Game Informer’s Summer Buying Guide 2021

School is out, the weather is warm, and you’ve got some free time. To celebrate the summer months after an especially challenging cold stretch, we’ve gathered some gift selections to brighten up the season. Whether you plan to venture outdoors or enjoy some well-deserved downtime inside, we found a few things you’ll undoubtedly love.

Outdoor

Outdoor

Nerf Rival Curve Shot Sideswipe

The Nerf arms race continues to escalate in the battle for dominance of your backyard. The special adjustable muzzle allows you to aim shots to curve around corners and trees to nail those tricky targets in your backyard battle. The bolt-action blaster includes a dozen spherical Rival rounds, which fire out at 90 feet per second. $24.99

Purchase

Backbone One Mobile Controller

Plenty of controllers connect to your phone to give a console-like play experience, but few have impressed us like the Backbone. This responsive controller connects to your iPhone for seamless play of any game that supports controller use. Low latency along with high-quality buttons and sticks are great, but the lightning port for pass-through charging, as well as the availability of gameplay recording, puts this in a different league. And since it draws very little battery power from your phone, you can take it on all your summer adventures and car rides. $99

Purchase

Duo 2-Person Double Hammock

Whether you’re looking for an innovative camping option or just hoping to play some portable games in comfort while hanging out in your backyard, this two-person hammock is stable, easy to set up, and features some smart design that keeps each person separate. There’s even underfloor nets to store books, tech, or keep other gear dry. $229

Purchase

Destiny Europa Tech Dark Facemask

Even as vaccines offer hope, it’s likely we’ll still need masks in at least some situations. If you want your protective gear to sport a bit of video game style but like to keep things subtle, this Destiny-branded face mask recalls your adventures on the snowy Europa, but only fellow Guardians will be savvy enough to recognize the design. $20.00

Purchase

BigBlue 28W Solar Charger

If your love of the outdoors equals your love of tech, you’re inevitably faced with the dilemma of being separated from easy electrical charging. BigBlue’s Solar Charger resolves the conflict with an affordable and highly efficient solution, which folds up easily for backpack storage, but performs admirably to keep phones, tablets, and other USB chargeable devices up and running. $99

Purchase

Music

Music

Blaseball: Discipline 2xLP Vinyl Soundtrack

$39.99

Purchase

Horror Show by The Midnight

$24.00 (Vinyl)

Purchase

Man On The Moon III: The Chosen by Kid Cudi

$14.00 (CD)

Purchase

Family

Family

Hot Wheels Track Builder Unlimited Infinity Loop Kit

Speed chasers can find a lot to love in the latest evolution of Hot Wheels tracks, and the Infinity Loop kit offers numerous options to tweak your build in fun ways. You can easily adjust the existing loop system to new configurations, and use the stand launcher at various levels of force to nail your custom upside-down stunt. $29.99

Purchase

Magic Puzzles

Injecting new life into an old hobby, the wonderful 1000-piece Magic Puzzles each feature original and whimsical art filled with tons of tiny details and easter eggs, perfect for a shared family project. The twist? Each puzzle features a “secret ending” that reveals itself only when the puzzle is complete. What does that even mean? We’re not going to be the ones to spoil the surprise. $19.99

Purchase

Loopy Loopers

Not every fun shared activity needs to be expensive. These four unique designs each offer a mix of fidget spinning and a skill-based dexterity game as you spin a marble around a central axis. Try to keep the ball spinning on a track, land the ball in a central hoop, or create your own tricks. Simple but hypnotic. $5.99

Purchase

Lego Infinity Gauntlet

This 590-piece model gives Marvel fans of any age the chance to hold the power of the cosmos in their hands. Thanos’ devastating Infinity Gauntlet, as featured in Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame films, is capable of wiping out half the known life in the galaxy. Now that awesome power is yours. Just be sure you don’t accidentally snap half of all life in the universe into dust. $69.99

Purchase

Sailing Ship Kite

Haptic Lab specializes in handmade objects that embrace the sense of touch. The team’s gorgeous kites make for a fun day out with the family, but also can be stored as a beautiful display piece in your home, rather than tucked away in a closet. Available in a variety of colors. And if ships aren’t your thing, Haptic’s kites are also available as cranes in flight. $44.00

Purchase

Movies & TV

Movies & TV

Batman: The Long Halloween Part One

$22.99 (Blu-ray)

Purchase

Godzilla vs. Kong

$34.99 (Blu-ray)

Purchase

Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1

$31.99 (Blu-ray)

Purchase

Schitt’s Creek: The Complete Collection

$59.98 (DVD)

