Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Coke may have invented Santa Claus but Pepsi had the big red guy I really wanted to see at Christmas

Pepsi 12/15/85

This is a cool ad because it's the only American promotional material I've found for Pepsi's 1985 "Win a Transformer" contest giveaway. In the US the rules were simple-you bought a Pepsi with Optimus Prime graphics on it (you 'can' see a picture of one of these special cans at the bottom of this page) and if the tab had the word "WIN" on it you would go to your nearest Pepsi bottler and pick up a special Pepsi edition Optimus Prime. (You can see this ad in the Reading, PA newspaper it came from thanks to Google's newspaper archive.)


No discussion of Pepsi Prime would be complete without mention of the Canadian contest where the prize was an Optimus with a much larger trailer sticker that ran the length of the cab (you can see it on this page seven Optimus Primi down). In Canada the promotion was called "Transformers Trackdown" and it included a game where players collected bottle caps to complete a picture of Optimus Prime. A small graphic with one side of Optimus was printed underneath the bottle caps and players had to acquire both the left and right halves of Optimus to win. To the right is a picture of the more common bottle cap courtesy of my friend Colin who runs Note the French/English bilingual text. The smaller text states the offer expires 2-28-86. (Optimus himself expired six months later.)


I never won a Pepsi Prime when I was a kid but I don't remember trying. So Pepsi never got a chance back then to twist and pervert my love of Optimus into an addiction to their kidney caramelizer. I had to wait almost twenty years later to let them do that. I'm glad I got another shot. Hopefully Pepsi will keep alive their tradition of occasionally bringing me free Optimus Primes because ever since I turned 13 Santa Claus has been doing a really crappy job.

Pence Foods 01/14/86
Mr. Ed's 08/24/86


I found a couple of ads recently from food related establishments back in '86 who were giving away "Autobot Commander" Transformers. Although the stores differed, what they had in common was usually the robots were part of some random giveaway and multiples of these figures were raffled off along with some bicycles.

One ad was from a grocery store called Pence Foods doing a raffle where the second and third prizes were "Autobot Commander Transformers" and another one, from Mr. Ed's hamburger restaurant in Cumberland, Maryland, was part of a grand opening celebration. Mr. Ed's is the only ad I've found stating the prizes were furnished by Pepsi. I'm thinking that in addition to the "look under the cap and win a Transformer" contest they did, they also gave away cases of Optimus Primes to various vendors to give away as promotional items.

So there were probably lots of ways to score a Pepsi Prime beyond just the contest on the cans, which was the only official way I knew of. I say official because I had a friend whose dad worked for Pepsi and scored him one, in which case the only contest my friend had to win was the sperm lottery.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


The 12th seal of the Roboplastic Apocalypse severs and snaps like several zombie necks under the steady rumble of 40 year old robot tank treads in this "catching up with the Tronians" edition of the Roboplastic Podcastalypse! Listen in horror as the Nostrodomatron talks for over an hour about Yo Gabba Gabba (a new children's show about robots and monsters), Transformers G1 (an old children's cartoon about robots and monsters) and Zeroids (a new old comic definitely not for children, but still about robots and monsters). Plus old newspaper articles take me back to early 1984 when there was no Transformers bandwagon, everyone was jumping on the GoBots bandwagon, some people were jumping on the Robo Force bandwagon, and nobody even knew there was a Starriors bandwagon. Do you remember the Roboplastic Apocalypse? YES I DO AND IT WAS REALLY FUN.

Or download it directly

Radio Shack 12/01/85
Venture 12/03/84

I haven't figured out what these pictures mean yet but by showing you them I am hoping you will think I am some kind of an authority.

  • Opening Poem-"We All Just Wanna be the Heroes of Our Own Flint Dille Novels"
  • The Radio Free Delbocalypse
  • Next year's robotastic Supercon guest lineup
  • Destroy All Podcastalypses Part 2!
  • I can talk about toy robots but my area of expertise is actually grocery store ads from 1985
  • The Shackalactic Starrior mystery
  • Another Ad That Should Not Be-Jetfire prototype from 1984
  • Gay for Zeroids (or gay because of them)
  • MHC preview of original Star Team comic
  • Transformers and Zeroids-Comics about reanimated soulless monsters and the zombies who fight them
  • 2010 is the August of 1986 I always wanted
  • Sins I have committed in the name of Robotroids
  • Chinese hackers + American newspaper websites = infinite knowledge of GoBots
  • Gaining infinite knowledge of GoBots is a dumb reason to go to jail
  • The $21,000 password hack
  • A New Hope for toy robot newspaper journalism in 1978
  • TOY ROBOTS : TAKE US TO YOUR KIDS and other old newspaper articles I read when I should have been studying for midterms
  • Repeatedly saying "Machine Robo" when I meant "Machine Men" around the 42:43 mark
  • Moday Morning Mecha Pilot: analyzing GoBots television marketing
  • RoboForce at ToyFair 1984-Now there's $400,000 I'll never get back
  • Hating 500 hour long podcasts and how to make one
  • Don't play with your TechspecTesticles (unless it's really fun)

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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.