Blog #379: Transformers Artifact of the Week: 1986 Transformers The Movie Ziploc Promotion Salesman’s Sample Kit

Transformers Artifact of the Week: 1986 Transformers The Movie Ziploc Promotion Salesman’s Sample Kit

I picked this up on ebay recently.  I have no idea how rare it is.  I’ve never seen another, but that doesn’t really mean very much.  I’m going to go through everything in the kit.  Most of it is self explanatory, so I won’t say too much.  Keep in mind, I am guessing at a lot of this.


It seems that this backpack, containing the sales kit, would be given to clients by the salesman, sort of a free gift to entice them to buy more Ziploc bags.  I would guess these would be purchasers for large chain retailers or smaller stores.  I’ve never seen another backpack just like this one, so it is entirely possible this was something made just for this purpose.



The sales information is contained in this custom made folder.  It uses the standard animation art for movie characters (and also on the inside art for Silverbolt, Powerdasher, and Snarl).  The information inside pertains to the Ziploc/Transformers Promotion.  There is a pocket in back that contains all the other items below.



These are the first two sheets of a four sheet stapled packet with marketing information trying to sell prospective buyers on the promotion.


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.

The information claims that Powerdasher is exclusive to the Ziploc promotion.  That was of course not true.  He was available in 1984 and 1985 as a mail in exclusivealong with others like Reflector and the Omnibots.  I don’t have any mail order toy catalogs from 1986 onward that have Powerdasher available for ordering, so I guess it is true that he was exclusive to Ziploc in 1986 and not available thereafter.  Still, calling a toy exclusive to Ziploc when it had been available for two years seems to be at best misleading.

Also explained, is that the larger Rodimus Prime (though they don’t mention it by name) iron-on is included in the store display and comes free with the purchase of two boxes of Ziploc bags.

There’s a lot of other marketing information here too, but my eyes are starting to glaze over.


The final sheet in the stapled packet contains more marketing information, but more importantly is has a list of everything that is supposed to be included in the sales kit.  It seems my kit is missing the thermos and Powerdasher.  Powerdasher is no big deal as I have one already, but I have no idea what the thermos even looks like, so I can’t even look for one.  It seems everything else is present.


I’m not exactly sure what this is.  It appears to be a sample of the top of the lean back display box, but it’s much smaller than the described dimensions (more on that later).  The scored back flap isn’t long enough to stand it up as a table top display, but perhaps it was meant to attach to a shelf and hang off the end.  I’m really just guessing.


This is one of my favorite items in the kit.  It is a flat line art sample of the 50 bag box.  I don’t have an original Transformers Ziploc bag box, so this is really neat to have.


This is interesting.  It’s an example of a coupon and a list of all the newspapers where it would be distributed.



The above are two sides of the same sheet.  It’s also a sample coupon and a list of newspapers that will distribute it.


This appears to be examples of adds that will be run as part of the promotion.


A Q&A regarding near-packs.  Since I have no idea what those are, I’ve got nothing else to say about it.


This sheet details some other related promotions that are not tied directly to Transformers (accept that they appear to be happening simultaneously).  There are two other sheets in the kit that seem to be referred to here, but they don’t reference or picture anything Transformers related, so I didn’t scan them.



The first of the two sheets shown above is on heavier glossy paper.  It appears to be an order form, but I don’t understand what it’s talking about.  The great thing about this is that it shows what the stand up display looks like.  The second sheet is plain paper like most of the kit, and seems to just be the same sheet without the order form portion.


There was a blank sheet with the Transformers header.  Not sure if it was included on purpose or maybe was stuck to another sheet.  Could be for note taking.  Who knows?


Above on the left is the Rodimus Prime large iron-on from the salesman kit.  On the right is an actual one that you could get in store for buying two boxes of Ziploc bags.  You’ll note a few differences between the two.

The salesman sample has the Ziploc copyright information printed over Rodimus Prime’s yellow wing.  The finals released version has it moved off the art.

The trademark and registered trademark symbols are missing next to Rodimus Prime’s name and the Transformers Logo

Lastly, the Hasbro copyright info has been added between the art and Rodimus Prime’s name as part of the iron-on itself on the general release version.





Above are four (of eight total in the set) smaller iron-ons were packed in the boxes of Ziploc bags.  As with the Rodimus Prime iron-on, the versions on the left that came in the kit are missing the trademark symbols and the Hasbro copyright between the name and the art.


And finally, above are the other four iron-ons from the kit.  I unfortunately don’t have regular versions of these for comparison, but I assume they have the same differences as the other four.

Well, that’s about it.  I really wish I knew how rare this is.  For all I know there are plenty of them floating around, but I’ve never seen another.  If you have any more information on this kit please contact me.  I’m also looking for the thermos from the kits as well as an original Transformers Ziploc bag box and the Galvatron, Cyclonus, Kup and Springer Iron-ons.  If you have any of these items for sale, please contact me.

I just got this in, so it’s not up yet, but you can find 8500+ other Transformers non toys items at

Thanks for reading!

About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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13 Responses to Blog #379: Transformers Artifact of the Week: 1986 Transformers The Movie Ziploc Promotion Salesman’s Sample Kit

  1. lmb3 says:

    Unfortunately I can’t put my hands on it a the moment. I’m sure you’re right about it being made by Aladdin, but this is the only place I’ve ever seen this particular backpack. It probably wasn’t made just for this offer. I don’t have the thermos. Do you have one? I’d love to get a picture of it so I know what I’m searching for.

  2. Matt says:

    Does the bag have an Aladdin label inside? Its possible they were made just for this set, but equally not. Was the thermos stock standard or variant?

  3. lmb3 says:

    Actually Matt, the backpack is part of the kit. It is listed on one of the scanned pages above.

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  5. Matt says:

    I picked up this bag recently, its got an Aladdin label inside indicating its not part of the salesman kit. Aladdin are the company that made lunch boxes and lunch bags at this time. The TF Artifacts site also verifies this. Still its pairs well with this ziploc material. Any chance to post some more G1 reviews? Dare I says they will likely get more hits than some of the modern stuff!!

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  8. lmb3 says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a box. I wish I did. I have no idea how many G1 artifacts I have. I have over 11,000 items, but includes all series.



  9. Matt says:

    Wow – did you get that Ziploc Transformer box? How many G1 artifacts do you estimate you have? That’s what I love about G1, always more to find out and discover!

  10. lmb3 says:

    Hi, Allison. I would be interested. How much are you asking? Can you send a picture?



  11. Allison says:

    Hey, I looked up and down for an email adress to you, but alas, could not find it.

    I have an un-opened Ziploc Transformer box.

    Get back to me if you are interested.

  12. brody says:

    i have 64 of rodimus prime

  13. Armchair Warrior Needs Food Badly says:

    This has been my favorite artifact to date. I am hard-pressed not to want to search this out for myself. Sad story; I had almost all the iron-ons (large rodi, and a gaggle of the little ones) on a white t-shirt with green sleeves when I was a kid. I outgrew the shirt – aaaand my mom threw it out. I’d kill to have that slice of my childhood again. Considering how little I got to have, much less keep, I feel this loss keenly. Family and friends can never replace things… but I miss my things, too.

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