Author

Sam Wallace

Special

20 Best Gifts For Gamers

Christmas is almost here and the nights are getting longer, darker and colder which obviously means more time to stay at home and game – who wants to go outside in that weather right?

I spend a LOT of my free time gaming, especially the likes of Zelda, Doom, Skyrim & Dark Souls. I’m also re-visiting “The Last of Us” ahead of the 2nd game being released next year….I cannot WAIT for that!

Here at EMP our gaming range is constantly growing and we have some absolutely awesome merchandise for all types of players. Here are some of my personal highlights, maybe it’ll help you with ideas for Christmas presents:

1. Zelda – Drink this:

I’ll start with this fantastic Link mug purely because I recently bought one and I love it. Taken from the NES Classic “The Legend of Zelda” it will make any Zelda fan happy.

zelda drink this mug

2. V: Skyrim – Dragonborn:

Skyrim is hands down one of the BEST games ever made. It’s now 8 years old and I still love it as much now as I did when it was released. I recently restarted it with the aim to complete everything that there is to do. Now I don’t know if that’s possible to do in a lifetime, apparently it is but wish me luck anyway please, thanks.

3. Dark Souls – Sif, Great Grey Wolf:

PRAISE THE SUN! Dark Souls is easily my favourite game of all time, I had it on PS3, bought the remaster on PS4 and then also bought the Switch port so I can play it on the go. If I could only play 1 game for the rest of my life it would be this game….seriously, I can’t express enough how much I love this game. This T-shirt is one of my favourites in my wardrobe, Sif’s story is a sad one, we love her.

sif great grey wolf tshirt

4. Doom – Classic Boxart:

Hailed as one of the greatest games of all time and rightfully so, this classic Boxart Doom t-shirt is simply a must have. Doomguy kicks major ass, wear it with pride. Doom Eternal cannot get here fast enough!

doom classic boxart t shirt

5. The Witcher – School Of The Wolf:

One of the most popular RPGS of recent times and a game I have yet to complete but I am getting there. I also purchased this great t-shirt recently and I’m sure that any Witcher player will like it as much as I do. Also, how awesome does the upcoming series look!!!! CANT WAIT!

6. Nintendo – NES Controller doormat:

Looking for something a little different? Then check out this ace NES controller door mat! Retro gamers will LOVE this!

playstation doormat

7. Playstation – Player One & Player Two:

These Playstation mugs are on my personal Christmas wish list, I think they are brilliant and I’m sure most gamers will think the same too. Ideal for a hot brew on a cold night with your gaming buddy.

playstation player1 player2 mug

8. Spyro – Cable Guy XL:

Cable Guys are so damn cool, it holds your controller or mobile as it charges. I have one, I have a Darth Vader one but I’ve picked out this Spyro one for here because it’s XL, seriously, this dude is BIG!

spyro cable guy

9. Fallout – Nuka Cola Gift Set:

Vault dwellers, Check out this awesome Fallout Nuka Cola gift set!

10. Super Mario Bros – Badge Set:

This badge set of classic images from our much beloved franchise is the perfect stocking filler. Who didn’t grow up playing Mario?

super mario bros badge set

11. Assassins Creed – Shoulder Bag:

If like me you are in need of a new bag then look no further than this Assassins Creed shoulder bag.

assasins creed shoulder bag

12. Game Boy – Wall Clock 

Nintendo‘s Game boy is truly iconic. Now you can get a wall clock version of it!

13. Resident Evil – Raccoon Police Department T-shirt:

Great stocking fillers for fans of this brilliant series. I bought the remastered Resident Evil 2 at the start of year, I’ve still yet to complete it, I am truly awful at that game. It’s brilliant but I think it hates me.

14. Bloodborne – Box art T-Shirt:

If Dark Souls didn’t exist then this would be my favourite game of all time. But it does (thankfully) so it isn’t BUT it’s a very close call. Anyways, Bloodborne is a masterpiece with huge replay value. Hunters will want to own this t-shirt….I know that I do.

bloodborne tshirt

15. Borderlands 3 – Children of The Vault T-shirt:

Borderlands 3 was recently a few months ago and we have some EMP EXCLUSIVE t-shirts! This Children of the Vault design is one of them……cool right!

children of the dark tshirt

16. Commodore 64 – C64 Logo Cap:

Here’s something for all you retro gamers, a Commodore 64 cap! This was the first computer that I ever owned and I have fond memories of it and im sure many other people do too.

commodore 64 tshirt

17. God of War – Sorry Cup

God of War IS the best game on the PS4. Fact. This great stocking filler will motivate you and make you better…. BOY!

god of war mug

18. Pokemon – Christmas Pickachu Jumper:

A great gift for Pokemon / Pikachu fans… check out this lovely Christmas jumper to keep you warm and cosy when you’re out in the cold winter days.

