Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why buy the game when you can get the swag for free?

As a side hobby to collecting video games, I often spend as much time hunting down video game promos or pre-order bonus items. Not that fancy downloadable content business, just good ol' fashioned physical items. 
I know that these are rarely ever produced in low enough quantities to be considered "collectible". I'm even aware some of these are just clever marketing promotions. Y'know what? I'm okay with that. I'm just a sucker for clever stuff.

First up is a rarity for pre-order bonuses, seeing as how it's available to pick up before the actual game releases. Designed by the talented artistes at Penny Arcade, Gamestop is handing out stylish bandanas based on logo for Ghost Recon Future Soldier. The fabric is pretty much standard fair as far as promo bandanas go; thin and starchy. Thankfully the artwork saves it, with a nice big logo in the center. The generic circuit board background pattern isn't anything amazing, but there's a bunch of detail within the giant skull. The whole thing looks like it's glowing with white and blue highlights. Well done Penny Arcade.

Everything's more badass with a bandana.

Next from Best Buy was supposed to be midnight release swag but apparently asking nicely the day before launch works too. Assassin's Creed is an odd series that can go from insanely fun to boring way too quickly (not too much confusing) . Good thing these playing cards will probably stay at a consistent level of enjoyment. The quality is very good for a freebie deck, adding to my collection of other promote cards: Fable III, Fallout New Vegas, and Red Dead Redemption. There's a cool aged look to the deck, and each suit has a different color shade and city from the game. Include a unique character for each of face cards and you've got a nice little package.

Lord of the Rings: War in the North released a couple weeks ago, and prior to launch I had heard rumors of an exclusive bonus item at Best Buy. I gotta admit, this one caught me off guard. I had seen preview pics on store's website, and the description called it a "figurine". This is not a figurine. This is a goddamn 8.5" statue.

Not pictured: my other smaller action figures, cowering in fear.

The European Collector's Edition includes the same troll as its main bonus, in lieu of a leather quiver but still after dropping a few extra Euros. Overseas us Americans get him just for buying the regular edition. That's right, Europe. Your precious collectibles are mere freebies to Uncle Sam. Who says we're in a recession?

This must have been some sort of mistake. The statue is a seriously nice piece. It feels like it could take a beatings from an orc or two and still look presentable. There's great detail in the sculpting from the look on the dwarf's (Gimli's?) face to the snow clinging to the troll's feet. The bludgeon in the right hand is a separate piece, with a different glossy finish compared to the rest of the paintjob. It's a piece of art.  Even after lugging him around Boston for the better part of a Saturday, this fella iss a welcome addition to my collection. Now if I could find room for him...

He's already got a place in my heart.

I'm finally getting back into the swing of things, and shouldn't be running late on posts through the holiday. Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming post next week, I'm going to try something a little different.


  1. is there any way to buy the bandana and playing cards

  2. @I am Who I am You can still get the bandanas at Gamestop if you're lucky. I've seen some at stores near me, but you need to pre-order Future Soldier or just ask really nicely. The cards are harder to come by. Ask Best Buy or check ebay. I haven't looked yet.