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1986 Transformers Animated Movie Ziploc Promo Salesman's Sample Kit Unearths Surprising Information

Posted on 05-16-2013 at 02:43 AM by Shin Densetsu under Generation 1
Transformers-Ziploc-Promo-Salesman-Kit
What a blast from the past! Lmb3.net has obtained a 1986 Transformers The Movie Ziploc Promotion Salesman's Sample Kit. As kids, most of us probably never saw this back in the day. So it's interesting to see just what exactly was in this kit.

The kit itself came in a backpack. These kits came with promo sheets, copies of coupons to be used, a thermos, Powerdasher, iron-ons and amongst other items, sheets containing some revealing information. Just how well was the Transformers brand doing back in the 1980's? Here's the answer to that question:

The third sheet in the packet actually has some really interesting information on it (or at least, interesting to me. It talks about the Transformers brand expecting to make $300 million in 1986. It also states that Transformers made $100 million in 1984, the most for any first year series ever at that time. Iím sure that record has probably been broken, but Iíd love to know how that stacks up all time.

It says that there would be $20 million spent on advertising, and an additional $3 million spent promoting the movie. Maybe Iím thinking about it by todayís standards, but $3 million to promote a movie doesnít seem like a lot, even in 1986.


As we near the 30th anniversary of the Transformers brand, it's quite a revelation to know just how successful it was almost 30 years ago!

The author at lmb3.net was missing the Powerdasher figure and thermos from the kit. However his article has scans of several articles contained within the kit, including the iron-ons, promo sheets, and much more! Head on over to it to get a glimpse into the glory days of Transformers Generation 1!
Views: 2,991 / Credit: Born 2B Alive! of the 2005 Boards!
bigkid24
Interesting. My question is what is that toy that they were offering and does it actually exist.
Born 2B Alive!
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkid24 View Post
Interesting. My question is what is that toy that they were offering and does it actually exist.
It was a Powerdasher.... I believe there is actually 3 different ones.
Aernaroth
Neat! These kinds of promotional items are always interesting to look at.
Born 2B Alive!
These documents need to be saved in a new "G1 Non Toys Thread" along with the countless other pictures of G1 related items that get posted then lost 4ever in these forums. I have seen so many threads posted over and over again in the Gen. Forum saying that G.I. Joe, He Man, or some other toys outsold Transformers in 1984 and 1985. Complete rubbish. I have posted articles on here over and over again showing otherwise. Here you have Hasbro themselves stating it that Transformers was #1.... but in two weeks when this thread is gone someone will make a new thread stating that Transformers wasn't even close to be the top selling toy back then.
Aernaroth
If people don't read the stickies about the rules, what makes you think that having your idea of a megathread will permanently dispel these inaccuracies?

Also, what you just posted doesn't disprove the assertion that TF was the biggest selling toyline of 1984 and 1985. This very well may be the case, or maybe they were outsold by barbie and hot wheels, I haven't seen any concrete proof one way or the other. Even if we do take Dow/Hasbro at their word that they were "#1 in 1984 and 1985", this also isn't concrete proof, since it isn't cited fact or objective research.
Infosaur
Remember, that was $100 million in 1984 dollars.

Adjusted for inflation that's probably more like $180-220 million today.

And that's for a brand that came out of nowhere, not something with a built in "legacy" like GI-Joe or Transformers today. Or had a promoting media like Star Wars or Superman.

It would be like Motorcity, Kajuto or Adventure Time selling a $1/4 mill in it's first season.

Probably the only thing close is Angry Birds. Which seems to be hopping on the merchandizing train now (even though I only played the game for the 1st time about 3 weeks ago, I don't have an iPad)
firehawc_69
Man, I hope something like this kit shows up for the Wonderbread He-Man promotion. That thing is almost mythical because there's no concrete proof of it to be found. Even calling Hostess and Wonder, no one ever could produce any documentation that says it happened, yet many, many people remember it from the '80s.

This is a really cool find.
LegendAntihero
Awesome, it must've been as popular as Call of Duty is today.
PoweredConvoy
I remember when the Transformers line was coming to an end there was an article in the newspaper about it. In the article it stated how much the series made each year. 1985 was their most profitable year and it was a steady decline every year after.

Randy
KA
cool news, bro.
Dolza_Khyron
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkid24 View Post
Interesting. My question is what is that toy that they were offering and does it actually exist.
Sky Dasher (1985) - Autobot Multi-Function Specialist - www.tfu.info

sky dasher.

you can probably find one for about 20 bucks these days. lol

Drill Dasher (1985) - Autobot Multi-Function Specialist - www.tfu.info

F-1 Dasher (1985) - Autobot Multi-Function Specialist - www.tfu.info

they're not great toys. but, for a 3 dollar, pull back motored, transforming toy, they're not bad. i also believe they were also apart of Diaclone.

and i think you could also get them with the "S.T.A.R.S." mail in things too. if i remember correctly.
Batman
Cool find! Love all the photos.