19. Zelda – Master Sword Table Lamp:

This great lamp of the Master Sword from Zelda is approx. 30cm high and can be powered using a USB cable or AAA batteries. A real treat for any Zelda fan.

legend of zelda master sword lamp

20. Super Mario Bros – Mushroom Cookie Jar:

How can you NOT love this?! Look at it! Amazing! Buy two, one as a present and one for yourself!

super mario mushroom cookie jar

 

Those are some of my top picks but don’t forget to check out our entire gaming merchandise range!

– Sam

 

Gifts, Movies, Special

Gift Guide for Star Wars fans!

Christmas is almost here and with it comes the frustration of maybe not knowing exactly what to get for those close to you. However, if someone you know IS a Star Wars fan (there’s millions of us so chances are high) then look no further, I am here to help!

General ideas

 

Cable Guy – Storm Trooper

These things are great! You can rest your phone or gaming controller in its hands and charge them via the USB leads supplied. Highly recommended (also available as Darth Vader).

 

 

 

TIE Attack mug

You can never go wrong with a good mug and this TIE Attack one looks fantastic. The metallic finish makes it look a bit different too which is always a good thing.

 

 

R2-D2 slippers

Keep those feet warm and cosy with these R2-D2 slippers!

 

 

 

 

The Empire Strikes Back poster

A poster of the greatest film ever made by anyone ever.

 

 

 

For Him

 

Rule The Galaxy Parka

They are super warm, I’ve got one and it’s like walking with a duvet around you on cold nights. Perfect.

 

 

 

Boba Fett t-shirt

Everyone’s favourite bounty hunter

 

 

 

Cantina Band On Tour t-shirt

Tour t-shirt from the legendary band!

 

 

 

Darth Vader pyjama pants

The dark side…night time. Sleep well in these awesome Darth Vader pyjama pants.

 

 

 

1977 – May The Force Be With You hoodie

Classic hoodie for fans of the lighter side of the force

 

 

 

 

For Her

Vintage 77 t-shirt

Classic Star Wars logo t-shirt!

 

 

 

Tie Fighter cardigan

Stay toasty on cold days with this awesome looking Tie Fighter Cardigan

 

 

 

Darth Vader t-shirt

Show your love of the dark side with this t-shirt

 

 

 

Loungefly – R2 D2 handbag

Know someone who needs a new handbag and LOVES Star Wars? Look no further, it’s here

 

 

 

So, those are my top picks but there are many many other options available too, just check out our full range of Star Wars merch!

 

Sam Kelly-Wallace – Events Manager 

Movies, Special

“The greatest superpower is luck.” – Stan Lee – 1922 – 2018

Tragic news swept across the world on the evening of November 12th – Stan Lee sadly passed away at the grand age of 95.

Stan Lee’s influence cannot be under estimated: he revolutionized the comic industry way back in the 1960’s making them more complex and appealing to an older generation as well as the youth. He co-created characters such as some Marvel favourites including Spider-man , Hulk , X-Men ,Daredevil …(the list goes on) and through these characters inspired the lives of millions of people all over the world.

Thank you for all that you did for us Stan; the word ‘legend’ is used too lightly these days but you really were and always will be one.

Rest In Peace.

Premiere Of Disney And Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” on October 20, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

“I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.” – Stan Lee

 

– Sam & all at EMP UK

EMP, Movies

WE… ARE VENOM

Venom hits the big screens in October 2018 with Tom Hardy portraying Eddie Brock / Venom and it’s been a very long time coming! Original plans for a Venom movie started way back in 2008 as a sequel to Venom’s on screen appearance in Spider-man 3 where, to be honest, he sounded like a Velociraptor from Jurassic Park…..but let’s moved on and away from that.

What we know so far

Venom – The film is a standalone movie, set in the Venom-verse, adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It draws its influence from the comics “Lethal Protector” and “Planet of the Symbiotes” (so if you haven’t read them yet I suggest you do). It’s set in San Francisco where journalist Eddie Brock starts to look into a shady businessman who is experimenting with alien Symbiotes. As a result of this, is putting people in danger. Our “Anti-Hero” Brock, becomes infected with one of the Symbiotes (enter Venom – who Hardy also voices). The shady business man Carlto Drake (played by Riz Ahmed) becomes Riot. Brock quickly realizes the violent nature of his Symbiote and strikes a deal to only use its violent impulses to hurt bad people. That, is the rough outline.

Venom is one of Marvel’s darkest characters and from what I’ve read/seen, they will be honoring this in the movie. The trailers were given a 12A rating and it looks set that the film will be rated 15. With lines like  “We will eat both your arms and then both of your legs and then we will eat your face right off of your head…”,  don’t expect Venom to be family friendly fun like Ant-Man.

