Game Informer's Holiday Buying Guide 2022

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the need to track down great gifts for the people you love. Or perhaps amid all that shopping you’re doing for everyone else, you want to pick something special just for you. Either way, we’ve curated a selection of some of the products that most impressed us this year. From new ways to charge a controller to centerpiece gaming tables for your home, here’s hoping you find something that excites you. Happy holidays!

Disclaimer: Recommended products are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company, GameStop.

Toys & Collectibles

Mega Masters of the Universe Snake Mountain

After a stellar buildable recreation of Castle Grayskull from a couple of years back, Mattel’s Mega brand has prepared another awesome take on a classic Masters of the Universe playset. As Skeletor’s headquarters, Snake Mountain sits in the Dark Hemisphere of Eternia, from which the villainous leader hatches no end of dastardly plans to foil He-Man. The buildable version is 24 inches wide when opened up, but can fold close for preferred display options. Fun interactive options like a movable demon jaw and breakaway escape wall offer plenty of play options. The building set is big, creepy, and filled with dark imagery, just as it should be. $321

Jurassic World Dominion Tyrannosaurus Rex

For fans of the Jurassic movies, it’s become a thrill to see how that good old original T-Rex manages to live to fight another day. In the toy world, each new installment brings a new variation on the familiar towering monster.

The latest iteration is a ton of fun. The 21-inch-long figure is suitably massive and features a hinging jaw that can swallow your brother’s 3.75-inch figures whole, dropping them into an internal stomach to only be released (by lifting the tail) once he promises to stop bothering you. $50

Lego Atari 2600

Lego has done much to embrace its nostalgic throwback potential in recent years, but few sets so typify the trend as this detailed build of the Atari 2600. A defining platform for a generation of early game players, the Atari paved the way for later success stories like NES and Genesis. The Lego version features functional switches and a remarkably accurate and moving version of the old joystick. Buildable cartridges for three of the best original games – Asteroids, Adventure, and Centipede – can be pushed into the console’s slot or stored away in a vintage-style tower. Or display them with built vignettes of the game’s action.

Our recommendation? Build the Lego set with the kids, then dig through your closet and find your original console and work together to get it up and running again. $239

Nerf Pro Gelfire Mythic Full Auto Blaster

Nerf is branching out from its foam roots and embracing the burgeoning gel ball play experience. The sleek Mythic fires in semi-auto or full-auto modes, and comes with 10,000 dehydrated rounds alongside some essential protective eyewear. Ammo (once submerged for four hours) consists of small water-soaked globes that burst on impact. The gel balls feed into the blaster from a hopper that sits up top, and then out at your target at roughly 10 rounds-per-second. It’s like the natural evolution of water fights when you’re ready to upgrade from balloons and sprays. The Mythic is a fun twist on the standard Nerf experience but take special note of the age range here (14+) – this is a blaster for older enthusiasts, not younger newcomers. $80

Luke Skywalker Milestones Statue

This roughly 12-inch-tall rendition of Luke Skywalker finds him ready to confront his destiny and his father in the lynchpin conflict of the entire saga. Primarily black collectibles can be hard to pull off without appearing to be a blot on the shelf, but Gentle Giant’s paint and design add wrinkles and folds to the hero’s iconic outfit from Return of the Jedi, helping light to bounce in pleasing ways. The added pop of the green lightsaber completes the silhouette, making this one of the more evocative takes on a character who has been sculpted dozens of times. $250

Thing 1/2 Scale Bust

The clobbering man himself makes for a lovely warden for your shelf in this high-end collectible. Continuing Diamond Select’s long line of half-scale busts, Ben Grimm’s iconic visage is wonderfully captured here, with piercing blue eyes behind a raised forehead ridge. The most impressive work on the piece is only apparent up close, where the varied texture of his skin sets the 10-inch-tall display apart. $199

Funko Five Nights At Freddy’s Snaps!

