Is there a special geek in your life? With the growing ubiquity and popularity of geek culture, you’re almost certain to have a family member, relative or friend who’s into technology, science, sci-fi TV shows, movies and comic books, and related topics. Knowing their interests makes it easier to find the right holiday gift for such people. But where can you shop for them?
- For more tips on budgeting and spending for the festive season, see our Holiday Financial Guide
Online is your best bet. You’ll find a variety of cyberstores devoted to making geeks happy. So rather than spend hours shopping in conventional department stores and retail outlets, just fire up your browser and scan the virtual aisles. To help, we’ve compiled a list of 10 online stores that sell items designed for geeks and nerds alike.
CafePress -- This site specializes in clothing, wall art, drinkware, home furnishings and even baby items that celebrate the worlds of entertainment, sports, politics and the military. You’ll find everything from underwear for people interested in molecular biology to smartphone cases with an image of Charlie Brown to a wall clock that looks like the top of the Starship Enterprise.
You can search for specific items or browse the store by various categories. That makes it easy to find a gift for your favorite Star Trek or Marvel comics fan, a specific person such as a spouse or child, or someone who could use, say, a calendar or shower curtains. You can even personalize products such as T-shirts and coffee mugs by ordering one with your own special saying or design.
DC Store -- This is probably the best site to shop for someone who loves Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other DC characters. DC’s online store sells a variety of items, including books and videos, clothing, collectibles, toys and costumes, and home décor. The site taps into all the popular DC characters, and not just superheroes such as The Flash and Green Lantern but also icons such as MAD’s Alfred E. Neuman. You can search for specific items or browse by product type, character and price. Want to see your favorite nerd wearing Batman underwear? Here’s where you’ll find it.
Forbidden Planet -- It exists in the real world as a cool store in lower Manhattan, but it also sells its products online. Named after the famous 1956 science-fiction movie starring Leslie Nielsen, Forbidden Planet offers a treasure trove of action figures, clothes, books, comic books, graphic novels, DVDs, posters and toys. If you’re looking for a Hulk action figure, a T-shirt celebrating the movie “Attack of the 50-Foot Woman” or a poster of every actor who’s played Dr. Who, Forbidden Planet carries them all.
GeekWrapped -- Need a holiday gift that’s more science than science fiction? GeekWrapped is a good destination. The site focuses on such product categories as science, technology, videos and books, and even outdoor stuff. You’ll uncover funny chemistry T-shirts, DIY robot kits for kids, hoodies displaying a vivid section of the galaxy and cheap drones. The site is a good one, whether your geek is already a science genius or you want a gift that will teach him or her more about science.
Marvel Shop -- As Stan Lee himself would say: “Excelsior.” Yes, this is the official site for Marvel Comics merchandise, where you’ll find stuff for fans of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and countless other superheroes. You can shop by character or by item, such as clothes, toys and action figures, home accessories and collectibles.
Could the Marvel aficionado in your life use a Captain America backpack in the form of a shield, a Dr. Strange coffee mug or a Green Goblin action figure? You’ll find them all here. You can also personalize certain gifts, including T-shirts, backpacks and watches by outfitting them with the name and picture of your geek’s favorite Marvel hero.
Scientifics Direct -- Scientifics Direct is another store more devoted to science than sci-fi. The site sells telescopes, chemistry sets, drones and robot kits for adults and children of all ages. You can shop by age or by scientific specialty, such as astronomy, engineering, physics and nature. You’ll find expensive items, including a $229 Star Trek 3D chess set and a $439 Celestron Wi-Fi reflector telescope, as well as less pricy items, such as a $5 Sudoku Rubic’s cube and a $5.93 poster of Albert Einstein with the tagline “It’s all relative.”
Star Trek Store -- With the Star Trek franchise celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Star Trek Store is the perfect place to find the right gift for the Trekkie in your life. You can seek out just about anything Trek-related here, from clothing and uniforms to board games and DVDs. Maybe your favorite Star Trek fan would like a Klingon bathrobe, a Star Trek Bluetooth communications badge or a large wall decal of the Enterprise? Look no further.
You can search for specific items or browse the store by category or by series. The site also offers products in honor of the original TV show’s 50th anniversary, including T-shirts, mugs and models.
Stylin Online -- Looking for clothes for someone who’s into sci-fi, comic books, TV shows and movies, or pop culture in general? This is a site you’ll want to check out. Stylin Online specializes in T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pajamas, socks and jerseys, as well as boxers and panties. But you’ll also discover keychains, kitchenware, lunch boxes, bobbleheads, watches and travel cups.
You can shop by specific categories, such as sci-fi, anime, movies and comics. But if your geek has a favorite character, head over to the “Shop by Character” section, which lists hundreds of TV shows, movies, comics and more. Click on the link for the Avengers, for instance, and up pops a page with T-shirts, hoodies, hats and mugs devoted to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
SuperHeroStuff -- As the name says, this is the place to find cool stuff for superhero fans. The site offers a potpourri of products, including T-shirts, hats, hoodies, pajamas, cell phone cases, jewelry, wallets, watches, home goods and office accessories. But SuperHeroStuff offers much more. You can browse by category or by character, focusing on items related to “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” “Dr. Who,” “The Walking Dead” and Marvel and DC comics. A Walking Dead bathrobe may not be the first thing you want to see in the morning, but your favorite fan of the show may just bite into it.
ThinkGeek -- ThinkGeek offers an eclectic mix of items geared toward science, sci-fi, comic books and more. Whether your geek is into Harry Potter, “Game of Thrones,” “Star Trek,” “Star Wars” or Marvel and DC comics, you’re sure to find something here that he or she will dig. How about a Star Trek Tribble fur coat? Or a Harry Potter Quidditch uniform? Or maybe a Spider-Man 3D wall light? The site also sells video games, books, home and office gadgets, and collectibles for geeks and nerds of all ages.