You're never outta time when you're a time machine.
When Marty and Doc Brown need a ride through time, Gigawatt is ready to fly.
After two Ghostbusters Collaborative figures (Ectotron and an Optimus Prime repaint), Hasbro finally trotted out another license: Back to the Future.
The BttF time machine is, famously, a DeLorean, but this toy is not. Oh, it's a a flat, blocky, silver car, but it's missing the "DMC" logo on the front grille, and the only copyright info
on the box is for Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment, nothing at all about the car company. The DeLorean's trademark status is nearly as convoluted as King Kong's but it's likely this was made under the 1989 agreement which gave Universal the right to use the car's name and appearance in merchandising as long as they keep paying back 5% of the net profit (though that agreement also included the DMC logo, so who knows?). Still, there's no mistaking what this is.
The car is as wide and angular as it should be, with all the various aftermarket tubes and devices Doc Brown attached to it. You didn't think those big thruster vents on the back were standared equipment, did you? This is a bit of "greatest hits" version of the DeLorean,
because of the accessories: from the first movie, we get the big lightning rod tailhook that would never have worked in real life, and from the second movie we get the Mr. Fusion machine mounted on the back. Both of those are removable pieces, so you can decide which version of the time machine you want to show (as long as it's not anything from Part III). The initial stock photos showed the car with clear windows, which looked terrible and should never have been approved, but the final product switches that to a nice dark blue that looks way better.
We also get the two features every DeLorean toy should have,
but few do: opening gull-wing doors, and wheels that can swivel down for hover mode. Seriously, how do toy companies release a Back to the Future time machine without an optional hover mode? It's ridiculous! And no, making a permanent hover-version doesn't count, either. Put hinges behind the wheels or make like a tree, and get outta here!
To convert the toy, start by opening the doors,
which is just fun. Then the flaps under the rear end of the car and unfold the legs. Push the vents in so you can fold out the feet, then close the flaps and rotate the waist 180°. Swing down tiny flaps on the shoulders so you can get the arms and hands out, fold the front wheels all the way into the chest, flip the chest panel around, and fold the hood down to plug into the waist. The wheels can pop off when you try to move them to hover position (and thus when you're changing modes here), and there's basically no clearance between the chest panel and the top of the robot's head, which could lead to the paint scraping off.
The robot's name is, appropriately, Gigawatt, though there's no
saying whether that's pronounced "gigawatt" like a scientist would pronounce it, or "jigowatt" like Emmett Brown would. The head is a pretty standard Transformer head, without any real attempt to make it "Back-to-the-Future-y." It could be on any TF body and look perfectly fine. Dark of the Moon Wheeljack had a head inspired by Doc Brown in some of the concept art - they couldn't have reused that here?
His body is decent, though the feet are weirdly flat and the chest feels too perfectly veritcal. Being based on a notoriously blocky DeLorean will have that effect. Also, the head doesn't come up high
enough, so it always looks like he's ducking down and hiding. All that said, the chest is cool enough to overcome a lot of flaws. Remember the instructions involved flipping a panel? The interior that's revealed when you reverse it features the flux capacitor (behind glass) and the time circuits display (showing that he's in 2015, just came from 1955, and is on his way to 1985). You see now why paint scraping off the bottom of the panel would be bad. Would the chest be better if it had an angle, and was low enough to let us see the face? Yes. But does it have BttF paraphernalia on it? Also yes. The knees look like flux capacitors, too, but they're not painted.
Gigs has a gun that can store under the car's front end in vehilce mode. It's shaped vaguely like Optimus Prime's usual rifle, but has two notches where the Mr. Fusion can plug on: the back and the top. But the hand is low enough relative to the forearm that the little piece will get knocked off when you try to make him hold it. The lightning rod can plug into his forearm as a "whip," but the hook on the end makes it look like a fishing rod instead. The figure moves at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, waist, elbows, biceps, shoulders, and head.
Gigawatt is sold in a box stylized like the '80s toys, complete with Tech Specs on the back and art of the character in the movie's poster pose. The flap on the side opens from the top, and features art of the back end of the car; it's supposed to be reminiscent of Doc and Marty backing it out of its trailer. Cute, even if it's unnecessary.
Of the three Transformers Collaborative releases we've reviewed so far, Gigawatt is easily my favorite, even despite his pretty big flaws. There have been some fan-designed DeLorean Transformers over the years, but it's no surprise the official thing is better than any of them. It's surprising he doesn't go for more on the secondary market; you can (and should) pick up Gigawatt for retail price even now.