Funko’s new Snaps! figures line aims to offer a bit more playability and customization than the well-known Pop! characters, and the creepy leads from FNAF are helping lead that charge. Change out torsos, legs, headpiece, and multiple faces to make each their own. Freddy, Foxy, Baby, and Bonnie are all on offer in the initial wave, as well as playsets adding an additional layer of fun. $9




Thor: Love and Thunder


Star Trek: Picard – Season Two Limited Edition Steelbook



Manifold Garden 2xLP Vinyl Soundtrack


Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar


Bronco by Orville Peck



Destiny: The Exotic Collection, Volume One


Disrupting the Game by Reggie Fils-Aimé


Fairy Tale by Stephen King



Spelljammer: Adventures in Space


Ruins of Symbaroum – Player’s Guide


Transformers Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook


Gamestop Sponsored

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Pokémon™ Scarlet

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Call of Duty Modern Warfare II

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SKU 232558 $69.99

Marvel Legends Black Panther Mask Replica

with Vibrainium Light Up Effects

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PlayStation® 5 Console

SKU 232353 $499.99

Home & Apparel

PlayStation Taped-Up Ladies Cropped Hoodie

Recall an earlier era of PlayStation fun with this clean and cropped sweater featuring the controller’s iconic colors and button shapes alongside a throwback logo. The material is a mix of ring-spun cotton and poly fleece, which gets high marks on comfort. It’s an ideal choice if you’re shopping for (or are) the person who has all the games but needs something enjoyable to play them in. $57

Arcade1Up Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Cabinet

The replica arcade machines from Arcade1Up range from Ms. Pac-Man to The Simpsons, effectively taking us on a stroll down memory lane with the form factor with which we’re familiar from our favorite game rooms. The company’s newest machine plasters the beloved Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on the marquee, but it features so much more than that massive crossover fighter. Once you fire this replica up, you have access to the headlining game plus Marvel vs. Capcom, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes, X-Men: Children of the Atom, X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, and Marvel Super Heroes in War of the Gems. $599

One Piece – Straw Hat Crew Throw Blanket

Embrace your love of anime’s most long-lived and beloved pirate crew with this cozy blanket, which measures 50×60 inches – plenty big enough to shelter you from any errant sea storms. Made of 100 percent polyester, the throw is soft, machine-washable, and perfect for catching up on the latest adventures of Monkey D. Luffy. $40

World of Warcraft Return to the Dragon Isles Art Print

As Dragonflight prepares to lift off, you can celebrate your love of Azeroth’s most popular winged creatures with this gorgeous 14×24 inch art print set within a 20×30 inch frame. The two-inch matte border on all sides perfectly frames the image, which is as much a celebration of dragon enthusiasm as it is your longtime World of Warcraft hobby. Artist Bayard Wu perfectly captures Alexstrasza, Aspect of the red dragonflight, even as the background shows the impending presence of many more draconic flyers as they venture forth into an uncertain future. $150

Modern Warfare II Logo Dark Heather Hoodie

When repping the return of your favorite franchise, simplicity can sometimes be the best choice. With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II rolling out to do battle, you can snag this comfy 60 percent cotton, 40 percent polyester sweatshirt. It’s perfect for those long winter nights ahead, cuddled up in your gaming chair as you try to figure out how in the world you just lost a fourth Domination match in a row. If you’re more adventurous, a full line of t-shirts, hoodies, and designs offer a less subtle celebration of your fandom. $65

Super Nintendo Console Ornament

Add a little Nintendo magic to your tree decorating this year with this electronic light-up ornament honoring the king of 16-bit consoles. In addition to light-up effects, it plays familiar snatches of music and sounds from Super Mario World, and what’s more Christmas-y than that? $20

Craft Series Gaming Chair

Many companies have been gunning for control of the gaming chair market, but it’s fair to say that DXRacer is largely responsible for the initial trend. There’s good reason for its staying power, as DXRacer continues to put out comfortable, high-quality chairs that are easy to tweak to your preferred seating specs. That line of quality continues with the Craft series, which features a range of premade designs – you can also reach out to the company directly to ask about a design of your own. The seat itself is well-embroidered and smartly constructed. 4D armrests allow for angle, height, width, and depth changes, and the available 135-degree recline is enough to feel like a real lounger. It’s a firm sit on the leather-wrapped high-density foam, but one that holds up to long hours of gaming without discomfort. That ease of use is thanks to features like integrated lumbar support and a cool gel memory foam pillow. There’s plenty of competition in the category, but DXRacer is still offering some of the best. $469

Twinkly Line & Music

Custom adjustable lighting has risen in popularity to transform a space, and the idea is especially well-suited to gaming rooms and home theater spaces. Twinkly’s app-controlled LED strips are simple to use, with an adhesive strip that lets you easily add flair beneath the sofa, around your desk, behind the TV, or anywhere else. Once installed, you’ve got complete control over each individual LED to create ambient effects or wild color gradients along the length. For some added fun, plug in a Twinkly Music USB sound sensor, which uses a BPM counter and mic to sync and playback a light show to the music in your space. $90 (Line), $30 (Music)


M90 Mini Blaster

Get ready to stand outside your crush’s window and blast some Peter Gabriel. On second thought, don’t do that, it’s creepy; but do consider checking out this remarkable piece of throwback nostalgia. The original M90 boombox released in 1981 was the height of incredible sound for your preferred music. This replica is roughly 60 percent the size of the original, but features a wealth of authentic touches, from replica packaging to an opening cassette door with eject button. While it’s a great retro throwback, it’s no slouch as a Bluetooth speaker, pumping out 30 watts of sound from its two 3” speakers, and offering lengthy battery life as you adjust the treble, bass, balance, and volume knobs to your preferred settings. With its dual antennas, you can also rock out with the built-in FM tuner. $159

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish Keyboard

Proclaim your love of Tolkien with each resonant click when you plug this lovely custom keyboard into your rig. The keyboard features a subtle, but attractive presentation of the Two Trees of Valinor, while the green hue of the compact but usable deck calls to mind the green leafy fields of Lothlórien. The keycaps are the star of the show, depicting every letter in both Elvish script and Latin (in case you’re still learning). The tactile experience is excellent, with a nice concave curve to each key and a pleasant texture that prevents slippage without overgrip. For descendants of Durin’s clan, a dwarven option is also available. $179

ZG01 Game Streaming Pack

For gamers looking for a higher level of control over their game audio, microphone output, and audio levels, Yamaha has put together a handy pack that includes an easy-to-use gaming mixer and an excellent headset. Both are available separately for a lower price. The mixer lets you play with mic settings and effects like reverb, radio voice, and pitch, along with fine-tuning game audio and chat. Meanwhile, the included YH-G01 is comfortable, light, and built around the stellar sound production of Yamaha’s long years in the field. An excellent condenser mic picks up voice with accuracy while keeping background noise to an absolute minimum. Perhaps most importantly, the combined set is much easier to set up and run than many other market mixers, setting up even relative newcomers for success. $419

Poly Studio P5 Webcam

Whether working from home, streaming, or any other video needs, a no-nonsense high-quality webcam can be worth its weight in gold. Poly’s solution offers solid auto-focus imaging and low-light compensation in a 1080p resolution with 4x digital zoom. It’s small, easy to slip on at the top of your monitor, and offers a built-in directional microphone for times you’re not using a dedicated headset. It also includes a closeable lens for privacy. No muss, no fuss. $80

PS5 Gray Camouflage Console Cover

Sony just launched an entire new collection of PS5 accessories in this gray camouflage aesthetic. If you’ve been looking for a change of pace from the stark white, it’s a fun way to change things up. So far, most of the official options have been solid colors, so it’s nice to see something with a bit more texture. If you decide to take the plunge, make sure and snag the correct version for disc-drive or disc-free console versions, as it makes a difference. To go all in, you can also track down a new DualSense controller and Pulse3D headset in the same style, at which point you’ll be more than ready for whatever a game throws at you. $55

MEG Trident X 12th Gen Gaming PC

For PC gamers who aren’t ready to build from scratch, finding a rig that hits all your needs can be challenging without overtaxing the budget. Any way you approach it, it’s a significant investment. We were impressed with MSI’s new Trident X series, which offers a compact 10-liter volume that isn’t going to overwhelm your space but impressed in performance above its weight class. Attractive styling and RGB lighting give way to easy-open door sides that make for easy customization. The model we tested ran high-end games with aplomb and notably, very quietly. Do your research as you configure your specific options, but the core machine here is well worth a look if you’re willing to make a significant investment. Starting at $2,400

Victrix Pro FS Arcade Fight Stick

Setting a new high-water mark for the competition to beat, the Victrix Pro FS is the definitive joystick for the most discerning and engaged fighting game enthusiasts. With Street Fighter 6 on the horizon, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better controller. Available in a sleek form factor with a purple or white finish, the entire device feels premium, from the ergonomic tilt of the wrist slope to the rounded edges. Buttons are incredibly reactive, and the stick itself is responsive and solid. It’s weighty enough to stay stable on the table but light enough to carry around with the integrated handles – simply a standout performer in every category. The Pro FS is compatible with PS5, PS4, or PC. $399

