Raiders of the Lost SWAG


For some fans, the accumulation of Comic Con SWAG is one of the most rewarding experiences of the whole event. The level of the ‘Stuff We All Get’ is at an unmatched level than any other Con. It usually ranges from the cheap end like buttons, inflatables, and comics to the more high end like T-shirts and bags. Even though the level of SWAG has diminished over the years because of the straining economy, you are still guaranteed not to leave the Con empty handed. Personally, I am NOT a SWAG guy. I forego almost all of the typical stuff and just search out the more unique items. Like the lost Ark of the Covenant, these treasures take a little more time and effort but make for much better memorabilia for the week of in San Diego. Ironically, some of the best SWAG is found outside of the convention center and are given out by studios based in the Gaslamp. Here are a few examples of some of the unique SWAG from the past:

Some of the hotels print up special Comic Con key cards. They will range from all different interests and make for great SWAG you can carry all year long. After your stay at the hotel, swapping with others to get one with your favorite show on it is also fun.

In 09, Disney began it’s marketing siege at the Con. After a downtown wide scavenger hunt, participants were rewarded with a journey into FLYNN’s Arcade. Given in the arcade, these tokens and old school coin purse were some of the best freebees of that year. Nothing captures the magic of the 80’s era than a pocket full of game tokens. Doing some of the crazy activities away from the Con is definitely worth it.

For the promotion of Alice in Wonderland, there was an interactive space in the Gaslamp where you could explore an oversized Wonderland like you were Alice. One of the parting gifts was this key with an invitation to see the movie. It was one of the more nicely produced SWAG from that year.

One of the coolest SWAG I got last year was this Star Trek watch from the Paramount booth on the floor. I defeated a mob of other rabid Trekkies by successfully answering some hardcore Trek trivia. This was definitely a keeper.

This is just a few samples of the fantastic SWAG to score while at SDCC. My advice, waste little time trying to get all the cheap paraphernalia that gets thrusted at you on the floor. Besides the fact that it will slow you down, ultimately most of it ends up in the trash. So while my loot ends up being lighter at the end of the week, I have treasures that I can enjoy for a lifetime. Happy hunting and let me know of your SWAG stories!

13 thoughts on “Raiders of the Lost SWAG

  1. Pretty interesting article!
    I have a hard time dealing with the ‘mob mentality’ of the floor when the swag comes out; I’m a tiny thing- all 103 lb of me… and I get pushed out of the way very easily. 😦
    Im just not aggressive enough to take something laying on a table without asking or to elbow my way to the front of the mob.
    That said, there have been a few really cool people who, after hearing me comment on how cool something is- gave it to me without hesitation!
    Last year, while in line for ballroom 20, I mentioned to a guy next to me how cool the pac man lanyards were. He opened his sack, and gave it to me! Its still one of my fav Con memories! I use that thing every single day! 😀

    • Yea, I am always amazed with what you can get if you just ask. Sometimes its better to go where the crowd is not to get what you want. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  2. Last year I decided to spend a good amount of time outside of the convention center and it paid off nicely. Though a Showtime promotion and the Scavenger app, I walked around Downtown and got a Dexter exclusive t-shirt, bobble head, bag,and season 4 on DVD.

  3. At Comic-con ’09, one of my fav swags was my Zombieland t-shirt! Of course, I had to be made up into a zombie (by one of their booth make-up artist) but it was totally worth it!!!

    I think I really surprised my buddies when we met up later! They didn’t expect that!

    Of course, my one swag that I wear a lot at work is my Green Lantern, Blackest Nights ring!
    Great post!

    • That’s so awesome! Nothing makes for a great Comic Con than being turned into the undead! I would love to get a nice Green Lantern Ring. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  4. My favorite came from last year. I have been in a hunt for Art of Guild War 2 book for many years now. Found out that that the company was giving away 75 copies of the book and have all the major concept designers sign in it. It was worth the three hour wait!

  5. I never heard about a Trek watch until now – I just ended up with one of those Trek messenger bags a few years back from the ‘gather a crew’ challenge (I was the welder!).

    Would have loved to see the Wonderland though…

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