10 Insanely Expensive Nerdy Holiday Gifts

By Andy Hughes in Daily Lists, Merchandise
Monday, December 19, 2011 at 8:01 am
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It is that time of year again, boys and girls: the holidays. Time to spend outrageous amounts of money on things for those nearest and dearest to you. These days, even those of us who are relatively well-off don't have that much to spend. But what if, my friends: what if? What if you were free to drop as much filthy lucre as your grubby heart desired? And not on something sensible like a car or a dishwasher, but something grand and bold and nonsensical? That's where this list comes in.

You may have already seen some of these posted on TR with the fitting "Awesome Things You'll Never Own" tag: I thought it appropriate to review some of the crazier ones. This being the year of the 99% and everything, it seems like the hip thing to do is eschew wealth, materialism, and the man. That's fine. Your friends and family will probably still love you if you get them something that costs less than $100. But let's face it: sometimes it's fun to pretend you have money. What gloriously nerdy memorabilia and movie props could you shower upon your loved ones if coin, shame and common sense were no objects? Here are a few ideas.

10) Firefly Mal Reynolds Replica Holster
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Price: $299.95
Where to Buy: QMx Online
For the purposes of this list, I'm assuming that you're a regular person with a modest income and not the sort who sets extravagant amounts of money aside for collectibles. Even then, this imitation Firefly prop isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility, if you love someone very much and want to take things to that next level. Handcrafted by prop and leathercraftsman Karl Derrick, this thing just oozes cool. Too bad you'll probably also need a (replica?) gun and CCW license to get full enjoyment. But there's a certain pleasure money can't buy, and that's reading the hilariously snobby-sounding product description on the website: "The holster's graceful vintage lines draw the eye from the triple-thickness, business-like reverse shank, past the rugged girth strap, following the heavy-duty but elegantly stitched main seam, to the traditional open muzzle." No matter how hard my internet comedy writer brain works, all I can think is: Heh. Girth.

9) Lord of the Rings Chess Set
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Price: $495.95
Where to Buy: WB Shop
This incredibly necessary set, complete with carved stone base and a map of Middle Earth below the board, is both an effective way to convince people not to play chess with you and an impressive display of Tolkien-osity, or at least Peter Jackson's Tolkienosity. According to the site, each piece was "personally approved" by the appropriate actors, so you can rest assured knowing you have the most accurate tiny pewter Elijah Wood there could be. If you rate chess sets by how easy it is to kill people with them, this has to be in the top ten. Even better, if you order this through Skymall, the place for reasonably priced merchandise, you can also get Two Towers and Return of the King-themed pieces for a mere $109 a set, which include little metal Treebeards, among other things. If nothing else, they'd make for a fun bit of D&D crossover action and/or domestic animal torture once the novelty wore off.

8) Chronambulator Time Machine Dial Steampunk Set
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Price: $524.95
Where to Buy: Clockwork Couture
When you were young and naïve, did you ever get disappointed when you found out that "time machine" in a catalog usually meant "expensive clock" and not "time travel device"? Well, this doohickey will only sprinkle fresh salt into the wound. But at least you'll have a really snazzy clock that seems like what an honest-to-God steampunk time travel device might look like. And if you ever actually build your own time machine, you can affix this hunk of shiny shiny to the dashboard and use it to count back the years as you travel, Doc Brown style. Maybe then you'll finally feel like it was worth dropping half a thou on this temporarticulate contraption. Gadzooks!

7) Akira 30th Anniversary Kaneda Jacket
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Price: $900
Where to Buy: Lala-Bit Market
It's probably just as well that you can't afford Kaneda's sweet-ass jacket. You're not nearly bad-ass enough to pull it off, and you don't have a motorcycle to go with it, either. You also don't have any of the rest of the matching Kaneda outfit shown in the picture, and it's unlikely you even have anything that would substitute. But on the off-chance that you meet somebody who deserves this prime slice of dystopian shwag and desperately want their approval, you can go buy it from Bandai. Then whoever you buy this for can turn their back to you and walk purposefully towards their motorcycle with pride. It might be helpful to brush up on your Japanese first, though...

6) Warehouse 13 Tesla Replica
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Price: $1,195
Where to Buy: QMx Online
I don't watch Warehouse 13, so I can't attest to the accuracy of this model weapon, but I can say it looks pretty fucking awesome and would look even better next to the mounted Victorian robot zombie head hanging over my parlor mantle. It certainly would make a nifty companion piece to both the Chronoambulator and the crippling poverty you would experience after purchasing both. Unfortunately, this seems to be a limited release item with only 500 being made, so you better hop on that list while the Van de Graaf is hot, my friend. And yes, I realize that's a post-steampunk reference, but this paragraph was already overloaded with them. I thought you could use a break.

