July 06, 2012


The first convention I ever attended was the Star Trek Expo '89 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It blew me away.  I was expecting a pure Trek event, but I walked into an enormous building brimming with every facet of geek culture. The fun started before I ever set foot on the vendor floor. The ticket line ran past tables of freebies including flyers, posters, bags and my favorite, pinback buttons. Naturally, I picked up one of each (well, two Batmans) and twenty three years later I took pictures of them, which I uploaded right here...

(Having date-checked a few, I realize I must have grabbed a couple of these at later conventions, and some were being recycled from previous events.  They must have received a ton because they were still giving out a lot of these the following year.)

In those pre-internet days this table was good as six months worth of Slashfilm or Aint It Cool News. The existence of all but a few of these films was revealed to me in this single promotional blitz.  In a marketing sense it was almost a level playing field. There was an equal chance that my next favorite movie could be The Abyss or Free Willy. Speaking of which, I couldn't wait to see a movie about flying killer whales.

All I really had to judge each production by was the graphic design. Actually, this book-by-its-cover approach was somewhat valid.  There is a strong correlation between the level of artistry behind both the movie and the button for I Come In Peace. I'm also fond of the ones that seem to pre-date the film's style guide like Hamlet, which turned out to be the Mel Gibson version, and "The Dude With The 'Tude" which refers to Arachnophobia.

The most misleading piece of marketing here is for Robotjox which got me quite excited because it looked like Transformers: The Movie was going to arrive twenty years early.  I was confused when it showed up at my local video store having skipped the cinemas entirely.

For some additional pleasure, here are some relevant trailers...


blalock said...

That Batman pin is great! I miss that logo. Maybe we'll see it again someday.

Kal said...

Cool post. Robot Jox is one of my all time guilty pleasures.