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Straight outta the '80s, The Noid is back, and no autonomous Domino's pizza delivery vehicle is safe

By Adam Pockross

Ladies and gentlemen of the Neon Decade, let your nostalgia flags fly, because Domino’s Pizza is bringing back its old ‘80s mascot, the Noid. But while he’s still trying to disrupt delivery times, the punky bunny-eared bandit is no longer going after Domino’s drivers — now he’s going after their autonomous vehicles.

If you were a pizza-loving kid growing up in the ‘80s, there’s a good bet you had your local Domino's number memorized (since you didn’t have a smartphone to remember it for you). But while that memory may be dearly departed, odds are good you still vaguely recall the groundbreaking pizza company’s 1986 ad campaign, which implored would-be pizza delivery recipients to “Avoid the Noid.”

While you may remember the Noid, aka “that nasty dude [who] is after your food” (as one old ad annoying chimed), it’s also a good bet you don’t really know what the heck he was, other than some sort of dastardly mashup of the Easter Bunny and the Hamburglar, who really wanted to thwart Domino’s drivers from delivering piping hot pizza to your door in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.

That 30-minute guarantee stuck in people’s minds right alongside the Noid, and Domino’s sold a whole heckuva lot of pizzas by revolutionizing the delivery game. And the company is still trying to revolutionize the delivery game, as it’s currently testing self-driving, occupantless, on-road Nuro R2 pizza delivery robots. Which is where the Noid comes back into the picture.

"The Noid is Domino's oldest and most famous villain, and the pizza delivery testing we're doing with Nuro's autonomous vehicle is exactly the kind of technology innovation that could provoke the Noid to return," Kate Trumbull, Domino's vice president of advertising, said in a release. "However, after 35 years of practice in avoiding the Noid, we're pretty confident we know how to defeat it."

One can hope. Or who knows what kind of Noid-run society we'll be forced to live in.

The Noid and Crash Bandicoot

The Noid isn’t just coming back to wreak havoc on autonomous pizza deliveries, either. He’s also got a disrupter date with Crash Bandicoot. Bringing the whole marketing campaign to an even higher WTF level, beginning May 7, the Noid is bringing his manic energy as a mini boss throughout Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!, a new mobile game to coincide with the franchise’s 25th anniversary.

So watch out, pizza lovers, cause the Noid is back with a vengeance.

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