A self-described “entreprenerd” and “kidult,” prolific vlogger Chris Pirillo tackles tech with a youthful fervor. A master of the cross-section between technology, content, and community, Chris has launched a number of successful blogging networks, social communities, and conferences in his time. By day, he works at Intel as the company’s Chief Community Advocate, where he works to give consumers a vicarious seat at the table when it comes to their computer graphics experience. As a professional reviewer of games, toys, and collectibles, we couldn’t have found a better geek to grace us with this gift list.... more
“No need to locate a token machine at your local arcade (if it still exists). There are countless 'mini' arcades which are instantly-playable from darn near anywhere. Produced by a series of different companies in slightly-different scales, many popular titles from the golden age of video games are available in these teeny-tiny cabinets. You can effectively build your own arcade at home. Since I'm a sucker for Tetris, I won't hesitate to recommend it to anybody and everybody in any format on any platform. BONUS: these miniatures make perfect props if you ever want to get into action figure toy photography (try it some time).”
“Cartoons weren't always available 24/7. You had to wait until after school or for Saturday mornings to enjoy animated characters across the three or four network channels available. Weird, eh? Well, some series were produced specifically to sell toys to us - and we didn't mind in the slightest. But getting the toys we wanted? Not always easy. Completing a collection? Near-impossible. So, instead of stuffing someone's stocking with something modern, take what you know about their childhood era and find a few decently-priced figures or figurines from that time to delight. It was the thoughtful gift of a simple 'old' Darth Vader that wound up catalyzing my collection and appreciation of the fandom.”
“Before you start calling LEGO bricks 'legos,' let me first explain that these aren't just for kids. Thanks to a friend in another country, I became an AFOL [Adult Fan of LEGO] - which is really a thing. Like many, I played with them as a child - and quickly learned that they would bring to me a level of peace-while-building and sense of accomplishment in trying times. There are so many sets to select, but consider a work of LEGO Art if your gift recipient is looking for something to hang in their home. Me? I went with the Sith set - but still need to get two more of the same set to complete two other images or combine the same set 3x to create a single Darth Vader portrait. Bricks ahoy!”
“What's the doorbuster this year? Look no further than the character without a name - The Child from The Mandalorian. We know him affectionately as 'Baby Yoda,' and my daughter (who is, I can assure you, a 'Baby Yoda' aficionado) says that the best 'Baby Yoda' out there is the recently-released Hasbro animatronic. Not only does it coo in a variety of intonations, but it gesticulates and uses The Force with precision. You can lay The Child on its back and it will fall asleep almost instantly, too! Now, if only we could get that feature in my daughter, we'd be set.”
“Long before we had smartphones to carry around an array of our favorite imagery, kids in the '80s traded cards with one another. Actual cards. Like, printed and physical and often carrying with them the smell of stale chewing gum. Just about every popular movie release and/or TV show had a set to collect, but my favorite (and still being actively produced today) will always be Garbage Pail Kids - forever lampooning the iconic Cabbage Patch Kids toy line. Even if that wasn't someone's jam, gift them a complete set of one of their 'vintage' favorites if something was made for it.”
Fresh Chalk has partnered with Chris to support Reel Outreach in the spirit of gifting. “Whenever I am asked to help facilitate support for a charity or nonprofit, I always try to take a more personal approach," says Chris. "I like to know where (and to whom) the effort is going. For this reason, I'm selecting a nonprofit run by a friend (and fellow Star Wars fan). His organization has been hosting entertainment events for kids who otherwise would not be able to enjoy such experiences.”
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