This post was published two weeks before these assets were publicly given out as the second set of Holiday gifts in 2012. The previous spoiler warning on this post is now OFF.
The secret seems to be out, so I thought I'd explain the "Special Edition Assets" for those of you that haven't been playing EVE Online for very long. At the bottom of the market, you're going to find a new category: Special Edition Assets. Underneath that, you're going to find several categories of items. Under "Special Edition Apparel" and "Special Edition Commodities", you'll find the items below.
I'm not 100% sure of all of my explanations, but I'm sure for the ones where I'm off, someone will let us all know straight-away...
boots.ini: This is a reference to a badly failed EVE Trinity patch that corrupted the Windows boot.ini of some players.
*Sneaks in a classic*: I'm pretty sure this is a reference to this series of comics, which was indisputably awesome. If it's not referencing these comics, then it should be. ;-)
A Big Red Button: Surprisingly, this isn't a reference to the Alliance Tournament button in question. Once, there was a dev named CCP Tuxford. He is now an entry in the Urban Dictionary. The entry explains why.
A Handful of Tiny Stars: See below, under A Tiny Monolith.
A Tank of Honor: at one time, carriers and dreads were actually used to carry things to 0.0 in their cargo holds. Both had particularly large cargo holds. So people started rigging them with Cargohold Expanders. This was referred to as "honor tanking." The term itself actually started with a Nightmare, though...
Animal Medical Expert: It's a rebus. "He tastes rather sour," the description of this item says in game. An "animal medical expert" is a veternarian, or a vet. Something that "tastes rather sour" is bitter. See the intro text at the top of this blog.
Concordokken: I think the following video will help you understand this one.
Donut Holder: Two behind this one. For a while, if you tried to switch ships too quickly after docking and were still under a session change timer, the game would tell you that you couldn't do that because "it was looking for a place to put all your donuts." But there's also this thread. Read it, then read down to post number four. Thanks to an Anonymous commenter for reminding me of the first one!
Key Pass to Open the Door: In your Captain's Quarters, right now, is The Door. Have you ever tried to open it? Do.
Little Helper, Female: This is a reference to the fact that many, many, many EVE players carry one unit of Exotic Dancers in their cargo. I've written about this on the blog before: it's just a way to make your kill-mail more amusing.
Little Helper, Male: Same thing for (if you're a traditionalist) the ladies. Assuming there were any women playing EVE. Which there are not. So it's a hidden meme in and of itself for that reason.
Magic Crystal Ball: You are visiting the magic crystal ball right now, natch.
Military Experts and You: This one is a reference to the line "Military experts are calling this a cynosural field!" from the Quantum Rise trailer in late 2008. It's an EVE meme to this day.
Model of a Fighter: At one time, on top of the EVE Online Forum website, there was a picture of a Templar. Forum postings asking "What type of ship is that?" were everywhere and constant.
New Eden Soundbox: "EVE has sound?" has been a running joke since before I've been playing EVE. It's really only just been fixed with Retribution, actually...
Postcard for Poitot: You are required, when passing through Poitot in Syndicate, to declare on comms "Do you guys know that this is the only named system in Syndicate?" Required, I say! Rote Kapelle's motto at Fanfest 2011 was #occupypoitot.
Public Portrait: How To: This one, surprisingly, is explained right in the item description. Here's the forum thread that started it, but the chin of course is no more. But here's the chin in question if you want your own copy of it.
Replica Gallente Cruiser: Didja ever notice how the Thorax looks kinda like a sex toy? Therefore, if you have such a sex toy -- particularly if it's green -- you have a replica Gallente cruiser.
Rules of Engagement: This is an amusing little reference to Curatores Veritatis Alliance, who are a famously "NRDS" role-playing alliance. The problem is that as non-role-playing EVE players shoot them, their red list gets longer and longer and longer... I hear they need a search engine for their red list now.
Scotty the Docking Manager's Clone: Used to be whenever you tried to perform certain actions -- dropping out of a ship and into a clone, for instance -- while docked and under a session change timer, you'd get a message saying that Scotty the Docking Manager was working on it.
Ship Fitting Guide: Once upon a time there was a Raven pilot doing his first ever Level 4 mission solo. He was having a lot of trouble with it, and it killed him. He begged for help and suggestions. People asked him what his fit was. He replied with what is in this item. Can't imagine why that fit would give him trouble in L4 missions.
Shuttle Piloting for Dummies: At one time, shuttles could lock targets. And could be assigned fighters. And therefore could warp on grid and attack things by ordering their assigned fighters to engage targets. Even more amusing, often people would forget to add shuttles to their Overview, so you'd start taking a lot of damage and couldn't figure out from where...
The Mini Monolith: I'm reasonably certain this is a reference to the monolith that exists in the Dead End system. If you haven't seen it, it's well worth traveling out there and taking a look. And it is full of tiny stars. But you can't refine it. But this is the one I'm least confident about.
Unit of Lag: For a while, CCP had a page they were updating on their "War on Lag". This specific reference? I have a memory of a CCP developer making an amusing reference to measuring lag in a specific unit, and I'm pretty sure it was the sublime CCP Veritas that did it during one of his presentations on Time Dilation. I just can't find the specific reference. Anyone want to help me out?
If you have corrections for any of the items above, please send them along and I'll update this post accordingly. Special thanks to my alliance mate Ben Booley, who helped with background for some items!