One of the most successful results from the Lego Ideas platform, where fans can submit ideas for Lego to consider producing, was the Back to the Future set. It was only available for a brief time from late 2013 through 2014. Let’s take a look at value, challenge of the build, and playability, and then you can determine if it’s worth the prices it goes for on eBay.
The set contains 401 bricks and originally retailed for $49.99. If you take the loose theory that Lego sets work out to at least ten cents a brick, this is slightly on the high end. However, it was also produced in limited quantities especially aimed at the collector market. It’s a little high but not abusively so. And the fact is, compared to competing building sets, the quality and durability of Lego bricks always wins. In terms of value, it was originally pretty good. Of course, it now goes for more like $75 on eBay or through second-hand stores because it’s been discontinued. In comparison, the $50 price looks even more appealing.
In terms of the build, it’s very strong. 400 bricks doesn’t take much time, maybe around 30 minutes or so. But it isn’t full of boring, repetitive sections and it creates clever solutions for the car frame, eschewing windows in favor of framework to imply the overall shape of the car. Nevertheless, it’s big enough to fit the minifigs into the seats. The set comes with a number of unique printed bricks to allow you to have time circuits, flux capacitor and custom license plate, among other features. The time circuits features two dates: October 26, 1985 which is Marty McFly’s starting point and the destination: January 28, 1958. That date isn’t from the movie, by the way. It’s the date that Lego patented its first brick. The set also comes with both a Marty McFly and Doc Brown minifig. I think it’d be offensive if it didn’t, but they’re great.
Finally, the set excels at playability. Mostly because it comes with instructions and parts that allow you to build the DeLorean as it appears in each of the three films. We have the original Delorean with its thruster modification. Then a version that includes Mr. Fusion, a UPC license plate, and wheels that fold underneath for its hover mode. Finally, we have a steampunk-esque version from the Old West that’s ready to be pushed by train to 88 mph. I think the fact that you can create your favorite version, or rebuild to make each, along with the minifigs gives it a pretty high level of playability. Or you can just build your favorite iteration and have it as a statue.
Overall, this utterly unique Lego set gets our highest rating here at Robot’s Pajamas: Three Thumbs.