Vault Boy has displayed many talents over the years. Appearing in numerous Vault-Tec manuals and films, his ever-upbeat mug has been used to illustrate perks, traits and other aspects of the game since the original Fallout. But recently he’s turned up elsewhere, on Expresso Pizza boxes in Billerica, Massachusetts, and it probably goes without saying that his appearance was made entirely without permission, from either Vault-Tec or Bethesda.
Joystiq dropped the dime on Expresso to Bethesda and was told that the company does indeed take a dim view of such unauthorized use. “Well, he is a big part of our Fallout brand and is copyrighted, so, yeah, deciding on your own to use him to promote your business or product, or to sell stuff, or whatever, without getting permission from us… not a good idea,” a Bethesda rep said. Sounds like fighting words to me!
This obviously isn’t the first time a restaurant has used an unauthorized image to promote itself; Snoopy used to feature prominently on the sign for an old roadhouse not too far down the highway from here, in fact. Snoopy is a bit more instantly recognizable, though, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the guys at Expresso had no idea where this image actually came from. And if they do… well, at least they don’t have him pissing on a Ford logo.