This post might seem super early, but I wanted to get it out before Hanukkah shopping is over, and Hanukkah arrives obscenely early this year. It definitely isn’t just a thinly veiled excuse to write a post that outlines a bunch of stuff I want before my birthday, which is right before Hanukkah. No you guys, it’s all about cultural inclusiveness. I’m also super early for Chinese New Year, but late for Diwali.
I’m also accepting cupcakes.
Jokes aside, I’m writing this guide largely in the hope that non-WoW players, and really non-gamers in general, have some kind of touchstone for what to get their loved ones. It’s kind of a difficult nut to crack. There’s a lot of general World of Warcraft merchandise out there, so finding something for a loved one who’s a battling enthusiast can be a really daunting task. Though I personally would love, for instance, a mug emblazoned with the tooltip for the in-game item Black Coffee, I’m going to be focusing on pet-related gifts.
For the most part, physical WoW merchandise is on the smaller side. In terms of pets, the most notable is TCG pet loot cards, which are excellent when a smaller gift is appropriate. In general, the most reliable place to get unscratched loot cards is ebay. As a result, all prices discussed here are estimates subject to change. They start off at roughly $3 US for a Sand Scarab. Most are hovering around $8-15 US now, including the extremely unique Purple Puffer and the super useful battler Gregarious Grell. Many sellers offer several different cards in a ‘pet pack,’ which can be a nice deal if you have several battlers to buy for. Try wowtcgloot.com for a more comprehensive list of all pet loot cards. Be sure the read the card description though, as certain cards are listed in the pet category, but aren’t really pets, like Fool’s Gold or Papa Hummel’s Biscuits.
The holy grail for many pet collectors is Murky, but at $3,000 US that’s Neiman Marcus Christmas Book out of control. A more affordable splurge is the Vanilla WoW Collector’s Edition with 3 pets coming along for the big pricetag. The CE itself also comes in a box the size of most computer games, making for a larger physical package than a loot card. But all the Collector’s Editions seem particularly subject to shady seller behavior.
As always with this kind of thing, caveat emptor. Words like ‘Used’ are frequently watchwords, as once the CD key is used you get no pets. You’ll still get a lovely art book and the soundtrack but that’s kind of beside the point. For the cards try to find ‘unscratched’ somewhere on the description, and try to pick sellers with a lot of good feedback. There’s no guarantee that you’re not going to get burned, but at least with the right words in the description you have a better chance of disputing charges with Ebay.
To be sure your recipient doesn’t have that pet before you buy, if you know their character’s name, you can check their pets list. After finding their character, just scroll down until you see their pet team, as shown above. If you click on it, you can see the full current list of their pets. Click on the ‘not collected’ tab and see which options are available. This is also a good way to find in-game only holiday gifts for guildmates.
If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial to hand to a loved one than a single playing card, a really good option is the plushies. The Gryphon Hatchling is currently available in the Blizzard Store, and includes a code for an in-game pet. There are others which were formerly available in the store, notably the opposite faction Wind Rider Cub, you may be able to find for sale online.
Another option is Etsy. There are a few pet-related options, like this pawprint pendant, which mirrors the pet battling graphic I use as my site icon. I’m also rather partial to this amigurumi moonkin hatchling. The really good thing about Etsy is that even if a product isn’t quite what you’re looking for, like if you’d prefer your moonkin in Horde colors, you can contact the seller and ask to set up a commission.
With Etsy a big stumbling point is frequently the authenticity of what crafters offer. Sometimes, less scrupulous individuals will just scattershot keywords hoping to get a bite. It’s always a good idea to cross-check with google against the actual item being represented before you pull the trigger.
Be careful of Etsy though, just in general. That place will lead you down a rabbit hole which convinces you that you have to hav–oh man did you guys see this needlepoint?