Through some bizarre twist of fate I wound up pulling the Black Friday entry of The Pullbox’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020 Ready? Here we go!
Movies – The Last Starfighter
Greetings, Starfighter! The adventures of all around average guy Alex Rogan, a fella who has one thing going for him in this world… He’s really good at the Starfighter video game. No big, right? Except that it is kinda big, seeing as the game is more a recruiting tool designed to find candidates to help “defend the Frontier against Xur & the Ko-Dan Armada.” This flick hits every mark for childhood wish fulfilment, and thanks to some pretty great performances by Lance Guest, Robert Preston, & Dan O’Herlihy (Grig) it’s held up better than many nostalgic 80’s movies. Just waiting on that sequel, guys.
Comics- Make Mine Indie!
It’s no secret that the lifeblood of ThePullbox is found in independent comics. Sure, there is some great stuff coming out of the big publishers, but I wholeheartedly believe that some of the best work is coming from smaller & often self-published titles. A few of my favorites? Afterlife Inc, by Jon Locke is about a con man who dies & finds that the afterlife is a mess as “management” has taken a leave of absence. Being the ambitious sort, he takes over and enacts an efficient business model to smooth over the process of Eternity. Atomic Robo by Brian Clevinger & Scott Wegener has been a personal favorite of mine for a while, following the adventures of a self-aware robot created by Nicola Tesla. Through the decades, Robo has fought Nazis, common criminals, & Lovecraftian horrors from beyond space & time. The Uniques, by Comfort & Adam, is one of the most entertaining superhero stories that doesn’t actually focus on superheroics. This one’s all about the lives of these young sidekicks turned heroes, trying to figure out their places in a world where living up to a legacy is never easy.
Games – Betrayal at Mystery Mansion
From the folks at Avalon Hill comes a game that can be played repeatedly, until the pieces are lost to the sands of time. Each scenario features a favorite villain from classic Scooby Doo cartoons, and an improbable number of stumbling blocks as players try to figure out which one of them is secretly playing as the bad guy! Just a note, there is a more mature version of the game, Betrayal at House on the Hill, for those without munchkins to keep entertained (sidebar, Scooby Doo always keeps my wife entertained, so it’s kind of a tossup).
Okay, hold on! Just listen a sec before you go stomping off… I know that it doesn’t exactly scream “Pullbox”, but this thing is a work of art & is handier than you might assume. You like pork ribs? Forget a day spent at the smoker. Beef Stew? Done in about two hours from start to finish. Hard boiled eggs? I gotta tell ya, a total of ten minutes in this bad boy, and you’ve got perfectly done eggs that will peel like magic! What does all of that mean to fans of ThePullbox and comics in general? More time to settle in for some quality reading!
Do I even need to justify this one? I couldn’t just pick a single example of this collection from Hasbro, but I suppose I could’ve gone all topical and featured the Mandalorian (maybe you’ve heard of him?) and The Child (anyone?). How ‘bout the fan favorite who is soon-to-be-featured in live action for the first time ever, Ahsoka Tano? Fans of the Star Wars animated series, Rebels, might be interested in that part of the collection as well… Whatever direction your gift-buying is leading you, if it’s action figures you’re looking for, you’re gonna be able to find something in Hasbro’s Black Series.
Whatever you end up buying for the nerd in your life, be sure to keep one very important fact in mind. No matter how much space they may take up with their “collection”, no matter how much income you feel might have been wasted, just know that Han shot first!
Very happy holidays, to of you from all of us.
ThePullbox… “when you’re here, you’re family.”