Where does he get those wonderful toys? Jack Nicholson’s Joker had a good reason to wonder how Batman got the sweet hookup back in 1989, but 27 years later, the Clown Prince of Crime would have no problem shopping for great, geeky goodies.
Still, henchmen like Bob the Goon, or any gift giver, could nevertheless use some help shopping for the toy fan in their life. From life-size Captain America shield replicas, to a Harry Potter Triwizard champion cup, to fun toys like Star Wars Clue, a Batgirl of Burnside action figure set or 13-Doctor-strong collection, this is the gift guide for playtime.
With these items, there’s absolutely no reason for the giftee, or maniac super villain boss, in your life to not have a good laugh.
And don't miss our other 2016 gift guides of gateway to fandom items, lifestyle gifts and special-edition books/Blu-ray/albums.
Nerf Zombie Strike Brainsaw Blaster
Nerf gun battles were a hallmark of childhood, but kids these days get to have all the fun. Nerf has a new line of zombie-themed dart guns on the market, and this is arguably the coolest of the bunch. The Nerf Zombie Strike Brainsaw Blaster not only shoots darts, but also features a spinning (foam, of course) chainsaw to keep away those imaginary zombies. It’s basically the weapon Ash Williams would have, if he were fighting foam zombies instead of Deadites. This set comes with eight darts for zombie blasting action. Just remember to aim for the head (but don’t take out any eyes, of course). ($29.99) -Trent Moore
Sure, you can pick up a mini-version of Captain America’s shield at your local Target or Wal-Mart, but if you’re really wanting to cosplay as Steve Rogers (or Sam Wilson, if you’re a comic fan), you’d need to spring for the Marvel Legends take on Cap’s iconic shield. It’s great for cosplay, or just displaying it in your office, Stephen Colbert-style. This replica features a glossy paint that’s designed to mimic the shiny metal of the film version, along with straps on the underside so you can easily wear it while fighting off Hydra’s forces (or annoying your wife). ($69.99) -Trent Moore
Harry Potter Triwizard Cup Lamp
The Triwizard Cup from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the premiere prize for any budding wizard, even if you did get your friend Cedric killed to get it by unintentionally attracting the spectral form of Lord Voldemort to the magical competition. Thinkgeek is offering this illuminating Tri-Wizard Cup replica that can also be used as a lamp to comfortably read your stack of beloved Potterverse books by. It's an officially-licensed Harry Potter prop fed by AA batteries that light white LEDs located in the trophy's stem and base. Measures 12" tall by 7" wide and will light up your life like a true champion. ($29.99) - Jeff Spry
DC Comics Icons Batgirl of Burnside Deluxe Figure
The Batgirl creative revamp a few years ago breathed new life into the comic version of Barbara Gordon, and her new look was a big part of what made her so fresh. So, would you like to have the Batgirl of Burnside on your shelf? DC has dropped an excellent, deluxe action figure of Batgirl that features 25 points of articulation and some classic Bat-accessories, such as a grappling gun. She’s sporting her more functional costume, complete with those trademark yellow combat boots. Batgirl stands 5.75" tall and can be posed with her included motorcycle, which also doubles as a stand. ($59.95) -Trent Moore
Clue: The Star Wars Edition
Forget Colonel Mustard in the library with a rope as nobody actually perishes in this cool new Star Wars edition of the classic mystery game, Clue. Hasbro's stable of sly gamemakers has revamped the traditional deduction stroyline here by converting the game to a multi-leveled, 3D board depicting the dreaded Death Star. Players use tokens for Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, or R2-D2 and must use their Sherlockian skills to escape the armored space station after figuring out which planet its potent blast will obliterate next and which room the precious plans are located in. An intergalactic twist on a nostalgic favorite. ($25) - Jeff Spry
DC Comics x Kidrobot Art Toys by Kidrobot
Looking to give the hardcore collector on your list something more than action figures (not that that there’s anything wrong with that)? Kidrobot is an alt universe where even superheroes can morph into Japanese-inspired art toys like Munnys, Dunnys, Labbits and Phunnys. This exclusive collab is a playfully ironic take on some of the most viral heroes and villains in the DC Universe. Superman has reverted to Smorkin’ Labbit form—except instead of smorkin’, he’s getting his fix from a kryptonite lollipop. Batman now has bunny ears and is chomping down on a pack of Joker cards, while his grinning green-haired nemesis, contemplating homicide while he twirls a flower between his teeth, might be the most absurdly cute and evil thing you’ve ever seen. The plush big-headed Phunnys and mini keychains are also ridiculously adorable in their own warped way. More of a Marvel fan? Spidey, Deadpool and the gang are up to all sorts of chaos and heroics right here. (Labbit, $11.99-$20, Phunny, $11.99, keychains, $5.99) –Elizabeth Rayne
Star Trek Air Hogs U.S.S. Enterprise Quad Drone
After Kirk set the Enterprise to self-destruct to keep the Klingons from capturing his beloved starship at the end of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Starfleet was forgiving enough to give the recently-demoted captain a whole new ship, the NCC 1701-A. (Admittedly, there's not a huge difference between the previous design.) You can take command by piloting this drone replica made by Air Hogs, styled after the Enterprise seen in Star Trek IV, V and VI. It’s gyro-stabilized to help keep your nacelles level as you soar up to 200 feet away, and it lights up in flight. When it's not out exploring strange new worlds, the Enterprise rests on a commemorative 50th Anniversary display stand. ($130) —Denny Watkins
