October 28, 2015: The Dark Matter Crew Gift!  Help Me Decide!

Pictured above, the card from the cast that accompanied their gifts for the Dark Matter crew as season one neared wrap.  Their gift was this handy customized Dark Matter phone charger:

October 28, 2015: The Dark Matter Crew Gift!  Help Me Decide!

The production, meanwhile, gave out these cosy micro-fleece jackets at the beginning of the season:

October 28, 2015: The Dark Matter Crew Gift!  Help Me Decide!

And gave out these caps at the end”

October 28, 2015: The Dark Matter Crew Gift!  Help Me Decide!

Direct Message?  Death Match?  Dungeon Master?  Not sure.

Anyway, now the production has to think up a clever crew guest for season 2.  I honestly don’t know how we did it back on Stargate with some 15 years of crew gifts to give out.  I recall jackets, coats, dvd players, iPods, t-shirts, watches and, of course, endless hats.  I remember when Paul and I assumed the showrunning duties on Atlantis, I pitched a brilliant idea for a crew gift: Paul and Joe-themed ice cream bowls.  My thinking was every time you’d have a bowl of ice cream, you’d finish the final scoop to reveal our faces smiling up at you.  For some reason, no one else would go for it.

Anyway, I’ve got my thinking cap on (which, coincidentally, looks remarkably similar to the cap pictured above) as I try to think up some great ideas for the Dark Matter season 2 crew gift.

Ideas so far: weekday tickets to the Museum of Ceramic Arts, rubbers embossed with the Dark Matter logo (rubber overshoes – let’s be clear), unicycle, magic kit, puppies, reiki session, vintage packets of Orange Tang, psychic reading, karate lesson, alpaca tea cosy, curling iron, novelty toothpastes, neti pot, ionic bracelet, Joseph Mallozzi signature ice cream bowls!

So, whaddya think?  Go with one of these or do you have some great suggestions to add?

59 thoughts on “October 28, 2015: The Dark Matter crew gift! Help me decide!

  1. All above sound great…Long johns with DM on the butt flap for those cold winter shoots?

  2. Joe, you might have some gently used books to re-gift (recycle), Akemi make wonderful treats, cookies are always welcome. (and maybe I am thinking of cookies for me) Maybe some exotic chocolates, or any weird food of the day stuff left, mittens, selfies with you, phone cards, fruit of the month club, clarinet lessons,, wait what instrument did you play, maybe piano.. that’s all I got…

  3. how about a nice fleece jacket, with a rubber lining to protect against stray electric shocks….

  4. “Star Trek on VHS, tribble doll, or Mr Spock Earmuffs” ???? Isn’t that like giving some Bonanza memorabilia for the crew of Gunsmoke? 😆

    Well, what about a bottle of WhiskEy from the Ponytail Distillery? 😛

    okay, I’ll keep thinking.

    1. @Ponytail “Isn’t that like giving some Bonanza memorabilia for the crew of Gunsmoke?” Haha – I guess. I assumed (rightly?) from his list that it was a gag gift. 🙂

  5. You could go with video game controller, Kindle or other tablet, Space pens, puzzle box, emergency radio, titanium spork, pocket tool or other survival gear, any of which with the Dark Matter logo. I have no idea what kind of budget constraints come into play with such a large workforce.

  6. Well, I think the ice cream bowls are a great idea! I mean it’s better than a Joe Mallozzi themed toilet bowl, I suppose.

    “…rubbers embossed with the Dark Matter logo…” Well, at least the alternate interpretation of that would give new meaning to the term “product placement”.

    Speaking of that swag, where are the DM themed t-shirts and fleeces and hats we should be able to buy?!

    Oh, for suggestions? I got nothin’.

  7. If you really want the ice cream bowls to happen, you can make it happen. Alternatively, anything in dark purple velvet would be special.

  8. Having done around 28 years of trade shows, here are some of the branded gift ideas we had as booth give-aways over the years (some hot, some not), all of them branded with the company logo:

    MP3 Players (back when they were the rage): A fun idea that failed due to lack of storage (16MB)

    A big gumby-style smiley face with bendable legs and arms: Think a hockey puck with wire appendages. We couldn’t give these away…we actually couldn’t.

