OAFE: your #1 source for toy reviews
B u y   t h e   t o y s ,   n o t   t h e   h y p e .

what's new?
message board
Twitter Facebook RSS      

"Doc" Brown

Back to the Future Part II
by yo go re

Just because events repeat themselves through history, it doesn't mean these toys' bio text needs to.

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!

Doc Brown showing up in a flying car at the end of the original Back to the Future was never meant to be an actual sequel hook: it was just a fun gag to end on, but the movie was such a hit that the studio began asking for another right away. Realizing that the studio was going to move forward with or without them, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale agreed to return just so no one else would ruin their work. They worked together to craft a sequel story, but it eventually got so big they had to split it into two sequels (the first draft would have had Marty going to the '60s in the third act instead of the '50s, and nearly preventing his own conception when he interrupted his college-age parents).

Bucking the trend of these figures, Future Doc comes with three heads, not just two! Jason Frailey's sculpts are just as good as on the first figure, though none of the expressions are duplicates. In addition to the one he's got on in the package, wearing those silver sunglasses, we get one face that looks slightly confused or concerned, and one that's rapturously happy. None appear to have the almost-invisible "old age" makeup he wore for that one scene (the smile matches the scene right after he tears it off). If you want to use these heads with the 1955 figure, you can: the hair has the same notch underneath to accommodate that Doc's goggles, meaning buying these sets gives you extra variety.

As far as fashion goes, 2015 Doc gets a fail - not because the movie didn't accurately predict what fashion would look like, but because it seems to think that old people change their fashion with the times. Face it: most people still dress more or less like they did in their teens or early 20s, the time when they felt hottest and most vital; we keep dressing that way because it still makes us feel good, and our minds don't parse the changes in trends. Why are cargo shorts and sandals "dad clothes"? Because when those dads were young, that's what cool people wore. So for Doc Brown to wear these clothes as an old man in the future, he was asking people to believe that he'd dressed similarly in (math math math) the '70s? The '90s?

Honestly, other than the colors, the clothes aren't terribly different from what he wore in the first movie: an overcoat, a button-up shirt, and plain slacks. The shirt and pants both have a quilted diamond pattern sculpted on them, matching what was sewn on the movie costume. The fabric of the shirt is red, with white Chinese characters arranged in rows, and large black flowers printed over top. The yellow coat has a faint green bamboo pattern printed on the lining, though only waist-high because you're unlikely to see the rest of it under normal conditions. His pants, which should be yellower than this tan, end mid-shin, exposing a dark green fabric with black squiggles on it. Are those supposed to be socks? A second pair of pants under the outer pants? No clue. In some shots, it just looked like his pants are tucked into the socks, but when he's getting out of the DeLorean in the rain, it's clear his pants really are this short, not tucked. The boots are black with red laces, and all sort of greeblies attached to them - including an antenna on the right heel! Finally, he's got two watches, and a clear necktie. Fashion!

Doc's got plenty of articulation. He moves at the head, neck, shoulders, elbows (just a single swivel/hinge joint, not doubles like the others have had), wrists, waist, hips, thighs, knees, shins, and ankles. The hips are the new style NECA introduced with the BttF figures, actual balljoints rather than just swivel/hinges that mimic the same range. No more moving both legs when you try to just move one! There may also be a chest joint under the shirt, but he's plenty mobile as-is.

2015 Doc doesn't feel much better with his accessories than 1955 Doc did. One pair of alternate hands and his future-binoculars? "Woo." But then, remember he got three heads, so that is a bit better. And also one really cool accessory, the Emergency Cash case he pulls out of the car when they get back to the '50s. The case actually opens, and has the 17 stacks of cash seen in the film. That's pretty awesome, and helps push this figure into the "buy" column. Also, how do Doc's binocs never make it into lists of predictions the movies got (sort of) right? A rectanular piece of black plastic that will zoom in, take photos, recognize faces... if that thing can get calls and texts, it's right on target!

And then... ugh. A paper accessory. Which is this case is literally a paper accessory: it's a copy of the October 22, 2015, USA Today that Doc used to show Marty what was wrong with the future. It's a single sheet, with nothing printed on the back - in the movie, we never see the paper unfolded, but this is still unimpressive. An ad for Jaws 19. The logo of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's research foundation. Something. Additionally, both this piece and the front of the box (which also duplicates the front page) use the real-world USA Today "front page" wrap from that day rather than the one from the movie prop - you can tell by the photo choices and the layout of the columns. That's a better choice for the box, but the prop paper should have been the prop paper. And there should have been something on the back. The Daily Planet this ain't!

We've got the two most important Docs, now, so hopefully someone at NECA is busy sculpting an 1885 version to complete the set.

-- 06/17/21

back what's new? reviews

Report an Error 

Discuss this (and everything else) on our message board, the Loafing Lounge!

Entertainment Earth

that exchange rate's a bitch

© 2001 - present, OAFE. All rights reserved.
Need help? Mail Us!