Purchase

Collectibles

Collectibles

Transformers Kingdom Leader Megatron

Series fans have waited a long time for the Transformers toy brand to return to the Beast Wars characters from the ‘90s. The new Kingdom figures finally bring that dream to reality, with excellent sculpts and clever transformation sequences. One of the unquestioned crown jewels is Predacon leader, Megatron, who looks great in both robot and T-Rex forms. $44.99

Purchase

Star Wars The Black Series Q9-0 (ZERO)

Q9-0 isn’t the star of Disney’s hit television show, The Mandalorian, but maybe he should have been. Anyone with eyes bigger than their stomach deserve respect in our book. With Hasbro’s detailed 6-inch-scale figure you can make this bug-eyed protocol droid the star of your own adventures. This detailed sculpt features a fully articulated head, arms, and legs and comes with a detachable entertainment-inspired blaster rifle. $22.99

Purchase

Warcraft Helm of Domination Replica

Prince Arthas’ fate was sealed when first he donned the helm that housed the spirit of the orc chieftain Ner’zhul, becoming the terror known as the Lich King. This hauntingly beautiful replica is a mix of polyresin, plastic, and metal, depicting the terrifying headpiece in all its wintry glory. It may not be wearable, but at over 15 inches in height, it is sure to evoke the imposing presence you recall from your time in Azeroth. $299

Purchase

Defenders of the Earth Series 1

Whether you fondly remember the mid-80s cartoon, or you’ve always wanted some high-end action figures of the classic pulp Flash Gordon characters, Neca’s detailed 7-inch scale figures are amazing, featuring great articulation and plenty of accessories. $35.99 (apiece)

Purchase

Star Trek: Picard La Sirena Starship

Eaglemoss has long established cred in crafting gorgeous die-cast ship models, and previous sets have run the gamut of the many Star Trek shows and movies. The latest “Universe” collection gathers some of the most memorable starships from recent shows, including the La Sirena freighter that featured prominently in Jean-Luc Picard’s latest adventures. Clocking in at 9-inches in length, this collector’s item comes complete with a stand and magazine detailing its design. $54.95

Purchase

Funko Pop! Battle-Scarred Kong

In the titanic throwdown promised from Godzilla vs. Kong, surely it’s no surprise or spoiler to learn that neither side walks away without some scars. Commemorate the big fight with one of the latest additions to the Pop! line-up. Has anyone ever told him that he’s cute when he’s angry? $11.00

Purchase

Wolverine 1/2 Scale Bust

Detailed textures are the defining feature of this striking take on the fearsome Wolverine, from Logan’s stubbled face to the stippling on his classic yellow and blue uniform. The cool metallic-colored base recalls the character’s connection to the X-Men, and the sculpt is a clear homage to the mutant’s most iconic comic appearances. $175

Purchase

Books & Comics

Books & Comics

Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report by S. D. Perry, John R Mullaney, and Markus Pansegrau

$325

Purchase

The City We Became by N.K. Jemison

$28.00

Purchase

X-Men: X of Swords Hardcover

$90.00

Purchase

Gaming

Gaming

PS5 HD Camera

If you’re hoping to stream from your fancy new PlayStation 5, Sony’s first-party camera is a virtual must. The 1080p capture is perfectly sufficient for picture-in-picture use, paired with full-screen gameplay. And the background removal tools help keep the focus on you, as you tap that Create button and broadcast to Twitch or YouTube. $59.99

Purchase

Couch Console

Your game time is plagued by controllers lost in sofa cushions, spilled drinks, and phones running low on batteries. The Couch Console is an elegant solution that uses gyroscopes to self-steady the cup holder, modular compartments for any combination of snacks, remotes, and more, and even a USB C plug to connect to an external battery. $89.99

Purchase

Elgato Light Strips

Elgato’s solution for ambient lighting is flexible and professional, whether you’re setting up the perfect streaming setup, or you just want to add some color and mood to your home gaming space. The flicker-free LEDs are designed to look uniform on camera, and offer a full dimmable range of 16 million colors, all adjustable from your PC or phone. $59.99

Purchase

Astro A03 In-Ear Monitor

There are plenty of larger and bulkier headsets on the market that offer immersive sound. But if you prefer a less intrusive audio solution that still features excellent audio, these earbuds could be just the ticket. Sound quality is very good, thanks to dual drivers capable of delivering smooth and neutral audioscapes, tuned for gaming on consoles, PC, or mobile. $49.99

Purchase

Comhar All-In-One Standing Desk

If you’d like to have some flex to your PC gaming space or workstation, this convertible desk is sleek and compact and works in small spaces, easily (and quietly) adjusting from seated to standing heights with the press of a button. The desk features safety sensors and locks, embedded storage drawer, and USB charging ports, all with a modern and understated appearance. $499

