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GamesRadar’s 2011 game-free holiday gift guide

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Things to wear

Not too many awesome new shirts caught our eye this year, though we’ve seen several great Minecraft shirts including this one of the Creepers.  BioWare has always had a great collection of Mass Effect fashion, the company’s updated Commander Shepard hoodie is one of the best pieces of clothing the site offers. But nothing this year beats Valve’s insanely cool Portal 2 Three Turret Moon shirt.

Things to play with

We love working in an office, and that’s almost entirely due to us being able to show off our collection of toys that we can also secretly play with. If you have friends that love to display action figures to co-workers, a cheap place to start is with the Batman Legacy: Arkham City toys, which include two packs of Batman and Two-Face and Robin and The Joker. There’s also NECA’s slightly more expensive series of Gears of War 3 toys, including this Anya action figure. And of all the toys we’ve purchased this year, NECA's Dead Space 2 Isaac figure with light-up eyes is one of our faves.

If your loved ones prefer toys without points of articulation, there are other great choices, like the excessively huggable Okamiden Plush. Capcom also updated its collection of Street Fighter toys with Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Bobble Buds that include cuter versions of Evil Ryu and Oni. Should you not mind spending a little more, there’s the very accurate looking SSV Normandy Ship Replica. And if you have friends that are Minecraft cosplayers, their costumes will be complete with a Foam Pick Axe.

Things to watch

By now you probably have friends that have stepped up to HD, but they may have missed some real cinema classics. Make your friends Blu-ray collection complete with Mortal Kombat, the recent web miniseries Mortal Kombat: Legacy and the tour de force that is Street Fighter: Extreme Edition. Or if your friends prefer Blu-rays that come with optional game demos, there’s the very watchable 3D CG film Tekken Blood Vengeance that comes in Tekken Hybrid. And lastly, your more cerebral pals will probably enjoy the long-awaited US DVD release of the anime feature Professor Layton & The Eternal Diva.

Things that are games without video

We love videogames (that’s kind of the whole point of the site) but sometimes we miss the tactile sensation of playing games in the real world. If your friends are feeling the same way, games like these should ease them back in. The Gears of War Board Game is four player table-top fun with tons of little plastic figures to admire. Speaking of plastic figures, we’ve long been fans of Heroclix, a simple strategy game with collectible miniatures, and now they’ve spread into videogames. With sets like Halo: Reach Action Clix and the Gears of War Heroclix now’s the perfect time to join in on the miniaturized fun. And if counting cards is what your friends enjoy more, why not give the Resident Evil Deck Building Game a try?

Things that involve Portal

Just as we were wrapping up this guide, ThinkGeek sent us an email showcasing all the new Portal-themed items it has on sale, and some are so good they deserve their own category. The Portal Cookie Cutters should be in everyone’s kitchen, and the Apeture Laboratories Shower Curtain will remind you of one of Portal 2’s best gags every time you shower (which should be once a day unless you’re gross). Your friends can use the Turret LED Flashlight with Sound to light their darkest hallways, and for your friends that like to show off how book smart they are, the Portal Bookends are a great way to display their reading material. You’ll find the full list of Portal goodies here.

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