When attending large conventions like E3 or PAX, developers and publisher want gamers to walk away remembering their title above all others and the best way to do that is with flat out bribery. Giving and getting free stuff has been an expo constant for as long as anyone can remember. Pins, shirts, and toys, sorry... figurines, are a few things to get your hands on, but in addition to those regular items, there are some more interesting stuff to give away to the lucky attendees as keepsakes. This E3 was no exception and featured some of the biggest and best swag to date.
Master Chief Figurine - Halo 4
If you happened to swing by the Microsoft booth early, you had the chance to score one of the Todd McFarlane Halo 4 figurines. McFarlane himself was at E3 in full force, signing the fully posable Master Chiefs. There were three different versions to attain and each came with weapons to wield, making it the perfect takeaway for Halo fans.
PlayStation Plus - Sony Conference
All those lucky enough to get into the Sony conference held on Monday, June 4th walked away with a free year of PlayStation Plus. Now, this might not seem terribly amazing, but Sony announced at the conference that each month they would be giving away full retail titles for free. That's right. FREE. This month's larger titles include Infamous 2, Little Big Planet 2, Warhammer 40k: Space Marine, Just Cause 2, Saints Row 2, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, and many more.
So in addition to the countless free games, those who acquired a code will also receive discounts on titles, as per the Plus membership. After that year, though, you'll have to cover it on your own.
Oswald Ears - Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
If you are a huge Disney fan, the enormous line probably didn't put you off the chance to get a pair of customized Oswald ears. For all three days of E3, Disney's booth touted a huge line of gamers that wrapped around the booth and then some. If you made it to the front, you were able to personalize each cap with a word that would be expertly stitched onto the Oswald ears. It took quite a lot of work to acquire this swag, but was most definitely worth it.
Handed to every gamer and journalist who eeked their way into the Ubisoft conference was an Assassin's Creed encyclopedia. The book came in a protective cloth bag and was one of the most coveted pieces of swag given out.
The front of the almost 250 page encyclopedia has an embossed AC logo, with the month and year, as well as the notation of "E3 Collector Edition," and on the back is the Ubisoft logo. The book has quite a lot of art and pores over details of the places and characters that populate the Assassin's Creed universe.
Gas Mask - Metro: Last Light
Toward the end of E3, THQ began handing out gas masks, promoting the newest Metro title, Last Light. The mask came in a canvas bag and, believe it or not, was fully functional. So in case of that inevitable apocalypse, you will be incredibly prepared. The gas mask definitely tops the list of "Most Practical SWAG Ever Created" and if you managed to get your hands on some, consider yourself lucky.
If you managed to get your hands on one, or maybe two of these figurines, you might stand to make some cash. Personally, I'm morally opposed to selling things that you receive for free at an expo, but less scrupulous attendees have been making upwards of $250 per Spyro on eBay. Only 2000 of these figurines are in existence, so if you are considering selling yours, think twice and maybe keep him for your collection.
Remote Controlled Custom Airplane - World of Warplanes
Leading the list of most amazing E3 2012 swag is a remote controlled airplane given away at the World of Warplanes booth. You heard right, a remote controlled airplane. The plane is a Parkzone P-51 D Mustang, sports custom World of Warplanes decals, and comes ready to fly out of the box. The regular version retails for $100 and could be the coolest toy handed out at any convention in 2012.
If you only managed to get your hands on some t-shirts or posters, don't fret, maybe you'll have better luck next convention.