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.

Back to the Future: Marty McFly (and Einstein) Sixth-Scale Figure by Hot Toys

I’m not one for New Years Resolutions, but I am going to try to up my efforts when it comes to Hot Toys and other Sixth-Scale reviews this year. It seems like I’m always behind on these, some of which have been waiting years to get their turn in the spotlight here. Marty hasn’t been sitting around for years, but it has been a while, and now that Doc Brown has come in, I have new incentive to have a look!

Marty comes in a standard shoebox, which I like a lot more than the crappy window box with sleeve that Hot Toys has used in the past, particularly for their Marvel MCU figures. Sure, the box could be a little more durable, but it gets the job done. The artwork on the box is very nice and features the iconic logo at the top of the front and again on the spine. The OUTATIME TOUR 85 on the side panel is kind of cheesy, but that’s fine. This one was an unusual release, as it comes only about seven years after Hot Toys’ last release of Marty in this outfit and yet almost everything appears to be brand new. He doesn’t require any set up and comes out of the box all ready for display.

Here’s Marty McFly out of the box and relieved of his plastic wrap, and I’ll tell ya, since most of my Hot Toys are space people or super heroes, it’s fun to get one wearing regular clothes now and again. Or at least regular clothes from almost 40 years ago. Marty is sporting a lot of denim, with both blue jeans and a jean jacket. He’s got a checkered, button down shirt over a red undershirt, suspenders, and his life preserver! Everything about the figure’s costume is beautifully tailored, from the stitching on the jacket, to the pattern on the inside liner. The fit is also quite good, and I’m really impressed at that, considering Marty is wearing so many layers. Making clothing in this scale not look overly puffy is hard enough without doing four layers of it. And if the jacket does look a little bulky on his right side, it’s because his Walkman is tucked into the inside pocket of his jacket. If I had one nitpick about the outfit, it’s the way the suspenders pull up the sides of the pants and make the middle dip. You can adjust it, but it’ll always return to the dip in the middle. Eh, but that’s not a dealbreaker.

Of course, you can take the vest off to appreciate more of what they did with the jacket, and doing so makes it easier to sling his backpack over his shoulder. They recreated the pins on the left side of his chest and he even comes with his calculator watch, which we all wore in the 80’s, unless you were posh enough to wear a Swatch. Yeah, it’s kind of a shame to cover up those pins with the vest, but I’ll still likely be displaying with the vest all the time.

The head sculpt is pretty amazing to me. I passed on the 2015 release because of the portrait, which I thought at best looked like a much older Michael J. Fox, or maybe Alex Keaton on drugs from that one episode of Family Ties. The solicitation photos for this one looked much better and I’m happy to see the production head came out pretty damn close to what we were originally shown. As with many of these portraits, there are a few angles where the likeness loses something and others where it excels, but overall I’m extremely pleased. And comparing the old and the new is like night and day. As usual, the paint is absolutely exquisite, recreating all the little nuances of the skin tone, the lips, and the lifelike eyes. The hair sculpt is also fantastic. Well done, Hot Toys!

Running through the accessories… I’ve already shown off the backpack, which looks bang on for one that I carried in High School, only mine was green. Other than some more beautiful tailoring, the only thing worth noting here is that the straps are positioned on top of each other to make it easier to have it slung over the shoulder or carried in the hand, and they cannot be separated and worn on each shoulder like an actual backpack.

The detail on the Walkman is out of this world for such a tiny accessory. At some point, I’ll have to bust out my Hot Toys Star Lord’s Walkman for a direct comparison. I never had a Sony Walkman as a teenager, but had to make due with an Aiwa, but this looks pretty damn good. Sadly, you cannot pop it open and put in a tiny Huey Lewis tape. Also, the headphones aren’t adjustable, so they’re best suited to hang around his neck. Best I could do to get them on his ears is to have the band across the back of his head. Naturally, they’re also very delicate so I wasn’t about to force the issue.

