Toy Review: Playmobil Back to the Future Part II Hoverboard Chase

Toy collectors who display their figures love dioramas. The manufacturers don’t, so much. What they add in cost, they don’t make up for in extra sales, and so over the years lines like NECA’s movie figures and Mattel WWE gradually phased out display base pieces. In some cases, like the 3.75-inch Star Wars Vintage collection, diorama bits get sold separately. Playmobil, however, specializes in mini-playsets. This may be because they see themselves as a construction toy in the vein of LEGO, even though unlike many such building toys they are only designed to build one way. But once assembled, they allow for plenty of kid-friendly play, or display as mini-scenes unto themselves. Such is the case with their Back to the Future Part II Hoverboard Chase.

This set includes not just Marty McFly and Griff Tannen on hoverboards, but also a “future” (2015!) hoverbike cop, Doc Brown, and a small chunk of Hill Valley’s town square containing a pond and some sidewalk. Anyone with the Playmobil advent calendar that featured the Clock Tower for a backdrop may use it here.

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The refraction of light effect on the water is really cool, and makes the display look a lot nicer than it might otherwise. The plants around it comprise a surprising number of small parts, and street signs advertise both the movie sequel Jaws 19, and Goldie Wilson III’s car dealership.

Back in 1989, the notion of a shapely black female cop may have seemed like more of a novelty to some, or perhaps somebody’s fantasy. Nowadays, the minifig simply looks like decent representation. The bike also includes pop up wings, a fun little feature for kids. And for adults, maybe a M.A.S.K. flashback.

The hoverboard assembly feels unexpected. Unlike NECA’s similar toys, the boards don’t plug into clear bases. Instead, they rest on clear coasters that count on the consumer to find the center of gravity. To attach the figures, their feet hug a clear peg on the board’s upside. But nothing holds the board to the base, besides weight.

It doesn’t show up well on camera, but Marty’s hat has a nice iridescent finish to resemble the movie version. Griff’s baseball bat, however, underwent a branding change:

Doc comes with the almanac, and both a long and short coat for different looks. (The short one helps if displaying him driving the DeLorean. Plus, as a cool bonus, he comes with the Mr. Fusion drive that can switch out with the Plutonium cannister on the DeLorean vehicle itself.

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Finally, a large, not-to-scale lenticular card duplicates the futuristic USA Today, which apparently puts a frivolous local crime story as its main feature.

Note the various joke headlines on the sidebar, predicting Swiss terrorists and cyborgs in baseball.

All in all, a nifty little diorama. Sadly, Playmobil is compatible with almost nothing else. Although, if one cheats scale, the Mega Construx Masters of the Universe can duplicate the hoverboard scene from their 1987 movie (which predates BTTF 2).

The Playmobil aesthetic doesn’t work for everyone, but within it, this set works on multiple levels. Play, display, and let it fill several gaps in the movie collection. ‘Twould be cool if NECA made something similar, but don’t expect it.

Entertainment Earth currently stocks the Hoverboard Chase for $34.99. Superhero Hype is part of their affiliate program, and earn fees based on purchases made through links here.

Take a look at a  few more images in our gallery below.

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