Lego Super Hero High School
In DC Super Hero Girls, which just wrapped its second season exclusively on YouTube, a teenaged Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Harley Quinn learn how to use their superpowers and deal with the drama of adolescence at Super Hero High School. The series is one of the few superhero cartoons specifically targeted to young girls (although boys can enjoy it, too), and these Lego sets take their design cues from Lego’s similarly preteen-focused Friends, Elves, and Disney Princess series. This set includes sized-up minifigs of Supergirl, Lena Luthor, and Poison Ivy, and the high school transforms into “defense mode” with a lowered ramp, a disc shooter and a chain shooter on the roof. Two other sets are currently available: Harley Quinn’s Cafe Rescue (with a Steve Trevor barista), and Batgirl’s Batjet, with more on the way in January. ($80) —Denny Watkins
Doctor Who: Thirteen Doctors Collector Set
While it's true that you never forget your first Doctor, this set lets you show your love for every regeneration of the adventurous Time Lord. It includes 5 1/2-inch poseable action figures of every Doctor (to date) from William Hartnell to Peter Capaldi — even John Hurt’s unnumbered War Doctor from “The Day of the Doctor” — plus each of their sonic screwdrivers. The sculpts are highly detailed and precisely painted. The box itself is designed to look like the TARDIS’s police call box disguise, and each one of this limited release is individually numbered. ($150) —Denny Watkins
Sanshee’s Video Game Plush Toys
If you’re looking for an adorably unique gift to give the gamer in your life, look no further than these plush toys by Sanshee. Inspired by a number of video games such as Mass Effect, Five Nights at Freddy’s. BioShock, Skullgirls, and Dragon Age, Sanshee captures the likenesses of familiar characters and creatures in cute cuddly plush forms. It’ll be hard for any fan to resist geeking out about their favorite game by giving these a squeeze and in the case of the My Talking Elcor or Squeaking Nug such affection will be rewarded with a response! The toys are sold online individually as well as in bundles for certain Mass Effect and Dragon Age characters. ($19.99 to $54.99) —Lisa Granshaw
Loot Crate Subscription
By now you’re probably familiar with Loot Crate, the mystery box subscription that drops a different geeky package on your doorstep every month. Over the past year, LootCrate has expanded their line considerably. The original Loot Crate is as little as $12 a month, and comes with a half dozen items including collectibles, action figures, comics, and apparel (hats, socks, or sometimes a t-shirt) built around a theme like “Dystopia” or “Anti-Hero” — a total value of at least $45. You can also live large with Loot Crate DX, upping the value to more than $100 worth of higher quality items for as little as $42 a month. Those options are great for geeks with diverse interests, but for narrow fandoms, Loot Crate now has partnerships with J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Marvel, Firefly, Halo, WWE, and Sanrio. They also curate specialized crates for gaming, anime, pets, and finally Loot Wear, which sends you only apparel and accessories. ($12 and up) —Denny Watkins
Rainbow Batman Action Figures
Holy colorful caped crusader! This six-pack of Batman action figures is just what every fan of the Dark Knight needs. Each figure wears a different color costume just like “The Rainbow Batman” of Detective Comics #241. Clad in purple, blue, pink, yellow, orange, and green, these vibrantly dressed figures are sure to make any collection truly stand out! ($69.95) —Lisa Granshaw
Jim Henson's Labyrinth: The Board Game
A board game based on the 1986 Muppets-plus-David Bowie cult classic The Labyrinth is such an obviously great idea it's hard to believe one has never existed until now. British game maker River Horse has made the loopy world from Jim Henson's imagination a reality, with an assist from New Zealand special effects studio Weta Workshop. The game can be played by one to five players, using detailed miniatures of Sarah, Jareth the Goblin King, Hoggle, Ludo, and Sir Didymus to save Sarah’s baby brother. As a group, you travel through the Labyrinth to the Goblin City before entering Jareth’s castle.The 2-foot by 2-foot game board shows stunning, entirely new artwork portraying all the memorable locations from the film. You’ll also get a set of polyhedral dice, card stand-ups for the goblin infantry and cavalry, 30 game tokens and 32 Labyrinth cards. While the Great White Duke may have departed this world in 2016, you can keep his memory alive every time you replay this game. ($100) —Denny Watkins
Yo-Kai Watch 2 - Bony Spirits & Fleshy Souls
The follow-up to the mega-successful 2015 release Yo-Kai Watch is actually two slightly different versions of the same game. Nintendo took a page from its Pokemon playbook by releasing what gamers refer to as the Gold (Fleshy Souls) and Silver (Bony Spirits). The primary differences involve which Yokai you can battle and ultimately capture. In case you’re not familiar with the franchise, its based on catching Yokai, monsters based on actual Japanese folklore who cause all sorts of mayhem. The ‘watch’ in the title allows the main player character to ‘see’ the Yokai.
