It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, and for many this means it’s time to start considering what presents to get. For those of you who aren’t geek-inclined, picking out a gift that will satisfy your nerd-and-proud friends can be challenging. With so much geeky giftery on the Internet, where do you even start?
Based on personal experience, I’ve complied this list of the coolest nerdy gifts all 20 dollars and under. Everything on this list is based on my personal experience with the company in question, and if I’d actually buy the item myself. No matter what your friend or loved one likes to nerd out about, you can find them a cheap and amazing gift they’ll cherish for years to come.
For the gamer:
- Zelda Lounge pants
Pajamas are always a great gift that get used, and these unisex lounge pants come in a variety of designs and colors. I love the patterns on all of these and would be proud to lounge in any of them. Pick them up at thinkgeek.com for 19.99.
- Zelda Jewelry by Matchanest:
Another Zelda item on our list, but one with a more feminine touch. I got a ring from Matchanest a few months ago and I hardly ever take it off. Comfortable, well made, and with designs that pop, this Zelda jewelry is a beautiful gift for your gamer. Available from etsy at various prices.
- Pop Vinyl Figures
Pop vinyl figures are amazingly popular right now, becoming a collector’s item that’s cute and inexpensive. These figures from thinkgeek are something I’d keep on my shelf forever, coming in designs for every fandom under the sun. Coming in at only 9.99 for a 4 inch figure.
- Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Punch Out Poster:
We have some geek cross-over action going on, with a poster inspired by the popular 1987 game Punch Out fitted with Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s famous photo. Punch Out is one of my favorite games that remains timeless to this day, and with the inclusion of the ever popular astrophysicist Tyson, this 20 dollar cardstock poster from It Bit will look amazing in your gamer’s room.
- Mugs by ChipperCheeper:
These beautifully painted mugs are just the thing for your coffee drinking nerd. I’m absolutely in love with the Animal Crossing design pictured above, but this etsy seller sells Zelda-inspired mugs as well. ChipperCheeper perfectly captures the Animal Crossing style, and you can buy one of these for between 13 and 15 dollars on her etsy store.
For the Japan fan
- Sailor Moon Headphones:
Headphones are a gift that will always be used, and these Sailor Moon headphones from one of my favorite stores, Strapya World, are great for the Sailor Moon fan in your life. Sailor Moon has become a cult classic among anime fans, and these adorable headphones make the perfect ear accessory. My favorite part is the inclusion of Luna the cat on the earbud wires. Available for $16.20.
- Titans to Kill workout shirt:
Look Human has some of the best and funniest designed t-shirts I’ve ever found on the web, and this Attack on Titan shirt is no exception. This store specializes in work out shirts, with this one coming in at 20 dollars. If working out or Attack on Titan isn’t your nerd’s style, I highly recommend searching “anime” on their website and browsing their hundreds of creative and cute shirts for your nerd friends this holiday season.
- Death Note:
I asked my roommate, who is just as big of an anime fan as I am, what gifts she would want for Christmas. The first thing she told me was “a real Death Note,” and I agree completely. Death Note is an immensely popular anime, and this authentic notebook even comes with the names Light Yagami writes in the anime already written inside. It’s an amazing touch your otaku friends will love- I know I do. Available from amazon from 7.99.
- Onigiri Bento Usagi:
For your friends who are just as interested in Japanese culture as they are anime, a bento box is a thoughtful and useful gift. I own several bento myself, and this one has an amazing design for an even better price. This bento is compact and has two tiers, with a beautiful finish. Specifically designed to carry rice balls upright without them falling over, if your Japan fan is a chef at heart, pick up this cute bento from Bento&Co for $17.50. http://en.bentoandco.com/collections/boxes-by-popularity/products/onigiri-bento-usagi?variant=39118272
- Sword Art Online replica key chains:
One of the most popular anime out there right now, these Sword Art Online key chains have amazing detail at a great price. Most of them even have a sheath for the sword! This is a practical gift anyone can use, be it on their car keys, a lanyard, backpack, or house keys, with an authenticity your nerd will love.
