Comic-Con Freebie Watch: Merit Badges, Temporary Tattoos, Conan

The best in free stuff at this year's Comic-Con

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120,000 fanboys, buffs, walking encyclopedias, and know-it-alls are expected to descend on San Diego this week for Comic-Con 2011. The pop culture smorgasbord doesn't start until Thursday, but the entertainment industry's efforts to woo conventioneers are already underway. What appeals to the average attendee of an event where Francis Ford Coppola (on hand to promote his new horror film Twixt, described by the director in a press release as "one part Gothic romance, one part personal film, and one part the kind of horror film that began my career"), The Amazing Spider-Man and the cast of Community each command their own panels? One word: freebies. We'll be tracking the best of the giveaways from The Atlantic Wire's East Coast goodie bag nerve center over the course of the four-day convention. To get you ready, here's our second look at what savvy conventioneers should already be targeting. You can check out Thursday's Freebie Watch here.

Temporary tattoos

Temporary tattoos rank just above corporate golf pencil when it comes to easily discardable trade show freebies. That's not the case at Comic-Con, where it's actually possible for a well-designed temporary tattoo to generate anticipation. At  this year's festival, it happened to the set of seven key designs handed out to promote the Joe Hill graphic novel Locke & Key.

Pop Tarts

Nobody turns down free Pop Tarts. Especially when they've been standing in line all day, and the food options are severely limited. So good job by CNET making sure Twitter user ElleCue would remember them for her future tech review needs.

Conan O'Brien

While not technically a freebie, O'Brien's presence was an unexpected gift to attendees. TBS only confirmed he'd be attending earlier this week. It's a good thing he did, because this Lego statue of the late night host is currently on display at San Diego's Michael J. Wolfe gallery.

Merit badges

We agree with Twitter user Rodman Flender when he said this merit badge, which represents his ability not to text during the movies, is the "best Comic-Con swag so far."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.