Like it or not, toys are a big part of Christmas, and by a happy chance they're a big part of World of Warcraft as well. Dozens upon dozens of them have poured into the online game over the 12 years of its life—395, in fact, according to the current count for the handy account-wide "Toy Box" Blizzard implemented with the last expansion. Tons of players have returned with the current and stellar Legion expansion, and if you're looking for a stocking stuffer that won't take up any physical space, you can make your own return to Legion more fun with the following items.
Unfortunately, these types of toys don't really play into the "giving" spirit of the season since you can only give a few as gifts. The majority are tied by account to achievements, faction reputations, and quests, but that makes them all the more special since there's usually a definite sense that you earned that knicknack that makes you look like a big, angry bird for a few minutes. There are many other great ones, but I've only included toys you can get within a reasonable timeframe during the upcoming feast of Winter Veil, World of Warcraft's take on Christmas.
Crashin' Thrashin' Toy Controllers
If you can't experience the fun of opening a gift from underneath a decorated fir in real life, WoW's "Winter Veil" event from December 16 to January 2 has you covered. Blizzard has given away different remote-controlled toys in its "Crashin' Thrashin'" every Winter Veil for years now, either for killing the "Abominable Greench" or simply grabbing a present under the tree in Ironforge or Orgrimmar, and it's always fun to learn what kind of new vehicle they've introduced for the year. Simply activate one from your Toy Box, and you can battle other players with similar toys with speed boosts and rocket blasts until one defeats the other. Bonus: They're also great ways to demonstrate how everyone's supposed to move before a boss fight without worrying about pulling the boss itself.
If you have a vault's worth of gold to spend on a gift for a friend (or yourself), you can't go wrong with JewelCraft. It's one of the few good toys that you can buy straight off the auction house, and using it brings up a Warcraft-themed take on Bejeweled with the gems swapped out with the likes of Pandaren fire spirits and purple dragon whelplings. It's great fun: Just right click on the icons to swap them and go to town. Unfortunately, it still tends to sell for around 40,000 gold, which remains an intimidating sum even after a decade of inflation and ever-increasing gold rewards from quests. If you're really determined, though, you can take up WoW's Jewelcrafting profession and make it yourself.
Dig around in a hut on the outskirts of Tanaan Jungle's Ironhold Harbor and you'll find the Dazzling Rod, which is easily one of the most consistently enjoyable toys in the game. It's basically Warcraft-style laser tag. Activate it, and you'll trigger a new action bar that lets you fire off energy balls at other players who also have the wand equipped. Successful hits stun them and nets you a "score" that boosts your physical size up to ten times. It's a great way to pass the time while waiting for a raid to start.
Arena Master's War Horn
There's a lot to do in World of Warcraft, but you'll still sometimes find yourself sitting still and waiting for long stretches of time, particularly if you're hunting down a rare monster on a lengthy respawn timer. I've long found that one of the best toys for enduring these waits is the Arena Master's War Horn, which you can pick up off a throne overlooking the Circle of Blood in Warlords of Draenor's Frostfire Ridge. Blow on it, and you'll summon two ogres who battle to the death. The red guy tends to win the most, but sometimes the blue guy manages to come on top. On rare occasions, I've even known people to place bets for gold on the winner.
Piccolo of the Flaming Fire
The Piccolo of the Flaming Fire has been around since WoW's very beginning, and it remains one of the most recognizable toys around even after a few substantial changes to its effects. Click on it, and same-faction players and even some NPCs within several yards starts dancing. It's thus best used where dozens of players are gathered, such as around auctioneers or in the masses before the gate to the Alterac Valley battleground opens. Regardless of whether they're sitting, fishing, or even attacking enemies, everyone will start to boogie, which lends it a benignly trollish air. To get it, hunt down and kill the ghostly NPC Hearthsinger Forresten in the Stratholme dungeon.
Gin-Ji Knife Set
Sometimes simply killing an enemy isn't enough. Sometimes the player or boss proves so annoying that victory feels like it needs an extra something to make it satisfying. That's where the rather macabre Gin-Ji Knife Set comes in. Once your enemy is dead, target it and click on the toy's icon and you'll don a chef's cap, whip out some Ginsu-inspired knives, and "chop, mince, and julienne" your foe into a pink slab of meat. It's only got a five-minute cooldown, and in player-versus-player combat it's a great way to add insult to injury. Expect to work for it, though. Buying it requires "Exalted" status with Mists of Pandaria's Tillers faction, which means you'll need to spend of couple of weeks toiling through Farmville-style farming quests. It's not really as bad as it sounds.
Steamy Romance Novel Kit
Steamy romance novels have been in the game for years now as random loot, but with the Legion expansion, Blizzard gave players with the Inscription profession the ability to make a toy that lets other players make their own. You can generally find a Steamy Romance Novel Kit on the auction house for around 8,000 gold, and using it creates one of several short, innuendo-crammed novels that always stop just shy of the critical moment. Each shows Blizzard poking fun at itself while still remaining amusingly close to the lore, and used sparingly, they're always good for a laugh or an eye-roll in a low moment.
Image: Leif Johnson/Blizzard
Jin Warmkeg's Brew
World of Warcraft might be known for it's seemingly kid-friendly aesthetic, but the truth is that there's a ton of beer and wine chugging going on. A huge quest arc in the latest expansion involves procuring mana-filled wine for a race that's addicted to it. One of the game's best holiday celebrations, Brewfest, is based entirely around beer. And yet my favorite item is Jin Warmkeg's Brew, which is easily obtainable from a quest in Mists of Pandaria's Kun-Lai Summit. Most other in-game alcohol items require a bit of a hassle to get drunk, but you can just put this down for your party or raid, start right clicking away, and be drunk enough to vomit within seconds. It's a great way to celebrate a boss kill. A few cheap mugs of Blackrock Coffee from the auction house will sober you up quickly if you need.
It's a marmot that you can kick, complete with a helmet (and occasionally a top hat) that symbolizes his consent in the matter. Need I say more?
Oh, if you insist. PETA might be recoiling in horror, but the Puntable Marmot is a great way to relieve stress and get a few laughs. Simply set it down in front of you, and right click on it to send it flying into the distance with a squeak. The poor little critter goes farther depending on how far away you are when you click on him, and he bounces off any obstacles he strikes on his descent. You can get him through a quick quest in Mists of Pandaria's Valley of the Four Winds. Even better is the Tillers' faction's Flippable Table, if you don't mind doing several days' worth of simple cooking quests.