The following items were placed on the market by DC Comics shortly after the release of the Watchmen mini-series. Sorry to say, but all of these items have been long discontinued, so, if you want to get your hands on any of them you’ll have to go bid on the Watchmen items on eBay along with everyone else.
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DC Comics released a limited edition badge set featuring images from the Watchmen comic series. For the low price of $4.95 you could decorate your denim jacket with an inkblot, radioactive symbol, “I Watch the Watchmen” in Latin, and the doomsday clock with dripping blood.
What's that? Did they include the “smiley” face badge The Comedian wore? The main image that was featured so prominently in the story? Yeah, they forgot that one.
Rumor has it that this badge set caused friction between Moore and DC Comics — DC claimed that they were a “promotional item” and not merchandising, and therefore the company did not have to pay Moore or Gibbons royalties on the sets. Now I like these things even less.
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Oh. Dear. God. No. They did not go there. This is, by far the worst promotional tie-in product that has ever been thought up and produced. Yes, in addition to the super fresh badge set, DC also produced a Watchmen “Smiley” logo watch. Get it? The comic is called Watchmen… and this is a watch.
At the bottom of the package its features are listed as “Quartz, Water Resistant, Limited Warranty.” They forgot “crappy.”
To add insult to injury, this hunk of plastic cost a whopping $25. Think about that for a minute — this was in 1986. A Toyota Celica cost $25 in 1986. Thank god they stopped before they released “Tickle Me” Rorschach.
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In 1988, DC Comics released the Watchmen Portfolio, a slip cased set of 12 high quality prints. The illustrated slip case measured 12" by 16". There were three folders inside that include all twelve covers from the American edition of the Watchmen, six new covers for the French edition, and six promotional posters all drawn by Dave Gibbons.
The French edition portfolio was limited to 2,000 signed and number copies and did not include the twelve American covers. What it did have was a special print signed by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins. Sweet. Portfolios fetch as much as $100 on eBay.