Back to the Future: Doc Emmett Brown Sixth-Scale Figure by Hot Toys

GREAT SCOTT!!! Last week I finally got around to checking out Hot Toys’ new version of Marty Mcfly, thanks to being motivated by the arrival of Hot Toys’ Doc Brown figure! It’s all part of my plan to try to get caught up on reviewing my sizeable sixth-scale figure backlog. So let’s get this DeLorean up to 88mph and see what we got!

Just like Marty, Doc Brown comes in a shoebox style package with a printed insert covering the tray. The cover of the box features some wraparound art of the Time Machine backing out of the truck in the parking lot of Twin Pines Mall. It’s a great picture, but I really think the covers to these boxes should have the character on the front, so I think this was a strange choice. Still, the BTTF logo looks great on the front and side panels. I’m checking out the Deluxe version, which adds the case of plutonium as an exclusive accessory.

Doc Brown comes out of the box wearing his radiation suit and requiring a lot of set up, and I mean A LOT! You have to attach his tool bag to his belt, along with a pouch for his hip printer, then you have to fill the tool bag, because each and every tool is a separate accessory! Next up, you have to clip his notebook to his belt, stuff his chest pocket, put on his watches, and sling his stopwatch around his neck. It took me a while to get him all kitted out, but it was well worth it, because Hot Toys went above and beyond recreating every last detail of Doc’s crazy collection of gear. On the other hand, Hot Toys got off kind of easy with the costume itself, as it’s just a baggy white jumpsuit. Still, they did a nice job detailing his shoes, right down to the treads on the soles, and they gave him a brightly colored Hawaiian shirt under the jumpsuit. The suit also features some padding to bulk up the body a bit, and here comes my biggest complaint with this figure… I can’t get his hands to touch his forehead to recreate a GREAT SCOTT!!! pose. This feels kinda deceptive, since that’s the expression they went with and one of the solicitation photos has him posed like that. I’m sure he could be modded to make it happen, but I’m not all about poking around in my expensive figures. It’s disappointing, but I quickly got over it.

Now, I love this head sculpt, but I really wish we got a second head with a more neutral expression. No, Hot Toys doesn’t usually release two heads with a figure, but seeing as this is the exact same head issued with the BTTF2 version of Doc Brown, that preceded this release, I’m going to cry foul. Actually, Hot Toys kind of shot themselves in the foot on that deal, because if we did get two head sculpts for each release, I probably would have bought both, and that’s saying a lot because I am not a big fan of the second BTTF film. But, I doubt they’re crying about my lost sale, because that figure sold out pretty quickly. Anyway… This is still a great portrait, even if it is a little awkward to have the slots over the ears left over for the 2015 sunglasses that came with the BTTF2 release. And yes, I realized a little too late that I left the protective plastic around his neck for these shots. Oopsie!!! Let’s take a tour around all the gear he’s got!

Like any good science nerd, Doc has a pocket protector with a brace of pens, which is all sculpted as one piece. There’s a trio of safety pins clipped onto the pocket, and large silver clip that holds a paper map. Beside that is a digital stopwatch that hangs around his neck with a cable that runs to a pouch on his belt that holds a hip printer. I also love the random wooden clothespin that he has clipped to his belt. I’m sure there’s a reason for that, and only Doc knows what it is!

Besides the printer pouch is a notebook with the cover blurred out, but if you look really close you can perhaps tell that it’s a Gremlin. And if you couldn’t make that out, the text under it recounts the three rules for owning a Mogwai. Yeah, as usual Hot Toys really did their homework, even if they had to blur the image because of licensing. Either way, it’s cool that they did what they could here. Speaking of which, how the heck is it we never got a Hot Toys Billy Peltzer with Gizmo? Get on that Hot Toys, it’s not too late.

