Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, which means one thing: crazy consumer rampages, and mall crowd scenes that will make Dawn of the Dead look mellow by comparison. Luckily, you can score some amazing Black Friday deals for science fiction and fantasy merch, without leaving your home.
We trawled the Internet, and came up with the best bargains for the coolest collectibles, DVDs and more, to make your Black Friday as awesome as humanly possible.
Toys & Costumes
This store for action figures, toys, and other collectibles has a bunch of terrific bargains, with a full listing available here. There's an accurate reproduction of the ceremonial jacket Luke Skywalker wore while receiving his Medal of Bravery after the Battle of Yavin at the end of Star Wars — complete with an also accurate reproduction of the Medal of Bravery, so that everyone will know you don't wear ceremonial jackets for no good reason (although the flattering athletic cut and sweet yellow poly-cotton are arguably reason enough). Anyway, it's currently just $75, down from the usual price of $275.
Another intriguing item is this replica of Iron Man's gold helmet, based on his original appearance back in the prison camp. Don't worry — the helmet is fully wearable, and it's really the perfect accompaniment to your Battle of Yavin ceremonial jacket. Or, if you're feeling a little more on the evil side, you can always pretend the helmet contains Tony Stark's head, a lasting tribute to your villainous triumph. Whatever you want to do with it, it's currently $99, which is pricey in its own right, but a real steal compared to the usual $400 price tag.
Quantum Mechanix is placing more than fifty items — including maquettes, prop replicas, art prints, and t-shirts — on sale starting tomorrow. While the prices aren't yet listed on their sale page, we've got the early scoop on a few of the best deals. First up, there's this gorgeous 1:400 scale maquette of Serenity, which is down to $69.95, from the usual $100 cost. It's hand-painted, is based on the actual CG files from the show, comes with its own display stand, and the ship's shuttles are included. I think it says everything you need to know about me that that last detail was by far the most crucial to me.
There's a bunch of other intriguing deals — if you've ever wanted to stage that one-act play you wrote starring Teal'c from Stargate: SG-1, Penny from Dr. Horrible, and an old-school Chrome Cylon, you can get the set of maquettes for $14.95 each — although I feel it's my duty to draw your attention to the Battlestar Galactica Coaster Set, which is seeing a 50% discount to $19.95. It's the perfect reminder that, even when civilization is crumbling all around you and your species is on the verge of extinction, that's still no reason to leave coffee rings on your table.
Things From Another World
Nearly 150 toys are part of the store's current Grey Friday sale, their ongoing prelude to tomorrow's Black Friday sale, which should feature some even better deals — assuming the products last that long. For those who don't want to wait, just about all the toys are 50% off, including a bunch of awesome Doctor Who sets from classics like "The Caves of Androzani", "Genesis of the Daleks", and, um, "Attack of the Cybermen." My runaway favorite has to be this "City of Death" set for $24.99, if only because there's something deeply hilarious about a couple kids playing with these figures, throwing urbane yet bizarre Douglas Adams rejoinders at each other. Plus Count Scarlioni's head can be swapped out for his true Jaggaroth head, because otherwise what would even be the point!?
There's also a bunch of cool collectibles and statues on display, including this 12-inch figure of Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor from the original movies. The figure includes "three different hair pieces" — which the description claims are "for diverse disguise opportunities", although surely a guy just likes to treat himself to a different hairdo? Anyway, it's available for $49.99, again 50% off.
Speaking of comic book characters, Things From Another World is selling 1,300 back issues for just $1.50 each, and another 500 for just $1.00. DC Comics is running a similar sale, with a hundred recent comics available digitally for just 99 cents. That sale is available over on the DC site.
Movies & Television
Amazon is running a huge Black Friday sale, although this one is particularly tricky to keep track of because the bargains disappear once the items sell out... except when they don't, sort of. Let's do a rundown of a few of the big ones, and you'll see what I mean.
