Welcome back! I’m rounding out some of my favorite toys, tech, games, media, books & collectables that I started with All Things Geek Holiday 2016 Gift Shopping Guide – Part 1. I’ve sampled hundreds of products over the year and picked a variety to inspire your Holiday Shopping! So let’s get to it!
HISTORY’S “ROOTS” on DVD/BLU-RAY
A powerful reimagining of this essential American story, HISTORY’s Roots is on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD).The premiere episode of Roots debuted last Memorial Day and was overwhelmingly well received. Rightfully so. Based on the Alex Haley novel and inspired by the wildly successful 1977 series, Roots tells a story of one family’s struggle to resist the institution of American slavery.
Now is it harsh and hard to watch at times? Definitely. I’d question your humanity if it wasn’t. Is it vital to watch? Absolutely. When it first aired on HISTORY, I watched with my nine and seven year olds as my parents did with my sister & I when the original aired. I was seven, my daughters age then. I remember adults discussing it EVERYWHERE, school, church in the supermarkets & barbershops, everybody I knew was talking about Roots back then after every episode, it was a national event. It was a truly powerful experience for all of us.
“Nearly 40 years ago I had the privilege to be a part of an epic television event that started an important conversation in America,” said LeVar Burton, Co-Executive Producer and the original Kunta Kinte. “I am incredibly proud to be a part of this new retelling and start the dialogue again, at a time when it is needed more than ever.”
This retelling is as important. Perhaps even more so today. EVERY American family would benefit from watching this series and a frank discussion about the legacy of Chattel Slavery and it’s impact on our Nation to this day. There are teaching guides and other resources for educators available from HISTORY.COM
The 4-part miniseries is brought to life by an all-star cast including Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Anna Paquin (TV’s “True Blood”), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (TV’s “The Tudors”), Mekhi Phifer (The Divergent Series), Tip “T.I.” Harris (Ant-Man), Matthew Goode(TV’s “Downton Abbey”), alongside breakouts Regé-Jean Page and Malachi Kirby.
LOVE ADDICT:Confessions of a Serial Dater by Koren Shamdi
LOVE ADDICT is a cautionary tale about the intersection of modern love & technology by acclaimed cartoonist Koren Shadmi. I Interviewed Koren about the book. On sale now from Top Shelf Productions, an imprint of IDW Publishing, Love Addict ($24.99; full color softcover graphic novel with French flaps) details the downward spiral of young animator “K,” who is pushed by a friend to join the popular dating
site Lovebug. K’s journey begins as a search for true love, but soon morphs into a relentless hunt for sexual conquest. With the touch of a button, K embarks on a dating spree, browsing a digital marketplace of the flesh. Who can stop when Lovebug offers an endless stream of prospective mates, sorted by algorithms and stored on a distant server, ready to be consumed like TV episodes or Chinese takeout?
It contains graphic depictions of sex and is unblinking in it’s authenticity. It’s not appropriate for kids but this is a remarkably honest exploration of the modern dating scene, worthy of prized space on your bookshelf wether you’re into comics or not. A must read IMHO. And it’s on sale at Amazon!
MOMS WHO DRINK AND SWEAR: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind by Nicole Knepper
Living in the quaint bedroom community of Maplewood, NJ. I know plenty of moms who drink and swear. They’re AWESOME! This book is a painfully hilarious take on modern motherhood, the burbs, parenting, work, sex, the special bond between female friends & wine, lots of wine. And yes, husbands and dads take their fair share of lumps and punchlines, (Menninist isn’t a thing dude, you don’t get to be oppressed, get over it) but there is a surprising amount of intelligence, genuine affection and heart behind all the swearing & drinking. Nikki bravely puts all her cards on the table and is as tough as she is vulnerable. Nicole Knepper is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the fields of substance abuse, trauma, dual diagnosis and autism spectrum disorders and the mom to two. In addition to running her Facebook page, “Moms Who Drink and Swear,” she blogs for The Chicago Tribune and works to spread awareness about special needs. Based on her hugely popular Facebook page, “Moms Who Drink and Swear,” this book reveals why family dinners are like herpes, how to avoid smashing toys that are being fought over, and the joy of hearing that your son has murdered his imaginary friend. Moms Who Drink And Swear is a perfect winter break read. It’s bound to be a new guilty pleasure for a girlfriend at work or even a gentle gateway into chick-lit humor for dudes. I highly recommend it!
