[ Retro Scan of the Week ] It’s Alive! — Floppy Disk Robots

July 2nd, 2007 by Benj Edwards
Maxell Robot Advertisement #1

Call it Frankenstein with robots.

Man, what a way to sell floppies. Twenty years later, these apparently-sentient humanoid machines remain powerful and evocative advertising icons. Their glowing eyes know no particular focus, but they symbolize a spark of intelligence and awareness of the world around them as they adroitly perform tasks heretofore reserved for humans. Each bot conveniently contains a 5 1/4″ floppy drive in its midsection, ironically making each unit ready for new programming via the pinnacle of 1970s consumer portable data storage technology. The whole idea is a tad creepy, but it works.

Maxell ran a series of robot ads like this one in computer magazines during the mid-late 1980s. This particular ad hails from the back of the 1987 BYTE magazine Extra Edition. If anyone’s interested, I’ll scan more from this series.

Does anyone know who the artist is that created this series of ads? If so, please let me know.

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7 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] It’s Alive! — Floppy Disk Robots”

  1. Moondog Says:

    Before he brings life(?) to another robot, maybe he should fix his assistant’s Igor-like bad posture.

  2. Geoff V. Says:

    These ads reminded me of art created by William Whitehurst for Maxell a few years ago.

  3. Blake Patterson Says:

    Hah! I saw the headline for this in my RSS reader and I pictured perfectly the series of Maxell ads from the 80’s. I knew what I was going to find when I came here. Good times!

  4. Silva Says:

    They remind me of some battery ads (Tudor?) running here in the late 80s/early 90s.

  5. vjb2 Says:

    I remember these ads well from OMNI back in the day. I went to The Computer Museum in Boston in 1991, I think it was, and they had the life size models of these robots, perhaps in this configuration. They also had a ginormous PC you could actually work and walk into. That was cool.

  6. Chris Says:

    Do you have any more form these series?

    I found this in my brother’s Car & Driver magazine and stared at it for hours when I was very young.

    Loved the premise and concept, really cool.

  7. Benj Edwards Says:


    I have seen many ads in this series among my old magazines, but I do not believe I have scanned any except this one. I will keep an eye out for them in the future.

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