The Retroist’s 2008 Holiday Retro-Gift Guide

I know you all have a special person in your life who constantly plays games on their Atari 2600 or NES and prefers the crack and hiss of vinyl to digital sound. These people love things retro and although they might seem difficult to shop for, thanks to the internet their are 100s of holiday gift ideas for them. Here are a few of my favorite that are sure to please:

1st Edition Advanced D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide

You can spend a lot of money on a coffee table books pull of fancy pictures or interesting illustrations, but you don’t need to. You just plunk down a first edition Advanced Dungeon and Dragons guide and you got an instant conversation starter. I would also put out a bowl of assorted dice (maybe in brushed steel), just in case you get a pick up retro roleplaying sessions started.

1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons’ Dungeon Master’s Guide at

Star War’s New Millennium Falcon Playset

My childhood Millennium Falcon was one of my most treasured possessions. I would grab that landing gear like it was a pistol handle and zoom around my house, shooting imaginary Tie-Fighters and making Kessel Runs across my living room in less then 12 parsecs. This updated Millennium Falcon comes in at 2 and half feet long and it dwarfs my old toy. If you get the chance to play with, the scale feels right, with room to move around like a proper playset should have. Plus this one comes with Han AND Chewie. Best Star Wars update so far in my opinion.

Star War’s New Millennium Falcon Playset at

CBS Special T-Shirt

As I mentioned in this earlier post, I love this CBS Special T-Shirt. Lovingly created by a fan, this shirt will tell everyone you meet, that you know that Herbie wanted to be a dentist and that that Heatmiser’s mother is Mother Nature.

CBS Special T-Shirt at Wire & Twine

Atari Flashback 2.0

The Atari 2600 is the quintessential symbol of modern retroism. If messing with older technology or MAME is not your idea of fun. (I of course can think of nothing more enjoyable.) You can pick up an Atari Flashback system and be up and running in 2 minutes. The system has over 40 games built-in. The include: 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, Adventure, Adventure II, Aquaventure, Arcade Asteroids, Arcade Pong, Asteroids Deluxe, Atari Climber, Battlezone, Caverns Of Mars, Centipede, Combat, Combat 2, Dodge’m, Fatal Run, Frog Pond, Hangman, Haunted House, Human Cannonball, Lunar Lander, Maze Craze, Millipede, Missile Command, Off the Wall, Outlaw, Pitfall, Quadrun, Radar Lock, Return To Haunted House, River Raid, Saboteur, Save Mary, Secret Quest, Space Duel, Space War, Video Checkers, Video Chess, Wizard, Yars’ Return, and Yars’ Revenge. Not bad.

The Atari Flashback 2.0 at

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Holiday 24 Piece Playset

I just got this myself the other day and I love it. First of all, they got em all on here – Rudolph, Yukon, Bumble – 24 in all. Now I can continue to work on my Rankin/Bass inspired “under the tree” scene. I am replacing this Bumble with a much larger one, but otherwise the scale works out well enough. If the lights are just right you almost feel like you have been magically transported back to the stop motion table of yore that birthed these classics. You can pick these up at Toys-R-Us or online at Amazon.

Rudolph and Friend, 24 Piece Playset at wants a Charlie in the Box)

McDonald’s Gift Certificates

When I was a kid I always got McDonald’s gift certificates in my stocking. I was and am an unrepentant Chicken McNugget fiend so these certificates were like gold to me. After my x-mas gift high would end, I would run to the local mall food court for a celebratory feast, no matter how much snow was on the ground. The Golden bites of Chicken Meat would be eaten by the score my friends and the sauces, oh the sauces would flow like water.

Now I know that its not cool to like McDonald’s, but even though you may not like them, you can be sure that someone you know is a fan. So stop by your local McDonald’s and pick them up a few of these holiday classics.

Buy McDonald’s Gift Certificates from McDonald’s

The X-files (I Want to Believe) Poster

You don’t need to go to far back in time to be retro. In the 90s one of the best Sci-Fi shows ever, The X-Files, premiered. Now I know the show has lost almost all credibility with its most recent film, but catch those original shows (especially the first 3 seasons) in reruns and I guarantee you will be a reborn X-Phile by the end of the first episode. Now let your X-flag fly by throwing up a classic “I Want to Believe” poster on your wall.

The X-files (I Want to Believe) Poster

Giant Mario Plush

During these cold winter nights its nice to have someone to cuddle with AND protect you from the koopas and the gombas. So might I suggest this “Giant” Mario Plush. OK, he is only 14 inches tall, but he is the biggest plush Mario I have seen in a while and that is the way ThinkGeek describes him. If you were expecting a 4 foot tall Mario, prepare to be disappointed, but if you were think 8 inches – you are in for a treat. Oh and this Mario is imported from Japan, so he has that going for him.

Giant Mario Plush at ThinkGeek

The Classic 3×3 Rubik’s Cube

As you can tell from our my header, I am a big fan of the mother of all puzzle cubes. So last, but not least, the Rubik’s cube is a great way to kill time and with the handsome collector stand you can make a statement about your love of nostalgia. Put this on your shelf or coffee table and see how long before a guest picks it up.

Classic Rubik’s Cube at


The Retroist

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

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