Unwrapper's Delight Give it up for our Holiday Gift Guide
By Stanley Bing; Andy Serwer

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Outside, the Gentle Giant Studios is an unprepossessing warehouse on a stretch of uncharming highway they tell me is in Burbank. Inside, however, it's Wonderland. It's Toontown, teeming with imaginary life. It's the inside of any kid's brain.

What the studio does is make three-dimensional renderings of two-dimensional characters. Mickey Mouse is there, of course, and so are SpongeBob Squarepants, Yoda, that Potter kid, and countless others--including, perhaps most frightening of all, an exquisitely accurate Hugh Hefner, every wattle and dimple intact.

Now, thanks to the Neiman Marcus 2002 Christmas Book (877-966-4438, www.neimanmarcus.com), they'll make an action figure of you too, the way they did me: I went into a small room, and four big scanners ran up and down my body as I stood on a raised platform talking to Karl Meyer, the genius who runs this fun factory. It took just a few seconds, and they let me keep my clothes on. I had only one request: "Give me more hair."

I think the resulting action figure is a little creepy. I mean, there's that old thing Robert Burns said about how instructive it would be to see ourselves as others see us. I'm not so sure. It's me, all right. Now what do I make of that? At $7,500, it's not cheap. But insight never comes easy, does it? --Stanley Bing

All hail Tiffany Mark, Tiffany & Co.'s first complicated watch collection since the '80s. There are models with more movements (the line has seven different ones) and models in platinum and 18-karat gold, but this round, stainless-steel chronograph on a buffalo-leather strap is a relative bargain at $1,650 (others go as high as $50,000). 800-526-0649, www.tiffany.com.

Not much point in shopping for cigars abroad if they only end up smushed in your carry-on. Armored Humidor Systems makes cases that are watertight, impact-resistant, and humidity-controlled. It's better treatment than most passengers get in coach. From $29.95; 877-427-6673, armoredhumidor.com.

As the first business magazine to write about Monopoly, we feel duty bound to mention that the 1935 premier edition is being reissued. It's essentially the same as the current one, but with wooden houses and hotels and the original artwork on the Chance and Community Chest cards. Who wouldn't want to Get Out of Jail Free these days? $30; 800-664-7788, www.winning-moves.com, available from Amazon.com.

The folks at Stave Puzzles in Norwich, Vt., take their puzzles very seriously. Too seriously? Well, consider that company head Steve Richardson refers to himself as Chief Tormentor. And that the puzzles can comprise up to 2,000 hand-cut mahogany pieces. And that they can cost as much as $15,000! Staves are a far cry from those cardboard jobs at your local hobby shop--er, Wal-Mart. Customers include Bill Gates en famille, who go through at least half a dozen a year. "We usually have one or two Stave puzzles on vacation or during the holidays," says Melinda Gates. Barbara Bush, Stephen King, Tom Peters, and Boston money manager Ken Heebner are also fans. "We'll turn anything into a puzzle," says the Chief Tormentor. Including your favorite FORTUNE cover. 802-295-5200, www.stave.com. --Andy Serwer

David Linley, furniture maker and nephew of Queen Elizabeth, has put a high gloss on a kitsch icon. What his Macassar ebony car dice--inlaid with leather spots--lack in fuzziness, they make up for in style. $103; 011-44-20-7730-7300, www.davidlinley.com.

Recession special! If you personalize a gift, no one will care how much it costs. For just $25, you can have a photo calendar made at any Kinko's, with a different photo for every month. It's a guaranteed winner.

Everyone loves toy trains--until it actually comes time to set one up (or worse, break one down). German maker Marklin has solved the problem with its Mini-Club. You get the thrill of seeing a train go around and around, but since the whole thing is tiny--the locomotive is the size of a large grasshopper, and the track is a 16-inch by 21-inch loop--it's a breeze. From Deutsche Optik, $199; 800-225-9407, www.deutscheoptik.com

Ah, bacon: the last acceptable vice. For $235, members of the Bacon of the Month Club get the best of regional smokehouses (in 12- to 16-ounce packages) delivered 12 times a year. Among them: Gatton Farms Father's Bacon, from Bremen, Ky. The Grateful Palate, 888-472-5283, www.gratefulpalate.com.

Some people would say that Armand Diradourian travel slippers are fussy. Their loss. The men's ($220) are made of leather and cashmere; the women's ($185), just cashmere. Both come with a pouch. From Vivre catalog, 800-411-6515, www.vivre.com.

It's a randy, randy world out there. In Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation ($24, Metropolitan), Olivia Judson assumes the voice of an advice columnist, answering "letters" from onanistic iguanas, homosexual manatees, and incestuous mites. When was the last time something qualified as both educational and titillating?

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