But let’s be honest, she had you at the title.
DISNEY’S ZOOTOPIA POLICE STATION PLAYSET
Bringing the characters to life and encouraging kids to recreate the action and adventure of favorite films while discovering new stories? Coin of the realm in the Yarde household. This was my daughters favorite by far. The headquarters for all ZPD officers, where Judy Hopps gets her assignments and Clawhauser eats his donuts featuring lights and sounds. Includes Officer Clawhauser figure and Safety Squirrel figure, plus a mouse-sized helicopter with spinning rotor. They retail at $39.99 but they are a red-hot item, good luck finding one at that price. Ages: 3 years and up.
THE EDGE DESK
I have a full write up about the wonders of the Edge Desk. And now that I’ve experienced the Edge Desk for a week first hand, a full review is forthcoming. I’m a big guy over 6 ft and no lightweight. And though I knew the specs, unboxing it I was afraid the thing would collapse, but I unfolded it, (no assembly required) & hopped right in (it’s basically a mall massage chair with a tabletop)
it’s relatively lightweight (30 lbs) surprisingly not only super sturdy (once you remember to lock the tabletop in place) but totally comfortable. Having a Graphic Design background I appreciated the easel feature! Free hand Comic Book artists, fine artist and students will dig this no doubt about it! Suffice to say this is the best workspace I have ever used! Period. Full stop. $350.00 (free U.S. Shipping) Available from TheEdgeDesk.com
BEASTS OF BALANCE GAME
Do you like the sound of 21st century Jenga combined with the latest video game innovation?? Well, you’re in luck, as game developer Sensible Object has JUST launched its new product Beasts of Balance, a game of strategy and skill that combines a fun tabletop format with an interactive, connected app where you can watch your stacked up beasts come to life!
Beasts of Balance is easy as Select, Stack and Strategize. Pick an Artefact, i.e. beast, touch it to the Pilth and stack it on the play-base. As you add connector pieces, you’ll watch your beasts evolve into new creatures through the Bluetooth-enabled app on your iOS or Android tablet. But be careful! If you knock down the tower, it’s game over. We’ve been playing a few days now and are already blown away by the addictive gameplay and surprising amount of strategy needed to win! I’ll have a full review soon!
The game JUST launched at Marbles: The Brain Store locations across the country for a suggested retail price of $109.99, (10% off on your first order) and is also available for purchase on www.BeastsofBalance.com you can download the free app below. You’re welcome!
SONIC 25th ANNIVERSARY FIGURE PACK COLLECTION
This one is just pure nostalgia! Celebrate a quarter century of Sonic! This special 25th Anniversary Figure Pack features Sonic, Knuckles and Tails articulated figures in original styling from 1991. The set comes with three exclusive two-sided, commemorative, collectible 25th Anniversary coins. Age: 4 years+ SRP: $19.99
DC Board Book Collection
I’m a HUGE fan of Downtown Bookworks Publishing’s line of Retro DC Comics inspired books for young readers (about 4-6 years) they were always a favorite in our household! First up, they have in addition to their best-selling line of DC Board books, DC Super Heroes On the Go! This bright board book shows how beloved DC characters run, jump, fly, swim, and drive from place to place. It is an especially engaging read for parents and children.
To celebrate the release of thier 10th board book, they’ve created the DC Super Heroes Little Library. This boxed set features all 10 of their DC Comics board books in a gorgeous case that will look great on any nursery shelf.
They’ve added DC picture books to their list! The Big Book of Girl Power and The Big Book of Superpowers are 32-page celebrations of DC’s beloved characters. Primers for your little geeks-in-training!
You’ve still got time to please the geeks on your Holiday shopping list so have at it!
Happy Holidays Geek Nation! If you buy anything recommended, send me a holiday photo on Instagram @ Instayarde hashtag #geekguide2016!
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Art Credit: manufacturers