    Creepy Beany Babies with the company logo on their bellies: We had so many of these, I was throwing them at people who just looked at our booth in an effort not to have to cart their creepy faces back home. I’m sure that there are kids out there who have had years of creepy bean baby face nightmares with our company logo front and center. A great way to brand…

    A squeezable stress-relief head that would wolf whistle when you squeezed it: A potential sexual-harassment lawsuit waiting to happen…

    Water bottles: These were made of aluminum and were actually pretty good. They came with sports towels inside for your favorite workout.

    Key-chains with LED lights: Doesn’t everyone end up with a drawer-full of this stuff?

    Rubix cubes: A great way to associate your brand with frustration.

    Stress-relief exercise balls: You think we would have learned from the wolf-whistle head…

    USB Memory Sticks: Initially a good idea for a tech audience until you realised they only held 64MB (back when 1GB was common).

    Spring-wound model race cars: These were actually fun to race until the springs broke.

    Luggage tags: Should have been part of a larger gift…cheap by itself.

    Bouncing rubber balls that would light up when you bounced them hard: I wonder how many windows these things broke.

    Desk Clocks: This one was somewhat classy…it even had options for on the hour chimes.

    USB Mice: Great until you reaized the cord was only 12 inches…and your docking station usb port is way in the back of the unit.

    Laser pointers: A great way to blind your airline pilot on the flight home? Maybe you could reuse these as laser rifle sights for the Dark Matter crew?

    Frisbee’s: Ever set off a sprinkler system in the office with one of these?

    A kinetic plastic puzzle that would change it’s surface with different pieces and colors when you spun and tossed it in the air with certain spins: I actually had fun with this for about 30 minutes…now it in the back of a closet somewhere.

    A light-up laser etched acrylic cube: Fun to look at for 10 seconds…only useful finding your keys if the power goes out there after (but you’ll probably grab your smart phone flashlight app first).

    Various stuffed animals that said things when you moved them: Another lawsuit waiting to happen? A number of the phrases were questionable, with most along the lines of “Hey Baby! Ever had a dog?”, this from the stuffed puppy. I really think our PR guy was shopping the reject bins of the world’s promotional gift backwaters.

    How about a Dark Matter engraved decantur set for the Whiskey Club?

  9. @ stormvisions – No, it’s not a gag gift. That’s why Joe is being so thoughtful and wisely asking us for suggestions. I think he is looking for something unusual or different or more original from what has been given out in the past. We always have great ideals for Joe and his life. 🙂

    I say have your artists design some cool rings… think superbowl rings. Necklaces… Or course a perfect opportunity to add to Natalie’s sock collection. Be sure and run any designs by us too Joe.

    On Everybody Loves Raymond, one year he gave engraved shiny toasters to his parents and in-laws for Christmas. It had all the kids names engraved on it.

    On that ice cream bowl, I think your smiling face on the bottom of the bowl would mean more than your signature (unless someone found some blank checks laying around, then your signature would come in handy).

    okay, I’ll keep thinking…

    1. @ponytail – ahh thanks. Once side of my blade is sharp, the other is dull. I’m blushing.

      I’m not sure of the budget or numbers of people but starting at the high end

      ($250) How about the Mini Museum https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hansfex/mini-museum-2

      If you do a Google search for “home planetarium ” there are several projectors starting in the $50-$125 range but would have to read reviews. They will project stars etc onto your roof and walls in a dark room.

      I saw a fair amount of jewelry and pendants via Google on Etsy and other sites that have galaxies imprinted on the stone or Lucite but can’t judge the quality.

      Other than that I personally am a fan of cool jackets, and have worn a few freebies (unrelated to show business) until the sleeves fell off.

  10. For the first couple of years wearable swag (hoodies etc) is probably the usual way to go… coffee mugs… glasses…

    Branded Oven Mitts http://www.4imprint.ca/tag/282/Kitchenware/product/C130038/Grip-It-Neoprene-Oven-Mitt

    Branded Cutting Boards
    http://www.personalizationmall.com/Personalized-Maple-Cutting-Board-Family-Name-p16996.prod?sdest=store&sdestid=15&storeid=15

    Branded Blankie…
    http://www.personalizationmall.com/Personalized-Tan-Sherpa-Blanket-You-Name-It-i38556.item?productid=14429&sdest=prodcat&sdestid=86

    Branded Cookie Jars
    http://www.personalizationmall.com/Cookie-Jars-c65.lp

    Ummmm… hahahaha
    http://www.personalizationmall.com/Personalized-Ice-Cream-Bowls-p10446.prod?sdest=prodcat&sdestid=162

    Does it have to be branded?
    I just bought myself a slinky, keeps my hands happy and entertained…

    a trapper hat… http://www.furhatworld.com/womens-black-trapper-hat-with-faux-fur-p-2328.html… maybe too hipster…

    a S’well water bottle https://well.ca/brand/swell.html

    (I am not affiliated with any of these products or websites)

  11. huh??? I just spent half an …… ohhh check your junk folder I included links, so I probably got booted…

  12. What’s your budget? How many to you need? And WHEN?

    Considering your weather of late… perhaps a good quality rain-poncho…? Or, snow-shovel..?

