The Monday after Thanksgiving has been dubbed “Cyber Monday,” because, in past years, that’s one of the busiest days for internet shopping. Some suspect that this is because people go to stores to see items, then wait until they’re at work so they can find them cheaper online. There’s also the idea that people are ordering stuff at work so that nosy loved ones can’t snoop on their browser history.
Whatever the reason, on Monday many online retailers are offering really good deals or free shipping or all kinds of other perks, and since we try to suggest cool gift ideas that other blogs and websites don’t mention, we’re going to give you a quick guide to ten offbeat online retailers who have a wide variety of cool gift ideas that will make you look like a genius this holiday season. This is the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide Cyber Monday Preview:
American Science & Surplus
American Science & Surplus has been around for decades and publishes one of the most entertaining catalogs on the face of the Earth. They sell surplus items that include electronic components, gadgets, tools, toys, military pouches, cooking supplies, art supplies, pop culture oddities, educational materials and anything else they can get their hands on, cheap.
This is a great place to find gifts for the science enthusiast on your shopping list. They sell all kinds of motors and lights that can be used for home robotics. They also have military suplus gear that can be repurposed into all sorts of things. And where else can you find a three-foot-long test tube, listed in their catalog as “Test Tooooooooooobe?”
The American Science & Surplus website is the first stop for gag gifts, or “different” ideas for the “different” people on your holiday shopping list.
Archie McPhee is another online retailer that produces a great catalog. Originally a surplus novelty house, back in the 1980s, Archie McPhee quicky exhausted their supply of weird stuff, so they had to start making their own. You find products created for Archie McPhee under their “Accoutrements” label all over the place now, but if you want to go to the source, visit their website for a wide selection of things like rubber horse heads, super librarian action figures, squirrel underpants, chicken-flavored candy canes and stuff like that. It’s fun, and perfect for the person on your holiday shopping list with a healthy sense of the absurd.
Retro A Go Go
Retro A Go Go just makes cool stuff. Whether it’s jewelry, T shirts, parasols, tin signs or giant Ben Cooper Halloween masks that you can hang on your wall, this is THE place that just epitomizes coolness. You can find designs by Mitch O’Connell, licensed Ford and Chevy stuff, Monster stuff, Betty Page clothing and decor and all sorts of the coolest things on their planet.
Visit their website for the perfect gift for the coolest person on your holiday shopping list.
Full disclosure: I’m friends with some of the folks who work here. Who wouldn’t be? I buy tons of their GI Joe-compatible figures, toys and equipment every year. Cotswold Collectibles carries a great assortment of vintage GI Joe and Action Man items, ranging from the 1960s to the revival toys in the 1990s and beyond, and they also make their own Elite Brigade items that bring back the glory days of The Adventure Team and also veer into the military side of things.
Lately Cotswold Collectibles has reached out to import terrific new 1/6 scale items from Spain, Brazil and France and they also offer a great selection of products from Dragon Models, Sideshow Toys, Hot Toys and many other top 1/6 high-end companies. If you have a collector of the original 12-inch GI Joe action figure on your holiday shopping list, you need to shop at Cotswold Collectibles.
Figures Toy Company
If the adult action figure collector on your list is just a little bit younger, you may want to visit Figures Toy Company, who are currently creating an insane amount of MEGO-style 8-inch action figures. Their bread-and-butter are their DC Comics figures, and the offshoot Classic Batman TV Show figures, but they also create 8 and 12-inch figures of KISS, The Monkees, The Three Stooges and several other pop culture icons.
In addition to that, they also make wrestling action figures in the same scale as the popular WWE figures. You can find Ring of Honor figures of A.J. Styles and Kevin Steen (Owens) from before they joined WWE, and several independent and legendary wrestlers.
But the real meat of the Figures Toy Company website is the MEGO style stuff. Not only can you get classic DC Comics figures (tons of ’em), you can also get carrying cases and reproductions of the MEGO Batmobile, BatCycle and Mobile Bat-Lab. If you have a MEGO collector (or indie wrestling fan) on your shopping list, Figures Toy Company is the place to go. They even offer a MEGO-style Santa Claus!
Check out the second half of our Cyber Monday Preview after the jump…
If you’ve been reading PopCult this year, you may remember that yours truly has come out of the Tiki Closet and is now openly fond of Tiki Culture. I still don’t drink alcohol or eat pork, but I love the look…and the mugs. The first of our two Tiki Mug websites in this list is Muntiki Portland. They offer a great selection of new and original designs of Tiki mugs, and these are perfect for the Tiki enthusiast on your holiday shopping list. Some of these may seem a bit pricey, but this is the only place where you can find some of these cool Tiki mugs.Their website is a great place to start shoping for the Tiki fan on your shopping list.
Muntiki also has a second location that offers a slightly different assortment of mugs on their website.
I have been singing the praises of the Charlton Neo movement for years now. This revival of the little comic book company that didn’t quite fit in has brought tons of fun back into a medium that has turned dour and grim in recent decades. These are fun comic books, and are the perfect gift for the person on your shopping list who loves comics, but isn’t too crazy about the recent offerings from DC or Marvel.
Visit the Charlton Neo store and just order up a bunch of them. You can’t go wrong with any of their titles, be they action Western, Romance, Hot Rods or anything else.
If you didn’t find quite what you were looking for at the Muntiki website, don’t despair. Retro Planet has a ridiculous selection of Tiki Mugs at very reasonable prices. They even offer a few Muntiki designs at a lower price. You’ll find these in their Tiki Mug section, but don’t stop there.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg at Retro Planet, who offer really good prices on Wall hangings, home decor, toys, clothing, kitchen items and tons more stuff. It’s all really, really cool, and it’s all at the best price you’ll find almost anywhere. Check out their website for a whole new world of great gift ideas that may just work for anyone on your holiday shopping list.They even have a 15% discount code for Cyber Monday on their website.
Let’s say your focus is a bit more narrow, and all you want to find is some kind of toy car. You can find just about every type of toy car at Auto World. They carry die-cast, slot cars, large-scale die-cast and model kits…and not just automotive model kits. You’ll find model kits of spacecraft, ships, aircraft, monsters and more, plus paints, glue and accessories. They offer full slot car sets, or customizing parts and individual cars and track pieces. You will find the Johnny Lightning brand of die-cast as well as Auto World’s own brand and lots of other cool automotive toys.
Auto World was the original must-have catalog for child gearheads back in the 1960s, and it’s great to see the name revived for for this website that carries on the grand one-stop-shopping tradition for toy cars.
Our final recommendation in the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide Cyber Monday Preview is for the cheapskates among you. Five Below is a wonderful chain of stores that we do not yet have in the Charleston area. They are getting closer with a new store in Morgantown, but instead of making the drive, you can now order online for the glorious cheapness that is Five Below.
Every item they sell is five dollars or less. You will find T Shirts, toys, books, make up, jewelry, decorations, candy, pillows, Snuggies, phone accessories, posters, workout equipment, and for some reason, a lot of poop emoji or just poop in general products. In fact, if you have a poop-obsessed person on your holiday shopping list, this is where you will find poop Nirvana. They have animated dancing, farting plush poop, poop emoji pillows that are puking rainbows, several sizes of fake poop, games you can play on the toilet, and poop emoji Christmas Tree ornaments.
And it’s all cheap. You can find gag gifts and actual real useful gifts like lamps, bookends, stationary. Just go check out the website and see what all they have.
And those are our ten picks for Cyber Monday. Go shop a bunch, and then come back to PopCult, where the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide looks like it’s going to be going on for at least another 12 days.