Oscars 2023: What’s inside the $126,000 gift bag & Who Wins

Oscars 2023: What’s inside the $126,000 gift bag & Who Wins

Did you know that the elite individuals nominated for the most coveted Oscar categories are privileged to receive extravagant gifts, valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars? These luxurious offerings, independent of the Academy, are presented by the niche marketing company, Distinctive Assets, headquartered in Los Angeles since 2002. The extravagant value of this year's swag bag, dubbed the "Everyone Wins" gift bag, is estimated to be $126,000.

What’s inside the 2023 Oscar goodie bag?

With more than 60 coveted items, this year's gift bag features an assortment of lavish beauty and lifestyle gifts, as well as indulgent vacations. Notably, it includes a $40,000 escape to a Canadian estate named The Lifestyle and an opportunity for eight people to stay in a refurbished Italian lighthouse. Additionally, a 'symbolic souvenir' of a plot of land in Queensland, Australia, is also included.

For those aspiring to refurbish their abodes, the gift bag offers a generous $25,000 in project management fees for home renovations through Maison Construction. The package also encompasses several rejuvenating procedures, such as lipo arm sculpting, hair restoration services, and even a facelift.

Approximately half of the items in this year's collection purportedly originate from female and minority-owned companies, all of which are presented in Havaianas suitcases. Within these suitcases lie an abundance of luxurious skincare products from Miage, a silk pillowcase crafted by Blush Silks, and a travel pillow from PETA. Alongside these are offerings from Ariadne Athens Skin Wellness, All Better Co., Bored Rebel, Daily Energy Cards, Effecti-cal, Kind Reason Co., KnowingLabs, Maison Construction, NaturGeeks, Rareté Studios, ReFa, Proflexa, Oxygenetix, and The Millions-Billions-Trillions Brand, among other esteemed brands. Remarkably, the least expensive gifts within the assortment include a pack of Clif Thins priced at $13.56 and a delectable $18 loaf of Japanese milk bread from Ginza Nishikawa.

Who is eligible for the luxurious Oscars goodie bags?

The Oscar gift bags are bestowed upon the hosts and nominees of the esteemed categories of Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. Nonetheless, the recipients possess the prerogative to decline acceptance of these gifts. Interestingly, although the products and services contained within the gift bags are complimentary, the recipient is still required to pay taxes on the value of the items. This is attributed to the fact that these gifts are regarded as a form of income.

History of Oscar Goodies Bag

As per news reports, the 1990s marked a turning point in the tradition of gifting presenters and performers at the Oscars ceremony, which eventually became an established norm. Initially, brands were not charged a fee for their donations, but now they are required to shell out at least $4,000 to participate. Over the years, several changes have been implemented, the most significant of which was the complete dissociation of gift selection and bestowal by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in 2006. The highly-coveted "swag bags" associated with the awards are currently curated by Distinctive Assets, a specialized marketing company founded by Lash Fary.

Controversies surrounding Oscar goodies bags in the past

  • The swag bags have become famous for their luxurious contents, which have included lavish holidays overseas. However, in 2016, the inclusion of a $55,000 trip to Israel in the swag bag created quite a stir. This vacation was sponsored by the Israel Tourism Ministry and ExploreIsrael.com, and it triggered an immediate backlash from several groups. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Jewish Voice for Peace went so far as to release an advertisement with the hashtag “#SkipTheTrip,” urging people not to support Israeli apartheid.

  • The company also stirred up a direct confrontation with the Academy in 2016 when the "bag" included marijuana vape pens, sex toys, and a vampire breast lift. The Academy was reportedly appalled by this inclusion, considering it damaging to its reputation, especially with the elevated estimated costs of these gifts. As a result, Distinctive Assets is now prohibited from using Academy trademarks.

  • Next, the 2020 swag bag is rumored to be one of the most extravagant to date, boasting an estimated value of $225,000. Among the contents were a Royal Charka bath bomb infused with 24K gold, a 24K gold vape pen from Hollowtips, and a $20,000 one-year membership to an exclusive matchmaking service. 

  • In the following year, the nominees were treated to a plastic surgery procedure, a PETA emergency hammer for freeing trapped dogs, and molecular hydrogen water. Other items in swag bags have included activated coconut shell charcoal, underarm sweat patches, and membership to a cannabis-friendly social club in 2019.

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