    Although, personally, a well made Bento Box TIN – [perhaps shaped like the RAZA *if* you have the $$ and time] – stuffed with the odd DM LOGO embroidered LINEN napkin would be nice… That would cover the categories of “Collector”-Item, something practical, something NICE, and your devotion to FOODY-ness! – Then, toss in an Akemi-Cookie at the last minute!

    oh, and have them LOCALLY produced!

  13. A Dark Matter engraved decanter set gets my vote! Whiskey included please.

    Some of my suggestions include: a set of seven Russian nesting dolls of the Dark Matter Raza Crew – might I suggest you start with the Zobot first and work down to Five (poor Jodelle, forever the designated “kid”); Dark Matter traitor masks (you too can be a member of the GA and betray your friends); Jodelle’s steampunk goggles and a custom Raza welding kit; a package of 7 “not as craptastic” green protein bars & “meal”worm burger or a box of Godiva chocolates in the shape of the Raza & crew’s faces to name a few. Or you could go with a traditional Dark Matter scarf (which would look cool with steampunk goggles too).

  14. I think chocolate bars in the shape of the Raza would be nice, if a bit ephemeral. How about DM branded Katanas? Or a keychain size version of Bubba? 😉

  15. Since last year’s gifts were fairly practical, and those are generally the best gifts (since they might actually get used regularly), I’d suggest sticking to that theme. Goofy novelty gifts are often fun at first, but have no staying power.

    That said, I always enjoy and appreciate a good messenger bag. They’re ideal for carrying stuff to and from work, as a carry-on for traveling, and a must-have at a convention. The right bag can be a combination purse/briefcase/laptop case/luggage.

    I suppose one downside is they’re generally a bit more expensive than the items above, but you guys have a bigger budget for season 2, right?

    I own one of these Timbuk2 TSA-friendly messenger bags designed to carry a laptop and I use it every work day and every time I travel. Timbuk2 is a little pricey, but very well made. For really good quality at a much lower price, Targus makes some really great stuff.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005HEV52G?keywords=timbuk2%20messenger%20bag&nodeID=9971584011&qid=1446087670&ref_=sr_1_3&refinements=p_89%3ATimbuk2%2Cp_85%3A2470955011&s=apparel&sr=1-3

  16. @ stormvisions – Hey, no problem! I got to mention my two favorite shows again, Bonanza and Gunsmoke….. 😉

  17. I like everyone’s ideas 🙂

    How about insulated klean kanteens, OGIO backpacks with the DM logo, headphones with the logo, and zip-ups (even with the half zip – lasts longer than strings) never get old. Coffee mugs!

  18. Nice idea’s but I would suggest samsung galaxy phones preloaded with a yet to be made dark matter game app.

  19. Hi Joseph!
    I just went through my personal on-set necessities, and here are a few ideas, things which are useful and could easily be branded and used as gifts:
    Bum-bag
    SwissArmyKnife / black Viktorinox
    Flashlight / Maglite
    Zippo – useful, even for non-smokers
    Pocket-tool / Leatherman
    Hope this helps…
    Kind regards, Bea
    PS: Could you please PM me the address of the production office or – even better – provide me with the Email-address? ThankYou.

  20. some suggestions: lunch bags, nice insulated bags. Ice cream makers so you can have ice cream making contests. A selection of tee shirts they can wear to.work., a tote bag with some branded stuff inside like pens, notepads, notepads, etc. A nice necklace, like a miniature Rasa.

  21. JeffW had good idea
    How about a Dark Matter engraved decantur set for the Whiskey Club?

    Oh, and Ganymede’s Bento box sounds cool.

    THEN….when you have the cast and crew taken care of.
    PLEASE please have a store where we can buy the cosy micro fleece.
    and the BLACK T and BLACK polo shirts.