The main story in Yo-Kai Watch 2 is compelling and engaging. Also, the gameplay is all-ages friendly so if you’re a gamer parent with young kids, this is an ideal bonding exercise that can take place entirely while parked on the couch. (For Nintendo 3DS; New from $39.99) - Mike Avila
Stormtrooper Premium Figure (Porcelain Pattern Version)
Stormtroopers may not be the most accurate marksmen in the galaxy but they just might become more confident shooters if they sported this decorative suit of porcelain patterned armor. Hot Toys' latest action figure iteration of the Star Wars Imperial drone soldiers has them clad in a festive blue print that looks more suited to a Sunday dinner casserole dish. The 1/6 scale, 12-inch deluxe figure comes in a lovely floral design better displayed in a fine China cabinet, with the Empire's ominous insignia blended into the design and an AT-AT emblazoned on the back it its sculpted helmet. Comes with two blaster rifles and swappable gloved hands and a themed display base. ($234.99) - Jeff Spry
Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set
Remember that ‘barbaric’ game of life-sized chess that Harry, Hermione and Ron played in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? Now you get your chance to step up like young Mr. Weasley did with the Wizard Chess set from the Noble Collection. Sadly, neither the board or the pieces are life-sized; but any Muggle on your gift list will surely find a special place to display the board and the nicely detailed pieces. And considering most chess sets based on movies like the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings come with prices tags close to $400, this set can be had for a veritable song … and spell. (as low as $44.50 on Amazon) - Mike Avila
This set of 5 lavishly loaded 1980's style Masters of the Universe action figures will be a chance for nostalgia-driven connoisseurs of anthropomorphic plastic to get in on the ground floor for this relaunch of Mattel’s retro super-articulated 7" Masters of the Universe Classics line. It's especially helpful since key characters fetch exorbitant prices on eBay.
However, these aren’t just re-releases. Having just acquired the rights, toy company Super7 are upping the ante significantly for He-Man, Skeletor, Faker, Teela and Ram Man with loads of accessories, alternate heads, modified paint jobs and even retro packaging. Eschewing Mattel’s previous subscription model and chaotic website sales, Super7 are taking pre-orders. ($175 for the set of five, $35 individually) -Joseph Baxter
While the late, great Christopher Lee fielded myriad roles in his vast film career, his run starring in Hammer Films’ endearingly kitschy Dracula series – despite his own reservations – remains sacred to creative forces like Peter Jackson, who cast him as Saruman in The Lord of the Rings films with notable Count Dracula nods. Now, fans of 1:6 scale action figures can pay homage to that horror run.
This offering from Ace Toys Ltd. captures Christopher Lee as he appeared in the 1970 entry Scars of Dracula. The extravagant piece has 30 points of articulation, cloth clothing, swappable heads, interchangeable hands and even memorable movie items such as his bat form, knife, sword, ring and a wine glass for dreadfully fanciful occasions! (Preorders for $219.99 on Entertainment Earth) -Joseph Baxter
Ash vs. Evil Dead continues to be a magnificently messy small screen revival experience for fans of The Evil Dead film series. Fittingly, this set from NECA’s stunning new 7” toy line comes with offerings unique from the single releases, specifically a crimson-covered Ash Williams, pit opposite the deadly, diminutive Demon Spawn “children” of Ruby (or, as Ash called them, “Creepy Kids.”)
El Jefe himself is here covered in blood and viscera, armed with his chainsaw hand, boomstick and an appropriately irritated grimace. His two Demon Spawn foils are here to literally raise Hell, dripping in black amniotic ooze, sporting soulless eyes, bite-ready choppers and, well, tighty whities. This set is the perfect gift for any discerning horror fan. (Retails around $38.99) -Joseph Baxter