Hot Toys’ latest figure in their Movie Masterpiece series is Marty McFly from Back to the Future. I bought the Sideshow Collectibles-exclusive early version which basically just comes with one extra accessory. I’ll review the toy below, explaining what you get with it, what features it has and whether it’s worth the money. And it’s a pretty steep figure. You can still pre-order the regular edition of the Hot Toys Marty McFly at Sideshow Collectibles for $225.
I’ve purchased about 20 other Hot Toys figures in the past. Compared to those, the price and quality is very consistent. You pay a lot more for Hot Toys figures than pretty much any other action figure on the market. The reasons for this are the overall quality and I’d argue Marty McFly stands high there. To be specific, the figure is highly poseable, extremely screen-accurate, with a fantastic sculpt, painted color, and accessories. It isn’t perfect, and I’ll delve into specifics. But it’s certainly on par with any previous Hot Toys products I’ve purchased in the past and I would definitely argue Marty is superior to 1/6 scale (12″) figures by competitors like ThreeZero (Game of Thrones) or Sideshow itself (G.I. Joe, Star Wars). Just to be clear, Hot Toys is the manufacturer and Sideshow in this case is the exclusive retailer for their products in North America (Hot Toys is based in Hong Kong).
Hot Toys figures come in custom boxes that very carefully hold each accessory and the figure in a plastic tray with a clear cover. Over that is an insert that includes credit as to who made it and original box art. In this case, a painting of the DeLorean speeding away. It’s a nice looking box although with a figure this size I’ve never had the room to show off the box as well. Usually I’m just grateful that it can hold my accessories safely and I put the boxes in storage. The box comes protected by a plastic sleeve inside a sturdy cardboard box for shipping. I’ve never had a box with a bent corner or scratch. At the prices they charge, you better get it all in at least near-mint condition and I’ve yet to be disappointed.
Personally, I love the figure. I think it really looks like Michael J. Fox circa 1985. Marty’s hair looks right and his mouth is hanging open ever so slightly. Since he spends a lot of Back to the Future overwhelmed or stunned, I think this is fair. However, I’ll offer a contrasting opinion. I have this figure on display at my desk at work and a lot of co-workers have taken a close look at it. It definitely draws attention. However, despite what I thought was an overall iconic look, several people told me they didn’t think it looked like Michael J. Fox. One person thought it looked like Rob Lowe. Two people guessed it was a Ken doll from Barbie (“Money well spent,” I thought to myself). A few people argued he should be shorter. I pointed out that there’s nothing to compare him to for height, he’s just in proportion. And when I let people look at it up close or hold it, most of them seemed to change their minds and admit it looked like Michael J. Fox. This is a character that was in the movies 30 years ago so it might not be fresh in the mainstream public’s eye. I’ve included several photos in this review so you can judge for yourself. Finally, one omission is present in the sculpting from a screen-accurate point of view: Marty’s sneakers do not have the Nike logo. I would guess this is due to licensing and it seems pretty minor but it’s worth noting.
The figure features articulation at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, torso, waist, knees and ankles. The joints are on balls so you can basically contort him into just about any natural pose you can think of. Sometimes the denim jacket may prevent full flexibility but then again, you could always remove it.
Marty comes with several clothing items, all of which appear to be removable (I’m not brave enough to trust myself to get any back on perfectly but obviously someone did the first time). Marty has blue jeans, suspenders, a red tee, a black and white checkered button down shirt (with snap buttons), a denim jacket (with three buttons), and his red vest. The details on these items are fantastic. The fact that the shirt has actual tiny buttons? The inner liner to his denim jacket so you can roll the sleeves up like he has in the movie? The custom pins he’s wearing? Amazing. And the jeans have creases in them to look worn. I think the clothes might be the strongest element for this figure.
The one thing this “early” version of Marty comes with as an exclusive is his Gibson guitar and strap. It’s a pretty gorgeous piece that has individual strings. It fits well into one pair of Marty’s hands so that he’s holding the neck and strumming pretty damn well. As with all Hot Toys, Marty comes with a base stand base with his name and the movie logo on it. You can use this to loosely clip on to his waist to pose him if necessary. I will say this figure is quite well balanced so I haven’t really needed to use it. Marty also comes with a calculator wristwatch, a camcorder, aviator sunglasses (that are slightly transparent), a walkman with headphones, a “Save the Clock Tower” flyer with Jennifer’s phone number on the back, a backpack and his skateboard. The skateboard’s wheels work and he balances on it very well with either one or both feet. Marty also comes with 4 additional right hands and 2 additional left hands that can be popped on pretty easily. This gives him the ability to point or hold in a variety of ways. With these accessories you can recreate a number of poses from the Back to the Future movie. If there was anything else I would have liked for Marty it may have either been purple Calvin Klein underwear or his radiation suit. Alternately, maybe his radiation suit could come with the Hot Toys DeLorean. Yeah, there’s a to-scale DeLorean available but it’s $690 and that’s just too much even for me.
You know, it’s hard to say. You’re either the kind of person that can spend $200 to $300 on a figure or you’re not. But if you can AND you’re a fan of Back to the Future, I think this is pretty much the finest collectible ever created for it. I love swapping out the accessories every once in a while to make it look different. The accuracy with the color and accessories impresses me and it’s unlikely for a Hot Toys figure to get loose or break in any way. You’re paying for that level of quality. It’s sort of like buying a statue that you can change up every once in a while. But I did share with you my unintentional social experiment where my co-workers expressed some doubt as to its likeness. The cost is likely the biggest potential barrier, but if you are a fan and wonder about it’s quality, I can speak to that and I say it’s worth it. I have a dozen Avengers figures and I’d say this likeness is at least on par with them and the only Hot Toys figure that has a superior likeness is the Joker from Dark Knight which comes with movable eyeballs. I hope this figure does well enough that Hot Toys makes a Doc Brown to go with it someday.