Under the Radar’s Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Part 8: Apparel and Household Items

T-Shirts, Hoodies, Mugs, Nightlights, Posters, and Game of Thrones Beer

Dec 14, 2017 By Mark Redfern Web Exclusive
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Welcome to Part 8 of our Holiday Gift Guide 2017, in which we look at apparel and household items. We highlight two of our favorite T-shirt companies: England's Last Exit to Nowhere features exclusive clever and cheeky designs that play off of classic movies/TV shows and Spread Shirt (founded in Germany in 2002) features a wide range of fun designs for T-shirts and other products (you can even submit your own designs). Then there are some household items from Uncommon Goods, a website that's simply perfect for quirky holiday gift ideas. And finally we have a couple of ugly Christmas sweaters from Fun.com, a Star Wars mug from Hallmark, and some Game of Thrones-inspired beer.

We have previously posted Part 1 of our 2017 gift guide (for music reissues, music box sets, and vinyl), as well as Part 2 (for board games) and Part 3 (for DVDs and Blu-rays, plus there was a supplemental to Part 3 with several other DVD/Blu-ray suggestions). Part 4 focused on toys and other gifts for kids. Part 5 centered on collectibles (aka wonderful toys for adults who are film, TV, and comic book fans), Part 6 was all about video games, and Part 7 highlighted technology (Blu-ray players, headphones and speakers, cameras, and more). And we will still also be posting one more gift guide, for books and graphic novels. And don't forget that Under the Radar subscriptions also make a great gift. Plus donating to the charity of your choice in the name of the gift receiver is also a good way to go.


Asian Dawn - Die Hard Inspired T-Shirt (Last Exit to Nowhere)

SRP: $26.00

We're not advocating you join a terrorist organization, but this T-shirt from Last Exit to Nowhere features the logo for Asian Dawn, the terrorist group featured in the original 1988 Die Hard film. Of course (spoiler alert if you somehow have never seen Die Hard) villain Hans Gruber (played by Alan Rickman) and his team weren't actually terrorists, they were thieves only interested in breaking into the vault at Nakatomi Plaza. To stall the cops and the FBI, Gruber demands that various jailed comrades in arms around the world are set free, including "in Sri Lanka the nine members of the Asian Dawn movement." To which Gruber's right hand man Karl (Alexander Godunov) mouths back "Asian Dawn" in puzzlement and Gruber tells him, "I read about them in Time Magazine." Only your next level geek friends will get the reference and those are the kind of friends you most want anyway, right? In other words, this would make a great gift for your film buff friend, especially one who grew up in the '80s and loves one of the greatest action movies of all time. (Buy Regular T-shirt here, Buy Fitted T-shirt here.)


Batman Holiday Hat Kids Ugly Christmas Sweater (Fun.com)

SRP: $39.99

The aptly named Fun.com have an amusing line of holiday sweaters, including this kids Batman one. The Dark Knight does Santa, what more do you want from a geeky Christmas sweater? It'd be great for school, winter playdates, or ugly Christmas sweater parties (although we think it's quite cute). (Buy it here.)

Batman Bat Signal Ugly Christmas Sweater (Fun.com)

SRP: $59.99

The Joker has crashed your Christmas party and you need to summon Batman post haste! Luckily you're wearing Fun.com's Bat Signal Ugly Christmas Sweater. Not only does it feature Gotham City's skyline, with the Bat Signal in the air, but some of the buildings and the signal light up at the touch of a button. The sweater would also be useful in darkly lit alleys (since Batman isn't real). If you've got a kid, then pair it with the Batman Holiday Hat Kids Sweater for a fun father/daughter or mother/son party outfit. (Buy it here.)

Double R Diner T-Shirt Inspired By Twin Peaks (Last Exit to Nowhere)

SRP: $26.00

Twin Peaks' Double R Diner is actually a real place. The Double R scenes in the original 1990 pilot for the show and the 1992 prequel film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, were filmed at a diner in North Bend, Washington, then known as Mar-T Café and now known as Twede's Café. When it came to filming the rest of the original series, the Double R was recreated on a soundstage. A 2000 fire gutted Twede's and the remodeled café bared little resemblance to the Double R. However, when it came time to film this year's new Twin Peaks series for Showtime, David Lynch went back to Twede's and the production restored the Double R look, which has remained in place post-filming. Of course, if you can't make it to North Bend or otherwise want to represent your love of Twin Peaks (even if you didn't quite understand the new season), then you can buy Last Exit to Nowhere's Double R Diner T-shirt, hand screen printed on a 100% cotton gray T-shirt. (Buy Regular T-shirt here, Buy Brushed Fitted T-shirt here, Buy Fitted Ladies T-shirt here, Buy Baseball T-shirt here.)

Droid Crush T-Shirt (Spread Shirt)

SRP: $20.49

R2D2 falls in love with a similarly shaped trashcan. That's pretty much all you need to know about this adorable T-shirt from Spread Shirt (and designed by Kent Zonestar). The design is available in multiple colors, for both men and women, for kids and babies, as a T-shirt or sweatshirt, or even on mugs, aprons, and phone cases. Who doesn't know a Star Wars fan that would love this shirt? (Buy it here.)


