Christmas is just six days away, but if you still have some shopping to do, fear not! We’ve compiled a list of Tolkien-inspired gift ideas which can still be purchased and shipped in time for the holidays.
CDs, DVDs, and Collectors’ Items
- Minstrels of Yuletide: Christmas in Middle-earth
This compilation of ten Christmas and winter-inspired songs, all performed by friends and artists of the Middle-earth Network – including such talents as Gandalf’s Fist, Broceliande, Marc Gunn, Arjan Kiel, and Lonely Mountain Band – is a must-have for any Middle-earth fan. This is a digital album which can be purchased for $7 in a variety of formats, from MP3 to FLAC, from Swordsong Records.
- The Art of the Hobbit
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit, Harper Collins has released this full colour art book which contains the complete collection of over 100 Hobbit sketches, drawings, paintings, and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien. This must-have collectors’ item can be purchased for around $30 from several sources.
- The Pocket Hobbit
Harper Collins recently caught on to the growing Hobbit madness by printing a pocket-sized hardback edition of The Hobbit in honour of its 75th anniversary of publication. This pocket-sized copy is a perfect stocking stuffer! For a list of sellers, visit Amazon.com.
- Lord of the Rings on Blu-ray
If you haven’t gotten around to purchasing the Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu-ray yet, you’re in luck: not only is this the perfect holiday gift for a loved one (or for yourself – I promise not to tell!), but prices have dropped significantly since the set came out. For $49.99 you can order the trilogy from Amazon.com.
- Lord of the Rings PEZ Collection
At long last, PEZ has finally released a collection of Lord of the Rings inspired PEZ dispensers. This gift pack includes eight Lord of the Rings characters, such as Gandalf, Gollum, Frodo, and Sam. This set can be purchased from Amazon.com for $26.99, though I found mine in Bath and Body for $19.99, and have been told it’s also available at Wal*Mart. Amazon also offers a second gift set (limited edition), which includes the Eye of Sauron in place of Bilbo; this version is $24.99. Amazon also allows you to purchase both sets for $51.74.
- Lord of the Rings Wacky Wobblers
These Funko bobble-heads are perfect for the collector in your life. Available as Sauron, Gandalf, Frodo, Legolas, and Gollum, these bobble-heads will add some humour to the office, workplace, or home. Prices vary from $7.45 to $18.99, with the option of purchasing Sauron, Gandalf, and Gollum for $53.97 on Amazon.com.
With the New Year quickly tagging behind the Christmas holiday, calendars have always been a Christmas gift-giving tradition in my home. In addition to the annual Lord of the Rings movie calendars, this year there are three new calendars worth noting (and then purchasing):
- The 2012 Middle-earth Calendar, by Ian Brodie
Brodie is a world-famous photographer and author based out of New Zealand (aka Middle-earth) who has published such books as The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook, A Journey Through New Zealand Film, and Cameras in Narnia: How The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe Came to Life. This 12-month calendar contains stunning photographs of New Zealand’s breathtaking landscapes and can be purchased for $34.99 at Lulu.com.
- The 2012 Jef Murray – ALEP 2 Fantasy Calendar, by Jef Murray
Artist Jef Murray’s ALEP calendar contains full-colour painting images of scenes inspired by Tolkien’s Middle-earth, marking moon phases, solstices and equinoxes, international holidays, and even marking 6 dates of interest for fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It also includes a 17” centerfold print of Lothlórien. These calendars are signed by Murray himself, and can even be personalised, with half of the proceeds supporting the ALEP 2 gathering in Kentucky. You can purchase this calendar for $16.95 (plus shipping and handling) via Jef Murray Studios.
- Tolkien Calendar 2012 – Illustrated by Cor Blok
This calendar, illustrated by Cor Blok, who actually met J.R.R. Tolkien, contains several never-before-seen illustrations by the Dutch artist, all completed during the early 1960s. It also includes a tapestry centerfold containing various illustrations of scenes from The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien himself was so impressed by Blok’s work that he even purchased some of it. For $19.95, you can order this calendar from Weta NZ, or find it any of your local calendar stands (my copy was purchased from a mall kiosk).
For the Kids
- The Princess and the Goblin (Pre-order Special)
If you’ve been tuning into the Middle-earth Network Radio, you’ve likely heard the first few episodes of My Little-earth’s The Princess and the Goblin. This audio book, featuring voice actor Tyler Michael Jonsson, and an original score by composer Arjan Kiel, is a dramatized version of George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin, “bringing to life classic fantasy literature for children of all ages and their families through both print and the dramatized audiobook medium.” For just $19.99, you can pre-order the 4 disc set and receive digital downloads of all currently released episodes from Swordsong Records. The accompanying soundtrack is also available for $7.77.
- Veggie Tales: Lord of the Beans
Subtitled “A lesson in using your gifts,” this is probably the cutest Lord of the Rings parody I’ve seen. With such characters as the Flobbits Bilboy and Toto Baggypants, the ranger Ear-a-Corn, and the evil Scaryman, children and their parents will both enjoy this humourous take on Tolkien. Amazon.com offers it for $6.95.
- Funko Lord of the Rings Plushies
Children and their parents will both adore these Lord of the Rings plushes from Funko toys. There are four variations available – Legolas, Frodo, Gandalf, and an Orc – which can be found at WBShop for $12.95-$14.95, or at your local comic book store for about the same price.
For the Scholar
- Mythgard’s Ticket to Learning
But what do you get for the Tolkien fan who already seems to have everything? Why not give the gift of Mythgard this year with a Ticket to Learning? With this gift certificate from the Mythgard Institute, your loved one can take a course on “The Making of Myth: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien” or “Taking Harry Seriously: The Artistry and Meanings of the Harry Potter Saga,” both available this spring! Gift certificates can be applied towards a course audit or towards MA level credits. For more information on Mythgard Institute, or to purchase a Ticket to Learning, visit the Mythgard website.
For that Special Someone
I won’t go into specific details about each of the many beautiful jewellery items available for the Tolkien enthusiast, so instead I’ve just compiled a list of helpful websites for you to browse through:
- Badali Jewelry
These items are all inspired by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – including the Rings of Power, the Arkenstone, and miscellaneous necklaces and brooches. In addition to high-quality items, the prices are very reasonable. You can browse their inventory at Badali Jewelry.
I purchased my first One Ring (http://www.myprecious.us/) replica from MyPrecious, and to this day still love it! Like Badali, they offer several versions of the One Ring, as well as the Elven Rings of Power and the Lórien leaf, also reasonably priced. Visit MyPrecious (http://www.myprecious.us/jewelry/one-ring.php) to see more!