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Win a $1000 ThinkGeek Shopping Spree!

Beep bop boop! Wouldn't it be amazing to throw a holiday party for all of your family and friends, complete with food, festivities, and a crazy light show? You'd invite everyone: R2-D2, K-9, WALL-E & Eve, and even that foul-mouthed Bender. (You might want to think twice before inviting your distant relatives, the Daleks & Cybermen, though!) And you'd bestow great, geeky presents upon all of them!

You know what you'd need to do? Enter this contest.

Not just any contest, as the winner you'd get $1,000 of shopping spree goodness right here on ThinkGeek! You could buy small gifts for one hundred people, splurge and fulfill that wish list you've been building, or buy Annoy-a-trons and hide them everywhere to spread the holiday cheer! It's all up to you--if you are chosen, that is.

That's not all. If we receive over 10,000 entries, another $1,000 winner will be selected! Share this with your friends, family, enemies, colleagues, neighbors, pets, plants, and zombies to increase the chance to win!

Having trouble viewing this form? Please click here.

How ever you plan your holiday feast, we wish you the best of luck. Just fill out the form above, clickity-clack your contact information and email address into the form so we can let you know if you've won, and submit it by 11:59pm ET on November 28, 2014.

What's that we hear on the rooftop? It must be the rules and regulations pulling a sled full of legalese!

(Image Source: PartSelect)

Traditions!

Thanksgiving usually revolves around a bunch of different traditions for different people. For some, it's sportsball. For others, parades. For others, a Settlers of Catan marathon! And even though eating turkey is probably the most common tradition of all, there are a ton of ways this feast meal can show up on your plate (not all of them good, as we've unfortunately learned - sorry, grandma).

So whether you'll be doing the cooking or the eating this Thanksgiving, we're guessing you have some thoughts about what makes the perfect Thanksgiving turkey.

We want to know: which aspect of cooking or preparation is the most important to you when it comes to "the bird?" Oven temperature? Seasoning? Flipping it?

Choose one from our list, or let us know in the "Other" field if it's something else! We'll be adding up all the votes to see if there's something new we need to try this year.

And, if you're not celebrating Thanksgiving, or not into eating turkey at all, let us know about one of your traditional meals (for any special occasion) in the comments!

Because there's one thing we can all agree on: no matter what you eat, when you get together with friends and/or family and chow down, it's a wonderful thing.

Holiday Flat Rate Shipping!

We're taking away one of your holiday surprises, but we think you're going to like it. Instead of putting goodies in your cart to see how much your shipping will be, you will now KNOW because our awesome Palletmonkeys have coordinated Flat Rate Shipping for our continental U.S. customers for the holiday. That's right, put as many items in your cart for the same rate, plus Standard Shipping is still Free when you spend $75 or more!

The basics: 
  • Standard Shipping is $6.95 (2-6 days after processing), and it's still FREE on orders $75+ (no coupon required; FREE shipping does not combine with other offers).
  • Expedited Shipping is $12.95 (2-3 days after processing).
  • Express Shipping is $24.95 (1-2 days after processing - if you select Expedited or Express Shipping before 1pm ET, your order ships the same day).
  • A small number of heavy items carry a $10 surcharge.

You've been asking for it, and we're super-happy to be able to offer you guys flat rate shipping for the holidays!

Shop the Holiday Gift Center

Help Timmy carve these pumpkins!


Update: Thank you again to all who entered!

So very sorry for the wait, everyone! The votes are in & our 2014 winners are posted below. If you see yours there, we'll be in touch via email shortly, regarding your prize information. :) Congratulations!

First place winner

pumpkin template Hydra by Nicole H.

Hydra by Nicole H.

Runner-up winner

pumpkin template Totoro by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

Totoro by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

Runner-up winner

pumpkin template Catbug by Nathan H.

Catbug by Nathan H.


Capaldi-kin by maddoghoek100

Capaldi-kin by maddoghoek100

Dancing Baby Groot by OkWhaeva

Dancing Baby Groot by OkWhaeva

Gollum by Jenny P.

Gollum by Jenny P.

pumpkin template Kirby by Nicole H.

