What do you get for the gamer in your life (other than more games, of course)? Check out these cool shops from the maker community to find the most epic loot!
Starting with the big guns, we have FanFit Gaming. Based in Toronto, Ontario, owner Rob Green was looking at the kinds of merchandise abundantly available for sports fans and wondered why there wasn’t the same abundance for gaming fans. Their focus is selling products made by gamers for gamers. Their gaming-themed neon lights, which feature images ranging from retro controllers to Overwatch characters, are currently a hit among Twitch streamers who showcase the unique pieces in the background of their gaming videos. Their exclusive items include mugs, hip flasks, pillows, smart phone cases, apparel, and enamel pins. If the gamer you love is also socially conscious, add a hand-made felt ornament to their gift. FanFit works with an all-women organization in Napal that provides employment and financial stability for Nepalese women by making Christmas ornaments in the shape of the PlayStation logo and other gaming iconography. Because they’re hand-made, each ornament is a little different, just like gamers.
If you’re looking for some wall art, but neon lights aren’t your thing, check out the incredible retro arcade shadow boxes by Glitch Artworks. The artist behind Glitch developed his own method of layering 3/16 inch foamcore board and filling the boxes with depth and colour to really make the designs pop. Although landscape designs are also very popular, the artist’s love and passion for retro video games drive him to design and hand-make tributes to everything from Pong to Street Fighter. The skill and imagination behind these pieces are something to behold and will become a treasured piece in any game room.
Perler beads crafts are somewhat ubiquitous in the gaming world. The ease of translating pixel-based animation with the grid system of perler beads results in a proliferation of perler bead Marios and Links. Daryl Santos, owner and creator at Pixel Parasite, wants to elevate the art of perler bead creation, emphasizing product quality and design originality. I caught up with Daryl at his booth in EGLX’s Creative Corner and I got to see first hand that these are definitely not your 9 year old niece’s perler bead creations! For one thing, they’re very durable. You can actually bend them in half and they won’t split or break. That means you can throw one of Daryl’s 1Up mushroom keychains in your pocket or purse and pull it out intact later. From small, useable figures to big, statement pieces, these are some of the best perler bead works I’ve ever seen.
Vaughn, Ontario company Hipster Lasers specializes in custom work on wood, acrylic, glass, and paper. Being a group of nerds, the team takes time between making wedding centre pieces and corporate gifts to design the fun, nerdy things they loves, like acrylic or wood superhero posters and Game of Thrones coasters. I own a set of coasters from them, myself: a PlayStation and a Ravenclaw for myself, and pair of Star Wars coasters for my husband for Christmas.