And then we get to the tool bag, and oh boy was this a piece of work to get stuffed right. There are a dozen individual accessories and the instruction manual shows you exactly where everything goes. You get screwdrivers, pliers, a file, a compass, a socket wrench and a pipe wrench, a flashlight and a T-square. You also get a roll of duck tape dangling off the end, which is my favorite piece, because Doc probably uses that to reattach bits that fall of the DeLorean. This looks amazing, and it really shows the kind of research that Hot Toys invests in these figures to make them as screen accurate as possible. Now that I’ve done all that gushing, it would have been cool to get a set of hands so that he could hold a couple of these, especially since Doc Brown comes with the least number of hands I may have ever seen for a Hot Toys release. Obviously they didn’t give him fists, but that would have been a good excuse to give him a wrench hand or a screwdriver hand.

Next up, Doc comes with a silver clipboard with some calculators sculpted onto it, plus a manila folder and three sheets of documents. The print on these is too tiny for my old eyes, but I was able to read them after blowing up the pictures. One looks like an invoice for parts and another is a material safety sheet. I really dig how these aren’t just gibberish. The text is small enough that it could have just been random nonsense, but nope! Here’s also a closeup of his silver calculator watch, which I appear to have on backwards for this shot… go me! It’s not my fault, I was drinking quite a bit during this photoshoot! The black watch on his right hand has a loop for his index finger, which I assume is to quickly activate the stopwatch function.

And you also get a stopwatch to hang around Einstein’s neck, which is set to 1:21 AM and precisely in synch with the stopwatch hanging around Doc’s neck. Of course, this accessory doesn’t do you a lot of good if you didn’t get the recent Marty release that came with Einstein. This is the first case I’ve encountered where Hot Toys packed an accessory with one figure that is expressly intended for use with another. Weird!

Possibly the most impressive accessory in this set is the RC unit Doc used to drive the DeLorean. There is so much wonderful detail on this piece, showing all the modifications he made to a stock RC car controller. It’s so cool!

The exclusive accessory is also pretty damn sweet. It’s the chest of plutonium that we first see Marty’s skateboard bump into in Doc Brown’s lab. We later see it in the Twin Pines parking lot. The same case that Emmett got off the Libyans in exchange for a shoddy bomb casing full of pinball machine parts! The yellow chest has a mix of sculpting and printed illustrations to convey the fortified metal frame. The latches on the front work, as do the handles on the top and sides, but the hinges on the back are just printed on. You get a sticker sheet with additional radiation hazard stickers, but I opted not to use them, as it already has some printed on it, and I think they look fine.

The chest opens to reveal the individual plutonium rods, one of which can actually be removed. And the rod itself can be removed from the cooling cylinder. Oddly enough, the set includes a clear plastic piece that can be used to prop open the chest, because the lid will not stay open on its own, so if you want to display it open, you need to use this piece to do it.

What’s our final stop in every Hot Toys review? If you said the figure stand, you are correct! This one is patterned to match Marty’s with the simple black base featuring the colorful BTTF logo printed on it. And I’m happy to say they went with the usual crotch cradle and not the waist-grabber that came with Marty. That would have looked really obvious against the white jumpsuit. I still get a bit nostalgic seeing these old style stands, as Hot Toys has been employing larger rectangular bases. Those are fine, but these always seemed simple and classy, as if to say, the figure speaks for itself and doesn’t need a complex diorama stand.

And that’s Hot Toys Doc Brown! I love this figure, even if I did have a few nitpicks to call out. I think the figure’s biggest problem is the restricted articulation in the arms. It’s vexing, because this particular costume shouldn’t inhibit anything, and yet the padding does. In fairness, it doesn’t affect any of the ways I plan to pose him on the shelf. More than anything, I think this figure shows just how detail orientated these figures can be, and this one goes above and beyond with some of the accessories. Now, is the Deluxe worth the extra $20? To me it is. The plutonium chest probably isn’t essential to the figure looking complete when displayed, but on the other hand… in for a penny, in for a pound. Now, this is not the last we’ll see of Hot Toys Doc and Marty here, as I do have the BTTF3 versions on pre-order. Is there a Hot Toys DeLorean in my future? Well, it’s possible. The BTTF2 version is still up for pre-order, and while it’s true that’s my least favorite of the three films, it’s my favorite version of the DeLorean. To be honest, I’m kind of hoping it sells out before it arrives in stock, because that will make the decision for me. But before all that happens, I’ll revisit this franchise sometime in the next few weeks with a look at the NECA versions of Doc and Marty.


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