Holiday Gift Guide 2019: The Best Pop Culture Presents

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XBOX ONE X GEARS 5 BUNDLE

Gears of War

Two years after its initial release and the Xbox One X is still the most powerful gaming console on the planet. It doesn’t just effortlessly render games in 4K for compatible TVs, it’s also the perfect centerpiece for any home theater setup as it plays 4K and 3-D Blu-rays, and can easily lap any Smart TV when it comes to switching between various streaming apps – all while keeping whatever game you were playing suspended in the background.

The 2019 holiday season introduces a few new One X bundles including this one featuring Gears 5 (which is probably the best entry in the series since Gears 2). It also includes a full terabyte of hard drive space; available with or without this limited-edition Gears paint job.

Available for $500 at Best Buy.

PICARD MOVIE & TV COLLECTION

Why yes, as a matter of fact, a real fan WOULD re-watch the entire Next Generation series in advance of the new CBS All Access show, Picard. But fine, not everyone has that kind of time, so this Picard Movie & TV Collection is a more-than-adequate primer on Patrick Stewart’s iconic Starfleet captain, containing each of his feature films – Generations, First Contact, Nemesis, and Insurrection — as well as two unforgettable multi-part episodes of Next Generation that have been edited together to create feature-length experiences: “The Best of Both Worlds” where he’s assimilated into the Borg, and “Chain of Command” where he is captured and so memorably withstands the brutal torture of the Cardassians. It also contains a bevy of extras, including a 16-page comic.

Available for $24 at Amazon.

DC COLLECTIBLE STATUES

The-Dark-Knight-Returns-Batman-Bust-Revealed

The legacy of DC Collectibles grows each year as they continue to pull iconic comic characters and moments from the page and bring them to life in high-quality polyresin statues. This year’s lineup includes “A Call to Arms” which recalls a dramatic moment from The Dark Knight Returns and features all the indelible hallmarks of Frank Miller’s original artwork from the wide body to the square jaw to the intensity of Batman’s clenched teeth.

DC Collectibles also introduced a “Bombshells” line featuring Mary Shazam, the alter ego of Billy Batson/Shazam’s twin sister Mary Batson. Mary appears in a marching band outfit, mid-stride, with a thin delicate bolt of lightning wrapping her scepter. Both pieces are intricately detailed, beautifully painted, and are affordable ways to build your collection; for similar quality from a third-party studio, you’re looking at prices that could instead buy something like a pretty good used car.

Mary Shazam available for $125 at DCComics.com.

A Call to Arms available for $150 at DCComics.com

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD COLLECTOR’S EDITION

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - Brad Pitt

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film featured long, luxuriating scenes of Brad Pitt doing nothing but driving around LA in 1969. It sounds boring as hell until you see it and realize you could watch it all day. For anyone who couldn’t get enough of the beautiful sets and 60s motif, this collector’s edition delivers the goods, including a MAD Magazine parody of the Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) show, Bounty Law, a poster for his film Operazione Dyn-o-mite!, and a working 45 RPM vinyl record (with old-fashioned yellow turntable adapter) featuring two songs from the film’s massive soundtrack.

Available for $56 at Amazon.

ENDGAME POWER GAUNTLET

Remember Hulk hands from a few years back? While supposedly a kids’ toy, adults probably had more fun throwing these on and wishing toys were half that cool when they were little. This Avengers: Endgame Power Gauntlet takes that feeling to the next level. Powered by 3 “AA” batteries, each of the Infinity Stones lights up and the glove makes movie-accurate Iron Man noises as you move each finger.

Because the glove is so massive, you pull on five plastic rings to articulate it into a fist, and when you do, the glove emits a menacing sound to let everyone know you now possess the ultimate power in the universe. A display mode lock allows you to clench the fist and put it on your shelf as a collectible. Just don’t leave the middle finger up. Wait. You’re totally going to do that, aren’t you? My God, how old are you?

Available for $99 at Target.

COBRA KAI SEASONS 1 & 2

Cobra Kai

Sequels that come 30 years after the fact almost never work, so you’d be forgiven prejudging Cobra Kai and getting it all wrong. The hilarious follow-up to Karate Kid catches up with the main characters in adulthood and is both a bona fide critical darling and a fan favorite. Unfortunately, the fact that it airs on YouTube Red means it’s been the best-kept secret on TV.

Now you no longer need to subscribe to yet another streaming service to enjoy the surprise hit, though. Seasons 1 & 2 are available in this four-disc DVD set which includes a host of extra features like gag reels, bonus scenes, and cast chemistry reads. Best of all, the set includes a high-quality cosplay-worthy silk headband with Daniel-san’s white-and-black design on one side, and the Cobra Kai logo on the other.

Available for $20 at Amazon.

TONIGHT SHOW BOX OF LIES

Pulled straight from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Box of Lies is the game that requires you to convince your opponent that you’re lying when you’re telling the truth and that you’re telling the truth when you’re lying. You can set it up and learn it for the first time in two minutes, but mastering the game will require all the creativity and cunning you can muster.

Available for $15 at Target.

RCA 70” 4K TV

RCA TV

Size isn’t everything when it comes to TVs, but it’s pretty damned important. This 70” LED behemoth from RCA delivers an enormous viewing surface without sacrificing clarity or performance. Full 4K 2160p and HDR mean movies, games, and your favorite shows will look better than ever without any hiccups. The built-in ROKU interface gives you access to every app imaginable. All at a price point that would’ve gotten you half as many features – at half the size – just a year ago. Now’s looking like a pretty great time to upgrade.

Available for $550 at Walmart.


That’s a wrap on our 2019 Pop Culture Gift Guide. We gotta say, though, for all the hay the news makes about the “end” of physical media, all those awesome collector’s sets make it look like a pretty great time to be a fan, eh?

Tell us, though, what was your favorite entry here? And what do you think we missed? Let us hear it in the comments section down below and happy holidays.

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