Exterminate! Women's V-Neck T-Shirt (Spread Shirt)

SRP: $30.49

With Doctor Who getting its first female Doctor next year when Jodie Whittaker takes over the role, female fandom for the show (which is already pretty high it seems) is bound to increase. So to prepare for Whittaker's full on 2018 arrival (or this year's Christmas Special, Peter Capaldi's Doctor Who swansong that's likely to feature Whittaker's first appearance at the end) we recommend this T-shirt featuring The Doctor's most fearsome foes, The Daleks, and their menacing battle cry, "Exterminate!" It comes from Spread Shirt (and their designer Yiannis) and is available in a variety of styles, including a women's v-neck (both short sleeved and long sleeved), as well as sweatshirts and regular shirts (for women, men, and kids). Plus you can get the design on a travel mug, apron, bag, water bottle, tote bag, a beer mug, and even a dog bandana. (Buy it here.)


General Zod's Quality Kneeling Pads T-Shirt (Spread Shirt)

SRP: $19.99

Fans of 1980's Superman II will get a real kick out of this General Zod shirt from Spread Shirt. General Zod (played by British actor Terence Stamp), a villain from Krypton and Superman's equal, escaped from the Phantom Zone with his lieutenants Ursa and Non. While Superman is off at the Fortress of Solitude sacrificing his powers so that he can sleep with Lois Lane (okay, have a committed romantic relationship with Lois Lane), Zod is busy crashing into the White House and taking over the world (apparently Superman doesn't have a TV at the Fortress of Solitude or any other way to monitor world crisis). The General's favorite catchphrase is "Kneel before Zod!" So it stands to reason that after Superman defeats him, he would go into business selling quality kneeling pads. Kneel before the brilliance of Spread Shirt (and the shirt's designer Deep Fried Art). (Buy it here.)


Jack Rabbit Slim's T-Shirt Inspired By Pulp Fiction (Last Exit to Nowhere)

SRP: $26.00

Alas, Jack Rabbit Slim's, the iconic restaurant from Quentin Tarantino's 1994 film Pulp Fiction, doesn't exist. It was actually the film's most expensive set, built in a Culver City warehouse. While you can't actually go there to drink the best $5.00 milkshake in Los Angeles or dance the night away to Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell," you can buy Last Exit to Nowhere's Jack Rabbit Slim's T-shirt and perhaps fool your friends into thinking that it's a real place and you've eaten there. The stylish three-color design is screen printed onto a navy T-shirt and features the fictional restaurant's logo. (Buy Regular T-shirt here, Buy Fitted T-shirt here, Buy Fitted Ladies T-shirt here.)

Select Your Ship Hoodie (Spread Shirt)

SRP: $44.49

Do you ever debate with your friends as to what science fiction spaceship is best? Well here is the visual representation of that on a hoodie. It features the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek, the Serenity from Firefly, the Planet Express from Futurama, the TARDIS from Doctor Who, and the Battlestar from Battlestar Galactica. The Serenity is highlighted, so this might make the best gift for Firefly fans, but really any sci-fi fan will appreciate the design. The design (by design9x and available on Spread Shirt) is also available as a T-shirt for men, women, or kids, as well as various other products (mugs, aprons, phone cases, bags, etc.). Make it so and allons-y! (Buy it here.)


Stay Puft Marshmallow Company T-Shirt Inspired By Ghostbusters (Last Exit to Nowhere)

SRP: $26.00

When I first saw Ghostbusters as a kid I wondered if the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was a real life thing. In the movie, Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) is unable to clear his mind and ends up helping Gozer conjure up a giant walking Stay Puft Marshmallow Man monster. As Ray says: "I tried to think of the most harmless thing, something I loved from my childhood, something that could never, ever possibly destroy us: Mr. Stay Puft!" Now you can try and fool your friends into thinking that the Stay Puft Marshmallow Company is in fact real with Last Exit to Nowhere's amusing shirt. It's available in navy or white. There's also a kids version and a sweatshirt. (Buy it here.)



100 Albums Scratch Off Poster (Uncommon Goods)

SRP: $18.00

In this age of Spotify and other music streaming services, almost every album is just a click away, but where to begin? Not only is it hard to keep up with the current albums released each Friday, not to mention new songs released daily, but what about the classics? Uncommon Goods' 100 Albums Scratch Off Poster is here to help. It includes 100 albums you should probably hear before you die and once you have listened you can scratch each album off to reveal the album cover. The poster includes Prince's Purple Rain, Primal Scream's Screamadelica, The Smiths' The Queen Is Dead, Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Arcade Fire's Funeral, The Beatles' Abbey Road, Blur's Parklife, Frank Ocean's Channel Orange, Dolly Parton's Jolene, Daft Punk's Discovery, Radiohead's OK Computer, Kanye West's The College Dropout, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, U2's The Joshua Tree, Pixies' Doolittle, The White Stripes' Elephant, Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, Massive Attack's Blue Lines, and many others. We can get behind almost all of the choices and then there's Ed Sheeran's + (which we recommend saving for the end or never scratching off at all). Also available is a 100 Books to read poster. (Buy it here.)


