Ho Ho Ho! Yes, it is once again that time of year. It is that time of year where retailers have trees, lights, & ornaments on display. Where the jingle bells are ringing & the little drummer boy is playing his drum.
It is time once again for me to write my fabulous top ten list of Christmas stocking stuffers that I think will go great for not only the little gamer in the family, but also for the grown up gamer.
In order to make my "special" list a game or gaming accessory must fit in at least an 18" long by 5" wide Christmas stocking. So let's travel to my mental version of the North Pole & jump right into the gifts I feel are right for stuffing.
#10: Spot It!
Spot It! is a fun & challenging game for the whole family. I will tell you that anyone can play this simple pattern recognition game. Spot It! comes in variety of themes from the Alphabet to Disney's Frozen to Sports. They just released a hipster version, mustache & all. With over a dozen different themes you can't go wrong with this little round tin full of fun. Spot It! can be found retail for around $12.99 & online for as low as $9.
#9: Pack O Game
From the amazing mind of designer Chris Handy is Pack O Games. Pack O Games are micro card games that look like a pack of gum. You could buy one or more or even the whole collection & never fill a stocking. Pack O Games are super portable & easy to learn. Pack O Games can be found on [geekurl=http://www.perplext.com/]Perplext[/geekurl] & Amazon. I recommend calling your local board game store to see if they carry them.
Okay, I know this is pandering to Wizards of the Coast customers, but what child or adult that grew up through the 1990's doesn't like Pokemon? Still a major player in the card game wars is Pokemon. With the new Pokemon XY Evolutions, this card game just keeps getting bigger. A pack or two or three can go a long way for those that either love to play the game or to those that love to collect. Theme decks or booster packs fit perfectly in a stocking. Most retailers, both online or brick & mortar, will carry Pokemon of all types.
#7: Halfsies Dice
If you are giving a gift to a Dungeons & Dragons player or a player of any other type of role playing game then I suggest a set of Halfsies from Gate Keeper Games. These sets of dice are some of the most beautifully colored dice I have ever used. Halfsies dice can be purchased on the Amazon [geekurl=https://www.amazon.com/Gate-Keeper-Games/b/ref=bl_dp_s_web_15620164011?ie=UTF8&node=15620164011&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Gate+Keeper+Games]Gate Keeper Games[/geekurl] store.
#6: Button Shy Subscription
I have found that giving a subscription to someone is a perfect gift. A perfect subscription gift is to Button Shy Games. Button Shy Games is known for their awesome game of the month subscription. A subscription to Button Shy Game's game of the month club is the gift that keeps on giving all year round.
You can visit Button Shy at their Patreon website to learn all about their monthly service along. You can also visit their website,[geekurl=https://www.patreon.com/buttonshy]Button Shy Games[/geekurl] , to pick up a game or two.
#5: Mighty Meeples
Before long Cryptozoic is releasing their superhero version of the average meeple. This line of collectible meeples are going to be known as Mighty Meeples. So for those DC Comic lovers or gamers that just want more meeples to play around with, in this gift is perfect.
Now along with the release of the DC Comics Mighty Meeples, Cryptozoic will be releasing a Ghostbusters set where the meeples will come in an Ecto-1 tin & a future DC Comics release of Justice League characters inside of a Hall of Justice tin.
It isn't clear if any retailer will be carrying the Mighty Meeples line, but I do know that these super meeples will be found on Cool Stuff Inc. Hopefully some of the big retail stores will think of carrying them with their collectible games.
#4: Magic: The Gathering
Once again I have to throw another card game from Wizards of the Coast on the list. It is important to realize how long Magic: The Gathering has been around & how many people love to play or collect the cards. I can actually say that I've been playing this 1993 & will probably continue to play until is actually goes away, which I hope never happens.
Magic: the Gathering just like Pokemon is easy to find. You can go to just about any retailer, brick & mortar or on the internet. The intro decks are perfect as they come with two booster packs. Booster packs will vary in price from site to site & store to store.
#3: Play Mats
I know a lot of gamers that love play mats. There are hundreds of types of play mats out there. You have your plain solid colors & your specific designs. There are even play mats that help to teach a game. Play mats keep gaming components, such as cards, clean & easier to pick up.
Now play mats aren't that hard to find. I recommend going online & buying play mats from Cool Stuff Inc. where they run as low as $7.99. Or you can visit the folks at [geekurl=http://www.inkedgaming.com/]Inked Gaming[/geekurl] where you can customize your own play mat for yourself or that special person receiving the play mat as a gift.
#2: Valley of the Kings
From Alderac Entertainment Group, a.k.a. AEG, comes one of my favorite deck-building games, Valley of the Kings. Valley of the Kings is a very unique deck-builder. as you have to purchase cards from a pyramid made of cards instead of a row. With the recent release of Valley of the Kings: Last Rites there are now three versions that can be played as a stand-alone or can be mixed together to play an ultimate game of Valley of the Kings.
Valley of the Kings is great for anyone that loves deck-building games or is a fan of Ancient Egypt. The Valley of the Kings games can usually be found at your local board game stores for usually $20 or online for less. This is one game I know I'd love to find in my Christmas stocking.
#1: Star Wars Destiny
This December is going to be a huge month for Star Wars, when I was growing up it was May. I have always been a Star Wars kid, born the weekend Star Wars debuted in 1977, & I will always be a Star Wars kid. And one thing I'm looking forward to is not only Rogue One but Star Wars Destiny from Fantasy Flight Games.
Star Wars Destiny, in my opinion, is kind of a cross between Dice Masters from Wizkids & Ashes from Plaid Hat Games. I'm not totally sure where Fantasy Flight is going to go with Star Wars Destiny but I hope it will someone make it's way into tournament play with some organized play kits for store gaming.
Booster packs will run about $2.99 while the two starter, Rey & Kylo Ren, will run about $14.99. I'm going to predict that the big box stores like Wal-Mart & Target will be selling these since they are a Disney license. Star Wars Destiny will be out sometime at the end of November or early December.
All-in-all everything looks good & won't cost an arm & a leg. I'm very excited for the Mighty Meeples line from Cryptozoic & Star Wars Destiny from Fantasy Flight Games. I am disappointed that they won't be out until just before Christmas.
Hope this list helps you decide on what to put in those Christmas stockings. If you have any extra ideas let me & others know by posting in the comments.
Ho Ho Ho & game on!