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Official Article

Back To The Future Memories


As lovers of retro pop culture, we are probably the segment of the world who has thought about time travel the most. How often have you dreamed about going back to find your favorite childhood toy on the shelf at Toys R Us or experience a classic video arcade just one more time? For that reason and more, many of us probably count Back To The Future among our top 10 films of all time.  With the 30th anniversary of the original film upon us, now is the time to celebrate our memories of Doc, Marty, Biff and the rest. I've loaded up the Mr. Fusion and am revving up to 88 MPH, so hop on in!


As big a fan as I am now of the original Back To The Future, it was not my introduction to the franchise or even Michael J. Fox. This has mostly to do with the fact that I was only 3 when the DeLorean sped across theater screens for the first time in 1985 and the fact that, in my youth I was a huge fan of Teen Wolf. The magic of "The Wolf" and the spin-off Saturday morning cartoon overshadowed the rest of Mr. Fox's work in my mind from ages 3-6. But in 1989 I saw a poster for Back To The Future Part II and was instantly on board.


Flying cars with gull wings that are also time machines? Sign me up! Dehydrated instant pizzas and hover boards? I can't wait! Michael J. Fox as a girl...uh, pass. There's no denying that this was a very entertaining film for a 7 year old and as soon as it came out on VHS, I had to own it. The thing only ever left my VCR so I could drop in Ghostbusters II (can you tell I love sequels?). Despite the Part II in the title, I never felt the need to see the first Back To The Future, mostly because there were so many re-shot scenes in the sequel, that I felt like I had already seen it. 


Eventually after seeing Part III in theaters in 1990, I got a chance to watch the original film at my cousin's house and realized that I had been missing out on getting to know young Doc Brown and George McFly, who are probably the 2 most entertaining characters in the series. It was around this time that I started looking for merchandise to feed my growing fandom and luckily there were a few cool items around.


As with every sci-fi/action/fantasy film of the 80's and 90's there was a trading card set by Topps. You got 9 cards with scenes from the film, a sticker to throw on your Trapper Keeper and the obligatory, "shard" of gum. At the local hobby shop where I used to buy my Marvel and DC Comics trading cards they had a whole wall of model car kits, which included the original and hover converted versions of the DeLorean. The picture on the box looked so detailed and screen accurate, but I knew I didn't have the patience to put them together, so I decided to take a look at some pre-assembled, though much smaller vehicles.


Of course you remember Micro Machines, the tiny cars that Kevin from Home Alone used to trip up the Wet Bandits. Well this knock off brand had a great set of Back To The Future Part II inspired toys that included the DeLorean along with a futuristic cop car and taxi cab. Even cooler was the fact that you could buy a playset of the robotic Texaco station glanced after Marty first arrives in 2015. My neighbor had these little guys and I used to play with them quite a bit whenever I was over to visit. 


That was kind of it for the toys until the Back To The Future cartoon series premiered on CBS. Though I wasn't a fan of the animated adventures of Doc and Marty (too cartoony and educational), I did take part in the Happy Meal offered at McDonald's to promote the premiere of the show. I had the rolling version of Marty on the hover board, which was great because anything surfing or skating related was instantly "Rad" back in the day. Eventually Universal Studios Hollywood gave us an unofficial 4th installment of the franchise with Back To The Future: The Ride


Open from 1992-2007, this thing was like Star Tours on steroids. Christopher Lloyd was back as Doc Brown and so was Thomas F. Wilson as young Biff Tannen. Biff steals a time machine and it's up to the rider to bring him back, so you hop in a DeLorean and off you went on your journey through time to preserve the harmony of the space-time continuum. You can actually watch the entire ride online now, since it was released as an extra on the blu-ray set from a few years ago.


I should mention that Universal Studios also had a "restaurant" in the park at this time called Doc Brown's Chicken, but it was always closed whenever I went, so I never got to sample the possibly futuristic fried deliciousness. The iconic diner from the film either as a 50's theme restaurant or the Cafe 80's would have been more fun, but back then we had to take what we could get.


One sure sign of my fandom was when I convinced my Dad to take to a DeLorean car show around 1993, inspired even more by an issue of Road & Track from 1981 that I had found at a used book store. The event was awesome, with dozens of DeLoreans featuring various paint jobs and special customizations. Of course the owner who had created his own flashing Flux Capacitor was the real star of the show. Unfortunately my dreams of someday owning a DeLorean of my own were dashed when I tried to squeeze into one and found they were not kind to the vertically well endowed among us. At that point I resigned myself to just enjoying the movies and all they had to offer.


In the last 10 years, Back To The Future merchandisers have given us all we could want and more. Everything from prop replicas to toys and even the auto-lacing shoes by Nike. It's pretty amazing, when you consider the last film was released 25 years ago and we still haven't gotten an official sequel.


But never fear, my new podcast SequelQuest POD is launching this week, where myself and a couple of friends discuss our concepts for sequels and prequels to classic films. In honor of Back To The Future Day, we decided to spend our first episode imagining what Doc and Marty would be up to if they decided to take one last trip in the DeLorean. You can take a listen at www.sequelquestpod.com and keep an eye out in the Podcasts section of this site for links to future episodes.

So how are you celebrating Back To The Future day? Do you have special memories of this trilogy?
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Hoju Koolander Posted on Oct 23, 2015 at 04:58 PM

@echidna64 Hey, send me a private message and we can talk about it. I'd be curious to hear some of your ideas and see if you could contribute down the road.

echidna64 Posted on Oct 23, 2015 at 03:18 AM

Great article Hoju! Back to the Future is a wonderful trilogy and I even played "The Power of Love" at my wedding haha it was a huge hit!

I really like your podcast idea and am greatly looking forward to it! Are you doing hypothetical sequels too? Hit me up sometime, I dreaming up sequels is practically a past-time for me and I've cooked up everything from Terminator, Star Wars, and even Spider-Man!

Hoju Koolander Posted on Oct 22, 2015 at 05:55 AM

@NLogan Yeah, I figured it might be a bit jarring for some to hear the voice behind the words. Hope it's not TOO annoying. Thanks for taking a listen.

NLogan Posted on Oct 21, 2015 at 10:20 PM

A little weirded out hearing the Koolander's voice. Not exactly what I pictured my favorite black suited wall crawler's voice to be. Now we have seen the videos and pictures, now we have the adult voice. Next we will have your soul (read of course in an Andre the Giant as Fezzik as the Dread Pirate Robert's voice).


Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 21, 2015 at 03:26 PM

A perfect article for Back To The Future Day! Thanks for making it official here at the Daze.

I'm looking forward to hearing your new Podcast. I think it's a fun idea for a theme, and one I'd be interested in listening to when time allows.

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