The 2018 holiday season is upon us, and while a shiny, new piece of software under the tree surely will not disappoint, we here at Goomba Stomp have come up with a list of alternative gift ideas for the gamers in your life. From useful accessories to decadent figurines, here are some of the gaming-related products we sure wouldn’t mind finding in our stockings!
*Item names are linked to a suggested marketplace
Though the franchise isn’t quite what it used to be back on the PS3, LittleBigPlanet was an insanely inventive and delightful platformer for its time (and one heck of a co-op experience to boot). Part of its endless charm is the series’ adorable mascot, Sackboy. This incredibly emotive sack doll doesn’t have the most extensive platforming moveset, but what he lacks in mechanical depth, he makes up for in customizability.
That’s why this Christmas-themed plush doesn’t seem out of place, as a toy patterns like this were surely available at some point in the series’ history. It isn’t just that it’s perfect for those with fond memories of LittleBigPlanet — it’s also attractive enough to stand on its own for anyone unfamiliar. As a bonus, pulling on this Sackboy’s iconic zipper reveals a tiny pouch with just enough room for a piece of candy or two. Well made and quite soft, gifting this little guy is a no-brainer. (Brent Middleton)
Short and sweet (bitterly so if you’re stuck in the past), this look back at some of the most fondly recalled video games of all time is the perfect gift for players of all ages, whether they are whippersnappers whose education in the classics is lacking, or old gaming fogies who cling to past pixelated glories like a former high school football star. Covering over 50 titles and consoles, from the NES era through the PS1 and N64 generation, Retro Games celebrates the creativity and influence that make its selections still stand the test of time.
Mario, Zelda, Sonic, and Cloud are all here, but the author also takes time to make the case for offbeat titles like ToeJam and Earl and Parappa the Rapper. While the descriptions never get too in-depth, the nostalgia is laid on thick, and an astute perspective that heavily considers the time and place each entry released takes readers back to a simpler time. Accessible and informative (though sadly without screenshots), this is ideal for those too young to remember, and those who may have forgotten. (Patrick Murphy)
Not everyone is a fan of Nintendo’s amazing GameCube, but for those that are, there could scarcely be a better gift this holiday season than Mathieu Manent’s GameCube Anthology. Compiling the entire history of the GameCube, including a detailed list of each one of the 647 games released for the system, this 347 page volume will make for a great coffee table or bookshelf piece for any Nintendo collector, GameCube fan, or aspiring game historian. For $40, it’s hard to argue with the quality of the GameCube Anthology. Now, if only Santa can get me my copy this year… (Izsak Barnette)
Any indie gamer has most likely picked up — or wants to pick up — Stardew Valley. On the surface, this calming game seems simple and easy to grasp, but the reality is that Stardew is incredibly dense, filled with secrets which will most likely never be discovered the first time around. Players may also want to be incredibly organized, planning every detail of every season, and this is where the Stardew Valley guidebook comes into play.
At some point, both rookie and veterans are going to want to know how to romance a villager, get the best ores out of the mines, or maximize their crops. This guidebook can be be immensely handy for anyone who is a first-time, casual, or veteran Stardew Valley player, and would make a beautiful gift for the patient and organized gamer in your life. (Katrina Lind)
With the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate this year, there’s bound to be someone in your life that has nearly everything they need to play Smash. They’ve got the controllers, the adapter, the amiibo, and the awesome 75” TV that actually lets people in 8 player Smash see each other. What they don’t have, however, is a way to use their precious GameCube and Wii Classic controllers wirelessly with the Switch. Thanks to 8bitdo, there’s now a solution for gamers to do that. Turning any GameCube or Wii Classic controller wireless and stacked with a 30 hour battery life, these adapters will make the perfect stocking stuffer for the Smash fan in your life. Just make sure they don’t blame the non-existent lag when you PK Fire your way to victory with Ness AGAIN this year. (Izsak Barnette)
It’s no secret that my hands are small, cold, and simultaneously sweaty all at the same time. How? I have no idea, but it does pose a problem when I’m playing my Switch in handheld mode. I ended up buying a pair of rubberized Joy-Con covers in the hope that it would help me in my very specific problem — and they totally worked! What I like about having silicone covers is that they help keep my hands from falling asleep, as well as prevent my Joy-Cons from slipping out while playing my favorite games for long periods of time.
There are many different models, colors, and prices to explore over the internet and they’re pretty cost effective as well (if you’d like to keep changing the color of your Joy-Cons without spending a fortune on another pair). These covers are compact, generally cheap, and gift givers have an assortment of colors and models to choose from. (Katrina Lind)
Stuck on deciding on an objectively cute stocking filler? The phenomenal return of Pokémon to the forefront of pop-culture with the release of Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! on the Nintendo Switch, as well as trainer updates to Niantic’s Pokémon GO, ensures that Pokémon merchandise is going to be flying out retail doors this holiday season. If you’re thinking about adopting a pocket monster these holidays, whether it be for a lucky recipient or yourself, there is no going past Japanese block-building toy company Nanoblock’s Pokémon series.
Currently focused on first- and second-generation Pokémon, and boasting fan favourites such as Pikachu, Vaporeon, Snorlax, and Gengar, Nanoblocks are a fantastic stocking-filler for any fan of the series — better yet if they’re partial to a bit of micro-toy construction supported by detailed instructions and stellar results. Be careful, though; once you purchase one, it’s difficult to fight the urge not to catch (and build) ‘em all. (Jordana Elliot)
When it comes to a cute and convenient video game-themed stocking fillers, Funko POP Vinyl figures are a great option for all ages. The figures have a very simplistic and appealing design, allowing them to easily blend into any bedroom or general display. Most are small enough to squeeze into whatever gaps are left on a desk, shelf, or even a console — such as my Spyro, who sits comfortably atop my PS4 with his tiny Sparx.
Their size makes them perfect collectibles. Although some POPs are bigger (known as the Super-Sized POP), they still aren’t too big or bulky. When kept in the box, they’re large enough to look substantial under the Christmas tree, yet also small enough to fit into a stocking, and some POPs even come with stands which allow them to look like they are hovering or flying, such as the Mercy POP from Overwatch or the Aku Aku POP from Crash Bandicoot — a nice little feature that adds some extra detail to the figure.
There are so many POP’s available from a wide variety of video games, including characters like Liberty Prime from Fallout 4, Reinhardt from Overwatch and Alduin the Dragon from Skyrim, and spanning across generations and consoles from Pikachu to Master Chief and Sonic the Hedgehog to Fortnite characters. Go and take a look and see if you can find your own favourite game character as a POP, or consider one as a present! There are a lot websites out there that have POP Vinyls available, and there are usually good deals on eBay, but here are a couple of other options: (UK) Forbidden Planet, (USA) Think Geek. (Antonia Haynes)
With a huge variety of games available on the Switch, including a plethora of amazing indie games, a memory card is perhaps one of the most essential upgrades for your console. While they can be rather expensive, the space to open up a whole new world of gaming that a memory card can bring is priceless.
Fortunately, if you’re particularly savvy, you can find some good deals when browsing around online. These can then become a wonderful stocking filler that’s a reasonable price, and will still be in use the following year when you take advantage of those Christmas sales. (James Baker)
Over the past five years, the Figma has done an incredible job in making Legend of Zelda collectible figures. One of my favorites in their ever-growing library is the special edition of the Twilight Princess Link. It was released around the same time as the game’s HD remake for the Wii U, and sports three faceplates (including the Hawkeye faceplate) as well as two designated stand ports — one on Link’s back, and another added into one of his belt pouches, which allows you to pose Link with his many accessories any way you like. The package also comes with the Master Sword and Hylian Shield, as well as the Ordon Sword, Hero’s Bow and Arrow, Ball and Chain, Hawkeye, and the Clawshot, the latter of which comes with both an open and closed claw. An articulated Figma stand is also included, and more importantly, each accessory can easily be inserted and removed, allowing you to slot them into Link’s hands without worrying about causing any damage.
