Steampunk and Christmas, in my humble opinion, go together like Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. On the Intertubes, however, steampunk seems to be the gift that keeps on giving — it never goes out of fashion (although I keep waiting, breath a-bated).
Yes, dear reader, you can probably guess that I'm not the world's biggest fan. So when my dear, esteemed editor penciled me in to do this steampunk gift guide, I said yes. Because I'm nice. So here are the weirdest prezzies that steampunk aficionados can buy each other for Christmas. Enjoy — I did.
1. Steampunk Toilet
Guys. Guys. I don't care how obsessed anyone is with steampunk — a modded toilet (this one should probably be called a craparium) is not the way forward. Monocles, top hats and spats, yeah. A fully-flushing loo with "controls" rather than a lever and a little red dot to make sure your aim is true is just a step too far. This should only be for people whose poop has copper tubes coming out of it.
2. Steampunk Terrarium
Measuring a shade over ten inches, this terrarium is a beautiful and cheap gift — just $15 — for the green-fingered steampunk in your life. Made of copper tubing and a chemistry glass, the terrarium has got a 4x magnifying glass on the front of it so you can study the moss growing inside. There's also a small, solar-powered LED light that turns itself on when the rest of the lights go off.
3. Steampunk USB drive
This 4GB USB stick has been made by a guy on Etsy called Will Rockwell — well, that's either his name, or it's his promise to potential dates on match.com — and it's expensive. Six hundred bucks expensive. Apparently it's Captain Nemo's flash drive. Apparently.
4. Steampunk Cake
Ooh, as I write this it's teatime and I'm feeling peckish. So let me get out my steampunk cake stand (made from the hubcaps from my dad's
steamcar) and invite you all to a slice of steampunk cake. Actually, I think this one is the best of the bunch, because once you've eaten it you can't see it any more. (No telling whether you rattle and emit clouds of steam as the chocolate confection digests in your stomach, though.)
5. Steampunk Arcade Cabinet
This is a basic MAME (multiple arcade machine emulator) that has, thanks to 60-80 hours of work on it, become a steampunk work of art. It doubles as a jukebox and has images of Frankenstein's monster and bride in lithopane panels on the side. It's absolutely beautiful and, were I not like Monica in Friends, I could see this going in the spare bedroom — well, if it played Ms. Pacman.
6. Steampunk Gas Mask
Burning Man aficionados, your search for what to wear next year is over! This vegan leather creation will protect you from the elements of Nevada's Black Rock desert — not to mention the rather putrid smells emanating from Great Aunt Ethel the day after your Christmas Day blow-out. But be charitable, blame it on the sprouts, not on her advanced years.
7. Steampunk Guitar
Eddie Van Halen, Paul Stanley, Marc Bolan and Billy Gibbons, this could be your lucky Yule (well, not Marc, he was a bit unlucky). Here's a steampunk Flying V for you to trade ax licks on. ZZ Top fans will note that this version is more Rusty than Dusty (Hill).
That enough steam-powered gadgets for you punks? Then check out one of our other gift guides, part of 12 Days of Gadgets here on DVICE:
Day One: 7 gadget gifts that will never go out of style
Day Two: 6 tech gifts billionaires are giving each other this year
Day Three: Giving a Kindle? Check out these 8 other e-readers first
Day Four: 8 offensive gadget gifts for the frenemies in your life
Day Five: 6 absurd gadget gifts your girlfriend will dump you over
Day Six: 5 classic sci-fi gadgets guaranteed to please your geekiest beloved
Day Seven: The DVICE guide to buying an HDTV in the off season
Day Eight: 7 awesome tech toys you can't buy in America
Day Nine: 7 gifts steampunks are giving each other this year
Day Ten: 6 gifts for if we lived in the retro tomorrow of yesterday
Day Eleven: 7 tech gifts you'll have to wait until next year to buy
Day Twelve: 5 holiday tech gifts that just might save the planet