Purchase

Tabletop

Tabletop

The Initiative

This fascinating campaign board game casts players as hapless teenagers who get drawn into a mysterious conspiracy. A comic-style story book gradually unfolds the narrative over multiple sessions, while the gameplay employs a combination of strategy and codebreaking to encourage genuine teamwork and puzzle solving. If you’re looking for a fun, cerebral adventure to spread across the summer, you’ll find a lot to love. $59.95

Purchase

Zombicide 2nd Edition

For years, the go-to board game for fast, cooperative action has been Zombicide and its many expansions and offshots. Years of evolution has led to this 2nd edition, which streamlines play, offers new minis and art, better component organization and setup, and sees every aspect of the rules examined and tightened. For players looking for over-the-top undead slaying with easy-to-grasp gameplay, Zombicide is an easy recommendation. $109

Purchase

Lost Ruins of Arnak

The latest competitive release from Czech Games Edition leverages a clever mix of worker placement and deck building to craft a stellar strategic experience. Players adopt the role of explorers on a treacherous island who have uncovered the remnants of a grand but lost civilization. Lost Ruins of Arnak’s replay value is especially high thanks to the variety of ways game sessions can be set up. $59.95

Purchase

Van Richten’s Guide To Ravenloft

The original Ravenloft adventure and setting was a masterpiece of early RPG design, helping establish D&D’s potential to tell chilling horror stories. The revival for the 5th edition brings the Domains of Dread to life in new and exciting ways, establishing a firm bedrock to tell your own stories of vampires, werewolves, and more. $49.95

Purchase

Cryo

Your ship has crash landed on a desolate ice planet, and the only hope for survival is to guide your faction into the warm geothermal caverns beneath the surface. But there’s not enough resources for everyone to make it, so choose your actions carefully. In Cryo, players compete to place workers and build a virtual engine for survival, using drones and colonists pulled from cryo to gradually expand your efforts. Tense and tight, this sci-fi strategy game of icy competition looks and plays great. $59.95

Purchase

GameStop Sponsored

Pokémon Poké Ball Popcorn Popper

Add a little whimsy to your kitchen with this Pokémon Popcorn Maker. It’s as easy as catching a Magikarp – plug in, add kernels, and watch as it makes a healthy snack for movie night. When all else fails … this Poké Ball will catch ’em all – kernels, that is. $49.99

Purchase

Pokémon Pikachu Light

Pikachu’s electric abilities are put to good use with this night light. It can be powered up with batteries or via USB. $19.99

Purchase

Minecraft Soul Torch Power Bank

The next time you go on an adventure, let the Minecraft Soul Torch Power Bank be your guide. This Minecraft charger can power up your tables, smartphones, MP3 players, Bluetooth devices, and portable game systems. It’s the perfect item to bring on your next quest. $19.99

Purchase

Dice

Our 7-Set of acrylic dice is perfect for pen-and-paper RPGs. Choose from multiple colorways, including Blood (shown) and Galaxy. $6.99

Purchase

D&D Set

This Dungeons & Dragons set consists of a felt-lined tray, and 12 bronze-finished dice. $29.99

Purchase

Modern Icons Optimus Prime Collectible Helmet Replica

Modern Icons and Hasbro are proud to present the Optimus Prime Replica Transformers Helmet. Inspired by the Generation 1 version of Optimus Prime as seen in the Transformers ’80s cartoon, this GameStop exclusive, with unique design, is a fully wearable helmet with light-up eyes and authentic sounds and phrases. This legacy- inspired piece will add to any avid fan’s Transformers collection. $109

Purchase

Star Wars Millennium Falcon Wireless Charger with AC Adapter

It may not look like much, but it’s got it where it counts. Compatible with Samsung, Apple and any other device that has wireless charging capabilities, this wireless charger will have your phone topped up in light-speed. This wireless charger pad is also a detailed replica of the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, which will look super stylish and cool on your desk. Plus, the thrusters glow blue when your device is fully charged. This deal is definitely getting better all the time. Exclusive to GameStop. $49.99

Purchase

Vizio Sponsored

M-Series Smart TV

Spectacular 4K Quantum Color, superior next-gen gaming performance and SmartCast to stream it all. With the Progaming Engine, AMD FreeSync, VRR, and Auto Game Mode, you can enjoy smoother graphics and lower input lag to dominate your competition like a Pro. $439.99

Purchase

D-Series Smart TV

Make any space a great place to watch TV, play next-gen console games, and stream all your favorite stuff in beautiful HD and Full HD. Step up your game on a TV built for modern consoles with powerful features like AMD FreeSync and VRR for smoother gameplay and lower input lag. $249.99

Purchase

Sound Bar

The VIZIO 2.0 Sound Bar, with Bluetooth, delivers amazing audio quality that brings your entertainment to life, in any room of your house. $69.99

Purchase

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