At 4 feet wide and almost 6 feet tall, this impressive vintage poster of a robot holding a tin of Altoids mints is absolutely stunning.
Obviously, the poster is an advertisement for Altoids: not only is the robot holding a tin of Altoids, but the words “THE CURIOUSLY STRONG MINTS” prominently appear at the bottom of the poster. What is not so obvious, however, is why a robot is holding the tin and why the poster also states in bold red print at the bottom, “DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!”
Like all great vintage posters, this poster has an interesting backstory. In 1962 a sci-fi comic book series titled Space Family Robinson, loosely based on the famous nineteenth century book Swiss Family Robinson, was first published. This comic book series in turn served as the inspiration for a popular sci-fi television series titled Lost in Space, that aired from 1965 to 1968 and followed the adventures of the Robinsons, a pioneering family of space colonists. Will Robinson was the youngest child in this family, and Robot Model B-9 (known just as “The Robot”) often served as Will’s protector. The Robot’s warning “Danger, Will Robinson,” became the show’s tagline.
In 1998, twenty years after the TV series, Lost in Space was made into a sci-fi adventure film. Prior to its release, it was touted as a sure bet for blockbuster status, and companies lined up to market their products using the movie tie-in.
This poster, copyrighted in 1997 by Callard & Bowser-Suchard Inc. (makers of Altoids) and Space Productions, was one of these advertising promotions.
What is fascinating about this rare poster is that it was printed on vellum which gives it a lovely translucent quality. And while the image is printed on only one side, it is visible (in reverse) from the back side. Most likely, the poster was meant to be displayed as an advertisement in a lightbox in a bus shelter or other public space.
This very unique and rare poster appeals not just to vintage film and sci-fi fans, but to everyone who has a large, bare wall in need of a very fun and very unique poster with a great story. Robots never go out of style!