Marvel (and DC) Madness
- No Strings on Me T Shirt:
Another item from thinkgeek that’s a website exclusive; you’re not finding this shirt anywhere else. A glow-in-the-dark Age of Ultron shirt is sure to make an amazing gift for the Avengers fan in your life, with a design that looks amazing in the light or the dark. At 19.99, get it while it’s still here!
- Deadpool’s Fragrance:
This is the perfect gift for the comic book man in your life. This Deadpool-inspired cologne is the perfect combination of nerdy and classy he will love to wear. Order it from Hot Topic for $13.65.
- Groot plush toy:
There’s not an Avengers fan who doesn’t love Groot, and this plush will make a great gift for all ages. Whether they use it as a huggable toy or it’s displayed on a shelf, Groot’s weighted feet makes him easy to stand anywhere. Coming in at an impressive 8 inches, send Groot to a new home for just $19.99.
For the Binge Watchers
- Sherlock PopVinyl figures:
One of Netflix’s most-watched shows has its own line of Pop vinyl figures! Amazingly popular figurines make a great collector’s item, perfectly adorable and detailed for the Sherlock fan in your life. Featured here are the titular Sherlock Holmes and John Water, but also comes in Moriarty and Irene Adler! Get one for 9.99.
- Starfleet Academy diploma:
A great gift for Star Trek fans old and new. Gifts to hang on the wall are always appreciated, and this Star Fleet Academy diploma is so real looking it can even be hung in an office. It will blend in seamlessly in your geek’s office space, where the knowing fan will recognize it and smile. A great Star Trek gift that’s subtle, but amazingly geeky. Available for 9.99.
- Orange Is The New Black:
After I watched Netflix’s original series Orange is the New Black, I was curious to read the book it’s based on. For the Litchfield inmate you know, the Orange is the New Black novel is both a compelling and an easy read. A great story to go along with the show, order it from Target for $12.80.
- Who Lounge Pants:
These lounge pants are perfect for binge watching Dr. Who! A Unisex item with a colorful Union Jack and Tardis design, these comfortable pants can be used as pajamas or for every day casual lounging. Think Geek has a variety of Dr. Who items, but these are the most versatile, and will be worn for hundreds of Netflix marathons to come.
- Let it Snow Shirt:
A perfect Christmas item, this Game of Thrones inspired t-shirt from SalmusPrint comes in a variety of colors. This simple design that pops will be a hit with fans of House Stark, especially during this winter season. Get it from etsy for $16.12.
- Random Comic pack:
A unique item from Super Hero Stuff, the random book binge package provides your nerd with up to 10 random Marvel comics. This blind bag comes at a great price and has the opportunity to give your geek an amazing comic to add to their collection. I love the idea of surprise bags, as your recipient will never know what they’re going to get. The price of this is also amazing, at $4.99 for 3 and $9.99 for 10, who knows what Marvel adventures await?
- 3D Printed D20 dice box:
Dungeons and Dragons is a geek staple, and what better way to treat your player than a dice carrying case? This amazing 3D printed box is in the shape of a d20, and holds up to 19 dice depending on the player’s set. This seller makes these boxes in a variety of sizes and styles, from glow in the dark to shiny red plastic. This unique 3D printed gift starts at 20.00 dollars.
- Zombie slippers:
Have a fan of The Walking Dead in your family? The zombie genre is so in right now, and these slippers will make a comfortable and funny gift for the hunter in your life. These slippers are one size fits most, but are made oversized to accommodate for most everyone. With pop-out eyes and a cool bloody mouth, these zombie slippers from Think Geek are $12.49 and best paired with a crossbow or baseball bat.
- Harry Potter Wanted Poster:
This official Harry Potter merchandise gives you the chance to make an amazing personalized gift! While it can’t be a moving photo like in the magical world, these Azkaban wanted posters can be personalized with your loved one’s own photo for a truly unique and memorable gift. Measuring 10 x 15 inches and suitable for framing, order it from the official Harry Potter online store for $15.95.
- Rilakkuma Glasses Stand:
One of Japan’s most recognizable mascots, Rilakkuma is here to hold up your glasses for you in this adorable stand. For $15.40 Rilakkuma can come home with your Japan fan as a cute desk ornament or sidetable accessory with a purpose. When your put your glasses on him, he looks like he’s wearing them! You can find this amazingly cute toy at Strapya World.