Thor & Captain America
It seems a little silly to talk about rediscovering movies that only came out last year, but such is the fate of these two films, overshadowed as they are by the just ludicrous (and much-appreciated) success of The Avengers. And while any deals on the big Marvel team-up movie are long since gone, you can get the blu-rays of Thor and Captain America for just $8.96 and $7.99, with similarly cheap prices available for the DVD versions. Prepare to relive the simple joys of Chris Hemsworth demanding a horse from a pet shop owner all over again!
Farscape: The Complete Series
The DVD set is going for $49.96, which is taking a full hundred bucks off the usual price. There was an even better deal going for the blu-ray set, with the usual $200 price tag knocked all the way down to $59.99. While that deal is no longer available on the main page, it does appear to still be available if you check out the additional buying options, albeit with a couple weeks' wait before shipping. I definitely can't guarantee that last one will work, but it's still a hell of a deal. It's so good, in fact, that I may have taken advantage of that one last night before writing this post. Hey, it's every deal-hungry nerd for his or herself!
Firefly: The Complete Series
For the sake of argument, let's just pretend for a moment that we don't all already own this boxset. The DVD is currently going for a ridiculous $7.99, which is so cheap I'm inclined to buy the damn thing all over again. (Yeah... I'm not good at bargain-hunting. Or just money in general, come to think of it.) Similar to Farscape, the blu-ray set is climbing back up again to its normal price, although the additional buying options preserve the original Amazon deal price of $12.99, again with about nine to ten days' wait.
Turning our attention to a cultishly adored, low-rated sci-fi show that, at this point, you really can't blame Fox for cancelling — seriously, if five seasons of Fringe isn't something to be thankful for, I don't know what is — there's a ton of good deals for the various seasons of Fringe. Both the second season and the fourth are going for just $16.99 on blu-ray, with the first and third not too far behind at a little over twenty dollars. These appear to be the best deals available for ongoing genre shows, although there are a few decent deals available for some of the True Blood seasons.
Planet of the Apes: 5 Film Collection
This is actually a rare case where the blu-ray is cheaper than the DVD, at least temporarily — the usual $50 price for all five movies is currently $19.99. Considering the set only got released a few months back, that's an especially good bargain. Besides, this is a golden opportunity to taken our patented Planet of the Apes-based personality test, which I'm fairly sure will be a cornerstone of the upcoming DSM-5.
The Fifth Element and so, so much more
Black Friday is a very special time of year, one in which we left to ponder the age-old question, "Hey... if The Fifth Element is just $6.23, how can I not get it?" This entirely reasonable conclusion can of course lead to more dangerous thoughts, such as, "The full-screen edition of Fantastic Four for the nerdily appropriate price of $6.16? Yes please!" or the eternal debate, "Is Ghosts of Mars for $5.21 or Mission to Mars for $6.49 the greater deal? Or is it neither!?" (Answer: It's totally both.) Admittedly, most of these aren't too far off their regular price, but it's nice to know that there's still a virtual equivalent to the little loved, vaguely shameful bargain barrel found in the aisles of all good department stores.
Prometheus & Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The deals generally aren't quite as good for movies released in the last couple of years, with prices for 2011 and 2012's big sci-fi films hovering more in the $10 range. Indeed, for just twenty bucks, you can buy both of 20th Century Fox's two last big attempts to revive a beloved if moribund franchise through a loosely connected prequel, with one a pleasantly surprising summer hit with shockingly well-integrated CGI, the other a vaguely underwhelming mess with captivating visuals balanced out by some serious, serious logic problems. I would have tried to make it a little less obvious which is which, but the smell of turkey is throwing off my flair for ambiguity.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Some of you might be inclined to say that getting the two-disc blu-ray/DVD combo for just $6.96 — a 77% reduction! — is one hell of a bargain for one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. But I dunno... that price still seems way too high to me.
Of course, this is all just scratching the surface of what's out there. Since Amazon's deals are still changing all the time, the best way to see what's currently available is to check out their Black Friday page. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to sit by the mailbox for the next few days until my Farscape set shows up. It's the spirit of the season!