Figures.com 2013 Holiday Buyer's Guide
It's That Time Again...
Time when everyone starts - if you haven't already! - picking up gifts for the ones you love...and yourself, as there's really no better time to snatch up a great deal!
Scroll on for some super holiday savings from our fine sponsors, as well as a list of some of our favorite non-collectible gifts - which are sure to make the comic/fantasy/sci-fi/toy/video game/movie geek in your life have a happy, happy holiday season!
This year saw the release of a plethora of films from a variety of genre hit hi-def home video. Horror fans saw the release of a number of exciting new films as well as scary classics. Home video releases you won't want to miss include The Amittyville Horror Trilogy and the frightening recent release The Conjuring, both telling stories based on the adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren, real-world psychic researchers. The new zombie thriller World War Z also hit home video as did the frightening near-future thriller The Purge. Both feature alternative worlds in which zombies and politics change the landscape of the world forever.
Other sci-fi and comic film releases not to be missed this year include The Wolverine and Man of Steel, both bringing to life two of comic fandom's favorite superheroes with the man called Logan and Kal-El's origins being explored in new and exciting ways. Likewise, two impressive new visions of the world including Elysium, a tale of a dystopian future from the writer/director of District 9, and Pacific Rim, which pits giant robots against giant alien monsters - all from the director of Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth - what's not to love?
For fans of family film, there's plenty to enjoy as 2013 saw the release of a number of sequels, including Despicable Me 2, the follow-up to the 2010 fan favorite, and Monsters University, the prequel to the now-classic 2001 Monsters Inc. Both feature fan-favorite characters in hilarious new stories. Two new stories which will prove popular with viewers of all ages include The Croods, a tale of a family of Neanderthals who must endure what seems like the end of the world and Epic, an action-packed tale of nature's warriors fighting to save the forest.
This year saw an awesome assortment of amazing comics hit shelves, including some fine releases from Marvel including The God Butcher and God Bomb storylines in Thor, written by Jason Aaron with art by Esad Ribic; the tales of Marvel's bow-wielding sharp shooter in Hawkeye by writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja. For fans of DC, the 2004 series SOLO received the deluxe treatment and tells some amazing tales of fan-favorite DC characters. For fans of the New 52 and Batman, both Batman: The Court of Owls and Batman: The City of Owls story lines were amazing . Likewise, another Batman storyline - Batman: The Death of the Family - continues to cause ripples in DC books and should not be missed.
For fans who enjoy titles off the beaten path, Prophet - based on the Rob Liefield character re-imagined by creators Brandon Graham, Fil Barlow, Giannis Milongiannis and Simon Roy continues to stretch the imagination and re-introduce characters once thought long dead. For fans of the long dead, don't miss the brilliantly creative Five Ghosts by writer Frank J. Barbiere, which tells the story of the infamous treasure hunter Fabian Gray, in possession of The Dreamstone artifact, which grants him powers of five unique literary characters. Of course, the award-winning, critically acclaimed comic Saga continues to impress and should be on every comic reader's shelf as should the recently re-released, massive collection of pure awesome that is Last Man Standing: Killbook of a Bounty Hunter. Originally released in 2010 and the brainchild of artist/writer/creator/madman Danny LuVisi, this book tells an adrenaline-fueled story that's one parts art book, one parts creative bible, and two parts pure, unadulterated stunning. A must-own for any and all die-hard graphic novel fans.
Speaking of sci-fi, 2000 AD continues its North American invasion with a slew of great titles. Judge Dredd: Trifecta earns top honors as "crossover of the year" with its intricate and rewarding three-character story arc, The War Machine violently reimagines Rouge Trooper for a new generation of fans, Slaine: Book of Scars celebrates 30 years of the popular celtic warrior, and everyone's favorite super-undead hero returns with the hilarious (and strange) must-read Zombo: You Smell Like Crime And I'm The Deodorant!
Last - but certainly not least - is the impressive March. The tale of Congressman John Lewis who, along with co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell, brings to life the true-life story of the civil rights movement, retold in a new and creative way for a whole new generation of readers.
With new systems hitting the shelves this holiday season, 2013 was no doubt a stellar year (if not the final big year) for both PS3 and Xbox 360. And impressive releases abound with the introduction of new types of game play, engaging new stories, fan-favorite characters and much-appreciated follow-ups to previous favorites. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag introduces Edward Kenway, grandfather to Connor Kenway (protagonist in Assassin's Creed III) and new styles of game play - including expanded ship-board adventure. Likewise, Grand Theft Auto V continues to ramp up the interactive and engaging world to include new ways of mischief and mayhem. Bioshock Infinite provides players with new characters, new locales and new weapons of destructive power. There's nothing like exploring a city in the sky as Booker DeWitt!
Taking the action below ground, Metro: Last Light challenges players in a post-nuclear Russian metro system filled with mutants and warring military factions. The polished big budget follow-up to 2010's underground hit Metro 2033 continues to deliver the chilling suspense and brutal survival gameplay fans of the series have come to expect and love. Set in another post-apocalyptic setting, The Last of Us provided an engaging roller coaster of a game that told an emotional tale of loss, redemption, defeat, and love. Take on the end of the world as we know it and learn to love and care for another soul as you struggle to survive in a desolate future.
Of course, fans of DC Comics can ground and pound one another in hand-to-hand combat in Injustice: Gods Among Us. After Superman accidentally kills his love Lois Lane and Joker is found at fault, nothing can stop the Man of Steel from killing the Joker - but what happens when super heroes become misguided? Who'll stop them from going too far? Only you if you play this game! Of course, fans of Batman can pick up Batman: Arkham Origins, which tells the origins tale of Batman as he faces off against the Black Mask, Deathstroke and a number of other villains from his Rolodex. New weapons and improved game play provide an engaging new experience. Not to be outdone, LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes hands players the key to the Marvel Universe, allowing fans to control over 100 characters, big (Hulk smash!) and small (Ant-Man!). Don't let the game's simple building block appearance fool you. This is LEGO's best video game release yet, providing days of adult laughs and entertainment. Iron Man doing the "robot" is priceless.
For the gamer with an itchy trigger finger, Call of Duty: Ghost continues to be the tried-and-true first-person shooter of choice. Fast paced and frantic as ever, this new installment streamlines Perks and Strike Packages, introducing man's best friend into the mix: a guardian attack dog! Sic 'em! For wanna be soldiers who prefer their battles larger, more tactical and team-based, Battlefield 4 is the answer. Pistols and rifles seem so passť when you have the ability to drive an M1 Abrams tank or pilot an F18 Hornet in multiplayer combat!
There you have it, some amazing holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list who - like us - enjoys robots, comics, dragons, cartoons, superheros and all things pop culture!
From our homes to yours, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
- The Figures.com Team