As long as we’re talking AV equipment, Marty also comes with the JVC Camcorder he used to document Doc Brown’s DeLorean experiment. And oh boy is this an impressive little bit of kit! I’ve never owned one of these babies, so I can’t vouch for its accuracy off-hand, but the detail is outstanding. It has a strap on the side for him to hold it while filming and a carry bar on the top. It does omit the JVC branding, which is surprising because I didn’t know they were still in business.

Next up is Marty’s skateboard, and like the camcorder, I don’t know anything about these things, but it looks pretty good to me. My friend gave me one of his old ones once to try out once and let’s just say that didn’t go well. This little board rolls well and I was even able to get Marty to balance on it fairly well with little cursing involved at all! I really like how they gave him a left hand with splayed fingers that perfectly conveys, “I’m balancing on a skateboard!” There’s some realistic weathering on the wheels and some colorful graphics on the top and bottom. Also like the camcorder, this piece omits some of the lettering, presumably for copyright issues, which surprised me because I believe NECA’s retains them.

Getting down to the nitty gritty, we have the ephemera, (that’s paper goods for you non book collectors!) Yes, Marty comes with the Clock Tower pamphlet! Flip it over and it has Jennifer’s love note along with her Grandmother’s phone number! I don’t know why I think getting paper accessories like this is so cool, especially in light of the other highly detailed goodies, but I think it’s a hoot. The printing on the front is great, so long as you don’t want to read the actual article, and the sheet of paper is folded into four quarters.

Is Einstein an accessory or a figure? Well, I’d say he’s an accessory because he’s small and only has one point of articulation at his neck. I remember seeing a lot of criticism of this piece when the figure was first teased, and I never really understood it. No, you don’t get the same level of realism in the sculpt as you do in the figure’s likeness, but it’s kind of apples and oranges. I’m not sure if they were expecting a fully flocked Einstein with rooted hair, but I’m actually pretty pleased with how he came out.

As usual, our last stop on the Hot Toys review train is the figure stand. This is a standard black oval base and post, but we do get the BTTF logo printed on it, and I love it! What I don’t love is that Hot Toys went with the wire waist ring as opposed to the usual wire crotch cradle, and I can’t really understand why, as they hardly ever go with this style of support. It still does a fine job of securing the figure, and with the jacket it isn’t that visible, but it’s a pain in the ass to get it off the figure, whereas the crotch cradle allows you to just pick the figure up off the stand and place him back without any problems. And just before wrapping up, I wanted to point out two omissions in the accessories department. First off, Marty doesn’t come with his sunglasses, and I think that’s pretty outrageous. All Hot Toys had to do was look at the front of their own box and realize, “whoops, we goofed.” It doesn’t seem like tossing some shades in there would have broken the bank, and it’s a pretty important piece to completing a very iconic pose for the character. Secondly, he doesn’t come with a guitar. This one is easily forgivable. It’s a much more elaborate and expensive accessory to create, and it’s not like Marty walked around the whole movie with one.

As it happens, I was able to pick up a really nice looking sixth-scale guitar off of Amazon for $12. It’s not the one he had in the movie, but he looks good holding it, so why not!

Back to the Future is on a very short list of what I consider to be a perfect film. I don’t say that lightly, and I will die on that hill. The sequels are fun and all, but I really regard the original as damn near flawless. It hits all the beats that it’s shooting for, with wonderful performances and a magical soundtrack. It’s a stone cold classic. There was never any doubt that I wanted Marty McFly and Doc Brown in my Sixth-Scale figure collection. I’m just glad Hot Toys took a second shot at this one. Unlike the movie, this figure isn’t quite perfect, but it’s amazingly good and I’m thrilled to have it up on my shelf. Now, so long as I can make the time, I hope to be checking out Doc Brown in the next week or so!

Back to the Future: 1:15 Scale Delorean by Diamond Select

It’s ridiculous how long I’ve had this thing on my want list, and how long it has taken me to actually pick it up. I’ve had it in cart at various e-tailers plenty of times, but it always seemed to get axed just before checkout in favor of something else. Part of the reason might have been that I was struggling between getting this original version, the BTTF2 version, or wait to see the BTTF3 version. I really don’t want to invest in a fleet of these things. In the end, I opted for the original and I decided to spend a little birthday money and get it before it disappears.

