What is a good gift? Depends on who you are giving the gift to.
For example, if you, for some reason, were buying a gift to me, that’s a hard hurdle to cross, because in general I have enough money to buy what I want, so in order to buy me a gift, you need to come up with something I was not aware of. In general, this is difficult, but some people are able to do it.
My general advice on buying gifts: Keep your eyes open. When you come across something interesting you know someone would like, get it for the next occasion. Or, like me, don’t worry about special occaions and give gifts when you feel like it. With that in mind, here’s some places to start.
(No sponsorhips involved despite some direct links.)
Magic: the Gathering art – I’m not talking about the originals. You can get great prints as many of the (often award-winnng) artists can share their work in this way. I have the artwork for these three on my walls:
The place where I bought these was Inprnt. Haven’t tested any other site as I’ve been happy with them. You can find plenty of options simply by searching for Magic the Gathering or MtG, but here’s one idea: Stained Glass Knight, which is actually a token, but still looks very nice.
For that extra bang, get the artwork framed, but remember that framing can actually be more expensive than the poster itself. I would still highly encourage it, because getting a present, which is going to cause extra costs for the recipient is not a good idea.
Personalized playmats and other MtG paraphernalia – There’s usually a few artists present at MagicFests (which used to be called Grand Prix and still actually have one as the main event) and some of them will make you a playmat. Some of them will also have their own existing playmats, tokens, dicebags and so forth. I have a wooden poison token from rk post, which I really like. It’s not personalized, but you could get it undersigned. They’ll often do simple alterations on cards as well, but remember that they are often very busy.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to get to a MagicFest near you, since many of the artists will have their own webstores as well.
Notebooks – One of the things many of us use quite a bit: Notebooks. I used to be happy with my Moleskins, but when I came across this one, I’ve been using it ever since: Gametee Grimoire of Spells. I love it. It’s beautifully constructed. I also like how it actually changed how I view spellbooks. It’s kind of bulky, but nice. It feels more like an organic collection of magic related things than a fully organized, indexed work, just like a real mage would work. They would gather ideas and instructions on something like this, that would feel like it’s ready to burst at any moment (although it’s actually quite sturdy, as I haven’t had problems with it during the time I’ve had it and I’ve had one in my bag for over a year).
You can find other interesting products on their website as well, but I can’t vouch for anything else. At least not yet.
Radio Controlled Combat Drones – Haven’t actually tested these, but I did buy these for our guilds gathering during the spring. I just forgot to take them with me, so they are still there in my bedroom waiting. Seem like a fun idea though.
It’s possible that there are better quality ones out these (probable, actually), but these are the ones I happened to find without doing any kind of research, so in case this seems like a good idea to you, I would suggest doing some of that (as well as look at prices).
Commemorative coins – New Zealand Mint prints various limited edition coins regarding various pop culture subjects.
Be careful with these though, as they are for the collectors, not just fans. Still, I wouldn’t mind a Liliana coin (hint, hint).
Crafts – Of course, there’s also the personal touch of doing this yourself. The more interesting question is what do. Here’s some ideas:
- Many boardgames use meeples. Why not make more interesting ones for a friend?
- We have tradition of designing our own Commanders for our EDH games. What is your friend missing in this regard?
- Portrait of their favorite player character
- Make a map based on their homes for their favorite video game with a map editor
- Buy the notebook from before and fill it with spells of your own design (this will take time, so get others to do it with you)