5) Riddick's Armor
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Price: $1,719
Where to Buy: Prop Store
I know a prop from a movie doesn't seem like a typical holiday gift, but remember, we're talking about a fantasy scenario here. For that price, you get not only the breastplate but the horshoe crab-esque codpiece as well. And come on, can you think of a better present than something that's been tantalizingly close to the deliciously swarthy body of Vin Diesel? Uh... on second thought, I can. Several, actually. So unless Chronicles of Riddick holds a very special place in your heart, you can shove this up your business-like reverse shank.

4) Enterprise Replica
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Price: $4,995
Where to Buy: QMx Online
Of interest not only for Star Trek fans but also competitive nerds who want to brag that they bought the single most expensive item on QMx Online. As with all replicas, the real nerdgasms come from the details, like the tiny crew members than can be glimpsed through the little viewports. The creators seem to have taken special care with the LED lights, supplying a remote control that apparently allows you to engage warp engines and fire photon torpedoes, among other things. In case you're wondering, this is modeled after the Enterprise as it appears in the first three Star Trek movies, but there are variants for the NC-1701-A version featured in !V, V, and VI. There's even a variant with battle damage, in case you're burning for conversation starters and want people to ask you why there's a tiny melted spaceship sitting on a plaque on your shelf. Nice.

3) Life-Size Dalek Replica
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Price: $5,454 (£3,496)
Where to Buy: Firebox
Want to finally start taking advice from 50-year old novelty songs and "Spend Your Christmas With a Dalek"? Now you can! I find it funny that the makers seems to stress that you really should not get inside of this thing and move it around while making high-pitched noises to impress your non-existent friends. Like that's going to stop anybody. Replica Dalek is just begging to get pushed down the stairs by some paranoid collector's troublesome nephew. Regardless, you do get your money's worth: movable joints, retractable plunger arm, free delivery, and you get to pick the color! Someone should buy two of these and then make them fight. I'd do it myself, but with a price like that it would probably have to be down to future generations that have inherited my vast fortune.

2) Full-Sized Jingle All the Way Turboman Display
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Price: $5,995
Where to Buy: Prop Store
I know there are more insane movie props out there for sale. I know there are people willing to spend ungodly amounts of cash on drinking glasses that once belonged to Leonard Nimoy in the hopes of catching a virus he once had. And yet, I can't really say that this isn't the craziest thing I can imagine getting someone as a gift; even crazier, in its own way, than #1 on this list. I mean, it is three presents in one, if your idea of a present includes a life-size mannequin replica of Arnold Schwarzenegger (with "hand-punched brown hair"!), Turboman suit and boomerang accessory. No wacky malfunctioning jetpack, though. Presumably the costume can be removed and worn, although obviously anyone who would pay this much money for this random of a prop is never going to so much as breathe on it, never mind trying it on. Does anyone actually love Jingle All the Way so much they can't wait to drop six grand to have this giant reminder of its majesty in their house? Who even remembers Jingle All the Way when it isn't on ABC Family? No, don't answer that. Now if someone put a Sinbad mannequin up, complete with villain costume and helmet, then we'd have something.

1) Life-Size Battlestar Galactica Cylon Centurion
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Price: $7,999
Where to Buy: Sideshow Collectibles
I don't know about you, but I don't generally buy people holiday presents that have to be paid off month-by-month. I mean, maybe if I had a son had just got married and I wanted to get him and his wife a nice new house to settle down and raise kids in or something. I certainly wouldn't get them a 7-foot tall robot capable of wiping out humanity. If I ever become a best-selling rapper or something and suddenly get millions of studio advance money...this will not be where it goes, because I am sensible with my finances. All the same, this fiberglass madness was overseen by Fred Barton, the man apparently behind some of the greatest replicas of robots in film and television history. It was a limited edition item put out a few years ago but you can still order one through Sideshow Collectibles if you're crazy/stupid enough to try. Just don't expect Edward James Olmos to come over to your house anytime soon, lest he start getting flashbacks and calling manically to launch vipers. Also expect it to either sit under a cloth in an embarrassed corner of your basement for the rest of your life or eventually become an object of your complete obsession, driving away all of your loved ones and leaving you alone in the glare of its electronic eye as you abandon humanity and embrace the vision of your mechanical masters. Happy Holidays, everyone!

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