A Store of Stuff & Monkeys
Allow us to set the scene. To-day we're gonna party like it's nineteen ninety nine! Which means we're going to fire up ol' Netscape Communicator and visit the latest web search engine we've heard about called "Google" - it's still in beta. Cher's "Believe" made autotune somehow acceptable, and people first had the opportunity to "phone a friend" for the answer. Are we all in the same mental place now? Good. We've selected one product we still sell from each year of our existence which we think exemplifies ThinkGeek. These are the products you bought and made successful over the years, and we <3 you for it!
1999 is the year we started all these shenanigans. Pokémon was huge (oh, how we come full circle). Cryptonomicon was published. The Matrix, The Phantom Menace, and Galaxy Quest were on the big screen. And nobody exactly knew what Y2K would mean to our computer systems.
Except for those of us who ran Linux. The Linux Fish was one of our very first products. It still makes us smile when we pull up at a light behind a car adorned with our favorite operating system.
2000 is the year we were introduced to Shake, Meatwad, and Strong Bad. (It'd be fun to see all three of them together. From a safe distance.) The first X-Men movie came out, and we were cheering on competitors in BattleBots on TV. And the PS2 debuted.
Well, this bit hasn't really changed since that year, but we were doing too much and staying up late. That meant we had to supplement our bodies' supply of chemicals with an external source of caffeine. Preferably from a mug that celebrated our addiction. Intervention not required.
2001 was the incept date for both Wikipeda and Windows XP. (One of these things started out and remains far more valuable to us than the other.) The GameCube and the Xbox conspired to keep us on our couches. The iPod debuted and with it all those silhouette ads. The first Harry Potter movie came out, as well as the first LoTR, and we all tried to learn to surf down handrails on our shields. When we weren't pretending we were Master Chief. We first produced this shirt in 2001, and it went on to become a best seller. It's just as popular today because, unfortunately, clueless people still ask for help. Every day.View Product
2002 is the year we all completely missed out on watching Firefly which got it canceled. We like to think it's because we were too busy playing Settlers of Catan or Kingdom Hearts. Pretty sure it wasn't because we were watching Attack of the Clones multiple times in the theater. Well, okay, a few of us. We love you, too, prequel folks, because we know what it's like to love something nobody else gets.
Our Binary People shirt hit the shelves. We've always had trouble keeping this one in stock at the warehouse, because the count always seems to be off....
D&D 3.5E came out in 2003 and everybody had to update their house rules. There was this great new show on TV: MythBusters. Have you seen it? These guys are CRAZY. A certain type of gamer was obsessed with Call of Duty and a different type was smitten with SW:KotOR. Some guy at Image, Robert Kirkman, started writing this series about zombie apocalypse survivors. And MySpace. That's all we're going to say about that.
All the products we've highlighted up until this point have been ThinkGeek creations, but we also spend a lot of time curating a collection of neat products we find elsewhere. The Airzooka is a great early example of that which we still carry today and probably will as long as the Earth has atmosphere. And, well, hopefully when that's no longer true, we have better things to do than shoot people with air.
2004 is the year we realized The Hobbit was a documentary. Okay. Not really. But it was the year the discovery of Homo floresiensis was announced. The new Battlestar Galactica debuted, and Oceanic Flight 815 went down. Wait. Google's doing mail? Aren't they a search engine?
One of the most giggle-inducing products we've carried is the line of Giant Plush Microbes. We've carried 68 different varieties since their launch in 2004. Over the years, we gave over 34000 of you the common cold, 28000 mono, and 16000 of you herpes. What can we say? Timmy gets around.
We have one thing to say to you about 2005: Leeroy Jenkins! Served up to you by the new site YouTube. Doctor Who regenerated and introduced the TARDIS to a whole new fanbase. The Xbox 360 came out, and Guitar Hero if you had the PS2. Revenge of the Sith was on the big screen, and there was this crazy show called Robot Chicken, which basically made fun of everything in pop culture. We approved.
Because sometimes executive toys aren't enough, we went in for the kill with the Desktop Carnivorous Plant Set. You want to discuss how we need to work late tonight and come in over the weekend? Yeah, let's watch this Venus flytrap eat this poor, helpless fly. It's a metaphor or something.
With the debut of both the Wii and the PS3, 2006 was a year best spent on the couch. To add to this argument, Dexter, The IT Crowd, and Heroes all debuted this year. V for Vendetta was at the theater, which got us out for long enough to save the cheerleader, but we returned home to sob when we heard that Pluto had been demoted.
Shipping a box of glass and liquid might not have been our most brilliant moment. We blame all the caffeine. But in 2006, it was dang hard to find Bawls, or even any explicitly caffeinated products. Since we knew we had to have Bawls in the office for us, we also provided it to you, and have kept up the insanity for the past decade. It's a bad decision; we're still too hopped up to care.
2007 was an incredible year for new video game worlds. We were introduced to BioShock, Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect. We were going to have a party to celebrate, but this is the year we found out the cake was a lie. And while we were standing in line for our iPhones, we were browsing I Can Has Cheezburger? since we couldn't be reading our Kindles until the end of the year.
Our first April Fool's product that became a reality was the 8-bit Tie. We were like, "Hey, wait a minute. We Photoshopped that but maybe it really could exist." We sewed a prototype in-house and sent it off to a factory. A few months later? Voila. Pixelated tie.
