I love Guillermo del Toro: he's a Renaissance man who makes deeply artful and emotional horror films and revels in his work. What's not to like? His soul is bottomless as a well and seems to replenish itself from some miraculous underground source. The humanity in his Spanish-language films Cronos, The Devil's Backbone, and Pan's Labyrinth plunges right to the heart. His viewpoint as a film maker is unique. His English-language films, on the other hand, have an entirely different sensibility — they're more pulpy fanboy funhouse. Hellboy and Hellboy II are trippy; Pacific Rim is, well, dreck (sorry about that). Only Crimson Peak, a marvelously lush cinematic 19th century gothic melodrama — a genre extinct for a century — that has strong elements of the supernatural fits comfortably with his Spanish-language films. It was horribly mismarketed by the studio as a horror film, but movies in which the ghosts assist the protagonist are spooky melodramas and not "horror" per se.
If you're a del Toro fan, have some bucks, and like really cool three-dimensional swag, then let me lead you back to 2013's Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: Limited Edition. Del Toro knows his fans, and he's most amiable when it comes to delivering the goods. The regular edition of this book is enjoyable, but it's the deluxe edition that will have a fanboy (or girl) swooning as it gets unwrapped Christmas morning.
Originally an eye-gouging $750 when first published in December 2013 (and still available from its publisher HarperCollins at that price, this edition sold out at most locations. There are several on eBay ranging from $800 to $1,000.
I'll let the publisher's own description sell you:
A spectacular limited edition of Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities — ingeniously designed in a partitioned, two-drawer replica of a cabinet and featuring never-before-released artwork and a trio of custom components drawn from his films.
Reflective of the genius of del Toro himself, this specially designed limited edition is encased in a cabinet with partitions and a secret compartment that holds the book. Deluxe in size, Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: Limited Edition features high-quality matte art paper and debossing.
Each limited edition is signed by del Toro, and includes four never-before-released original art prints, three custom reproductions of iconic props from his movies: Professor Broom's rosary from Hellboy, the Cronos scarab, and the bone amulet from Hellboy; a replica of a page from the Cronos device instruction manual; four cards reproducing artwork from The Book of Crossroads in Pan's Labyrinth; and a Certificate of Authenticity.
An essential keepsake for all del Toro fans, this extraordinary collection reproduces the notes, drawings, creatures, and ideas of things to come that fill Guillermo del Toro's fabled illustrated notebooks. An in-depth interview with writer and filmmaker Marc Scott Zicree explores del Toro's reigning themes and signature motifs, as well as the literary references, old films, and mythological figures that inspire him. Revealing the acclaimed writer, director, artist, and producer's private reveries as never before, Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: Limited Edition is a unique record of a truly arresting imagination.
You can, however, still buy it at good old Barnes & Noble for $616.
But for those of you who've bothered to read this far, and if you don't mind rooting around on the Internet, you may be rewarded in finding a copy for much less. I found mine online a year ago at an obscure British genre bookstore for only $350. If you search for the book on Amazon, you'll see that they're selling the book for over $600. But if you look carefully at the little blue tabs which amazon tries to minimize from your view by making them teeny-tiny you'll see "12 New from $384.38" and "1 Collectible from $450.99." There's at least one out there for almost half price just waiting to give your loved one both a thrill and a nice set of the heebie-jeebies. What del Toro fan could resist holding a reproduction of the Chronos device?