E3 shwag peddled on eBay

Freebies handed out at E3 fetching pretty penny on online auction site; items include 360 faceplates, autographed Diane Mizota E3 badge?

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One man's trash is another man's treasure. Indeed, experienced attendees of E3 approach much of the promotional material handed out at the trade expo as deadweight, something that will just take up room in a suitcase. Hardcore gamers, on the other hand, see these limited-edition bits and pieces as collector's items and scour online auction sites for deals.

On eBay, the priciest items from E3 2006 appear to be the Gears of War Xbox 360 faceplates, with bidding approaching the $200 mark as of press time. Sellers of questionable ethics claim the item was only available during a multiplayer demo of the game behind closed doors, and is very rare.

But the bidding doesn't end there. For the right price, any gamer can put up the façade that they were actually at E3 by purchasing some exclusive gear distributed at the show only.

Nintendo fans can show their support with Nintendo lanyards (handed out with every E3 badge on day one of the show) that have pictures of the Wii, the GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Micro, and DS. On the other hand, Sony fans can opt to adopt Sony lanyards that were handed out en masse at the company's booth and simply read PlayStation 3 in the familiar Spider-Man font. However, the frugal lanyard seeker will buy the seemingly useless bits of plastic and fabric in bulk or in variety packs.

Even items that gamers try to avoid have found their way onto eBay. The game digests that run down the layout of the event, list conferences, and filled small kiosks by the thousands are asking as much as $16. A pack of E3 press kits that publishers give to media is also available, for anyone who wanted the latest fact sheets from Logitech. One person is even selling a cut-out from a magazine advertising Gameloft's Paris Hilton mobile phone game.

Of course no trip to E3 would be complete without a wrap-up of the infamous booth babes. One Fresno, California-based auctioneer is selling a collection of over 350 digital photos that show off the spokesmodels of the convention, as well as other random pics from the event. The pictures of the ladies are apparently too hot for eBay, as samples show a red heart over what appear to be the more revealing portions of the images.

While it's one thing to get pictures of booth babes in their outfits, it's another (and more desperate) thing to get into one of their outfits. A Nintendo booth babe ensemble for sale has hit the Internet, complete with the blue shirt and white zip-up vest that all the female Nintendo employees were required to wear at the company's booth. It's available for $75, and includes a Wii pin and Nintendo lanyard. The seller makes a special note that it has only been worn twice.

Looking for that one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia worn by an industry celebrity that shouts, "I am willing to pay lots of money for a piece of plastic"? Look no further than the E3 2006 badge issued to, worn by, and autographed by Diane Mizota, the former host of G4's Filter and Sony's pre-E3 video spots. The seller is identified only as "dmphoto3776," and could very well be Mizota herself as the lanyard will include a personal autograph reflecting the winning buyer's request.

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