  22. For, right now I just hope you remembered ZoIe’s birthday on the 28th!! Or, else that crazy cat cloverbob will be looking for you! Better ,watch your back if you forgot!LOL!!!!

  23. Well, Joe, I think everyone’s offered some pretty good ideas. You might find something here from one of the suggestions. Albeit, years ago when I was still living in NY, a friend of mine was facing pretty much the same dilemma of needing both a beginning and end of season gift for a rather large number of cast and crew of a Broadway play and was on a restrictive budget.

    He and I put our heads together and came up with something that was relevant, creative, personal and heartfelt/endearing within budget. It could work out nicely in this case for DM as well. 🙂 I think I may have your email typed incorrectly in my address/contacts so I re-emailed it via info @ prodigy pictures and asked if they might be so kind to forward it along to you. ( it’s time stamped 10/29/15 and subject field reads: For Joseph Mallozzi ( time sensitive) Thank You gifts for cast/crew.

    On a different note; Akemi’s fall doggy collection, followed by my silly Bubba’s Revenge thought bubble joke, gave me a great idea for a Dark Matter promo. You have to click to expand the photo to see the advertisement but it’s been getting attention and clicks on our NS101 twitter page since its posting Wednesday afternoon.

    https://twitter.com/NewScience101/status/659468749490253824/photo/1

    If you don’t want the fur babies used in DM promos, its ok and I can take it down if you want?? though I do think its rather adorable and it seems to be grabbing our users attentions. Lulu & Bubba simply have an undeniable irresistible charm. xo 🙂

  24. I’ve been thinking more on this, since it’s now almost 5 am and I haven’t been able to sleep since waking up at 2:30.

    How about an actual box full of dark matter?! I mean, it can’t be measured or detected by any normal means so it could very well be an empty box, but they wouldn’t know. There could actually be dark matter in it!

    Or how about a “Schroedinger’s gift”, a box that may or may not have a gift in it, but exists in both states until they open it. Of course, when they find it empty they’ll still have the satisfaction of knowing that in some parallel timeline a version of themselves actually got the keys to a new Ferrari.

    “On Everybody Loves Raymond, one year he gave engraved shiny toasters to his parents and in-laws for Christmas. It had all the kids names engraved on it.”

    Or, get them an actual DVD box set of Everyone Loves Raymond!

    I really need some sleep.

  25. @Ponytail I like the whiskEy idea! 😉

    Calendar desktop cube with each day’s date having a cast member’s line from Season 1

    3D puzzle of the Raza

    Name a star gift set

    Set of fridge magnets, one of each cast member and the Raza

    (Thank you) Message in a bottle with the DM logo

  26. I love fun but practical. How about a Dark Matter magnetized bottle cap opener? Need to open a bottle? Look on the fridge! Dark Matter to the rescue. 😉

  27. @StromVisions Hey Burt! Just started reading Root of All Fear on watt. YUP! Ya definitely need to keep writing that one! 🙂
    Will try and read some more of your stories, musings n such when I can manage more than a 10 minute coffee break in my non stop schedule from hell of late!

    @gforce Gary are you moving into the new house next week?? and what musical are you doing? An original or …….

  28. I’d go with the customized neti pot. Images of you and Paul right near the spout. Nothing says “thank you” like getting up close and personal with someone’s sinuses.

  29. @Drea, re: the house – it was supposed to be done by the end of this week, but that ain’t happening. It’s so close, but things have slowed WAY down for some reason. Maybe another week or two?

    The musical is “Back to the 80’s”, a crappily written little thing that was clearly churned out for high school use. Still, there’s some funny bits in it and it’s fun to do, if exhausting. We’re doing our best to make it fun for us and everyone else. It’s learning all the dance steps that’s the hardest. I wonder how a musical written by Joe would be? Great I’m sure!! 🙂

  30. You can make the ice cream bowls less hokey by also giving lovingly crafted ice creams from you and toppings selected by the Mullies.

    Shot glasses are durable, except my Dave and Buster’s logo wore off after few washings.

    Themed wrapping paper isn’t annoying if it’s given before Christmas so you’re not tasking them with protecting their paper for eleven months.

    And a second phone charger is not bad form. You can’t have too many of those.

    Did I say to give the same gifts different years but with different color themes, so you get to flaunt your “here since season one”-ness to newbies? I haven’t been seeing all my unapproved comments lately so I don’t know if I’m repeating myself.

