In no particular order or booth numbers because that is essentially how the con rolled this year…
SyFy Fan Lounge (up the escalator in the circular area. You know you’re there when you see crayons and coloring books randomly, spot overworked slightly demure staff and a line wrapping in a circle like some great angry serpent) – free t-shirts also may find the elusive bags here.
Heather Bus (towards the right hand side of the Geico booth if you’re standing in a wrap-around line. Literally a gratified yellow school bus) – Go inside the bus and a bunch of Heathers’ in character will take your photo on a bus seat, and then tell you if you tag it on social media they “might give you something…or whatever.” Upon exiting you get a nifty Heathers pin promoting the reboot.
Geico (Just look towards the Javits Center ceiling to see the judgmental reptile staring at you with glee in anticipation of your personal info. Which by the way, say something to the effect of “I only have my badge, not my license” and staff will waive scanning your ID.) – You get a big blue bag out of it that holds a good amount of weight. Go into the semi-sturdy van set up before leaving and play a game to win different prizes. I got a Geico plushie with a different cape than last year. I think playing the memory game on the screens also give prizes, but I’ve never seen anyone win that yet. Don’t forget to get some hand sanitizer on the way out. There is also a 360 photo/video booth before exit you might want to pop in.
Fandom – You get a cute little pin with their logo on it.
Crunchyroll – A huge pit filled with some sort of bananacat animal plushies. You put shoe covers on your sneakers, hand your cell phone to one of the staff and literally just flop down into the pool of stuffed goodies. You receive some sort of card and red wrapper for partaking. I’ve heard inside the wrapper was an enamel pin. I was in line for this but the person I attended the con with kept incessantly going on about the amount of germs at the con and how I already felt ill, so I skipped out a few moments later.
Outlander/American Gods (towards the green entrance con-goers with tickets were funneled through. It is outside of the convention center with an American cowboy get up.) – Show the Starz app on your cell phone and I believe you also may have to go through some inside store to get the goodies. American Gods give out t-shirts, character buttons and you can take a photo. Outlander gives out a tote bag, and reportedly a perfume vial along with “a personalized leather luggage tag.” The line was a bit long when I arrived and I was still fruitlessly searching for a program booklet, so I skipped this altogether.
Stranger Things – Can receive a replica of Mike’s bike when signing up for a Hawkins Library Card. In addition to a few other little gifts.
Sideshow – Stop by the booth and ask for a card. Go to the smaller comic book vendors and receive stamps from each. Return back to Sideshow and receive a free Marvel Thanos pin that is engraved with ‘NYCC 2018’ and its booth’s namesake. Try to complete this task early if possible.
Loot Crate – Pay with a MasterCard and get a go at their UFO catcher….They may draw you in under the false pretense of scanning your badge to enter a raffle and then ask “have you used your MasterCard today at our booth? If so, you can play our claw machine to try and win mediocre prizes!” Unbridled fun for the masses!
Good Omens – Take an elevator and after a bit receive an enamel pin and a “Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter” book for your time.
Mood Fabrics – These folks are giving out a little booklet with cosplay patterns and some information. You can scan your badge and be entered into a drawing for a sewing machine to…you know, finally complete all of those backlist cosplay costume ideas.
DC Universe – Receive a gift bag with Titan pins, comics promoting Aquaman, Shazam and Titans. May have to sign up for the service trial to receive these, just remember to cancel before the week is out unless you want to be billed.
Adding onto DC Universe, I received a set of four pins in plastic near the Publishing area but I can’t remember from whom.
Marvel – You may have to fill something out on social media to receive a box with pins, character figures and two masks. Can enter a drawing to win an xbox.
Square Enix/KH3 Demo – Tickets are given out each morning when the convention floor ends, so get there early. After the demo receive a themed popsocket with the logo. Apparently, they are also giving these to people who are in the right place at the right time, so don’t be afraid to ask about it!
YuGiOh – Take a photo and be a part of a children’s card game for all of eternity.
Imgur – Free pins at their booth.
Overwatch – Cosplayers allegedly can wait in a shorter line. The special pin is the Reinhardt character. Can you tell I don’t know much about the game?
She-Ra – A huge statue towards the concourse of the Javits Center. When I passed by I just seen people taking photos with prop swords, and someone asked about freebies but the staff said they were out. Apparently, you can get a headband and a set of buttons. Not sure if the statue and the ‘She-Ra experience’ are two different things. Again had no clue of the layout because of no show program and didn’t want to eat my battery life using the website. Or app.
Penguin Random House – Giving away items associated with the promotion of Anne Rice’s newest book (Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat). Pins, posters, a cool red feather pen, and some other goodies were available. Basically just travel along all of their different offset booths (graphics, etc) and grab posters and chat with the delightful staff. They are also giving out full on free signed books in drawings every few hours, be sure to check out their booth early to see what’s going on for the day.
Chevrolet – No detailed license scanning this year, thankfully. Complete a survey and have a choice of a few goodies including blue or silver drawstring backpacks that high schoolers wear on field trips and t-shirts.
SmartyPants Vitamins – T-shirts for winners of a quick game, vitamins for all who want them. Towards the entrance of the convention center.
Stranger Comics – Free comics if you follow their social media. Not sure which series or issues.
Rilakkuma (Pop up shop just on the cusp of Artist Alley.) Walk through the cutesy little alcove and the staff can take your picture if you are alone. It was really nice that they tried keeping the stragglers moving in a polite manner so everyone had the chance for nice photos. – Receive a cool deco pen for your time.
Kodansha – Sign up for the newsletter beforehand (I literally just showed them an email from a week ago) and receive a character pin. I believe they also had posters.
Oni Press – Pins and posters. If the pins are not out just ask one of the staff and they should have some, as they were tucked away until I said something. Really nice people working that booth.
In general, everyone was really nice that I encountered.
Dark Horse – The elusive yellow bags. Get there early, because they do go super-fast and you will be haunted every time you see someone go by with one in tow.
Viz Media – Posters, manga sampler, fighting a stampede.
GKIDS – Posters and little character pins. I also think you could get a special Mirai film promotion poster with a purchase.
Vertical Comics – Posters and a very cool shojo manga sampler.
Note: Remember to try your best to go to booths with free bags as early in your con day as possible. They usually run out within ten minutes in some cases (looking at you, Dark Horse…three years running and I still haven’t secured a new bag).
Check out the Reddit thread here and add your freebie haul to the list! Also be sure to check your favorite exhibitor’s actual website or social media for more info on possible exclusives!
Did you get a good haul? How was your con? Are you excited for next year? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more convention news! NYCC and AFNYCC con reviews coming soon!