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Scene It! Deluxe Simpsons Edition

It’s no secret that Scene It? is one of the most popular game series around, and this holiday we are recommending Scene It? The Simpsons Deluxe Edition. It’s been getting rave reviews as one of the best Scene It? titles to be released, and hey, it’s The Simpsons. The show has been around for 20 years, which means parents can play this with kids and have a good time. The game features material from the show’s first 19 seasons on the air, has hundreds of questions, and has four collectable tokens. You can pick up Scene It? The Simpsons Deluxe Edition for $29.99. Best. Scene It. Ever.

Honorable Mentions:
Scene It? Twilight Edition: Yeah, we know a lot of the ladies out there are on a vampire kick thanks to Twilight. Guys, you may want to consider this one.
Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen!: Would you rather play scene it on the Xbox 360 rather than using a DVD player? This is the one you’ll want.


HP DreamScreen

Ever since the DreamScreen arrived on the scene, generic digital photo frames have seemed so passe. I mean, the DreamScreen is a digital photo frame on crack, essentially. It’s available in 10- and 13-inch sizes, and aside from simply displaying your digital photos, it can stream Pandora (or up to 10,000 Internet radio stations,) set alarms, display your calendar, show you a five-day weather forecast, and even give you a look at your Facebook account so you can see what’s up with your peeps. Plus, it incorporates touch into the bezel, and we like touch.

The HP DreamScreen typicalls sells for $250, but Amazon currently has it for $205, a full 18% off.

Read More | HP DreamScreen 100 on Amazon

Roku Netflix Player

We are kicking off our 2009 Holiday Gift Guide with the Roku HD-XR player. Why? Well, we think that it’s the perfect time to introduce someone to the new hotness that is TV, delivered over the web, and right into the living room. Sure, has come to the , but if you want streaming access to the Netflix service and don’t own a game console, this is your cheapest barrier to entry. The HD-XR model also gives you access to the Amazon Unbox catalogue, as well as the entire MLB game service as well, if you are subscribed.

Definitely a great gift for movie buffs, the Roku HD-XR player is able to stream over 12,000 movies and television shows from the Netflix Watch Instantly catalogue, and over 45,000 from Amazon Video on Demand. It connects to your home network through an ethernet port, or over Wi-Fi, connecting at up to 802.11n if you have it. There’s also a USB port on back, which Roku says is for future use. Our guess is that they’ll be allowing the device to read from an external USB drive, which would be stellar.

The actual device is tiny, so it takes up barely any space, and setup takes just a couple of minutes - very simple. Of course, a Netflix subscription is required, but once you have that, everything else is a piece of cake.

Honorable Mention: If you want all the features of the Roku HD-XR, but don’t need the USB port or 802.11n wireless speeds, you can grab the Roku HD Player for $99!

Read More | Roku HD-XR


If you, or someone you love, is a big movie buff with an HDTV, we have to recommend the Christmas Special that is going on right now. The VUDU set-top box normally sells for $299, but for a limited time it can be had for just $99. Now, you also have to buy $50 in movie credits, so the total cost would be $149, but that $50 is would go towards rentals and purchases of VUDU content, including their fantastic HDX 1080p movies. Rentals cost from $1-4 dollars, and purchases are obviously higher.

We recently reported on a lot of the Internet content that has also just made its way to the VUDU service, so all in all, we think this would make a nice gift - either for someone else, or for yourself. Our only complaint with VUDU remains that their speeds are limited, which provides a very, very poor experience if you want to rent HDX content. No matter how fast your Internet connection is, VUDU caps downloads at 4.0 Mbps. That means that my super fast 50.0 Mbps connection means absolutely nothing, and I still have to wait hours before I can watch an HDX flick. If they got rid of that, it would unleash HDX, their flagship offering. A personal niggle for sure, though. If you don’t care, pick one up!

If you miss the sale, you can typically find some nice VUDU deals on Amazon.

Read More | VUDU Store

Kota the Triceratops

Here’s one that the kids are sure to love - Kota the Triceratops is a rideable dinosaur. Did you catch that? A life-sized baby dinosaur to be exact, Kota is 40-inches long, and has a spring-loaded seat and handle. He also sports a smile on his face, which should mean that children won’t be scared of him. Kota has 11 sensores, so it reacts intelligently to sound as well as touch. He will react by turning his head, tail, horns, or even by roaring. You can also feed him some leaves, which will cause the dino to make a munching sound. The best part? Kota sells for $299 - but Amazon is currently selling him for just $150 - that is 50% off! Better hurry though, no telling how long that deal will last.

