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Marty McFly

Back to the Future Part II
by yo go re

Welcome to the thrilling, far-flung future of "five years ago."

Marty McFly & "Doc" Brown experience the adventure of a lifetime in an unlikely time machine, as they travel to the past, present, and future setting off a time-shattering chain reaction that disrupts the time-space continuum!

Yes, that's the same text that was on the back of the box for 1985 Marty - how boring. We're always disappointed when the licensors will only approve this regurgitated corporate-originated copy, rather than letting NECA put specific info about the character inside. Like, how about the fact that this could technically represent two different people: Marty, of course, but also his nigh-identical future-son, Marty McFly Jr. If not for Marty showing up, MJ would have been arrested for stealing money from the Hill Valley Payroll Substation (though why that would be front-page news in USA Today is the real mystery of the series).

2015 Marty has the same issue as 1985 Marty: the sculpt of the face (on both included heads) is good, but the paint doesn't look natural at all. He's got rosy cheeks like a dang Precious Moments figurine! The two heads have unique expressions: the one with the hat has a little bit of a smile, while the one without has the same sort of worried/confused look seen on the other figure (though it's not the same mold, because the haircut is different). Again, it's only the paint that brings them low.

Everybody loves to ding Back to the Future for all the predictions it got wrong, but there's one thing they got right: the fashion. Well, sort of. The technology contained in the future clothes may not exist (self-lacing shoes, instantly-resizing jackets), but other than the hypercolor hat, Marty's clothes look absolutely normal by modern standards. So often when fiction tries to set a story in the future, the clothes get super weird; BttF recognized that "jeans and a T-shirt" is a combo that would pretty much work forever. Marty moves through a span of 60 years in this movie, and his basic outfit fits in everywhere. Even his jacket, a brick red body with grey sleeves, doesn't seem too outlandish to believe as something someone would have been wearing a few years ago.

The figure's thighs are the same mold as the '85 version, though his jeans are lighter this time. There's no real way to accurately depict the "holographic" material of his hat (and if there was, we'd expect to see it used on Storm first), so NECA came up with a clever way to do it: the base of the hat is pink, with purple and yellow panels added on top of that, then a clear metallic wash overthe whole thing. Is it a perfect re-creation of what he wore in the film? No, of course not. But it's very clever and gets the point across.

Marty's got plenty of articulation. Like most NECA figures these days, he moves at the head, shoulders, elbows (the double-swivel/hinge style), wrists, waist, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. The hips are a new style for NECA, actual balljoints rather than just swivel/hinges that mimic the same range. No more moving both legs when you try to just move one! The waist joint is underneath the PVC sheath that forms the shirt and top of the pants, so it doesn't move very far at all. He "hat" head on mine is a little loose - it'll hold its pose, but it wants to bobble around a little when you move it.

2015 Marty doesn't have a lot of accessories, but the ones he does have are the ones you'd want. Heck, the one you'd want: a hoverboard. Looking at photos of the real prop, this accessory isn't even as accurate as Mattel's was; that's something that will surely annoy some fans, who demand screen-accuracy no matter what, but honestly? It's close enough. And the fact that it actually comes with a Marty instead of just by itself encourages us to cut it a lot of slack.

If you want nit-picky details: on the bottom, the anti-gravity lift cushions (round things) are too small and too close to the ends, the polarity reversing acceleration booster (purple thing) is too large, and the brackets that connect them should be maroon, not metallic bronze [though they did appear that shade in at least one shot, so this can be overlooked); on the top, the angle of the green stripe is incorrect, there should be a gap in the middle of the large pink stripes that allows the background and the green stripe to show through, and more of a gap between the words "hover" and "board." Plus, there should be a black hole in the front where the handlebars plugged in before Marty removed them. It does appear NECA at least made a token effort to suggest the holographic pattern in the purple background - faking it is much more acceptable at this scale than it was on Mattel's $130 replica. And hey, swapping the white-on-red Mattel logos for red-on-white NECA logos is a fun touch. Overall the colors seem less vibrant on the toy than on the real thing. Finally, if you want to get into super obsessive territory, the green stripe on the top and the pink stripes ("velocity control pads") in the front of the real thing were made from velcro material, so they should have the same sculpted texture as the safety strap, rather than being flat.

None of that stops the toy from being fun. There's are a couple alternate pieces to up the playability: an alternate foot pad with a peg so the figure can stand on it, and an alternate acceleration booster with a socket to accommodate the included hover stand. That lifts the board about ¾" off the ground, and it's a balljoint so you can angle it however you want. That's higher than the board was ever shown to hover in the film (aka, "about normal wheel-height"), but it looks cooler this way. The stand is sturdy enough to support the board even with Marty on it, as long he's balanced.

Just the hoverboard probably would have been enough, since the Sports Almanac comes with Biff, but Marty gets a little more: a Pepsi Perfect and its serving cylinder. Or technically a "Peppi" Perfect, so they didn't have to license the rights to a ⅛" logo. [Or because Homer loves him --ed.] Maybe if Pepsi didn't have such ornate packaging in the future, it wouldn't cost $40 a bottle! And props to NECA for even remembering the little notch in the blue on top of the cylinder, since it rose up out of the P in the logo. Okay, it should be white, not clear, but at least the soda bottle is translucent, for maximum reality. The figure includes an alternate right hand so he can hold one of his props.

We now have two of the three most iconic Marties in NECA form - as soon as they release "Clint Eastwood" Marty, the trilogy will be complete. We already know we're getting a 1955 Doc soon, so hopefully a 2015 Doc won't be far behind. He'd be a much more interesting addition than 2015 Biff or Griff.

-- 11/19/20

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