Hallmark’s Keepsake 2021 Millennium Falcon Christmas Ornament

Because nothing quite says Christmas like Star Wars (back me up, 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special!), Hallmark is releasing this 2021 Keepsake Ornament of the Millennium Falcon (affiliate link). The metal ship measures 3.78″ wide, 1.4″ tall, 5.22″ long, and features a shiny silver finish. And with all the Mandalorian ornaments I’ve already purchased this year, I could probably decorate an entire Christmas tree with a Star Wars theme.

The ornament was designed by Hallmark artist Robert Hurlburt. However, I’m fairly certain the Corellian Engineering Corporation deserves most of the credit for building the YT-1300f light freighter the Millennium Falcon was modded from in the first place. Star Wars joke!

My wife and I have an entire box of Hallmark Keepsake ornaments commemorating different special occasions and anniversaries throughout the years. Or, I should say, we had an entire box of Hallmark Keepsake ornaments before I accidentally donated them all to Goodwill after mistaking the box for our old dinnerware. Obviously, I sadly expect my Christmas list to go largely unanswered this year.

[via Mental Floss]

Bow TIE Fighters: For Dark Side Black Tie Affairs

Because what else would you wear to the Galactic Federation’s next fundraising ball, these are the Bow TIE Fighters made and sold by Etsy shop Kilted Katana. I can already close my eyes and hear my wife asking me to please pick a different tie and put my lightsaber replica away before leaving for her cousin’s wedding.

Available in three different TIE fighters (classic, TIE Interceptor, TIE Advanced) and three different tie options (neck band, clip-on, or hair tie), Bow Tie Fighters cost $20 apiece and are sure to let people know you’re as classy as James Bond, but can also quote the majority of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Nice, but where’s the X-wing bow tie to match? I mean how are a friend and I supposed to run around pretending we’re locked in space battle if we’re both wearing TIE fighters? We’re on the same side! Also, ten dollars says my bow TIE fighter magically disappears from the closet prior to my wife’s company Christmas party this year.

[via TheGreenHead]

These non-humanoid robots express emotion by reacting to physical touch, just like plants do!

Most often, we only see plants moving and growing when they’re filmed in slow-motion for nature documentaries. But even in those slow scenes, watching plants bloom and grow into themselves feels emotional. It’s like watching a baby tiger wake up from a cat nap on the big screen, except it doesn’t have a face and it’s green, not furry. Inspired by the growth cycle and emotive movement of plant life, student designer Keunwook Kim designed Post-Plant, a collection of non-humanoid robots that respond to and move through non-verbal, physical interaction.

Following a period of researching how humans can read emotion from non-verbal cues, Kim gathered that arousal (dynamic energy), valence (intrinsic attractiveness), and stance (visual disposition) can each be interpreted as signs for emotional analysis. Applying this information to Post-Plant, Kim’s non-humanoid robots do not express emotion through facial expression, but through movement and changing forms. Built into each one of his Post-Plant robots, Kim incorporated a motor interface that combines an input and output system, registering when the robot is touched and responding with movement.

For example, when the top of Kim’s green robot, which could also be an interpretation of Maypole dancing from Midsommar, is turned, the robot responds with arousal, by spinning its ‘leaves.’ Signaling when its valence is turning negative, the Post-Plant robot binds its leaves tightly together. Once those leaves are touched by a human, the robot spins its leaves out once more, indicating a changed, positive valence. Similarly, Post-Plant’s white robot spins its propeller-like leaves in response to being touched but shivers to express unhappiness, indicating a need to be touched once more. By studying how humans read emotion, Kim hopes to cultivate the emotional relationship we have with robots and the potential to express a robot’s emotion through non-humanoid, kinetic gestures.

Designer: Keunwook Kim

Keunwook Kim built three different non-humanoid robots resembling various forms of plant life.

Taking cues from nature, Keunwook Kim researched the different ways humans can read emotion through non-human gestures.