    The problem with this kind of gifting is coming up with something everyone can use. You can’t give out car-outlet powered lunch coolers because some people don’t drive. You can’t give out steaks because reasons. You can’t give out hair picks because Mallari. Is there a way to get around having to give the same gift to everyone?

  31. Dark Matter Sleep masks for naps at lunch OR Dark Matter bicycles (so much fun!)

    Miss you my friend! Excited to see you soon for Season 2 😉
    xo Mackenzie

  32. Examples of corporate gifts that we have received – and actually used and kept: gym bags, travel mugs, coffee mugs, water bottles, windbreaker jackets, rain ponchos, hand warmers (it’s square and you put it in your pocket and it generates heat), ski caps (toque {sp?)), thermal socks, pens, stress squeeze balls and mouse pads.

  33. What about a memory stick that deletes everything when its plugged in!
    Aaaa, actually, no, better not…….

    ..

  34. You had some good ideas suggested! Especially like Ponytail‘s Snow globe idea. Or Jimfromjersey‘s neti pot would be a comfort while someone is sick . 🙂 If you use Jay‘s idea of a car, you’d be the most popular show anywhere!!!!!

    JeffW: I still use a Mp3 player for my audio books and I use a usb stick to play tunes on my car radio. I like to save my phone battery for calls. #showingmyage 😉

    You seem settled in Toronto. Does that mean the chocolate party is back on?

  35. What about a Dark Matter Tumbler, leg warmers, socks, PVC Key chain, or bobble head of the characters.

  36. What’s the budget for this gift? How about a Misfit (or similar, cheaper-than-Fitbit) fitness tracker? They come with a plastic wrist band option for wearing the tracker, and that part could be branded. (Misfit Flash is on clearance at MEC for only $15, for example.)

    I love DP‘s suggestion of having the same gift each year in different colors, but since the awesome phone charger is the thing that would make the most sense in different colors, and that was the cast’s gift to the crew, rather than the production’s, I guess that doesn’t really help you.

    Messenger bag is okay, but I have several of those from teaching Princeton Review MCAT courses (each student got a bag with all their course books in it, and I inevitably ended up with some extras), and I have to say I don’t really use them. Why? Because (a) they’re not sturdily built (stitching can fail along seams) and (b) they’re not big enough to carry all the stuff I want to carry. A full-on backpack works better for me, especially when I’m packing for a trip. So maybe you give a backpack? LL Bean can do logos on just about anything they sell, and they have great-quality backpacks.

    What about branded travel coffee mugs, like from Thermos, MEC, or Contigo?

  37. What about buba or Lulu (the guns or the pugs shaped) shaped flash drives to save your memories on? ya know , just incase you misplace them some where?

  38. You might get acrylic wine glasses logo-printed. The item I have in mind is Govino® wine glasses, new ones that are fully dishwasher-safe. I go some for us and they were quite decent. [A suggestion among many other suggestions.]

  39. I tried to come up with ideas based on 17 years getting swag thrown at me by my company, but realized that most of its been mentioned. Instead have a couple of things I don’t recommend:
    – Lava lamps: cool in theory, but the lava just breaks down over time and things get awkward.
    – Crappy alcohol: turns out our pretty branded bottles of wine we were gifted were the worst thing ever, I haven’t opened mine to let it reach terminal levels of terrible before inflicting it on an enemy.
    – Anything that involves rubber bands. They fall apart.
    – Anything that makes noise (I value my harmonica as much as the next person, but all it was good for was driving people nuts, and that’s the best of the loud items)

    Onto the thoughts on the above or other thoughts:
    – Water bottles: got some metal ones shaped like flasks once!
    – Food: always good. Rather than chocolate shaped like things, though, which involves the expense of getting molds made, I’d suggest just a nice branded wrapper. Not earth shattering, but doesn’t kill budget either.
    – Shirts: one of my fav shirts was one where the whole team got them and they put a nickname for each of us. It was a nice touch, but did take us knowing about it and sending in a name.
    – Coffee mugs or engraved glasses: not too expensive, easy to do. Even coffee travel mugs.

    Or go to one of those places that prints Coke cans, because someone somewhere needs to make a “Share a Coke with The Android” can.

    That being said, I mean, who couldn’t use a special ice cream bowl?

    Me I like socks. But hey.

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