If you poke around here on TV of the Absurd, it’s easy to see that I’m a lover of classic TV shows. We love classic TV so much at my house that there are always a few related gifts under the tree, which goes along well with the Star Trek, Superman and Rudolph ornaments on our tree! Now, I don’t want to give away the cool item that will have my husband’s name on it this year, so I’m hiding it in this list of 10 Nostalgic Gifts for Classic TV Lovers.
1. A TV Toy
We begin with the obvious. A Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox, a Bionic Woman action figure or a Lost in Space Robot from Remco – give them the toy they would have received when they were ten years old and they’ll love you forever. Don’t bother shopping around. You can find everything you need on eBay.
2. A Classic TV Car
Imagine handing over the keys to a tomato red Torino, a souped up black, GMC van or Dodge Charger painted orange with a confederate flag on the roof. Now that’s a Christmas gift! Need something a bit more reasonably priced? How about a GPS system with the voice of KITT?
3. A Car, Ship or Figure Model (Built or Unbuilt)
An even cheaper alternative to buying a real car is buying a model kit of said car. You can find retro kits on eBay, but many companies are making new kits based on old designs. Even unbuilt, the box art alone makes it a great display piece, but if you really want to go all out, hire a model builder to do it up right. May I suggest the Flying Sub from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, or Munsters Living Room from Entertainment Earth. If you need a model builder, my husband is a pro and he’s available.
4. An Autographed Photo
Many classic TV stars have their own website these days and they’ll be happy to sell you a personalized photo. Don’t expect these cheap or free, but buying straight from the source is better than taking a chance on buying a potential fake on ebay. Here are a few to get you started: Angela Cartwright (Lost in Space), Alison Arngrim (Little House on the Prairie), Paul Peterson (Donna Reed Show) and the lovely Mrs. Brady aka Florence Henderson, will sign for the cost of postage alone.
5. A Subscription to Netflix or Hulu
With Netflix, your favorite TV junkie can either rent old TV shows on DVD or download many of them straight to their TV. Hulu has a similar download program, but double check the applicable devices before plunking down the cash.
6. A Retro TV T-shirt or Mug
Many T-shirt companies are now producing new shirts based on classic shows such as A-Team, Knight Rider, Sesame Street and Seinfeld. Even if they don’t wear them, these shirts make great wall hangings or they can be used to make throw pillows for the TV room. The CBS Store also has new T-shirts and mugs for The Brady Bunch, I Love Lucy and other classic shows. (Here’s a deal: 20% off at the CBS Store with code CBS20OFF
7. Artwork of the Stars
A large number of classic TV stars have turned to art in their later years and face it, what beats an authentic Jan Brady on your wall? You can see Eve Plumb’s work here, Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy is now a famed photographer, and Marie Osmond designs dolls.
8. A TV Dinner & Appropriate Snacks
Back in the day, watching TV often meant eating off of TV tray in front of the tube. Buy the modern version or pick up retro trays on eBay or at the Goodwill. You can create your own TV dinners with these divided dishes from Amazon and for dessert, candy from the 70’s! Now that’s a classic TV meal.
9. Contribute to a Star’s Cause
Many TV stars use their celebrity in order to help out a good cause and others have created their own foundations to cope with their own hurtles in life. A donation made in the giftee’s name is like giving two gifts in one. Starsky & Hutch star Paul Michael Glaser supports the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and you can help fight Parkinson’s by contributing to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
10. A Prop or Wardrobe Item
Thanks to the Internet, it’s now very easy to locate screen used props and wardrobe pieces from old TV shows. Mind you, they don’t come cheap, but they’re out there. The best place to buy them is at a Profiles in History auction. These guys do their homework so you know the item is the real McCoy. Click here to view the catalog for their next auction which includes items from Wild Wild West, Lost in Space, Green Hornet, Captain Scarlett, Battlestar Galactica and more. Pictured in this post is a check Bruce Lee to Van Williams and a robe made for “Ricky Ricardo.”
Happy Holidays and we wish you a very merry TV Christmas!
It’s your turn. What’s the best TV related gift you’ve ever received?