Since at least the 15th century, a festive nutcracker has taken on the form of a knight or king, at the ready to crack that walnut or almond. Today, a simple lever will do the trick just fine, but the figurines are still prevalent for some standard holiday fare (and even that ballet of the same name, which runs year in and year out at the Houston Ballet). That is, of course, unless you're talking about more modern interpretations of the classic design. No, these nutcrackers are different beasts entirely, almost unrecognizable as nutcrackers, inspired by pop culture, nerd-dom or just plain nutty. To follow, a few of our nuttiest finds.
These are what nutcrackers are supposed to look like.
Captain Kirk and Spock have been immortalized on their fair share of ridiculous yet oddly collectible
crap merchandise -- bobbleheads, Pez dispensers, Legos and, of course, mugs. Add to that shopping list nutcrackers. It's all there -- the appropriate gold and blue sleek shirts for our leading men, the Starfleet symbol over the left breast, even Spock's "live long and prosper" position. The only thing missing, it seems, are their necks.
Star Trek not nerdy enough for you? How about this Star Wars-inspired nutcracker of a Storm Trooper. The stiff posture and robotic-like quality of the Storm Trooper make it the perfect Nutcracker, though there are also Darth Vader, Clone Trooper, R2D2 and Yoda versions out there, if those suit your fancy. And like the Star Trek sample above, this item comes courtesy of holiday decorations exporter Kurt Adler, who seems to have the market cornered on pop culture-inspired nutcrackers. After spending a minute on the company's Web site, you'd forget what a typical nutcracker even looked like.More »