Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for the SCRABBLE Enthusiast
The holiday season is here, and if you didn't already pick up a SCRABBLE set during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, then you still have time to buy the perfect gift for your lexical-minded friend. There's sure to be deals out there over the next couple of weeks, you just need to browse the web and search store shelves for the best deal.
Here are some ideas for SCRABBLE gifts, with links to places where they're sold, for convenience. For most stores, online prices are the same as in-person. Except that online, you could end up paying shipping costs instead of just sales tax. It all depends on the store's online promotions. To get the best deals, you just have to figure out a few things, like:
- If buying online, is there shipping costs? Or is it free? Is there a promotion running?
- If buying online, is there sales tax added?
- If purchasing in-store, is the price (including sales tax) better than the online total?
- Do you want it now (store), or can you wait a week or two (online)?
- Do you really want to go to the store and stand in line? Is it worth it?
- Or would you rather sit your bum at home and shop online?
* NOTE: For the prices list below, I fake-checked out, using a Los Angeles address, to see if there was shipping costs and sales tax added. Shipping costs could be the same for all U.S. buyers, but sales tax will vary depending on your state (hence no amount listed for tax). Plus, these prices reflect only the purchase of these products solely; stores may offer better promotions on shipping when buying a certain number of gifts.
Step 1 SCRABBLE Flash
SCRABBLE Flash is the hottest new SCRABBLE game on the market. It's an electronic version of the game, with five SmartLink letter tiles.
The object of the game is to come up with as many legit words as possible, using all five electronic blocks, placing them side-by-side to spell out words. The SmartLink technology recognizes all new words formed and records the score. You have a limited time to play in (60 seconds), so the more words the better. The total score for that round will be displayed when times runs out.
There's three different solo or competitive games that will challenge your word-building skills.
Most stores are charging around $20.00 for SCRABBLE Flash during the holiday season. Maximum price is $29.99.
* NOTE: This game is being sold as Boggle Flash Cubes outside of the U.S.
* Walmart (currently $20.00 / out of stock online)
* Amazon (currently $20.00 + free shipping + no sales tax / in stock online) BEST DEAL
* Target (currently $20.00 + shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Kmart (currently $24.99 + $6.95 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Buy.com (currently $28.98 + $5.97 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
*Toys "R" Us (currently $29.99 + $5.45 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Hasbro Toy Shop (currently $25.99 + $7.97 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
Step 2 SCRABBLE Board Game
You can't love SCRABBLE without the classic version of the game, and this version of the board game from Hasbro is great for everyone. It's perfect for beginners and good for those wanting something simple. If you need something more grandiose, then there are other options listed below.
Maximum price is $19.99.
* Walmart (currently $12.00 + $4.97 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Amazon (currently $12.00 + $5.69 shipping + no sales tax / in stock online) BEST DEAL
* Target (currently $16.00 + $3.99 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
** Note: Target version is the Library Vintage Book Game. Target does sell the original version in stores, but not online.
* Kmart (currently $16.99 + $6.95 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Buy.com (currently $17.04 + $2.67 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Toys "R" Us (currently $16.99 + $5.72 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Hasbro Toy Shop (currently $14.99 + $7.97 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
Step 3 The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary, 4th Edition (OSPD4)
The OSPD4 is a must-have for all SCRABBLE players. I recommend the paperback edition, since it's the cheapest and most portable. It was originally published in 2005, but still remains the number-one authority for challenges in SCRABBLE gameplay, including words up to 8-letters long. However, it is censored for student and home use, so if you're buying for the professional Scrabbler, then you might want to also get the OWL2 (see Step 4 below).
Maximum price is $7.50.
* Walmart (currently $7.00 + $1.97 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Amazon (currently $7.50 + $3.99 shipping + no sales tax / in stock online)
* Target (currently $6.75 + shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Buy.com (currently $5.99 + $3.25 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Borders Books (currently $7.50 + $3.98 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* DeepDiscount (currently $6.75 + free shipping + no sales tax / in stock online) BEST DEAL
You can save even more money by buying used books. The quality can be mint, but the price is so much better, as long as it's used.
Step 4 The Official Tournament and Club Word List (OWL2)
This isn't for you average Scrabbler. The OWL2 (from 2006) is the perfect companion for the OSPD4 above, because it lists all the words not suitable for recreational or school use, up to 9-letters long. It's sometimes referred to as the TWL06 and is now the official word list for nearly all tournament play. Keep in mind that this is a "word list" like the title suggest, so there are no definitions.
This book is harder to find, and you're unlikely to find it sitting on your local bookstore's shelves or at regular retail stores. You can find it used, but most places have it at ridiculous prices, like Amazon, where prices range from $45 (for used) to $240 (for new). If you can't find a decent price used, wherever that may be, you still have one good option:
* WordGear (currently $14.95 + free shipping until Dec. 5th + no sales tax / in stock online) BEST DEAL
To make this gift even better,you can also purchase The Official Long Words List from WordGear for $15.00 flat, a supplemental book for the OWL2. This word source book was "compiled and created by the National SCRABBLE Association's (NSA) Dictionary Committee in conjunction with Merriam- Webster, Inc." and it's "the ONLY official word list used to adjudicate words longer than nine letters at sanctioned NSA clubs and tournaments."
But you don't have to pay for this item if you don't want to. It's available for free as a TXT document directly from the NSA. Download it now!
Step 5 Digital SamTimer Clocks
Okay, so the SamTimers may be overdoing it for the regular SCRABBLE player, but it's definitely a necessity for anyone wanting to play in clubs and tournaments. You have to abide by strict time guidelines, so why not use the only official clock endorsed and use by the NASPA?
The Original SamTimer is made specifically for SCRABBLE gameplay and is in a sturdy aluminum casing. Preset for 25 minutes, but the times may be changed for handicap sessions or reset easily to start a new game. One minute "Courtesy Hold" indicator. Great for serious beginners and used by game experts at National & World Championships as well as local NSA Clubs. Impossible to turn off inadvertently in midgame. Cases are sold separately, but you can purchase a padded zipper case with lightweight space-age insulation on their site.
Maximum price is $109.99 (not including case). And it's almost impossible to find these anywhere but directly from SamTimer or at WordGear.
* SamTimer (currently $109.99 + $8.99 shipping + no taxes / in stock online) CLOCK ONLY
* SamTimer (currently $18.99 + $1.99 shipping + no taxes / in stock online) CASE ONLY
* WordGear (currently $124.95 + free shipping until Dec. 5th + no sales tax / in stock online) CLOCK AND CASE
If the Original SamTimer is too much (or too pricey) for your SCRABBLE lover, then they have a great alternative— The Mini SamTimer (not to be confused with the Pocket SamTimer). It's basically the same thing as the original, only smaller and cheaper!
* NOTE: There's good discounts available directly from SamTimer for any Scrabble Club Director, seniors older than 55, full-time students or if you belong to cgp, uk-scrabble, ospd-scrabble, caspa or nz-scrabble.
Step 6 Super SCRABBLE
Every diehard SCRABBLE player wants to play this extended version of the classic board game, whether they admit it or not. It's twice the size and twice the fun! Sometimes, the hardest part about playing SCRABBLE is that you never want it to end, and with Super SCRABBLE, there's not only satisfaction, there's a sense of accomplishment.
Maximum price is $36.99.
* Amazon (currently $22.68 + $6.37 shipping + no sales tax / in stock online) BEST DEAL
* Target (currently $29.99 + shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Kmart (currently $29.99 + $6.95 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Buy.com (currently $19.99 + $7.95 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Toys "R" Us (currently $25.99 + $6.70 shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* Winning Moves (currently $34.95 + shipping + sales tax / in stock online)
* WordGear (currently $29.95 + free shipping until Dec. 5th + no sales tax / in stock online)
Step 7 SCRABBLE Puzzle Books
Now, this isn't limited to just one SCRABBLE Puzzle Book, because there's a lot out there, but it's a reliable option for any word fan. When you're not playing against an opponent, you can simple snuggle with your favorite puzzles book and challenge yourself, keeping you on the tip of your toes. It's a sure bet.
Since there's so many, I won't list comparison prices. I'll just suggest some puzzle books below, with links out to Google Shopping (unless unavailable).
* The Big Book of SCRABBLEgrams (Scrabble Brand Grams) by Sterling Publishing (beware of ridiculous prices)
* The Official SCRABBLE Puzzle Book by Sterling Publishing
* Word Nerd Books by Peter Schwartzman
* Chambers SCRABBLE Puzzle Book by Catherine Schwarz, Jim Reid
* Championship SCRABBLE Puzzles by Joe Edley
* Other SCRABBLE Puzzle Books
For details on some of these books, along with word list references, click here.
Step 8 SCRABBLE Posters
Why wouldn't a SCRABBLE fiend want a SCRABBLE poster or print hanging in his/her home? There's some good ones out there, but generally the ones for sale are rather dull. The best posters and gifts would be the ones you can print out yourself. If you've ever made a poster or print before, you know the deal. If not, searching the web (or this site) should give you some ideas on what to do.
But as of ideas for good ones to use, check out Ogilvy & Mathers prints and everyone else's. You're sure to get some great ideas. Then, just find a way to make a print or poster to add to a wall frame, and you have the perfect Christmas gift.
Here's a few cool ones:
Step 9 iPad with SCRABBLE App
The SCRABBLE application from EA is enough to make every word lover yearn for the Apple iPad, so getting the iPad with SCRABBLE preloaded is sure to satisfy your techie. This is obviously the most expensive gift, but thankfully it can do more than just play word games.
All ranging from $499.00 to $829.00 with additional shipping and sales tax.
SCRABBLE for iPad:
* iTunes ($4.99 download)
Step 10 Everything Else!
Let's face it, if you're as big a Scrabbler as I am, you're going to want everything that has to do with SCRABBLE! This includes everything from T-shirts, to antique board sets, to personalized mugs, to area rugs, to... well, there's a world of possibilities.
Here are some places that might give you further ideas:
ON THIS BLOG:
* The Ultimate SCRABBLE Word List Resource
(list of printable word lists and some useful word list and puzzle books)
* Craftsters Resuscitate Old SCRABBLE Boards Back to Life
(ideas of homemade SCRABBLE crafts for possible gifts)* The History of SCRABBLE Boards: Glass, Vintage, Gold... & Star Trek?!?
(an extensive list of all the SCRABBLE game variations out there, with links to online shops)
(a site devoted to selling SCRABBLE-related products, like coffee mugs, rugs, games, clothing, ornaments and much, much more!)
(no description really needed, but you can find tons of SCRABBLE stuff here)
(site with shirts, cards, mugs, ties and more)
(all handmade products, like SCRABBLE tile pendants and other jewelry, pillows and tons MORE - definitely worth browsing)