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


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. I’m sure that record has probably been broken, but I’d 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 I’m thinking about it by today’s standards, but $3 million to promote a movie doesn’t 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!

Discussion / Comments (Jump to this Thread on the Boards)

  1. Born 2B Alive!'s Avatar Born 2B Alive! says

    I hope I am not breaking any rules linking to this blog I found yesterday. But one of his articles has over 25 pictures of documents sent between Hasbro and Ziploc talking about how much Transformers made in 1984 to 1986. Some of the goodies are....

    * Transformers single largest first year toy ever.... $100 Million in 1984.

    *Transformers was the number 1 toy in both 1984 and 1985 on track to do over $300 million in 1986.

    This is a must read for all of the doubter stating Transformers was not #1 back then.

    Blog #379: Transformers Artifact of the Week: 1986 Transformers The Movie Ziploc Promotion Salesman

  2. bigkid24's Avatar bigkid24 says

    Interesting. My question is what is that toy that they were offering and does it actually exist.

  3. Born 2B Alive!'s Avatar Born 2B Alive! says

    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.

  4. Aernaroth's Avatar Aernaroth says

    Neat! These kinds of promotional items are always interesting to look at.

  5. Born 2B Alive!'s Avatar Born 2B Alive! says

    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.

  6. Aernaroth's Avatar Aernaroth says

    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.

  7. Infosaur's Avatar Infosaur says

    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)

  8. firehawc_69's Avatar firehawc_69 says

    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.

  9. LegendAntihero has no avatar! LegendAntihero says

    Awesome, it must've been as popular as Call of Duty is today.

  10. PoweredConvoy's Avatar PoweredConvoy says

    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.


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