When expressing happiness, this robot spins out its leaves, binding them together to express a negative valence.

This robot spins its propeller-like leaves to express happiness, shivering to express the opposite.

To express happiness, the single electrical string that flows through this robot stands erect.

When unhappy, the string falls limp.

A built-in motor translates input and output information acquired via touch to respond with movement.

To express positive valence, this Post-Plant robot rotates freely.

Spinning its propeller, this robot expresses general contentedness.

Inspired by everyday objects familiar to humans, Kim conceived the form of his non-humanoid robots.

Following multiple iterations, Kim felt inspired by plant life to build the bodies of his robots.

The leaves of this robot seem to be constructed from leather bands.

Crashed UFO Garden Statue: Take Me to Your Weeder

Aliens: I want to believe they’re out there. And it’s easy because I’ve had direct contact with them on numerous occasions. But enough about the government refusing to take my calls anymore, this is the Crash Landing Flying Saucer Alien Spacecraft Statue available exclusively from purveyor of questionable home and garden decor Design Toscano. Now, this particular purchase, this is going to be a tricky one to explain to my wife.

Measuring approximately 30″ wide, 19″ deep, and 25″ high, the 49-pound, $450 hand-painted resin statue will look perfect crashed among a group of existing garden gnomes, who, at least in my mind, are now fleeing in terror.

Am I going to buy one and modify it with smoke and light effects for extra realism? My heart is saying yes, and my mind is saying yes, but my wife is shaking her head no. So you know what that means – I’ll have to do it in secret until she catches me! It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission, that’s my motto. Also: ‘That’s cool, I like sleeping on the couch anyways.’

[via TheGreenHead]

Alien Xenomorph Head Letter Opener

Because nothing says I’m the boss around here like an over-the-top letter opener, this is the Alien Xenomorph Letter Opener from Diamond Select Toys and available on Amazon (affiliate link). I think it goes without saying it’s the perfect letter opener for playing the knife game (aka five-finger filet) like Bishop in the original Alien movie.

The 10″ long unit features a heavy base resembling the head of a xenomorph warrior, with the actual letter opener being a removable model of the alien’s inner jaw. Remember the first time you saw that in the original movie? It still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Does anybody even use letter openers anymore? I just assumed they were a way to keep a weapon at your desk in the event your coworkers turn on you. I mean it’s not that hard to open an envelope, especially if you don’t care about what’s inside. ‘Probably just another past-due bill’ I exclaimed while accidentally ripping my second COVID stimulus check to shreds.

Ghostbuster Slimer and Terror Dog Mugs: Who You Gonna Drink From?

You’ve just spent a long day busting ghosts; what do you want when you get back to your firehouse base? Exactly, a nice cold drink out of a mug that reminds you of the day you just spent ghostbusting. And Middle of Beyond has just the vessels you’re looking for with these 24-ounce Slimer and Terror Dog ceramic drinking mugs. I can already feel Egon patting me on the back for a job well done, then taking it all back after he realizes I accidentally freed all the ghosts from the Containment Unit.

The Slimer mug is available in three different finishes (classic, $35; ectoplasm, $40; and ugly spud, $45), and Terror Dog is available in four (Gatekeeper Gray, $40; Keymaster Black, $45; Bronze, $45; and marshmallow, $50). Which is your favorite? I’m particularly fond of the ectoplasm Slimer and bronze Terror Dog, and I hope this serves as a pleasant reminder when my friends are shopping for birthday gifts.

Remember how scary the ghost in the library scene was at the beginning of Ghostbusters when you were a kid? It gave me nightmares. You know how the Ghostbusters theme song goes, ‘I ain’t afraid of no ghosts’? Well, that’s not true; I’m terrified of them: ghosts and my wife whenever she finds out what I bought on eBay behind her back.

Star Wars Landspeeder Punchbowl Tiki Mug Set: DUI on Tatooine

Tropical tiki drinks: I daydream about them often, usually when I’m stuck at work under horrible fluorescent lighting watching the time pass at a snail’s pace. Enter this $70 X-34 Landspeeder tiki mug set crafted by Geeki Tikis and available from Tonyk. I can already close my eyes and imagine myself much happier at happy hour.

The X-34 Landspeeder punchbowl itself holds 20-ounces, making it a relatively small punch bowl but the perfect size for a personal punch bowl. Of course, every punch bowl is personal size if you try hard and believe in yourself. The set also includes 2-ounce mini muglets of Luke Skywalker and his trusty astromech droid R2-D2 for when you just need to take a shot first (like Han!).

I’ve actually started collecting tiki mugs, but I have to watch myself when I’m buying them because my collection can’t grow too large too quickly without my wife taking notice. “Just how many tiki mugs does one person need?” I imagine her asking while I bite my tongue and don’t ask her many pairs of shoes one person needs because I’m tired of sleeping on the sofa downstairs.

[via Geeks Are Sexy]

Giant 6-Foot Death Star Beach Ball: That’s No Moon

Because nothing says fun in the sun like a giant space station designed to obliterate planets with a single blast of its superlaser, NINOSTAR is selling this 6-foot diameter Death Star beach ball on Amazon (affiliate link) for $75. It’s no moon, but it will be the talk of everyone at the beach provided you can inflate it without passing out.

From what I gathered from the product description on Amazon, they’re not actually calling it a Death Star beach ball, which in layman’s terms means it’s not an officially licensed Star Wars product. Of course, if it were, it would probably cost $150, and $300+ from greedy resellers on eBay.

Obviously, it will be my duty to ion torpedo any Death Stars I see on the beach to prevent any other planets from suffering the fate of Alderaan. And by ion torpedo, I mean pop with the pointy end of beach umbrella pretending it’s a lightsaber. Will children cry and parents yell at me? Probably, but such is the life of a Jedi.

[via DudeIWantThat]

Star Ducks: The Next Generation

Do you know what would have Star Trek: The Next Generation even better? If the entire crew was made up of ducks. Well, thanks to the guys at Numskull, that can now be a reality. That is, assuming, that your reality is played out with action figures on a cardboard cutout of the bridge of the Enterprise.

The series of TUBBZ collectible figures includes duck versions of Jean Luc Picard, Deanna Troi, Geordi La Forge, and Worf. They look so much better as ducks than as humans if you ask me. I’m only disappointed that they didn’t give them new duck names. I guess I have to do all the work. Let’s go with Jean-Luc Canard, Deanna Decoy, Geordi a l’Orange, and Worf, because I couldn’t find my Klingon-to-Duck dictionary.

You can pre-order all four figures from Just Geek for $12.99 each, or two for $20. While you’re there, you can grab some Original Series duck figures.

[via Geektyrant]

Galactic Snackin’ Grogu Is Sure to Be 2021’s Must-Have Toy

Because Star Wars merchandise makes money hand over Mandalorian fist, Hasbro is releasing an $80 Galactic Snackin’ Grogu (affiliate link) this year in time for Christmas. The 9-inch interactive toy has over 40 sound and movement combinations and responds differently to the four interactive accessories included (bowl with tentacles, cookie, shifter knob, and spoon). I can already imagine the fights breaking out at Walmart and Target.

So, Hasbro decided not to include frog or giant frog egg accessories. That’s disappointing. However, it does present the opportunity for me to make my own and start selling them on eBay and Etsy in time to cash in on Grogu mania.

Do you remember the Tickle Me Elmo craze of Christmas 1996? My parents sure do. The temper tantrum I threw after not finding one under the tree was, as my dad painfully reminisces, “Apocalyptic,” and “Not of this world.” Man, you should have seen how fast he backed out of the driveway Christmas morning 2006 when I didn’t get a Wii!

[via The Verge]