Superion really hates Cyclonus's crotch.

Decipher the Decepticon was a sweepstakes contest run to promote the then-upcoming The Transformers: The Movie. It was advertised via pack-in flyers included with specially marked boxed toys.

Release date: 1986
Characters: Metroplex, Galvatron, his Predacon eagle Divebomb, Springer, Blurr; Kickback, Wreck-Gar, Predaking, Rodimus Prime, Wheelie; Cyclonus, Superion, Hot Rod, Sharkticon; Trypticon, Octane, Defensor, Ultra Magnus, Bruticus.

"Somewhere on a moon base, Springer, a talented Triple Changer, and Blurr, the fastest Autobot on land, join forces with Metroplex...Autobot City transformed into a powerful giant robot. Objective: to wipe out the Decepticon City Commander, Galvatron, and his Predacon eagle, Divebomb."
―poster blurb, "Decipher the Decepticon" Sweepstakes!



That atmospherium can do some mighty powerful stuff.

The sweepstakes flyer featured 1/4th of a large poster scene on one side. Overlaid on the poster were glow-in-the-dark outline scenes of various Transformers fighting in vehicle mode:

  • Poster #1 (upper left): Cyclonus vs. Hot Rod
  • Poster #2 (upper right): Wreck-Gar vs. two Predacons (Headstrong and ?)
  • Poster #3 (lower left): Galvatron vs. Springer.
  • Poster #4 (lower right:) ?

The poster depicts a chaotic and somewhat spatially anomalous battle on "a moon base". A strip along the bottom provided numbered outlines of the characters involved, along with a text blurb naming and describing them.

The other side included the complete poster reproduced in miniature, and the sweepstakes rules. Entrants had to complete various sentences with the names of characters ("In the poster, Cyclonus delivers a low blow to _ _ _   _ _ _.") Circled letters in the answer could then be unscrambled to reveal the name of the "evil, horrible enemy planet - who tries to dominate everyone".

If you were quite puzzle-challenged, you could also get the answer by sending in a self-addressed stamped envelope.

The five grand prizes were an electric Hot Rod go-cart, "valued at $2,500". First prize (100) were a videotape of The Transformers: The Movie "to watch any time at home". Second prize (1,000) was a reproduction "coming attractions" movie theater poster for TF:TM.

The contest closed on January 31, 1987. Curiously, you could still send in requests to learn the answer until March 16th of that year.


  • Divebomb and Predaking are running around at the same time.
  • So are Rodimus Prime and Hot Rod.
  • Metroplex and Trypticon are maybe a head taller than everyone else.


  • Like other pre-Movie material, the posters' text works hard to conceal certain secrets of the movie, notably the identities of Galvatron and Rodimus Prime.
  • It seems a bit odd that Kickback is included. Everyone else shown was a brand-new toy for 1986.
  • To date, no photographs of the Hot Rod go-carts have materialized on the Internet. If you have one, you'll be our hero forever.
  • Once entrants figured out the answer to the puzzle, it was to be entered in the blank on a cut-off strip at the bottom of the poster: "I think _______ is the evil, horrible enemy planet." Mailing this in, however, meant that you no longer had the description of the battle.
  • Who is the evil, horrible enemy planet? ANSWER: _ _ _ _ _ _ _.
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