Tis the season to spend money, and in order to make the day of that geeky TV fan in your life, TVEnthusiast proudly presents our first annual Holiday Gift Guide.
Netflix – $8.99 per Month for HD
Netflix is the big daddy of streaming services, if you are interested enough in TV to visit websites that cover it, you have probably had a Netflix account for years. But in the off chance that the person you are buying for is the one person who does not have a Netflix account, your choice is clear. Netflix costs $8.99 a month for HD playback, but you can start up a free 1 month trial to test the waters. Netflix can be gifted through gift cards at this time. Unfortunately gifting directly through Netflix’s website is temporarily disabled due to a hack.
Amazon Prime – $99 for 1 Year of Prime
If your giftee already has Netflix, and they probably do, another great option is Amazon Prime. With its own library of rapidly expanding original series, like the brilliant new dramedy series Transparent, and a strong selection of streaming exclusives, Amazon is a worthwhile purchase at $99 a year. Amazon Prime’s value, however, extends beyond the streaming service. Prime subscribers enjoy free 2 day shipping on all purchases fulfilled by Amazon, as well as other benefits related to eBooks and music. Like Netflix, Amazon offers a 1 month free trial of their Prime service, and it is a hell of a thing to get for the holidays (free 2-day shipping). You can gift a 1 year Prime subscription here, if the giftee already has prime, the gift can be converted into an amazon gift card.
Crunchyroll – $59.95 for 1 Year of Anime
So your giftee loves anime, the pop culture phenomenon from Japan. Here is your best gift option, Crunchyroll. Crunchyroll has various affordable plans depending on if you want to watch anime, read manga and watch live action Japanese dramas, or both. There is even a free option which gives you a non-HD ad-supported 1 week post dated version of the site. The best option, in my opinion, is the anime only plan, which runs $6.95 a month, but can also be bought in larger blocks upfront for a discount. Gift Memberships can also be bought in bulk (up to a year) at a discount. A 1 year Gift membership for anime costs only $59.95, about equal to the cost of a new video game.
Normally I would advise against buying DVDs or Blurays of TV series as it is the 20th Century and all about streaming now. Below, however, is a list of great deals and memorable packages that you won’t feel dated for owning.
Game of Thrones Season 4 – $39.96 on Amazon
HBO may be launching their independent streaming service next year, but what about fans who want to catch up on Game of Thrones before season 5 premiere. Seasons 1 through 3 are available on Amazon Prime, but if you want the jaw dropping 4th season, you need to buy the Blu-Ray.
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series (Barrel Edition) – $192.04 on Overstock.com
Though the price tag is high, the contents are epic, and I am not just talking about the show itself. This complete series offering of one of TV’s greatest shows comes packed in a rather morbid barrel, and even includes an apron from the fictitious fast food joint Los Polos Hermanos.
Hannibal Season 2 – $18.99 on Amazon
Perhaps the most criminally under watched show on television, Hannibal comes to us dirt cheap from Amazon (who also streams the first season to it’s prime subscribers). Season 2 of Hannibal was considered by many to be the finest season of television in all of 2014, and you can have it for $18.99, the first season is even cheaper at $14.99. Catch up in time for the spring debut of the series 3rd delicious helping on NBC.
Chromecast – $30.64 on Amazon
There is only 1 device fully endorse at this time, Google’s Chromecast. That being said, The Chromecast isn’t quite as simple as the Amazon Fire TV, or as feature rich as the Roku, so those are other options to consider depending on who you are buying for. What makes the Chromecast great is that it is dirt cheap, comes with tons of great (and always updating) offers, is controlled through the App interfaces of the services you use on your phone, and allows for cooperative experiences on services like Youtube, and even some classic board games like Monopoly. You can read my write up about the Chromecast and why I love it here. The Google Chromecast has an MSRP of $34.99, though it can often be found for less. In addition, new Chromecast buyers can sign up for 2 free months of Hulu Plus, and other offers are often sent out as well. Users who buy a Chromecast before the 21st of December can get $20 in Google Play Store credit to use on movies and TV shows. You can buy a Chromecast on Amazon right now for $30.64, and that includes the $20 credit, and 2 free months of Hulu Plus. If you have Amazon prime you can get it in 2 days with free shipping. Unfortunately, Amazon Prime Instant is the only major video streaming service that doesn’t yet support Chromecast.
I am not a big collector, but I love FunKo’s cute superdeformed vinyl figures from all manner of pop culture. Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, even lesser known series like Supernatural and Children’s Hospital, if the show, movie, or comic has geek credibility, chances are it has a line of adorable Funko toys to celebrate it. My personal pick, the Wendigo from NBC’s Hannibal. The toys come in various form factors, including bobbleheads and keychains, with the basic figures tending to run around $10 a piece. Funko toys can be bought at many toy stores, as well as Amazon, and specialty online retailers like Think Geek.
Game of Thrones – a Telltale Game Series – $29.99 on Steam
Telltale amazed fans with its adventure game adaptation of The Walking Dead, and they have done it again with their recent release of the first episode of their episodic Game of Thrones adventure. Featuring much of the original cast (providing voices) and a new House to defend (and fret over), Telltale’s Game of Thrones can help tide you over until the start of Season 5 next Spring. Pricing for the game varies as it can be found on multiple platforms including PC, Mac, XBox 360, XBox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Android, and iOS (IPhone, iPad).
This last item on our wishlist might not make it to your door by Christmas, but offers fantastic value. For a few years now, a trend has started up in which online t-shirt sellers will offer new shirts daily at very low prices. The catch being that you have to buy the shirt within 24 hours of it hitting the website, and since they make the shirts for order, it can take a while to get them. None the less, I would be remiss to not point out the deals that can be found at T-Shirt sites like Shirt Punch, Shirt Woot, Tee Fury, Ript Apparel, and Qwertee. Check back daily until you see one that calls out to you. personally I like subtle references that act as a sort of secret handshake between you and the geeks that get the reference, giving you a nod and smile.
More gift ideas could be added in the next couple of days, so stay tuned to TVEnthusiast for more gift ideas, and coverage of all your favorite shows.