We started off 2008 super excited about Spore and the LHC, and both of them let us down. The LHC would later make up for it in spades, but it had a fitful beginning. The MacBook Air and D&D 4E came out, requiring us to reset their respective paradigms. There were a lot of great shows coming out on TV this year: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Breaking Bad, True Blood, Clone Wars, and Fringe. And great shows coming out which were not on TV: Dr. Horrible. And we and three of our closest friends took on a whole mess of Boomers after the zombie pandemic. "Mess" being the correct term there.
Our Bag of Holding has evolved over the years, but at its core, it remains the same: a sturdy tote that holds more than it looks capable of whilst keeping you unencumbered and your hands free.
While it seemed like everyone in our Facebook feed was playing Farmville, we were defending our lawns from zombies with zambonis and learning to own the lane in LoL. Both Kickstarter and Foursqare debuted in 2009, and it marked the beginning of the new Star Trek movies. We had such high hopes for Dollhouse, which came to naught. Ah, well. Play us off, Keyboard Cat.
The Tauntaun Sleeping Bag debuted on April Fool's, and the Internet subsequently exploded. Thousands of fans tried to order it, and a tsunami of press coverage followed. We knew we had to make it. Fortunately the Lucasfilm overlords had seen the demand for the product and gave us their blessing.
We're going to say a word now that's going to make you cringe: vuvuzela. Welcome to 2010. Flash sales sites were the new black, and the iPad debuted. The new Tron movie showed that EL is still awesome, and Scott Pilgrim and The Walking Dead on the big and small screens, respectively, introduced a new audience to their comic books. Speaking of all new audiences, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic created the phenomenon of bronies.
We really like Star Trek. We really like pizza. The Enterprise already has a "saucer" section. This is a no-brainer, right? We basically had to make it.
2011. The year the Space Shuttle Program accepts its final mission before coming to rest in a variety of museums. Steve Jobs dies. Occupy Wall Street happens. But we don't mean to be a total downer. Some happy things happened, too. The TV adaptation of Game of Thrones came out. Oh wait. We wanted uplifting? How about American Horror Story? Grimm? Once Upon a Time? OH. We know! Batman: Arkham City. No? Okay, so there WERE some lighter things in 2011. Skyrim came out and we immediately took an arrow to the knee, which was okay because we were already on the couch reading Ready Player One. And in the theater, we were greeted by the familiar faces of Cap, Thor, and Harry Potter.
This year we found a neat new product that allows you to make a guitar pick out of your old credit cards you maxxed out on your guitar. Good times.
In 2012, the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars and immediately started doing the horse-riding move from "Gangnam Style." The LHC observed the no-longer-theoretical Higgs boson particle. The video game industry was busy putting out sequels: Borderlands 2, The Witcher 2, Diablo 3, Mass Effect 3. And when we weren't playing, the movie theater was eating up all our money with The Dark Knight Rises, Marvel's Avengers, The Hobbit, Prometheus, and Hunger Games. In our version, we bolt to get to the theater's bathroom before the other Tributes.
The Useless Box Kit is our most popular product video ever. We have no idea why.
2013 will be remembered as the year we decided between the Xbox One and the PS4. Well, some other stuff happened, too. We found water on Mars. Google Glass was the new hotness. Grumpy Cat faced off against Sharknado. And the Chelyabinsk meteor tried to kill us all. It missed. We only found out this year that we should have been training for Jaeger duty this whole time. Either that or to be an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Hail HYDRA.)
For almost as long as ThinkGeek has existed (see above), we've been taking 8-bit icons and turning them into real world things. So when Minecraft came out, it made sense for us to create the game's tools from EVA foam so we could wield them in the real world, too.
A whole new generation was introduced to Cosmos in 2014. The Sony hack revealed how vulnerable corporations can be. A dude with a mix tape and not-a-racoon (or a tree) took on the defense of the galaxy. Horrifying Titans from Japan began washing up on American shores. And we dropped a lander on a comet for what can only be described as the best ride evar.
We occasionally get a hankering to put together our own games, and Hoverkraft is one such creation. You stack blocks against your opponent while dueling the forces of gravity and magnetism. We guarantee it's 27% more fun than dumping a bucket of ice over your head for charity (also warmer and drier).
For geeks, 2015 was the year of SW:TFA and BB-8. But other stuff happened, too. We all became addicted to Serial. Mad Max: Fury Road rocked out the apocalypse. Spider-Gwen took the world by storm. The Martian gave us renewed hope in future space exploration. Television production companies started putting out entire series all at once. We got to enjoy Agent Carter, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Mr. Robot. And to make sure we weren't on the couch constantly, our smart watches started telling us how close we were to our daily step goal. Which was good because the real world also had to compete with Fallout 4. And, at the very end of the year, New Horizons gave us some glamour shots of Pluto.
You have a car. You have a phone. Now you have an adorable astromech droid that'll let your car charge your phone. That makes everybody bleeping happy.
This is now. Hopefully you're out doing these things instead of reading this page. We're going to list a few geeky things we're still looking forward to this year: the iPhone 7, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts, Civ VI, Gears of War 4, CoD: Infinite Warfare, and, of course, Rogue One.
The 50th anniversary of Star Trek seemed like the right time to go all-out and try something we've never tried before: swimwear. We'll be honest: it was intimidating. There were so many things that could go wrong. But we went for it, and from how y'all received it, we're really glad we boldly went where no ThinkGeek had gone before.