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Review of Marty McFly - Back to the Future 1/6th action figure

Hot Toys
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Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

I might seem to the outside observer that Hot Toys does nothing but produce Iron Man figures, one variation after the other, with the occasional Captain America or Thor thrown in for a little variety.

It certainly seems like they do fewer unusual licenses than they did 5 or 6 years ago, but that doesn't mean they've forsaken the unique entirely. Last summer at SDCC, they amazed us all with the announcement of the Back to the Future license, and showed off a Marty McFly and Delorean. Scroll through my photos from the Sideshow booth to see just how cool that time machine is.

The car hasn't shipped yet - although it has been put up for pre-order, a step further than they got with the 1966 Batmobile - but Marty has been shipping for a few weeks now.  I'm checking out the exclusive version tonight, which includes one additional accessory. The normal retail for the exclusive and regular edition was $225, but you might be able to save a few bucks on the regular edition at some of my sponsors.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***1/2
Hey, it's a shoebox. Not too much exciting here, but I really do like the cover art. The interior art on the cardboard slip isn't nearly as good, however. It's all collector friendly of course - nothing you need to damage. And why do people leave these in the box? I have no idea.

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ***
From the many and varied photos I've seen of this figure, and from last year's SDCC, I was not particularly impressed with the likeness.  Remember, I judge portraits like this on three aspects - is it realistic, is it life-like, and is it accurate.  And when it came to acccurate, this one fell a little short.

Ah, but then I got it in hand, and realized I might have been a little hasty. It's still not knocking my socks off, but it's better than I had anticipated.  The realism is there of course - this is a Hot Toys figure after all.  The finely stranded hair is a little too neat for the character, but looks extremely realistic.  The textured skin, glossy, translucent eyes, and subtle work on the lips and eyebrows is all quite impressive.

Then there's life-like, which is not the same as realistic.  You can have an extremely realistic mannequin, but you can still tell it's a mannequin. Life, like the soul, is all in the eyes, and I have to commend Hot Toys on their use of a slightly surprised expression on Marty. Instead of a slack face, with open eyes staring off at nothing, this figure appears to be looking at something very specific, and very intently, with an expression of slight wonder and confusion.  While it doesn't work for every pose, it does work in general for the character, and it gives him that spark of life.

Finally, there's accuracy. It might look realistic, and it might have life, but does it look like Marty, or a cosplayer? This is the one area where I was less impressed by the prototype and most of the photos I've seen since.  There seemed something off about it, something not quite Michael J. Fox about it.

In hand, I see that it's all about the angles.  At some, I wouldn't recognize him. At others, it's clearly Marty. I found I was much more willing to overlook some of the accuracy issues once it was in my hot little mitts. It's still not perfect, but it's not as bad as it appears at certain angles.

Obviously, Marty can't be 12" tall, and they've adjusted this figure to about 10 3/4". He'll fit in pretty well with the standard 12" figure, and should look great next to any Doc Brown them may produce. However, this actually creates one other issue with the overall look of the sculpt, at least from the perspective of the body.  To shorten him up some, they took a disproportionate amount off his calves, making the legs look out of scale and odd.

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ***
I think part of the issue with the accuracy of the likeness falls to this category as well.  The paint work is fantastically clean of course, and life-like beyond all reason.  The hair line is perfect, as are the eyes, eyebrows and lips.  It really is art.

But Michael J. Fox, and Marty, where fresh faced youngsters in this first film. The slight variations in the skin pigment, which would be perfect for a 30 year old, ends up making him aged beyond his years. It's tough to do perfect skin without it looking doll-like, but it is possible, and they really needed to try it here.

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ****
The underlying TrueType body has all the articulation and posability that you expect. They body is tight, the joints have an excellent range of movement (no weird armor or thick costume to get in the way), and you should have no trouble coming up with ways to pose him on the skateboard or with the other accessories.

I suspect some folks won't like the double ball neck, since it isn't a seamless piece.  You can see the joint below the jawline, particularly in certain poses, but I prefer having all that movement in this critical area.

I'm also in love with the ankles, since the Nikes (even without the swoosh you know that's what they are) don't restrict them at all.  They can be placed flat on the ground in just about any stance, and he's going to look great stepping out of the car someday.

The hands swapped pretty easily, although they did include a couple extra wrist pegs just in case.

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ****
One of the categories where this figure shines is in the Accessories. He's got a ton of great extras, all of them quite specific to different poses or looks.

He doesn't have a ton of hands - 8 in all - but they are extremely well designed to work with the various items. There's a relaxed pose left and right (which works great with the camera), a tight grip left and right (perfect for the backpack), a splayed left, another left to hold the "Save the Clock Tower" paper, and another gripping pair posed to work with the skateboard. Designing the hands so specifically is a very good thing - there's not a single accessory that goes to waste because he can't hold it properly or pose with it.

I mentioned his skateboard, complete with rolling wheels. It has a nice heft too, and a rough surface, just like you'd expect. They've even included wear and dirt on the wheels! He can pose on it in any number of ways, or holding it in either hand.

He comes with his bright red backpack, with the straps tied together (as they should be) and some stuffing to pad it out. It's extremely high quality, with properly sized zippers and nylon and leather material.

