(Cybertech) – 21 October 2015 was the date when Marty (played by Michael J Fox) and Doc Brown (played by Christopher Llyod) travelled 30 years into the future to get Marty’s future son out of a jam. Since its release in 1989, we’ve seen many predictions from the film come true, including tablets, smart glasses, etc.
In fact, the entire film trilogy has spawned a tonne of gadgets and toys in recent years. You can get a copy of Gray’s Sports Almanac in the form of an iPad case, for instance. So, for the true fan we’ve rounded up a selection of the best Back to the Future gadgets you could have owned over the last few years.
Some of these are tech-related, while others are just plain cool. Either way, with this stuff lying around your house, there will be no denying that you’re a Back to the Future die-hard.
Nike’s Air Mag/Marty McFly shoe
Back in like 2011, Nike introduced a Marty McFly-inspired, light-up shoe called Nike Air Mag. Only 1,500 pairs of Air Mags were auctioned on eBay at the time, with all net proceeds going directly to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is aimed at finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.
You could scour eBay listings again to see if any Air Mag owners are thinking about privately selling their limited-edition kicks, but chances are, they’ll be really expensive.
So, instead, you should buy some cozy knitted slippers, costume shoes and even craft a Light up shoe made entirely of Lego bricks.
Flux Capacitor USB Car Charger
ThinkGeek was authorised to sell small versions of the Flux Capacitor in USB car charger form. Just plug it into your car’s 12V vehicle power adapter (cigarette lighter) and turn it on. You won’t go 88mph into the future, but it will charge all your USB-powered goodies. It even flashes its famous light sequence while charging.
The car charger has two ports and is compatible with anything that charges via USB.
Grays Sports Almanac iPad Mini case
This book. It’s something else. It caused a divergent timeline and all sorts of havoc for both Marty and Doc, thanks to Biff. But because of all that, it would be cool to own a replica. Well, if you’re the owner of an iPad Mini (any of the first four generations), you can buy a copy of Grays Sports Almanac.
Unfortunately, you can’t use it to bet on all the sporting events that have yet to happen, but still, every true fan of the film should pick one up, Alternatively, there’s a paperback version of the book as well.
Delorean iPhone case
Japanese toy company Bandai expanded its Crazy Case series to include a Back to the Future: Part II-inspired iPhone 6 case. This was a DeLorean with glowing blue lights, that debuted at just the right time to celebrate Back to the Future day.
Not just a standard iPhone case, though: you can move the driver’s-side front fender and wheel to reveal the phone’s camera, for instance, while the other fender can open to provide access to your phone’s side controls.
The headlights would even flash when you received a call, and when you answer that call, you’ll have to talk to the DeLorean’s undercarriage for the caller to hear you. It’s certainly a bulky solution, but still great for 80s film buffs.
ZBoard Hoverboard electric skateboard and Light up shoes
Back in 2014, if you had $700 lying around then you could purchase a custom ZBoard Hoverboard and shoes to match.
Of course it couldn’t actually fly, because it was a skateboard, but it an electric-powered one with weight-sensing technology, that could go for miles by simply putting your foot on one of two sensor pads.
It even came with a Back To The Future-styled deck and Marty McFly’s high tops, which you could strap to your feet and the hoverboard in order to match.
The DeLorean Motor Company, which made the original DeLorean with the stainless steel-brushed body and gull-wing doors, has weathered a stormy past, but somehow managed to come back in 2015 to introduce the possibility of an electric version of its masterpiece. The car had a top speed of 125 mph, driven by a 260 horsepower electric motor.
As of 2021 the company is still promising it might come to fruition, but when we’re not sure. Still, how futurisitic would it be to own an all-electric Delorean?
Back to the Future DeLorean Clock
OK, so you can’t actually buy this one. but people have crafted their own Back to the Future clocks.
Several clever bods from the interwebs have lovingly created these things. Some of them double as MP3 players and can be configured with an infrared remote control, though they’re all made to the DeLorean time circuit.
We especially like this tutorial on Adafruit, which comes with detailed instructions, but this one on Hackaday is neat too.
Panasonic Model RC-6015 clock radio
We know smartphones have become our go-to alarm clocks, but most of you should still remember clock radios, those electronic devices that acted as both clocks and radio receivers and were also designed to turn on and off at a preset time. Well, Marty McFly had a Panasonic Model RC-6015 clock radio in his bedroom in 1985.
After Marty’s return from 1955 to an altered present, he had the same type of radio, which was playing the song “Back in Time” when it activated at 10:28 am. And Marty still had his flip-clock radio as of 1986. That radio was the Panasonic Model RC-6015. And the best part is: you can buy one eBay for nostalgia purposes.
It is still possible to buy, in used condition, naturally.
Back to the Future hat replica
This one isn’t a gadget. It’s that god-awful hat that Marty McFly wore during his visit to 2015.
The replica is made of ultra-refractive fabric that shimmers, and it features a one-size-fits-all with adjustable Velcro closure. Several decades after the first movie’s release, this hat has likely remained a fan-favourite among viewers of all ages.
Back to the Future Mr. Fusion replica
Sadly this one is not exactly a working gadget. It’s just a toy, or a prop, rather. It therefore doesn’t convert normal household waste into energy.
ThinkGeek sold it as such too, noting that: if you put a stinky banana peel in there, you’ll get a stinky banana peel accompanied by a sound effect in return.
This beauty sat at 18 inches tall, weighed 5 pounds, and came with 4 AA batteries. Oh, and it cost $399.99. Who knew film memorabilia could be so pricey?
Back to the Future: The Complete Adventures
If you really love the Back to the Future films, then you need a Back to The Future box set.
It comes with the three films on Blu-Ray, as well as Digital HD with UltraViolet version, a 64-page book about the series, a light-up flux capacitor replica, all 26 episodes of a short-lived BTTF animated series, and a bonus disc with over 2 hours of content.
It’s not cheap, but it is magnificent.
In 2015, Pepsi got in on the action for Back to the Future day by crafting a limited run of Pepsi Perfect bottles. