Showtime; AMC Networks; Discovery Communications
Digital: "Dexter" thumb drive, $39.95 at store.sho.com
Nothing says "Happy holidays!" quite like a severed appendage. Showtime's bloody serial killer drama "Dexter" is only too happy to oblige, creating a 2-gigabyte USB memory stick encased in a fake thumb. Get it? It's a "thumb" drive! (Also available: a "Dexter"-branded paperweight that's chock full of faux fingertips, but let's not digress.) The new merchandise coincides with the return this season of the Ice Truck Killer and mirrors a story line in which stolen evidence — i.e. various body parts — turns up on an auction website. For the fan on your list, it's just harmless (and twisted) fun.
Nondigital: The Walking Dead Board Game, $39.99, specialty toy and hobby stores or store.cryptozoic.com; Modern Family Board Game, $21.99 at Target (also at Amazon, Barnes & Noble); MythBusters Crashes and Collisions, $19.95 at Barnes & Noble and store.discovery.com
From the dead to the dead-ish, AMC's hit "The Walking Dead" has its first role-playing game in stores. Won't everybody want to be Sheriff Rick? The Walking Dead Board Game gives players a chance to step into the weary shoes of their favorite characters as they struggle to survive the zombiepocalypse. Scrounge for food and shelter. Try to stay sane. Bash some walker heads! On a much sweeter note, there's an all-family game centered on ABC's Emmy-winning comedy "Modern Family." It's trivia based, so regular viewers of the series have an advantage, but there are side activities to keep everyone involved. Also good for all ages is the MythBusters Crashes and Collisions Science Kit that allows players to test out wacky theories like Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage do on the Discovery Channel series.
-- T.L. Stanley