Any time Marty was on his board, he had his headphones on, attached to his Walkman. There's no Aiwa label on the player (while any of us alive back then knows every player was called a 'walkman', the one in the film was made by Aiwa) - there's no labels of any kind, since Hot Toys didn't get licensing from Aiwa, JVC, or Nike - but you know what it is, and the detailing is fantastic. The wire from the headphones to the player is an actual wire, which makes posing it quite easy, but worries me about breakage.

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

The large camcorder also sports a terrificly detailed sculpt, right down to the buttons and dials. He holds it perfectly with his left relaxed hand, and can hold it level at his eye. Both the view finder and the lens are translucent plastic, and the handle is a soft cloth material.

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

Marty also has the "Save the Clock Tower" flyer that was handed to him, and it includes the little love note written on the back by his girlfriend just moments later.  They've included that one extra hand, perfect for holding the thin paper. It seems to me that the flyer is a little big here...wasn't it on an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper? Still, it's a nice touch, and he can even put it in one of his jacket pockets.

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

Marty has a couple accoutrements to his outfit - aviator shades and a Casio calculator watch. What we had to go through before smart phones...the watch doesn't have any time showing on it, although it might have been an LED, which were still popular at the time, and would have required pushing a button to see the time. Next time I watch the flick, I'll see if I can pick it out.

The glasses are probably the least interesting of the whole shebang. He only has them in the very first few seconds of the flim, and he wears them on his face when trying out the massive amplifier at Doc Browns. The instructions tell you they are not intended to be worn over his eyes. They are recognizable from the terrific Drew Struzan poster, and once we get our Deloreon, we'll be able to reproduce that image.

Of course, there's a basic black display stand with waist support, name plate and movie logo.  You really won't need it, but it's nice to have for consistency sake.

That's it for the regular release, but the exclusive version that I'm covering here includes one additional extra - his electric guitar. I remember that when this figure was first shown, a lot of collectors complained "but that's not the guiar from the film! How could they be so stupid!". Of course, this guitar IS from the film, but it's also from the very beginning, when he tries out in the school gym. They've matched it extremely well, right down to the real strings. 

I can't help but assume they have plans for another Marty, simply because they chose all of the extras from the first 10 - 15 minutes of the film. There's a ton of additional things they could provide, all from after his trip to the past, so it makes sense to assume they are saving them for a second figure.

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit is quite complex, considering it's just street clothes.

It starts at the lowest level with his t-shirt and white socks.  The t-shirt tends to stick in the lower neck joint, and looks much better when you free it up and slip it higher on the neck post. It helps get rid of some of the giraffe issues, caused by the figure wearing so many layers.

Over the t-shirt and socks are the striped shirt and jeans. The tailoring and stitching on both are excellent, although I do think the jeans are just a smidge high on his body in front. It's a minor nit though, and one I can certainly live with.

The jeans are held up not with a belt, but with suspenders, just like in the film.  Over this is his jean jacket, complete with the little pins on his left breast side. Again it's amazing tailoring and high quality materials that make these pieces shine. The patterned lining on the jacket, obvious where the wrists are rolled back, is complete throughout the entire jacket. No cheaping out here! The front pockets are real as well, giving you a place to put the Walkman or the folded flyer.

Finally, he has his red down vest, which he wore the night he met up with Doc in the mall parking lot. Tailoring, materials and stitching - again, it's all perfect. It is a little poofy, but that's exactly the way it should look.

One of the best aspects of this outfit is the sheer number of looks you can get out of it for your shelf.  Take off the vest, and he's perfect for the school day at the start of the film.  Take off the jacket, and you have him in the shirt and suspenders, the look when Doc Brown woke him up.  Add in the vest, and you have his look at the mall, before he took off for the past. Add in the right accessories, and you can recreate several different key moments.

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ****
This is a figure designed for collectors and fans of the franchise.  The concept of 'fun' is a pretty simple one in that context - posing and re-posing, always looking for that perfect display.  You've got so many options with these accessories and this outfit that you'll never be completely satisfied, always trying something new...and that's where all the fun happens.

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Value - Exclusive **1/2; Regular **
While $225 isn't cheap, it does seem to be the current norm.  Here, you're getting a unique figure of a beloved character with a ton of cool accessories and a great outfit. Sure, $200 - $215 seems a lot more on target, but I can leave with the $225 for the exclusive.

The regular version lacks the guitar though, making it slightly less of a deal. I do have a sponsor below where you can pick it up at $215 though, and at that price, you can bump the regular release to an average value.

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
I mentioned that the t-shirt collar tends to get stuck in the neck joint. When it's out and pulled up, the neck doesn't look quite as long. That's about it!

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Overall - ***1/2
I thought this guy would be lucky to get three stars, and that was going to be entirely based on his costume and accessories. But while the sculpt and paint have some accuracy issues, it's not as serious as I'd assumed, and the outfit, accessories and articulation are even better than I had expected.

As I said earlier, all of these accessories are from the first 15 minutes of the film, making it possible for them to produce a figure from the 50's with another whole set of appropriate goodies. Before we get that though, we absolutely have to have a Doc Brown in the radiation suit - pretty please?

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - Exclusive **1/2; Regular **
Overall - ***1/2

Back to the Future Mary McFly sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has this exclusive (with the guitar) for $225, but you have to jump on the wait list at this point. They also have the regular release for $225.

- is at just $215.

- is at $225.

- has him for $225 as well.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
It's no surprise to fans of the films, but there hasn't been a ton of collectibles. I do have a guest review of the nice 1/18th scale Deloreon, and I looked at some of the BTTF Mini-mates.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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