PowerA Controller-Charging Base For Switch

If you do a lot of multiplayer gaming on your Switch, you’re likely used to the dilemma of finding the best ways to get your various controllers and Joy-Cons plugged in to get batteries back up to full charge. PowerA’s affordable solution offers you two Joy-Con slots and a dedicated controller plug-in (for the likes of a Pro controller). Charge lights let you know when each device is ready to go, and the low-profile stand itself is weighty enough to stay in place and do its job. $30


My Father’s Work

Flip the switch and bring this creepy and delightful game to life on your table, in which two to four players each control a family of mad scientists over three generations, gradually enacting their ethically dubious research from a forbidding manor on the hillside. Worker placement mechanics meld smoothly together with a lavishly written free digital app that helps carry the story forward. It’s a big, lengthy, and thoroughly rewarding experience that responds to the actions you take in surprising ways. Enjoy your turn as Dr. Frankenstein. $125

Box Monster

This simple kid-targeted game mixes manual dexterity and complex shape recognition. A wild-eyed monster lives with you, and it eats whatever it can get its mouth around, including all sorts of stuff in your house. Those uniquely shaped objects are cardboard pieces that sit inside the actual game box, and up to four questing hands can reach through holes in the side to pull out specific combinations (without being able to see them) and fix the poor guy’s upset stomach. Silly, quick-playing, and likely to induce significant giggling, this cooperative game should be a hit to entertain even the shortest attention spans. $29

Twilight Inscription

Over the years, the various editions of Twilight Imperium have garnered a well-deserved reputation for long play times. Twilight Inscription takes many of the most intriguing elements of that fiction – intergalactic warfare, player voting to change rules, resource management – and refines the experience into a less overwhelming play session. The bigger shift is toward a “roll and write” structure, in which you track your civilization’s advancements by marking up several sheets representing things like navigation and industry. The result is a tense and challenging competition that nails the futuristic tone and politicking of the franchise but with a new twist. $65

Pokémon Trading Card Game: Sword & Shield – Lost Origin

While Pokémon Scarlet and Violet arrive on Nintendo Switch this month, the long-running Trading Card Game continues to deliver expansions inspired by Sword, Shield, and Legends: Arceus. Lost Origin features the return of the Lost Zone, a discard-like mechanic first introduced years ago. The cards in the expansion feature several fan-favorite creatures, including special cards showcasing the bond between trainers and their Pokémon.

As with most Pokémon TCG expansions, you can dip your toe in through individual 10-card booster packs or dive in head-first with an expansion-specific Elite Trainer Box, with options in between to suit your needs. Starting at $4

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The Pandemic gaming system has increasingly shown its flexibility to provide exciting cooperative experiences, regardless of the theme. That’s proven again with this take on the Clone Wars as they were fought in that familiar galaxy far away. Players control uniquely powered Jedi as they hop between planets, attempting to hold back the tide of the Separatist forces. Excellent card and board art captures the feel of the Star Wars mythology. Unique scenarios add replay value, each steering toward a fateful encounter with the likes of Darth Maul or General Grievous. Like the best games of previous Pandemic games, only a Jedi Council that works together in the will of the Force will triumph. $60

Origins Game Table

If you’ve longed for a home table that meets the dual goals of an attractive family dinner spot and fully featured game night gathering place, the Origins is a solid bet. The solid ash wood table construction is sturdy and straightforward to assemble, though heavy enough to require multiple volunteers. Built-in cupholders and game piece holders keep everything in place. A recessed play surface can be customized with your preferred felt or other covering, offering a large 61”x37” play surface from which no dice will escape. An optional dining top can be purchased to cover the play surface, keeping things classy even while a stalled Lego build or RPG session waits beneath. Starting at $2,699

D&D Icons Of The Realms Tarrasque

Spend enough time with the same D&D group, and someone will eventually bring up the absurdity of what it might be like to take on the Tarrasque, that most epic and unstoppable of monsters from the long-running RPG. This kaiju-like monster terrorizes the countryside wherever it awakens, sometimes after decades of inactivity. But there’s no need to let it slumber in your display cabinet, where it can stand ready to charge into battle whenever your DM has a bad day. Scaled against WizKids other standard minis, this towering figure is nearly 16 inches from thrashing tail to biting maw. $399

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