Gift guide: Vintage video games, TV classics
Looking for gift ideas for the gamer, film buff and couch potato in your life? Check these out:
The games you grew up with
The hottest video games of Christmases past are the hottest games this Christmas. The NES Classic Edition is a miniature replica of the Nintendo Entertainment System -- the one that made "Super Mario Bros." a household name in the '80s -- that contains 30 games and one retro controller for the retail price of $59.99. (Extra controllers cost $9.99.) The stand-alone system debuted Nov. 11 and sold out across America almost immediately. Nintendo's official Twitter account promises "there will be a steady flow of additional systems through the holiday shopping season and into the new year," but this is going to be a hard item to find -- unless, of course, you're willing to pay hundreds for it on eBay. If you do track one down, you and your kids will be sharing the first three Super Mario games, "The Legend of Zelda," "Metroid," "Donkey Kong," "Castlevania" and 23 other classics.
"Kubo and the Two Strings" is the latest film from Laika, the stop-motion animators who created Oscar nominees "Coraline," "ParaNorman" and "The Boxtrolls."
- Associated Press
New this week, stop-motion animation studio Laika presents its four acclaimed films together in one DVD ($29.96) or Blu-ray ($44.99) package. "The Ultimate Laika Collection" contains the Oscar-nominated films "Coraline" (from "Nightmare Before Christmas" director Henry Selick), "ParaNorman" and "The Boxtrolls," as well as this year's critical smash "Kubo and the Two Strings." Laika's films are always quirky, always beautiful and sometimes creepy.
Serious fans of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" can own the ultimate "Middle-earth 6-Film Collection" this holiday season.
- Associated Press
One gift set to rule them all
Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" films are presented together in one library-ready Blu-ray package called "The Middle-earth 6-Film Collection." The retail price is a steep $559.99, and here's what you get: The extended versions of all six films presented in leather-bound books. A veritable mountain of documentary features that, in some cases, are more engrossing than the films themselves. A miniature wooden bookcase display. A book styled after Bilbo Baggins' journal that contains John Howe's beautiful artwork as seen over the end credits of the films, as well as maps of Middle-earth. It's a stunning collectors' piece with a stunning price -- a no-frills Blu-ray collection of the theatrical cuts of all six films can be had for $44.96.
A dimension of sound, sight and mind
Journey into the wondrous land of imagination with all 156 episodes of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series." The creepy anthology series that ran on CBS from 1959 to 1964 is presented in high-definition on 24 Blu-ray Discs in this definitive collection that arrives in stores Dec. 13 and retails for $126.99. Hopefully you'll have time enough (at last) to watch the extras, which include rare episodes, interviews, commentaries, radio dramas and audio lectures from Serling himself.
Bob Hope and other luminaries of television's early days are back on DVD, thanks to Time Life.
- Associated Press
Vintage TV comedy
Time Life has long been a great source for classic TV and music compilations, and this holiday season brings a new offering celebrating one of America's greatest comic talents. "Bob Hope: Hope For the Holidays" compiles 110 minutes of holiday highlights from Hope's annual TV specials onto one DVD and features appearances by Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Naomi and Wynonna Judd and even Eleanor Roosevelt. A special montage features Bob singing "Silver Bells" with his wife, Dolores, and 17 other female co-stars. The disc retails for $12.95 and is available at Amazon and other retailers. Check out timelife.com for more DVDs featuring Hope, Johnny Carson, Carol Burnett, Dean Martin, and classic episodes of "The Wonder Years," "Get Smart" and "The Six Million Dollar Man," among others.