Read More | Kota the Triceratops 50% off

Palm Centro BlackDon’t wanna splurge on something like an or BlackBerry? After checking out the Palm Centro, we think this might be the device to pick up for that loved one. You can get one for as low as $49.99 on AT&T, and it’s a great introductory smartphone - a huge step-up from your typical flip camera or music phone. It supports instant messaging, web browsing, has a full QWERTY keyboard, 320x320 touchscreen, media player, 1.3-megapixel camera, 64MB internal storage, and . Seriously, that isn’t bad for a $50 smartphone. Oh, even better? Pick it up on Amazon, and it’s free with contract.

Read More | Palm Centro on Amazon

Samsung SC-MX20If you want an inexpensive camcorder that gives you a bit more quality than what you’d find with a Kodak ZI6 or camera, we think the Samsung SC-MX20 would be up your alley. This camera offers some nice features that the other low-end cams just don’t have, like image stabilization, face detection, and a 24x optical zoom. It accepts SD and MMC cards up to 32GB, and has an internal battery life of 3 hours. The Samsung SC-MX20 retails for $250, but we found it on Amazon for 15% off at $212.

Oh, and for those of you who just have to have the high definition version, the Samsung SC-MX20C can be had for 30% off on Amazon, for $592.60.

Read More | Samsung SC-MX20

Lost seasons 1-3

We typically reserve the Holiday Gift Guide for items that you should be able to get your hands on throughout the shopping season, but we felt that this Lost Season 1-3 DVD deal on Amazon was way too good to pass up. For today only, you can get the first three seasons of Lost on DVD for just $58.99. That is a savings of 67%, or $120.98 off the regular price of $179.97. That is ridiculous. Ridiculously delicious, that is. If you as much as we do, you’ll know that this is a true bargain.

Read More | Lost Season 1-3 Amazon Sale

Charlie Brown Christmas TreeGrowing up the way I did - barely getting by, fully understanding what hard times meant, and dealing with some messed up family stuff - we never really made Christmas a big deal.  At least, it never really was to me.  For example, one year we couldn’t afford a Christmas tree (but when we did, we kept that thing for like a decade), my mom made us get some fallen twigs outside our apartment and she delicately wrapped them up in tin foil.  We put it in a green vase and I think my sister actually tried decorating it by coloring the tin foil red and green.  Ah, youth.  Well, I couldn’t totally blame her for her attempts to make something bad into something good, afterall, she had a perm and actually thought it looked cool.  But, heck, it was the mid-80s, so the poor choice made by my nine-year-old sibling could be forgiven in retrospect.

In all honesty, the last Christmas I remembered before this particular one I’m about to tell you about when I was eleven, was when I was five.  I got a whole bunch of Micronauts and this huge plastic Spider-Man doll that had a grappling hook, which was supposedly a web that he could “climb.”  Mind you, I don’t blame my parents for any of this lack of remembering several years in between as they always did their best, God bless their hearts, and I’m glad my sister was always in the Christmas spirit, but I knew what was up.  Okay sure, I was a Holden Caufield without knowing I was at the time, but whatever.  I dealt with it.  You couldn’t fool me, I tell ya.

But, this particular Christmas, I got fooled.

Click to continue reading Holiday Gift Guide Flashback: True Christmas Spirit

Sonar II Burner Wicked Lasers

So we’ve been trying to stay fairly frugal in our 2008 Gift Guide, but we’ve gotten a bunch of email from people asking where all the high-priced items have gone. We figured today we’d answer that with the SONAR II Burner laser. We’ve been playing around with one for a few days, and we can definitely say that it exhibits a cool factor (and geek cred!) Why? For starters, it’s a fricken laser. Secondly, the specific laser diode that’s in this one is the same as you’d find in a player. Yeah, a Blu-ray laser, in the palm of your hand. Sick, right? You’ve got a 405nm violet beam at your fingertips. Of course, all that power comes at a price, and if you wanna get in on the action, the Sonar II Burner will cost you $1,999.99. See? We weren’t kidding.

Read More | Wicked Lasers Sonar II Burner