It may seem weird for a movie franchise produced by Steven Spielberg that kids loved from the getgo, but Back to the Future never got much in the way of toys. Perhaps we can chalk it up to Universal not initially knowing just how much of a hit they had on their hands, but actor likeness rights were never part of any merchandise deal. As likeness issues plagued the sequels when Crispin Glover sued over his footage being reused without permission, accurate action figures never really got pursued. Minimates, LEGO, Funko, ReAction and other toys that didn’t look like the actors, sure. But until now, nobody could or would make the deal for realistic Back to the Future action figures.
After years of requests, and years of explaining the likeness rights situation to impatient fans, NECA finally made at least two characters happen. Michael J. Fox and Tom Wilson clearly, finally signed on the dotted line. The first wave of figures includes two Martys: one from the first film, and one from the second, along with 1955 Biff Tannen, styled after the first movie but including the sequel’s almanac.
We already know from Toy Fair that NECA sculpted at least one other Marty. That would be the radiation suit version, a.k.a. “Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan.” Notably missing so far is Christopher Lloyd’s Doc Brown, though Lloyd has previously allowed his likeness for such figures as Star Trek III‘s Kruge. While the collecting world waits for him to agree, NECA will also make Doc Brown, along with Marty and Biff, in animated form.
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The company teased an in-scale animated style DeLorean earlier in the year. But for now, they’re only formally announcing a six-inch diecast version of the iconic time machine.
Expect all of these to hit around the summer, celebrating the 35th anniversary of the original film. If all sells well, cowboy versions of Marty and Buford Tannen should be inevitable. One key detail had to change for legal reasons, however. Marty’s hoverboard, made in the movies by Mattel, now sports the NECA logo.
What more would you like to see in the way of Back to the Future action figures? Let us know in comments.
Recommended Viewing: Back to the Future Trilogy [Blu-ray]
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