ROG ally

For many, Steam Deck opened up a new path, bringing the PC gaming experience to a user-friendly handheld experience. Since its inception, many competitors have joined the fray; ASUS makes a strong case for the next step. It is most familiar to many as it runs on Windows 11 and the technology included from the 16 GB RAM to the slick graphics provided by the AMD Ryzen Z1 series processor results in a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience. The Ally runs quiet and cool and feels great in the hands. Whether you’re loading up Steam games or tapping out your Xbox Game Pass titles, the Full HD 120 Hz display looks beautiful. If you’re considering making the jump to handheld PC play for school this year, it’s worth an in-depth look. $700


Optimus Prime is Rise of the Beast’s signature robot

Aimed at the most dedicated collectors, Robosen’s plush robotic Transformers figures set a new bar for authenticity. More than a toy or statue, this representation of the Autobot hero is an actual moving and talking (but not transforming) robot, capable of swinging weapons, changing into new poses, and responding to your voice. New dialogue recorded by Peter Cullen (the character’s original voice actor) helps the figure gain a lifelike cinematic presence, and you can control his actions with 16 different commands or through a connected app. Standing 16 inches tall, Prime towers even taller when mounted on his stand as he changes between different poses and scenes. If live-action movie characters aren’t your thing, check out Robocen’s take on the original G1 characters, including Grimlock, Bumblebee, and a more classic take on Optimus Prime. $900


A foldable gaming chair

Whether you’re dealing with a tight dorm room or a living room sofa too far from the TV, it’s not always easy to set up a permanent comfortable seat close to your gaming screen. A foldable gaming chair aims to solve those unique cases, with a design built around comfort and easy standing between gaming sessions. In practice, the chair feels like an exceptionally cushy outdoor chair, but includes a bevy of options including a headphone hanger, recessed controller space, cup holder and a wine glass slot for the more discerning adult player. $149


Cyberpunk 2077: No coincidence

Even as the long-awaited game expansion is set to come out, CD Projekt Red is expanding the cyberpunk novel in new directions. This new novel, by acclaimed sci-fi author Rafal Kosic, pulls together a tense and intricate heist plot set in the neon-soaked trappings of Night City. While largely independent, the storytelling sheds some additional light on threads left behind by the game. If you’re considering a return to the dark future of 2077 on your gaming screen, this extra yarn is the perfect accompaniment. $19 (paperback)


Marvel Legends Magneto Helmet

The Master of Magnetism has one of the most iconic pieces of headgear in the comic book canon. The version here aims to mimic the dress seen in the coming days X-Men ’97 Animated series. The 1:1 recreation of the iconic X-Men villain’s telepathy-blocking helmet is striking, almost reflective, and perfect for some smart lighting options wherever you decide to display it. Alternatively, the piece includes soft interior padding and an adjustable fit if you want to pretend. We don’t recommend wearing it as you stride through the halls of your school or office, loudly chanting calls for mutant freedom, but you do. $99

purchase Buy at GameStop

D&D: The Legend of Drizzt Tabletop Companions Boxed Set

Before D&D had the large following it has today, the early heroes of the connected novels helped inspire countless tabletop adventures. On the 35th anniversary of the character’s first appearance, Drizzt Do’Urden and his most loyal friends are getting a boxed set of minis to celebrate. The venerable companions look great despite their age (Drow especially after a long layover), arrive pre-painted and with a ton of small details. Wulfgar, Bruner, Cati-Bry and Regis are joined by Drizzt and his loyal panther Guenwyver. The elven ranger’s nemesis is also sneaked into the box, so you can duel against the treacherous Artemis Entreri. $50



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