Tom Hardy

If you’re a fan of the comics (like I am), then this is great news because I really don’t like it when we get a watered down portrayal of a character we know and love. Hardy said at the recent SDCC that the reason he took the role on is because his son came to him with his love for the character. Then as if by magic, a script for the movie landed on his lap. Once Tom read through it, he was sold. For those of you who don’t know, Venom’s character is dark and brutal; he’s a beast and an anti-hero. The trailers that have been released so far have had me fixated to the screen. I’m a big fan of Tom Hardy: his filmography is varied and I personally can’t think of a better actor for the role.

As for the future of Venom… (If this is true,  it is SO EXCITING!)

In August, the studio apparently confirmed that they have plans to crossover Spider-Man and Venom. “They are already in the same universe – so without giving too much away, we are looking forward to the two of them eventually facing off in the future”. Also in this month, Hardy signed up to 2 more films. Until then, we have this first installment to look forward to. Its released in the UK on the 5th October and I am counting down the days until I get to see it!

We have a great NEW range of Venom merchandise available to make sure you’re all kitted out and representing your favourite Anti-Hero!

WE….. ARE VENOM

 

Sam Kelly-Wallace 

Events Manager 

BACKSTAGE, EMP, Music, Special

Bloodstock Festival 2018

Of All the metal festivals I’ve been to in the UK, Europe & across America, Bloodstock is easily one of my favourites. I’ve personally been going since 2010, I even played on the mainstage in 2016 (which was incredible). The atmosphere amongst fans is always amazing. For those of you who haven’t been yet, its family friendly, easy to get around, no overcrowding, you don’t have to pay £20 for a beer, the food is great and caters for all tastes. And of course the line-up is always diverse (as much as it can be in rock / metal).

About 50% of my friendship circle I have today, I made at a Bloodstock Festival, as did most people I know. The best bit is that Bloodstock was made by the fans for the fans, even way back in 2001 but back then it was held in 2,000 capacity indoor venue that the MIGHTY Saxon headlined. In 2005, it went open air and most Bloodstock goers now simply name it as “Home”.

EMP were there of course, we had a stall in-between the signing tent and the mainstage where we were selling some of our merchandise and handing out cool EMP freebies. Best of all, we got to meet some really great people and of course, see some excellent bands play!

Bloodstock starts on the Thursday evening and the second stage (which is named after Sophie Lancaster  – R.I.P) is the only one open until things really start on Friday. Everyone goes there to hang out, catch up with friends and watches the first bands of the festival, which obviously means party night. So, when it comes to the 1st actual day of the festival there are a lot of hangovers walking around on that field in Catton Park.

The main headliners of the weekend were Judas Priest (seriously, how awesome is their new album?!), Gojira and Nightwish. There are 3 stages all within a few minutes walking distance of each other: The Ronnie James Dio mainstage, The Sophie Lancaster second stage and the New Blood stage. Now the New Blood stage deserves a special mention here: The line-up is made of winners of the Metal 2 The Masses competition which is held all over the UK each year which gives the opportunity to up and coming bands to play at a big festival, expand their fan base and gain exposure – how cool is that! If you are an up and coming rock/metal band I highly recommend you check it out and enter. Its run by Bloodstock’s Simon Hall (legend) and EMP are a part of this too, we sponsor the finals – cool right!

The 3 days of Bloodstock for Team EMP were a fun chaotic mix of selling lots of merchandise, handing out a ton of EMP freebies, chatting to EMP customers about anything and everything, getting rained on, getting burnt by the sun, eating good food and amongst all this we even had the pleasure of interviewing some really cool bands!

These are just some of the friends old and new that we caught up with:

Blakkheim and Axe of Bloodbath
Henrik of Evergrey
Hamish of Godthrymm (who’s also my fellow guitarist and dear friend in Vallenfyre)
Lord Ragnar Wagner of The Heretic Order
Dan of Monument (video below)
Brady of Conjurer
Raimund of Nailed to Obscurity (fun fact – Raimund works at EMP too!)
Josh and Morgan of Bloodshot Dawn
Chris of Act of Defiance (cheers for the coffee!)
Karl of Memoriam (previously of Bolt Thrower)
Matt and Jason of Weight of The Tide

Huge thanks goes out to all of those guys for their time as I know they all probably had beers waiting for them to drink somewhere.

My personal highlights of the festival was watching Hamish of Godthrymm perform on the Sophie Stage, watching Henrik of Evergrey playing guitar in a way that I can only dream about, witnessing Negative Thought Process absolutely destroy the New Blood Stage just like I knew they would and seeing Gojira headlining the festival on the Saturday night – that was absolutely Incredible. It was a real “I was there!” moment to look back on in years to come!

This is my first year as the Event Manager for EMP so it was my first time working for EMP at Bloodstock and I must say that I met some great people over the 3 – 4 days there. So to those of you who came to visit us, chatted to us, bought merchandise from us, we thank you!

None of this would have been possible without the support of the Bloodstock team – Adam Gregory, Simon Hall, Alan Hungerford and your crew, we can’t thank you guys enough.

See you in 2019 Bloodstock, Cheers!

Sam Kelly-Wallace
EMP Events Manager UK & IE