Kirby by Nicole H.

pumpkin template Creature From The Deep by Kohizeri

From the Deep by Kohizeri

pumpkin template Surfing Pikachu by Jannelle J

Surfing Pikachu by Jannelle J.

pumpkin template Happy BMO by Jannelle J.

Happy BMO by Jannelle J.

pumpkin template Marshmallow by Ethan H.

Marshmallow by Ethan H.

pumpkin template Settlers of Catan by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

Settlers of Catan by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

pumpkin template Lurker by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

Lurker by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

pumpkin template Shadow Flame by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

Shadow Flame by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

pumpkin template Mad Scientist by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

Mad Scientist by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

pumpkin template Totoro by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

Totoro by Jessica The Nifty Nerd

pumpkin template Old School Gamer by Toffeemama

Old School Gamer by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Dune by Toffeemama

Dune by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Kirby by Toffeemama

Kirby by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Cap & Winter Soldier by Mastelsa

Cap & Winter Soldier by Mastelsa

pumpkin template Black Widow by Mastelsa

Black Widow by Mastelsa

pumpkin template Wingardium Leviosa by Felicia Y.

Wingardium Leviosa by Felicia Y.

pumpkin template BLARGH Felicia Y.

BLARGH by Felicia Y.

pumpkin template Cosma by Triclyops

Cosma by Triclyops

pumpkin template Alien by Xenomorph816

Decepticon Pumpkin by minikitty

pumpkin template Hydra by Nicole H.

Hydra by Nicole H.

pumpkin template Villager by Stefany G.

Villager by Stefany G.

pumpkin template Weeping Angel by Lisa

Weeping Angel by Lisa

pumpkin template Ctrl+X by BetsyJurries

Ctrl+X by BetsyJurries

pumpkin template Black Mage by CuttlefishZero

Black Mage by CuttlefishZero

pumpkin template Joke-o-Lantern by Jonathon A.

Joke-o-Lantern by Jonathon A.

pumpkin template Why So Serious by Squa

Why So Serious by Squa

pumpkin template The Dreamer Awakens by Toffeemama

The Dreamer Awakens by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Deathly Hallows by Toffeemama

Deathly Hallows by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Baymax by KappaTauren

Baymax by KappaTauren

pumpkin template NOVA by Venting_Machine

NOVA by Venting_Machine

pumpkin template Ravager by Suzaku7.jpg

Ravager by Suzaku7

pumpkin template Stay Puft by Cuttlefish

Stay Puft by Cuttlefish

pumpkin template Dancing Groot by David F.

Dancing Groot by David F.

pumpkin template Scythe Matters by Nathan H.

Scythe Matters by Nathan H.

pumpkin template Attack On Pumpkin by Xenomorph816

Attack On Pumpkin by Xenomorph816

pumpkin template 8-Bit Jack by @TheLeakyMind

8-Bit Jack by @TheLeakyMind

pumpkin template Vader by Toffeemama

Vader by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Hand of the King by Toffeemama

Hand of the King by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Mushroom by Patrick D.

Mushroom by Patrick D.

pumpkin template Groot by Patrick D

Groot by Patrick D.

pumpkin template Rocket Raccoon by Patrick D.

Rocket Raccoon by Patrick D.

pumpkin template Question Box by Patrick D.

Question Box by Patrick D.

pumpkin template Korra by Nathan H.

Korra by Nathan H.

pumpkin template Fish In The Percolator by Assiroc

Fish In The Percolator by Assiroc

pumpkin template Catbug by Nathan H.

Catbug by Nathan H.

pumpkin template Devil Chao by Emblem566

Devil Chao by Emblem566

pumpkin template TARDIS Van Gogh by Toffeemama

TARDIS Van Gogh by Toffeemama


Timmy needs inspiration! He needs ideas for pumpkin carvings. You know what this means...

The Great Geeky Pumpkin Template Contest is here!

Pumpkins are coming. Get out your dremels, gourd knives, spoons, 3D printers, and fancy high-tech lasers--we must fight back against the pumpkins the only way we know how: carve & turn them into pies!

Our 2013 geeky pumpkin pile

But who is the best carver of them all? Who will rise above the rest and submit the winning template for a $131 ThinkGeek gift certificate and the fabled Mystery Box?

Enter your pumpkin template between now and Sunday, 10/26/2014; we'll print our favorites for our own pumpkin carving party on Friday, 10/31. Later, we'll announce our $131 and Super Secret Mystery Box (which may include a few special things) grand prize winner and two $131 gift certificate runners-up--along with photos of pumpkin guts and our finished masterpieces!


Enter your Great Geeky Pumpkin Template

A few handy guidelines to awesomeness:

  • Submit original artwork or a concept we haven't seen before. Cutting and pasting clip art into a Word doc does not a winning template make.
  • Think about making your template big enough for an actual pumpkin. Filling a 8.5x11" standard sheet of paper with your design is a pretty good rule of thumb.
  • Templates that include impossible to carve areas (like carving a big "O" shape and then expecting the middle to stay put) won't work unless you don't carve that space completely (or specify something tricky like a toothpick to hold it in place).
  • If you have more than one design to submit, you'll need to use this form more than once.
  • We don't care where you put your template on the internets as long as it's accessible to us. We're willing to work with most filetype, but PDFs are preferred with PNGs and JPGs a close second.

Looking for inspiration?

2013 winners:

First place winner

pumpkin template Ohhh Myyy! by Toffeemama

Ohhh Myyy! by Toffeemama

Runner-up winner

pumpkin template Grumpy Cat by Jesse F.

Grumpy Cat by Jesse F.

Runner-up winner

pumpkin template Jigglypuff by Ian T.

Jigglypuff by Ian T.

2012 winners:

First place winner

pumpkin template Ello by @breakinginsanity

Ello by @breakinginsanity

Runner-up winner

pumpkin template Walt-O-Lantern by Elizabeth Z.

Walt-O-Lantern by Elizabeth Z.

Runner-up winner

pumpkin template Mockingjay by Nicole H.

Mockingjay by Nicole H.

2011 winners:

First place winner

pumpkin template Fezes are cool by Liz H.

Fezzes are cool by Liz H.

Runner-up winner

pumpkin template Pumpkin-chu by Toffeemama

Pumpkin-chu by Toffeemama

Runner-up winner

pumpkin template River by Melisa C.

River by Melisa C.

Check out some of our favorite templates from years past (right click to download):


pumpkin template Avengers Logo by Patrick D.

Avengers Logo by Patrick D.

pumpkin template Haunted Knight by Cassie G.

Haunted Knight by Cassie G.

pumpkin template Battlestar by Nicole H.

Battlestar by Nicole H.

pumpkin template Walt-O-Lantern by Elizabeth Z.

Walt-O-Lantern by Elizabeth Z.

pumpkin template SHIELD by Patrick D.

SHIELD by Patrick D.

pumpkin template Deadpool by Caroline C.

Deadpool by Caroline C.

pumpkin template XCOM by Xenomorph816

XCOM by Xenomorph816

pumpkin template Dalek by Ashley S.

Dalek by Ashley S.

pumpkin template The Corporation by @WhiteHotChocol8

The Corporation by @WhiteHotChocol8

pumpkin template Skulltula by Brdn L.

Skulltula by Brdn L.

pumpkin template Spock Silhouette by Alex M.

Spock Silhouette by Alex M.

pumpkin template Weeping Angel Janus by Jonathon A.

Weeping Angel Janus by Jonathon A.

pumpkin template Turanga Leela by Nathan H.

Turanga Leela by Nathan H.

pumpkin template Talk to the Hand by Donza

Talk to the Hand by Donza

pumpkin template Gothic Raven by deathmango

Gothic Raven by deathmango

pumpkin template Mockingjay by Nicole H.

Mockingjay by Nicole H.

pumpkin template Atom by Nicole H.

Atom by Nicole H.

pumpkin template Brak-O-Lantern by Kimberbot

Brak-O-Lantern by Kimberbot

pumpkin template Ubuntu by Joel G.

Ubuntu by Joel G.

Captain America shield by Patrick D.

Captain America shield by Patrick D.

pumpkin template PvZ Conehead Zombie by Yeng

PvZ Conehead Zombie by Yeng

pumpkin template Decepticon Pumpkin by minikitty

Decepticon Pumpkin by minikitty

pumpkin template Iron Man by Donza

Iron Man by Donza

pumpkin template Chevron 7... LOCKED! by Cleo the Muse

Chevron 7... LOCKED! by Cleo the Muse

pumpkin template Assassins Creed by xXFLIPKNOTXx

Assassins Creed by xXFLIPKNOTXx

pumpkin template Teenage Mutant Ninja Pumpkin by Toffeemama

Teenage Mutant Ninja Pumpkin by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Dude Come On Rage Pumpkin by Geeky Creeper

Dude Come On Rage Pumpkin by Geeky Creeper

pumpkin template Alien egg (leave top open) by Rob S

Alien egg (leave top open) by Rob S

pumpkin template Quail Man by breakinginsanity

Quail Man by breakinginsanity

pumpkin template Thors Hammer by Nicole H.

Thor's Hammer by Nicole H.

pumpkin template Cyl-O-Lantern by Aeta Capella

Cyl-O-Lantern by Aeta Capella

pumpkin template Overbearing Pumpkin by AnimatedMe

Overbearing Pumpkin by AnimatedMe

pumpkin template Heisenberg by Toffeemama

Heisenberg by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Gojira by dpanta

Gojira by dpanta

pumpkin template Leeloo by Toffeemama

Leeloo by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Nightmare Night by ShinyHappyGoth

Nightmare Night by ShinyHappyGoth

pumpkin template Ello by @breakinginsanity

Ello by @breakinginsanity

pumpkin template The Dark Knight by Derek F.

The Dark Knight by Derek F.

pumpkin template Phant-O-Lantern by Jonathan L.

Phant-O-Lantern by Jonathan L.

pumpkin template Gangnam Style! by Amanda C.

Gangnam Style! by Amanda C.

pumpkin template Howard Pumpkin Lovecraft by Rob S.

Howard Pumpkin Lovecraft by Rob S.

pumpkin template Restored Pumpkin by @MaryKateClark  title=

"Restored" Pumpkin by @MaryKateClark

pumpkin template Chell by zwad3

Chell by zwad3

pumpkin template House Targaryen is Angry by Tim C.

House Targaryen is Angry by Tim C.

pumpkin template Galaga by Patrick J.

Galaga by Patrick J.

pumpkin template An Unexpected Pumpkin by @lil_monmon

An Unexpected Pumpkin by @lil_monmon

pumpkin template Angry Bender by Donza

Angry Bender by Donza

pumpkin template Oh My Lump by AnimatedMe

Oh My Lump by AnimatedMe

pumpkin template Turret by Loxley

Turret by Loxley

pumpkin template Night of the Derpy is Angry by Patrick F.

Derpy is Angry by Patrick F.

Boba Fett by Fraken_Toaster25

Boba Fett by Fraken_Toaster25

pumpkin template Princess Peach by Katisme

Princess Peach by Katisme

Nightmare Before Christmas by Aeuriga

Nightmare Before Christmas by Aeuriga

pumpkin template The Doctor's Angel by Elizabeth Z.

The Doctor's Angel by Elizabeth Z.

pumpkin template The Walking Dead by adswartz

The Walking Dead by adswartz

pumpkin template Night of the Living Dead Zombie Girl by Zack M.

Night of the Living Dead Zombie Girl by Zack M.

Lucky Cat by Toffeemama

Lucky Cat by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Mathematical! by Vincent C.

Mathematical! by Vincent C.

Dark Defender by Taylor G.

Dark Defender by Taylor G.

pumpkin template NyanCat by @prox

NyanCat by @prox

pumpkin template Harmless little bunny by @biochemcrazy

Harmless little bunny by @biochemcrazy

Bazinga! by @lil_monmon

Bazinga! by @lil_monmon

pumpkin template Ood by Sarah F.

Ood by Sarah F.

pumpkin template Alien by Taylor G.

Alien by Taylor G.

Fezes are cool by Liz H.

Fezzes are cool by Liz H.

pumpkin template High five by Toffeemama

High five by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Tauntaun by Nicole H.

Tauntaun by Nicole H.

It's Be-Bop Time by Justin B.

It's Be-Bop Time by Justin B.

pumpkin template Piggy by g0t_bliss

Piggy by g0t_bliss

pumpkin template Tauntaun by animatedme

Gory Tauntaun by animatedme

Space Invaders by Keegan C.

Space Invaders by Keegan C.

pumpkin template Abby Normal by breakinginsanity

Abby Normal by breakinginsanity

pumpkin template Pac-Man-O-Lantern by robotnutt

Pac-Man-O-Lantern by robotnutt

Live long and prosper by @zenassassins

Live long and prosper by @zenassassins

pumpkin template Trollface in 4 layers by Steven B.

Trollface in 4 layers by Steven B.

pumpkin template Portal pumpkins by Duncan B.

Portal pumpkins by Duncan B.

Mojang by Blogum

Mojang by Blogum

pumpkin template Pumpkin-chu by Toffeemama

Pumpkin-chu by Toffeemama

pumpkin template Sackboy by Dennis S.

Sackboy by Dennis S.

Shockwave by SCG

Shockwave by SCG

pumpkin template Stormtrooper by AutumnNight

Stormtrooper by AutumnNight

pumpkin template Metroid by Brdn L

Metroid by Brdn L

Zerg by Phil S.

Zerg by Phil S.

pumpkin template Cylon by Loxley

Cylon by Loxley

pumpkin template River by Melisa C.

River by Melisa C.

Strongbad by Adrienne Ezell

Strongbad by Adrienne Ezell

pumpkin template Tux the Linux Pumpkin by pumpkinlady

Tux the Linux Pumpkin by pumpkinlady

pumpkin template Galactic Empire by AutumnNight

Galactic Empire by AutumnNight

TARDIS by Melody W.

TARDIS by Melody W.

pumpkin template Gondor Calls for Aid by NeekerBreeker

Gondor Calls for Aid by NeekerBreeker

pumpkin template Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty by Katie B.

pumpkin template Death Star

Death Star by M B

Serenity logo

Serenity logo by JordieK

pumpkin template Triforce

Triforce by Makenna C.

QR code

QR code by Goldie R.

pumpkin template WoW

WoW by AutumnNight

pumpkin template Timmy

Timmy by enzimmerman

pumpkin template LEGO head

LEGO head by @pixiekitty

pumpkin template 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Diamond Girl

pumpkin template Trollface

Trollface by @AndyGotPaws

pumpkin template Marvin

Marvin by Laura M.

pumpkin template Steampunk heart

Steampunk heart by Vikki-Michelle F.

pumpkin template Wheatley

Wheatley by Tori M.

pumpkin template Minecraft Pumpkin

Minecraft Pumpkin by @TheHat2

pumpkin template Orange Lantern

Orange Lantern by Amanda L.

pumpkin template k-9

K-9 by @Suzaku7

pumpkin template aperture

Aperture by @GossamerAtara

pumpkin template totoro

Totoro by Kathy P.

pumpkin template android

Android by Puckbyter

pumpkin template adipose

Adipose by @Suzaku7

pumpkin template pacpumpkin

Pac O'Lantern by @jacobwstewart

pumpkin template Minecraft creeper

Minecraft Creeper by Michael Shad

Star Trek Enterprise pumpkin template

NCC-1701 by maddoghoek

Star Wars pumpkin template

Star Wars by merit

King Boo pumpkin template

King Boo, by Thejehosephat

pumpkin template Companion Cube

My Best Friend by Cognitive

pumpkin template One Up Mushroom

1UP Pumpkin by Jennifer Summe

Cthulhu by bobarobes

MST3K 3-D by littlebitocd

pumpkin template Iron Man

Proof your pumpkin has a heart by @CaptDNA

pumpkin template Recursive Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin

Infinite Pumpkins by Colin B.

Autobot by jhliu

pumpkin template Red Ring of Death

Red Ring of Death by Nate S.

Wifi by backslashdave

d20 by backslashdave

Blue Sun by Shimo

Ah yes, the long debated question--DC or Marvel? Our monkeys are placing bets to see which comic brand will win out this Halloween!

So here's our question to you: Which superhero (or villain) will you be dressing up as this year?

Choose one from our list, or let us know in the "Other" field if it's someone else! While one character may end up with the most votes, we'll be adding up all the votes from the DC and Marvel groups to see who wins out overall.

If you're not dressing up as a DC or Marvel superhero/villain this year, let us know in the comments who you're going as!

Stand with Us Against Bullying

Stand with Us Against Bullying

As you might expect there are a lot of geeks that wander the halls here at the ThinkGeek MegaPlex. We also have a lot of people who are just "geek friendly." Heck, we even have a few employees who might qualify as "bros." When you're working here, you're working with people who aren't going to care if you roll into work dressed as a Ghostbuster just because it's Tuesday...

...and it's awesome.

The thing is many of us, and we'll guess a lot of you as well, grew up in a world where being a geek, nerd, dork, or just flat out different was something that would get you shunned, made fun of, and bullied. Just for being who you are.

It's time to take a stand, and we'd like you to Stand with Us Against Bullying.

This month we are asking you, our friends, to Stand With Us Against Bullying. We want to do what we can to let the world know that bullying can and should end now. If you're feeling bullied, you aren't alone; there are others out there who will stand with you. You might not even be on the receiving end of being bullied, but if you know someone who is, you have the ability to stand together.

Pacer.org

ThinkGeek has partnered with Pacer.org, who has declared October "Bullying Prevention Month." When you shop at ThinkGeek.com during the month of October, you'll have the chance to buy a keychain that will let the world know that you are standing with us against bullying. To do our part, we will be donating 100% of the profits from the keychain to Pacer in an effort to help increase awareness about bullying and to aide in providing resources to those who need it.

You may not personally be a victim of bullying, but you likely know someone who is or was. The keychain and your donation will be your statement that nobody has to go through this alone.

Holly Conrad as Misty


We've got a special guest on our blog today: Awesome cosplayer Holly Conrad!


To cosplayers, Halloween is really just another day of our constantly costume-filled lives. We dress up often, but we welcome the masses of intoxicated and not-intoxicated costumed revelers that join us in this wondrous hobby for one night of the year. When it comes to costumes, we know how to party better than anyone else. And by party I mean get glue gun burns and never sleep because of too many conventions, but I digress: Here are a few tips for you this Halloween on how to fancy up your costumes, cosplay style!

A quick recap: Cosplay is the art of dressing up as a character you love, going to a convention, and having fun in the process. It involves a lot of searching, crafting, building, DIY, and good old willpower. Taking a bit of inspiration from cosplay and bringing it to Halloween is easy! From adding props to choosing to dress up as a character you love this season, there's a little room for cosplay in any costume.

You're now a TARDIS!

One way to spruce up your costume this Halloween is props. Costumes don't always have to be incredibly complicated. A beard (or fake beard), a plaid shirt, and a roll of Brawny paper towels and you're suddenly the iconic tree-chopping Brawny paper towel man! Grab a blue dress and a TARDIS Light-Up headband and you're now a TARDIS! Props can make a costume awesome, and they're easy to find! ThinkGeek has a TON of awesome props. A Star Trek phaser and a red shirt and you're suddenly a crew member of the Enterprise! A Star Trek phaser, a red shirt, and some basic blood and zombie makeup and you're a dead crew member of the Enterprise! Not just good for Halloween, but also your local Bar-Trek (though I have a group of friends that partake in Spocktoberfest as well). You could also just carry around a jar of PEKAAAAAHHHHNS. I'm sorry.

(Not sorry.)

Cosplays often are inspired to do different versions of certain characters as well. Like a superhero, but he's a guy and you're a gal? That's okay! Get creative and do a "crossplay" of the character, another word for the same character, just a different gender (or whatever you want them to be, really). Be creative and think outside the box, or literally make a costume out of a box. Boximus Prime and Egg from the Box Trolls being two great examples. If you're really in a pinch, use whatever is around your house. Make a Sharknado out of bubble wrap and tape, steal your incessantly-dapper roommate's clothes and go as the Men in Black (actually don't do that one...).

Thrift store shopping is also a great way to spruce up a costume. You can get great clothes to tear up and trash for zombies, apocalypse survivors, or those that-didn't-make-it-to-the-singularity costumes. Look for an old prom dress or wedding dress to tear up and zombify, you'll look party-ready and also super deadly scary. Top that off with a NERF machete, foam sword, or some other non-injuring weapon and you've got yourself not only a sweet costume, but an outfit ready in case your friends decide to finally start that Game of Thrones meets Road Warrior LARP.

Or when all else fails, you can always wear a Horse Head Mask!



Born from a family of artists and out-of-the-box thinkers, Holly Conrad cites her first cosplay experience at the age of four when she strapped a pillow to her back and called herself a koopa. Mentored by her grandfather, Dorse Lanpher, a pioneer in visual effects animation with Disney and Don Bluth Productions, Holly grew up in Redlands, CA as a gifted illustrator, artist, and self-taught costume designer.

Holly Conrad cosplay

After graduating with a degree in Medieval History (and Sorcery) from University of California, Santa Barbara, Holly switched career paths and began working in special effects shops for clients like Disney, Universal, Machinima, Warner Brothers and productions like Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum, the latter of which won an Emmy for costume design. In 2010, she co-founded a company with her best friend Jessica Merizan called Crabcat Industries. Crabcat focuses on promoting an inclusive teaching community to build costumes, props, and practical special effects as well as new-media entertainment with the brands "Try This At Home", "Commander Holly", and "Jessica Marzipan".

Holly is stationed in Los Angeles and lives with her husband Ross, an animator, and her precocious cats Doctor Orpheus and Mojo. She is currently on the SyFy show Heroes of Cosplay with her partner in crime, Jessica.

Check out more of her awesome work on her website!

G.I. Joe logo

Rip Cord

In our experiences, top ten lists normally have two flaws: they're poorly formatted for quick reading and they are normally wrong. Just check all the comments of any top ten list, and you'll see lots of other folks think the list is wrong, too.

With our TL;DR Top Ten Lists, we're going to fix both problems... with your help. We're just gonna give you a couple of things on our top ten list (to make it faster to read), and you fill out the rest in the comments below (to make sure the list is accurate). Add to the list, argue with us, argue with each other, but most importantly be nice and have fun.

Today's TL;DR Top Ten List topic is:

Top 10 Lessons We Learned From G.I. Joe!

    Quick Kick
  1. Quick Kick taught us that "anything worth doing is worth planning," especially if we're building a treehouse. And we learned this lesson well after watching that kid's treehouse collapse under him. That's why we've been planning our treehouse for the last 15 years. It has everything: a helipad, a secret elevator, and even a moat. Yup, it's got a moat in a tree. The one thing we haven't figure out, yet, is actually how to build it.

  2. Rip Cord taught us that having our eyes checked might help our baseball game. Well, we did end up needing glasses, but that didn't help our baseball game. Turns out we just sucked at playing baseball. The good thing is Flint taught our teammates not to blame us and that we need teamwork to win, not arguments. Of course, once we took over as team manager (instead of our original left fielder position) our team really started winning.

  3. "Don't judge people 'till you give 'em a chance," Gung-Ho told us, which is perhaps the best life lesson. Gung-Ho Sure his compadres taught us to leave downed power lines alone, listen to your friend named Chris, wear life jackets and/or helmets, and so many other things, but Gung-Ho's advice beats them all. The only way to get the best team possible (be it a business team, strike team, team of friends, or any other team) is to let everyone have a chance. Because once you've given them the chance, then you'll really know - and knowing is... well, you know.

And now it's your turn. What do you think numbers 4-10 are? Do you agree with our numbers 1-3?

Take to the comments and help us find the Top 10 lessons we learned from G.I. Joe!

P.S. And pretty please end all comments with the "and knowing is half the battle" tag line - it'll just look cooler that way.


Written by Mindel, a certified Master of Disguise (so long as the disguise looks just like him).

We have a question for you!

There's an ongoing discussion amongst us monkeys--which celebrities do we think are the geekiest? We can't decide! Before we start picking up our NERF guns and battling it out, we thought we'd take a different route: Ask you all!

Note: Please keep in mind, this list might not necessarily be comprised of fan favorites or celebrities who have played geeky roles, but rather, it's made up of people who are geeks themselves in their personal lives!

Without further ado, please let us know...

Which of these celebrities do you think are the geekiest? Pick your top 5!

If you've got other people in mind, let us know in the comments!

NYCC Super Week

We've got a special guest on the blog today! Introducing... (drum roll, please)... MAKI NARO!

Maki Naro is a New York City cartoon character and freelance illustrator. He is the creator of Boxplot and Sci-ence.org. Maki was also a finalist on the hit reality web series, Strip Search, which has brought him nothing but fame and ruin. Follow him on twitter @sciencecomic.


You think science is cold, unfeeling, and dry, right? Well, you're absolutely right. It's pretty terrible. But it just needs a little help! With a little comedy, some good stories, and a whole lot of comics, science can be great. You might even love it. I wonder if that's taken already...

I'm Maki. I'm the creator of Boxplot and Sci-ence.org, which are both explorations of science and technology through the medium of graphic narrative. That's just a fancy way of saying I draw science comics. Every week I take a look at what's new, funny, thoughtful, or weird in science. Sometimes all of those things at the same time. What actually happens when rats are exposed to cosmic rays? Why do cartoon characters only have four fingers? Why does your beer foam up and spill all over the place when some chucklehead knocks the top of the bottle? These are the questions I'm trying to answer as irreverently as possible.

Why?

Why not? Comics are one of the greatest storytelling techniques in existence, and science is our greatest story. It's a story about how we've come to understand our planet, ourselves, and the universe. There are origin stories, heroes, breakthroughs, and defeats. It's a continuing saga that began when early humans began mapping the stars, and has continued chapter by chapter through recorded history. It's a story that I've grown to love telling, and its characters are some of the most fascinating people on Earth.

No matter how much the scientific process tries to remove itself from the human element, behind every discovery there's a person with a story. The structure of DNA was discovered using a technique that has scientists growing crystals on beard hairs and dandruff. The discoverer of nuclear fission had to flee the Nazis during WWII and her partner got all the credit (They used the discovery to make a bomb! Men, amirite?) There's a running experiment in Australia that has been going for so long that it's now on its third steward. Science is awesome. It's a messy, bumbling, hilarious thing--just like the people I try to feature in my comics. Also animals. So many crazy animals.

If any of that has tickled your funny bone (it's actually the ulnar nerve), or you just want to yell "SCIENCE!" at me (please don't), this week, I'm going to be at New York Comic Con's Artist Alley. Joining me is another fantastic science cartoonist, Katie McKissick, creator of Beatrice the Biologist, and the two of us are scienceing up the joint this year at table W5. I hope to see every. Single. One. Of. You.

Wait, there's more!

Don't stop at my sorry ass for fun science stuff. New York Comic Con doesn't start until Thursday, but there's a full week of geeky science fun during Super Week, NYCC's one-of-a-kind pop culture festival, and of course, it's chock full of science programming. Get yourself a Super Week card and enjoy special deals and first-access to many of the week's events.

Earlier I mentioned that science is all about stories. Come listen to some of those stories on Wednesday night at 92nd Street Y with the Super Week edition of Story Collider. This monthly storytelling show has a simple premise: everybody has a story about how science made a difference, affected them, or changed them. This Super Week show features five true stories from science fiction novelists, comic book artists, and even a drunk historian. Tickets and Show info here.

Following in the example of learning by entertainment is Science Exclamation Point, an improv show and lecture series all rolled up into a hilarious ball of fun. Come on down to Brooklyn's Morbid Anatomy Museum for "an idiosyncratic mix of science & comedy devoted to the lies we tell ourselves about our brains and the lies our brains tell us about our lives (courtesy of doctored photos)."

In Science Exclamation Point, two guests give tongue-in-cheek lectures about their area of study only to have improv troupes Thank You, Robot and special guest team The Curfew turn them on their head and perform skits inspired by the lectures. Show info here!

It's every Doctor Who fan's dream to hop into a TARDIS and use the bathroom. No? Just me? Well at The Way Station in Brooklyn you can do just that. This steampunk/whovian bar has the Doctor's iconic blue time machine for a bathroom (and it actually is bigger on the inside). Boasting live music and events every night, The Way Station is pulling out all the stops and sonic screwdrivers for Super Week. So put on your best fez or bowtie (both cool) for the Doctor Who Trivia and Costume Contest on Thursday. And all week long, anyone with a New York Super Week card will receive happy hour price.

On top of all that, it's in my neighborhood, so maybe I'll see you there! Allons-y!

Finally, if trivia is your thing, and you're still in town after NYCC, check out Nerd Nite, hosted by Matt Wasowski. Featuring three presentations discussing "the dastardly and dark history of Monopoly, how the heck giant armies in the movies (like in The Hobbit or 300) get fed, and gaming in ancient Egypt. Bring friends, form a team, and win some badass prizes. Because you're so smart." Buy tickets here!