at Other Music
, 15 E. 4th St., nr. Lafayette St.; 212-477-8150).
Fool’s Gold Loosies USB Stick Compilation Kanye West’s former D.J. (A-Trak) and an ex-Fader editor (Nick Catchdubs) present a survey of the independent rap scene they helped shape ($30 at Fool’s Gold, 536 Metropolitan Ave., nr. Union Ave., Williamsburg; 347-294-4139; 12/11).
The Beatles’ Stereo Boxed Set Fourteen Beatles albums finally—finally!—get the high-quality, heavyweight vinyl treatment, complete with meticulous remastering and nerdy details like cardboard band cutouts stuffed inside the Sgt. Pepper’s sleeve ($400 at J&R Music and Computer World
The Big Screen, by David Thomson. The scholarly critic trains his lens on the history of cinema and its relationship with the people whose Goobers purchases still make it viable ($35 at Book Culture
, 536 W. 112th St., nr. Broadway; 212-865-1588).
Bilbo Baggins Action Figure The face on this six-inch depiction of hobbit Martin Freeman is freakishly realistic. The feet, with painted-on hair, are just freakish ($20 at wbshop.com
Moonrise Kingdom Two-Disc Blu-Ray Combo Pack Twee-o-meters will implode when they get a load of Wes Anderson’s latest—the story of two weird but adorable preteens who run off into the woods together ($35 at Barnes & Noble
, 555 Fifth Ave., at 46th St.; 212-697-3048).
Alfred Hitchcock: the Masterpiece Collection Fifteen remastered movies and more than fifteen hours of bonus footage make this Blu-ray set fifteen times more necessary than any other Hitchcock collection ($255 at Kim’s Video & Music
Feminist Ryan Gosling, by Danielle Henderson. Hey, girl, here’s a book of that Tumblr you like so you can look at it when you can’t look at Tumblr ($13 at Urban Outfitters
, 2633 Broadway, nr. W. 100th St.; 212-222-3212).
Tarantino XX: 8-Film Collection This Blu-ray boxed set features the choicest cuts from the director’s career to date, including Pulp Fiction and both Kill Bills ($90 at Best Buy
, 622 Broadway, nr. Houston St.; 212-673-4067; 11/20).
R-Rated Ted Plushie For those who find Mark Wahlberg too hard-bodied and organ-filled, this talking replica of his onscreen bro Ted is the perfect snuggle buddy ($60 at Forbidden Planet
, 832 Broadway, at 13th St.; 212-473-1576).
Channing Tatum Boxed Set Buy 21 Jump Street, Magic Mike, and The Vow; wrap them in a banana hammock; and you’ve got the DIY gift of the season ($66, sans hammock, at FYE
, 5717 Myrtle Ave., nr. Seneca Ave., Ridgewood; 718-366-0204).
The Dark Knight Trilogy The Christopher Nolan threefer now comes on Blu-ray with a 64-page booklet-coaster ($53 at Barnes & Noble
, 33 E. 17th St., nr. Broadway; 212-253-0810; 12/4).