My first reaction when I slid this out of the packing box was, “holy shit it’s big.” And I’m not just talking about the toy in the box. There’s very little extra space used in the Delorean’s packaging. I guess I had a hard time imagining what a 1:15 scale Delorean would look like, because this thing is much bigger and beefier than I had expected.

First, a little about the packaging. I’m not sure why this one was released under the Back to the Future, Part II moniker, rather than the original movie. Especially since toy e-tailer Entertainment Earth secured the exclusive version seen in the second film, complete with Mr. Fusion and the hover conversion. Seems like that one should have been the only one released under the BTTF2 title. Either way, this toy comes in a serviceable window box with the back panel showing the toy and listing it’s features. The inside of the box is made to look like a street, complete with burning tire marks. It’s a nice presentation, and best of all the car is easy to slide out and then put back in.

I am absolutely thrilled with the quality and attention to detail on this piece. I’ve always been impressed with the sculpting that Diamond Select turns out and this car is no exception. They’ve captured the profile and proportions of the Delorean very well and all the extra time machine bits look outstanding. It’s even got the OUTATIME license plate. There’s certainly room for more detail in the engine area, but considering the relatively low price point, I think they did a fine job. Especially when you consider the amount of detail in other areas.

The attention paid to the interior is truly amazing. Most toy companies would have been happy with tossing in some seats and a steering wheel, but the Delorean’s detailed interior makes me want to crawl inside to better see it all. Luckily with the way the Delorean’s gull wing doors work, you can open both of them and get a pretty good look inside. You get detailed bucket seats with sculpted safety belts, a light up dashboard with gauges and a light up computer for setting the time destination. Naturally, the flux capacitor is there as well and yes, it lights up too!

Yes, a big part of this toy consists of the electronic FX. There’s about five or so different sequences of sound and lights that you can cycle through by pushing the button on the engine. Honestly, some of them are a bit muffled and it’s hard for me to recognize what they are supposed to be, but that’s ok, because holding down the button for about three seconds gives me the real money shot. This sequence gives you the full time travel effect with all the lights firing at once. Let’s count them! Headlights, the blue energy piping on the front and sides, the dash board and time computer, the flux capacitor and the break and rear engine lights. Nice. Even the battery compartment is cleverly concealed under the opening hood.

Overall, the quality control on mine is pretty good. There are a few minor blemishes on the bodywork, but that’s the only thing I can see.

One of the really appealing things about this Delorean is that it’s done in the 1:15 scale, so it should technically fit most 3 3/4″ action figures. And thus also leads us to the only really disappointing thing about this whole toy: It doesn’t include any 3 3/4″ action figures. Sure, I’m willing to appreciate this thing of beauty as it is, but at the same time I find it positively maddening that Diamond Select can churn out those ridiculousBack to the Future Minimates and not a Marty and Doc Brown for this set. Even if they sold them separately and at a premium, it would be so worth it. Part of my rage on this matter may just be that I absolutely hate/can’t understand the whole Mini-mates collecting mindset. Or perhaps it’s the fact that they actually thought more people would want a Mini-mate figure of Marty’s mom in her prom dress than a Doc Brown figure for this Delorean. Ok, so I’m a little bitter. [My apologies to any collectors of Mini-mates. I know they’re popular, and I don’t mean to knock them. I just don’t get it. – Ed.]

Diamond Select’s Delorean first retailed at around $45-50, but these days it can be had for more in the $40-45 range as a number of e-tailers have been clearancing it out. At either price, I think it’s a nice acquisition. There’s no doubt it’s nicely executed, the electronics are very well done, and it’s big enough to be a real impessive piece on my DVD shelf. In fact, it’s the first thing people tend to flock to when they come in my living room. They all want to pick it up and play with it.