Of all the figures released so far, the Figma Link Twilight Princess Ver DX Edition is perhaps the perfect Link figure thanks to the clever sculpting, meticulous attention to detail, and gorgeous colour paint. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but well worth every penny. You can buy it over at Toynk.com (Ricky D)
Anyone browsing this website is most likely familiar with Fangamer, a small video game merchandise company based in — and shipping from — Tucson, Arizona that sells some of the best products for our favorite titles. I recently ordered the Collector’s Edition of Undertale for the Nintendo Switch, and was blown away by the amount of stuff included in the package — such as the complete soundtrack, a sheet music booklet featuring six songs with annotations by Toby Fox, a 14k gold-plated brass music box locket, a sturdy matchbox-style collector’s box, and the standard physical copy of the game.
However, since this list isn’t supposed to include games as gift ideas, I will instead turn your attention to the library of vinyl soundtracks available to purchase on the Fangamer website. Among them is the soundtrack for Stardew Valley, which features all 77 tracks and brand-new art by Kari Fry, the artist behind the above-mentioned Stardew Valley guidebook. If you’re not a fan of that game, you can also find the official 2xLP Katamari Damacy soundtrack put out by Mondo, with beautiful artwork from We Buy Your Kids, as well as the soundtrack to the Super Famicom classic MOTHER 2 — a remastered double-album sold in two exclusive colorways: purple and green. There’s honestly so much to choose from that if you are a fan of indie games, you’ll most likely want to buy them all.
My favorite cover of all the soundtracks they sale would have to be the sleeve designed for Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows, while the best record would be the translucent, fairway-green vinyl for Golf Story. This official Golf Story vinyl contains the complete soundtrack by Joel Steudler, wrapped in art from ExitMothership, and also comes with a free, immediate digital download in 320kbps MP3 format. Meanwhile, Brave Wave’s Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows The Definitive Soundtrack brings all 14 tracks from Shovel Knight’s first expansion to both CD and vinyl for the first time!
Other vinyl releases available on the site include the soundtrack for Celeste, Ninja Gaiden, Undertale, Spelunky, and Thimbleweed Park. (Ricky D)
Super Smash Bros Ultimate is finally here, boasting a massive roster and over a hundred stages to battle in. The game is a heavy offering and can be overwhelming for newcomers. In addition, it plays slightly differently to the last entry, so even veteran players will need to get up to speed which is why I recommend the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Official Guide as a holiday gift this year. As advertised, everything you need to come out on top in the eagerly anticipated newest entry in the beloved Super Smash Bros. franchise is detailed here. The guide features full coverage of all fighters, comprehensive strategies, move sets, and the gorgeous, exclusive design makes this a must-have for any fan! With 464 pages, you can’t go wrong. (Ricky D)
If you’re shopping for a gift for someone who owns a Nintendo Switch and you are searching for something unique, consider buying a custom-made made Joy-Con made to look like the original DMG Game Boy from Etsy. The shell is painted with high-quality paint and a protective coat and buttons are casted, not painted. And if you’re not down with a Gameboy version, you can find hundreds of other designs including one for the NES, Super Nintendo, GameCube, and more!
Earthbound has since become one of the most sought-after games in the second-hand market, selling for upwards of $80 for the cartridge alone and $3000 if you have the game, box, and manual. The original SNES cartridge is hard to come by and not many gamers have that kind of money to spend on a game that is over 25 years old. Luckily for fans of Nintendo, Earthbound was reissued and given a worldwide release for the Wii U Virtual Console following many years of fan lobbying, and chances are, it will soon make an appearance on the Nintendo Switch.
It’s one of my favorite games of all time (maybe my favorite) and came packaged with one of the greatest game manuals ever made. Although the manual was uploaded to the internet by Nintendo so fans can download it for free whenever they want, I can’t end this article without recommending this unofficial EarthBound Handbook; a hardcover guide to the world of Shigesato Itoi’s classic game and presented as a travel guide made for tourists in the year 199X. It’s the product of two years of writing and design and features 270 full-color pages designed by Audrey Waner and written by Dan Moore. Each chapter is presented in its own unique style, and it even includes a special “Odoreality” card that allows you to see and smell all the sights along the way. (Ricky D)
These are our picks, but if you have any more suggestions, leave them in the comments below!