Balloon Dog Light (Bitten/NuOp Design/Uncommon Goods)

SRP: $25.00

Here's a fun balloon dog that will never deflate and will instead light up a young child's life, literally. The Balloon Dog Light is a cute battery powered bedroom nightlight. You squeeze the dog's leg to turn the light on and off and it includes a 30-minute sleep timer function. The stylish Pop Art-inspired design is by the Hong Kong based Bitten and the light is imported by NuOp Design and sold on the Uncommon Goods website. It comes in red, blue, green, and glow-in-the-dark and requires two AA batteries that are not included. (Buy it here.)

"Winter is Here" & "Fire and Blood" Game of Thrones Beer Gift Pack (Brewery Ommegang)

SRP: $23.99

Winter has finally arrived, both in Westeros and in beer form. The latest of Brewery Ommegang's Game of Thrones-inspired beers is "Winter is Here," a tasty double white ale with sweet and peppery flavor tones and a hefty 8.3% ABV. It's the perfect style of beer for someone who likes a winter seasonal beverage, but doesn't necessarily turn to the usual, heavier-feeling porters and stouts. The Night King's grim visage graces the label, which may make it a little awkward at the family dinner table, but beyond that it makes for a great holiday drink. A snazzy-looking gift pack pairs it with a bottle of "Fire and Blood" Red Ale-perhaps our favorite of Ommegang's Thrones-inspired beers-and a piece of collectible glassware. By Austin Trunick (Find a local retailer here.

My Cinema Lightbox - Vintage Edition (Uncommon Goods)

SRP: $65.00 

Ever wanted to see your name up in lights? Well here's your chance, albeit in your own home. Uncommon Goods' stylish My Cinema Lightbox is a tabletop version of a cinema marquee. Contained in a dark wood frame, this battery-powered lightbox backlights any word or phrase you choose to put on there. It includes 140 letters, numbers, and characters. Whether you're welcoming someone home from a long journey, hosting a themed party, or screening your favorite film for the first time for your romantic partner, the My Cinema Lightbox would be a welcome edition to your home. (Buy it here.)

Run Barry Run Mug (Spread Shirt)

SRP: $12.99

Outside of the comic books, there's a lot for fans of The Flash to take in these days. Apart from the short-lived 1990 TV series on CBS (it lasted only one season), until the DC superhero returned to TV in 2014 with the hit CW show The Flash there wasn't much for Flash fans to get excited about. But the adventures of Barry Allen are now in their fourth season (which has returned to the lighter, more optimistic tone of season one after a couple of more brooding seasons). Plus one of the highlights of this year's Justice League movie was Ezra Miller's separate portrayal of Barry Allen/The Flash. Flash fans now also have this Run Barry Run mug from Spread Shirt (and Adament Designs), seemingly modeled after the CW costume. As with most of Spread Shirt's designs, it's also available as a T-shirt, as well as various other products (water bottle, travel mug, tote bag, frosted beer mug, mouse pad, and even a pillowcase).  (Buy it here.)

Scratch Map (Uncommon Goods)

SRP: $26.00 (for Standard), $40.00 (for Large)

Much like how Uncommon Goods' 100 Albums poster is ideal for the music fan, their Scratch Map is perfect for the world traveler (or aspiring world traveler). It's a map of the world where you can scratch off each country that you visit. When you scratch off the country is reveals a different color behind it. The more traveling you do, the more colorful the map becomes. (Buy it here.)

Star Wars BB-8 Mug With Sound (Hallmark)

SRP: $22.95

BB-8, the standout droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is now a mug. As cool as a BB-8 shaped mug would be, this one also has a fun feature. When you remove the lid (aka BB-8's head) to this 10 oz. mug the droid makes cute little BB-8 sounds, from various different noises that rotate. (Buy it here.)


Table Top Cornhole (Uncommon Goods)

SRP: $45.00

We're not quite sure when Cornhole became so popular. An early version of the game has been around since at least 1883 and the modern version was popularized in a 1974 Popular Mechanics article on how to build your own Cornhole game, but the beanbag toss game seems to have become even more ubiquitous at summer lawn parties and the like in the last decade. The winter weather, on the East Coast at least, isn't all that conducive to outside play, and throwing full size beanbags in your living room seems like a recipe for something getting broken. So to get your Cornhole fix in the winter months we recommend this wooden tabletop miniature Cornhole sold by Uncommon Goods. It comes with small beanbags that you try to flip or catapult into the holes. The distance between the two holes is adjustable for skill level. It's hours of family fun on your dining room table or living room floor. (Buy it here.)

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