Virtual Corner - A guide to toys for gaming geeks
Online purveyors of video game memorabilia have something for everyone
By: Derek Mitchell
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 06:00 am
There are plenty of female gamers out there, and many can rival the guys any day of the week, but when it comes to buying toys, the clear winner is the male gender. Men have this wonderfully pre-ordained, intrinsic ability to cast any modicum of social convention aside and embrace their inner nerd.
Now, to be a nerd simply means that one follows his or her passion. In our label-crazed society, a passion for gaming earns you a label of nerd while a passion for sports earns the jock label. This is a fallacy.
Regardless of labels, all nerds share a unifying bond: Toys.
Just as a sports-nerd may decorate his living room, office or man-den with sports memorabilia, so too can gamers outfit their own fortresses (or cubicles) of solitude with various vehicles of vanity as homage to their favourite games.
Where does one start in the search for the ultimate gaming gear? It’s a journey not for the faint or frugal of heart.
Epicweapons.com is the perfect place to start. Easily navigated, here you'll find official replicas of weaponry from across the gaming world.
Does World of Warfare wow you? Well, this site allows you to purchase an 18-pound authentic replica of the Doomhammer. If Dragon Age is more your feast of fancy, might I suggest the Darkspawn Greatsword?
While either of these will run you around $400, they are sure to add a certain panache to your gaming room. However, the site offers some other options that won't break the bank. Apart from smaller trinkets, like coasters and pendants, one of the sweetest-looking sabres on the site comes from the game Alice: Madness Returns. Alice's Vorpal Blade is exquisitely crafted and is much more reasonably priced ($89).
Instead of weapons, perhaps you're looking for a figurine or other fanfare to fulfil your gaming fanaticism. Thus we come to sideshowtoy.com. Personally, I was most impressed with its lineup of Mass Effect figurines. Both Garrus and Commander Shepard are simply sublime in realism, detail, and relative affordability ($64 each).
But the sky's the limit as this site is a premiere place to peruse video game rarities. The statue of The Tank from Left 4 Dead 2 ($299) or the massive maquette of The Hulk ($650) are not only rare but powerfully sculpted. But la pièce de résistance is definitely the full-scale replica of the Locust Hammerburst II rifle from Gears of War 3. This incredibly rare beauty is intricately designed, weighs in at an impressive 35 pounds, and is a mere $850.
Though sideshowtoy.com does offer monthly payment plans, if you're not looking to drop a bunch of bills on a collectible, but are still looking for something unique, check out BigBadToyStore.com. The site has hundreds of items, spanning decades of gaming. A quick search of your favourite game will reveal figurines, desk accessories, and apparel from all walks of your gaming life.
Embracing a passion as a gamer, as well as the labels that go along with it, goes well beyond controllers and consoles. The true aficionado should have something that proudly displays his chosen love.
Whether one's significant other will – or should – buy into the idea of purchasing a piece of memorabilia worth hundreds of dollars, that's another story.
When he’s not teaching junior high school, St. Albert Catholic High School alumnus Derek Mitchell can be found attached to a video game console.