I must say I had no idea how competitive and hardcore the sandwich bag market was, I wonder if it is still this way today

FEEL THE HEAT!!!! FUEL THE FIRE!!!!!!
rodimuspwnzor
I got the Hot Rod Iron on from those thing!
Snake_eyes1975
this is possibly my most favorite "lost" artifact I have ever seen for Joe or TF. I a sales guy..I LOVE sales..this kit brings sales and transformers into one bag of awesome. If I would have seen that on ebay..I would have tried my ass off to own that.

wonder why Hasbro does not do this anymore..Everytime we used something like this it worked..

GIJOE and TRANSFORMERS used to be on EVERYTHING in the mid 80's..
Superquad7
Things like this are why I continue to be enthralled with G1. This is such a great find!
Grandum
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infosaur View Post
Remember, that was $100 million in 1984 dollars.

Adjusted for inflation that's probably more like $180-220 million today.

And that's for a brand that came out of nowhere, not something with a built in "legacy" like GI-Joe or Transformers today. Or had a promoting media like Star Wars or Superman.

It would be like Motorcity, Kajuto or Adventure Time selling a $1/4 mill in it's first season.

Probably the only thing close is Angry Birds. Which seems to be hopping on the merchandizing train now (even though I only played the game for the 1st time about 3 weeks ago, I don't have an iPad)
Had to look it up - it's $227 million in todays money or about what Hasbro made of Transformers in 2010. $300 million in 1986 would be more than any
of the live movie years...

...now that we have facts on this maybe we can finally stop the myth of "OMG, nobody had never even heard of TF before Bay made it popular, G1 was nothing compared to how big Bayverse is, etc, etc, etc"
Nevermore
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoweredConvoy View Post
I remember when the Transformers line was coming to an end there was an article in the newspaper about it. In the article it stated how much the series made each year. 1985 was their most profitable year and it was a steady decline every year after.

Randy
Poor Sales May Deal Toy Robots Fatal Blow
TFW10
Wow, I don't really collect anything but I would love to have that.

I too would search for that.
DecepticonSpike
I remember the ziploc promotion when I was a kid. I begged my mom to buy a box because it said "Transformers" on it. I think I got the Springer iron on.
Protoman
Interesting indeed.......
ptrckcrw2
This is so cool. Did I miss where he said he was able to get ahold of this and how much he paid
Optimist_Prime
I'd love to know how much he paid for this. He says he didn't know if it was rare or not, so I'm guessing he didn't invest way to much in it.
Backscatter
Hmm, never saw those Zip Lock promotional Iron Transfers in 1986. I did get the mail-away Power Dashers though. In 1986 Transformers lined the toy shelves. Since then only 2007 came close.
Born 2B Alive!
I got to admit... I was going to ask the guy to sell me that entire Kit first... then post it on this TFW2005 site once it was in my hands. I suspect now that he has been contacted with several offers. Now it will be sold for much more... LOL Ohh well.
MACRAPTRON
Wasn't the G1 Optimus Prime toy the best-selling action figure of all time, selling one million units worldwide or something like that?

The Takara G1 DVD set bonus track has a video showing how TFs took the world by storm back then. I thought that TFs as the #1 toy back then was a well known fact.
madhatprime
Transformers was so popular in the 80s... check out this craigslist ad showing a tv tray... I would love to get this.
Vintage TV trays: Transformers, Rainbow Brite

Anyone have this as a kid?
Superquad7
Quote:
Originally Posted by madhatprime View Post
Transformers was so popular in the 80s... check out this craigslist ad showing a tv tray... I would love to get this.
Vintage TV trays: Transformers, Rainbow Brite

Anyone have this as a kid?
I had the 1984 version as a kid, and it's still in my collection. I actually purchased the 1986 one a few years ago.

The dinner tray was something I used up through high school even, just due to functionality. I was often eating meals and watching a show, so it was very practical.
airfox
Very interesting info. Always like finding these obscure bits of TF history.

Since I store most of my toys in Ziploc bags, I'd love to have a TF Ziploc Box.

P.S.: wonder is Hasbro reached the $300 million goal in TFs for 1986 and how much they got for TFs in 1985.

-airfox
President Prime
Definitely a cool piece of history. But am I the only one to find a Ziploc movie tie in to be kind of funny?
DecepticonSpike
Quote:
Originally Posted by President Prime View Post
Definitely a cool piece of history. But am I the only one to find a Ziploc movie tie in to be kind of funny?
No more so than the 2007 lunchables tie in.
LordGigaIce
Quote:
Originally Posted by DecepticonSpike View Post
No more so than the 2007 lunchables tie in.
Which was itself pretty funny.
President Prime
Quote:
Originally Posted by DecepticonSpike View Post
No more so than the 2007 lunchables tie in.
Yeah, I'd forgotten about that. I wonder if the internal materials regarding that were equally as hilarious.

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