Back in April I picked up a Salesman’s Kit for the 1986 Transformers: The Movie Ziploc Bag promotion. I never expected to get anything like that again, but I managed to pick up something similar. This 1986 Transformers: The Movie Promotion Kit was part of the marketing effort for the movie itself.
What I find most interesting is that I’ve never heard of most of the suggested promotions before. That might be because most theaters didn’t participate. The movie was a considered a bomb when originally released, so they may have anticipated that and not put so much into it. Or it could be that I’ve just never heard of them. As you’ll see down below, I discovered a number of things about items in my collection from this material.
I’ve scanned everything in the packet. I blurred out the phone numbers. Being 27 years old, the numbers are probably no good anyway. Not even sure if the company still exists.
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The outside of the folder has the usual Transformers: The Movie logos, art, and movie information. The top of the front of the folder simply says “Promotion Kit.” The contact information for Cynthia Spence at CAS Entertainment Marketing Services is on the inside front flap. It does feel odd to see contact information that does not include an e-mail address, web site address, Facebook screen name, and Twitter handle. Things have changed a lot in 27 years. The pocket on the back has Cyclonus transforming and Ultra Magnus.
Inside Pocket Left
Inside Pocket Right
Included in the kit is a pair of bumper stickers (they are the same) with the line art Transformers: The Movie logo on a blue background.
The three page introduction talks about the new characters, creators who worked on the film, the voice actors, songs, etc. There was one parts that I found particularly interesting.
“…and the words “Autobot” and “Decepticon” have taken up permanent residence in young America’s lexicon.”
If they only knew that they could drop the word “young” from that sentence and it would still be true thirty years later.
National Advertising and Promotional Support
The packet talks about the various ways the movie would be promoted and includes a chart showing the timeline of promotions leading up to and after the release of the movie.
Terrific Transformers Tie-Ins
This packet details various Transformers tie-in promotions. They are Peter Pan Peanut Butter & Hunt’s Snack Packs, Spaghetti-O’s, and Ziploc Sandwich Bags. I have most of the promotional items. See below the scans for details.
Peter Pan Peanut Butter & Hunt’s Snack Packs – Poster
It doesn’t say how many folders there are, so I am not 100% certain if this is all of them, but they are the only four like this that I have ever seen. I would love confirmation that there were only four of these.
Spaghetti-O’s – Poster
Until I read this packet, I didn’t know where these cups and poster came from. I assume they must be part of the Spaghetti-O’s promotion for the movie. I will have to update the pages.
Ziploc Sandwich Bags – Read my blog about the Ziploc Promotion Salesman’s Sample Kit.
The one thing I don’t have from any of these promotions is any of the actual packaging from any of the products. (Yes, I am in fact actively looking for a 27 year old can of Spaghetti-O’s, jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter, and Hunt’s Snack Pack. Looking for the Ziploc box too, but that was a non perishable item, so it’s not quite the same thing.)
This page is all about the Glow-In-The-Dark Poster promotion and talks about the infamous Hot Rod go cart. I did a blog on the posters not too long ago. Oddly it does not use the name, “Decipher The Decepticon Sweepstakes.” It says right at the beginning, “As you read this news, millions of special THE TRANSFORMERS – THE MOVIE sweepstakes posters are on their way to the youth of America…” It is likely that this packet was put together ahead of time, before they named the promotion. I don’t have another explanation.
This details the television promotions. I vaguely recall commercials talking about these sweepstakes. I certainly remember the commercials for the movie. It mentions a 45 RPM and full length soundtrack. The only 45 RPM record that has anything from the soundtrack I am aware of is this single of The Touch, but I’m not sure if that is what they were referring to or not. Here is the movie soundtrack on both 78 RPM record and cassette. You can find quite a few NASTA electronic items on TFMuseum.com.
Complete Cable Coverage
This is much like the previous sheet, but it details the movie promotion on cable channels.
Your Promotion Efforts Can Win Cash Prizes!
I found this one particularly interesting. Apparently there was a contest that the theaters could enter, and the ones who did the most promotions won cash prizes. Prizes of $5,000, $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 doesn’t seem like a lot today, but for smaller independent theaters in 1986, it might have been a good incentive.
Excitement In Store
This packet talks about toy promotions and merchandise promotions in retail stores. What I find interesting here is that while talking about toys they mention Unicron. Guess they didn’t get the memo.
Transform-O-Grams Spread The Word
I’ve never even heard of this one. These postcards were supposedly available at theaters, but it sounds like they would just copy from the second page, which is higher quality paper. I wonder if any theaters actually did this.
Optimus Prime The In-Theater Exclusive
This page talks about the Movie Edition G1 Optimus Prime. It does not mention a Movie Edition Megatron, but I know there was one. I assume this is the order form they are talking about, as it is the only offer I’ve ever seen for the Movie Edition Optimus or Megatron with your movie ticket stub instead of robot points. It also mentions a “poster snipe.” I’m not sure what a poster-snipe is, unless it refers to it coming free as part of the order form. The order form does include the poster, but it also includes coupons to get the poster with your Transformers: The Movie ticket stub and $1.00. That poster is the same as the one on the order form, accept it does not have the order form attached or anything printed on the back. You can see that poster here.
This is just suggestions to theaters on how to decorate for the movie.
Who Is The Chosen One?
I never heard of this one either. It’s essentially a contest entry to guess which character will be “The Chosen One” and a suggestion that prizes be given. Putting Hot Rod right in the middle of the page seems to be a bit of a giveaway.
Another in theater contest or activity. It includes a reproducible sheet to match robot modes to vehicles.
It’s A Draw
Another in theater contest or activity. This one is to draw their own Transformer.
What’s In A Name?
This contest or activity is to guess the characters names.
Color Them Cool
A coloring contest or activity.
“The Transformers Astro-Adventures” Card Don’t Spend The Summer Without It!
I haven’t heard of most of these activities. This one seems really cool in theory. They would print out these membership type cards, but each theater would have to arrange discounts or promotions with local stores for it to mean anything. If it was worth a discount in stores for toys, this would be great, but it could be worth different things in different areas. (And would have potential for multiple theaters in a close area to have done this with different retailers leading to major confusion.) Not sure how anyone came up with this one.
This contest/activity makes no sense to me. I doubt many kids could come up with the names of all these robots.
This was a suggested promotion to have a Transformers: The Movie day with a local theme or amusement park.
Take A Transformers…Or Two
Finally, theaters are being offered free Transformers toys and merchandise to be used as prizes or decorations.
There is some cool info in here that I didn’t know. I’ve never heard of most of these suggested theater promotions. The movie did bomb after all, so if they did start some of these promotions, they probably canceled them quickly.
You can find this and over 9000 other Transformers memorabilia items at TFMuseum.com.
Thanks for reading!