Award show gift bags: How does the Oscar goodie bag rank?

From Vampire Facelifts to VIP treatment at Heathrow, the Oscar goodie bag is filled with the ultimate swag. But how does it stack up against other award show gift bags, and do celebs actually use the contents?

As reported earlier this week, losers of this year's Oscars will go home with $45,000 gift bags that include free circus training for their children.

But that's not the only bizarre item in there.

Also included in the "Everyone Wins at the Oscars" nominee gift bag are a Windex touch-up cleaner ($3.99), a Vampire Facelift ($5,000), a lint roller called The Ultimate Fuzz Remover ($19.99), gourmet maple syrup ($120) and portion-control dinnerware ($59).

And if that's not enough, the list of luxury items in the bag includes:

— Koji sake-infused chocolates made from sake that hails from a Tsunami-hit region in Japan ($95)
— Luxury travel destinations such as Lizard Island atop the Great Barrier Reef ($12,000)
— A weeklong fitness and weight-loss retreat ($4,100)

So what do stars end up doing with all this swag — not only from the Oscars, but from various other award shows?

Enjoy them, would be the most obvious answer.

But in 2006, the IRS decided to tax these gift bags as income, putting them under closer scutiny. The Academy stopped giving out the gift bags to presenters and performers in 2007, some of which were worth $100,000 or more.

The gift bags are now handled by a Los Angeles-based marketing agency called Distinctive Assets, which also manages the gift bags for the Grammys, the Tonys, the American Music Awards, Kids' Choice Awards, BET Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards

Distinctive Assets has been creating consolation Oscar gift bags for 11 years now, but is not affiliated with the Oscars in any way.

The bags are delivered directly to the homes of the losing nominees or through their agents or publicists.

In 2006, George Clooney decided to donate his Oscar gift bag to United Way in support of hurricane relief efforts in the Gulf Coast. Included among the usual luxury knickknacks was a handwritten note from Clooney thanking the highest bidder for his or her donation. United Way is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fundraising for important community issues.

The winning bid went for $45,100.

Although Grammy and Golden Globe presenters and performers also get gift bags, none are as opulent as those for the Oscars.

Last year, Grammy presenters and performers received nearly $50,000 worth of items, including wirelessly heated robes, Pepsi pop phones with concierge service for cases of Pepsi and a special $5,000 24-carat gold nail polish, which Rihanna wore to the ceremony.

This year, gift bags for the Golden Globes included a Tumi bag filled with goodies from Donna Karan, L'Oréal, Bulgari and Godiva.

In the past, gift bags for the Golden Globes have included Woolrich fur-trimmed parkas, custom-made surfboards and Mikimoto pearl earrings, whereas Grammy swag has included Tempur-Pedic mattresses and Delsey luggage.

When asked about her overall impression of celebrity gift bags, Joan Rivers told USA Today, "I'm so jealous because this takes care of all their Christmas gifts to their staff."

The Westminster Dog Show reportedly has its own gift bag, tailored specifically toward its contestants.

It includes, among other things, doggy perfume and shampoo.


MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Friend us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter: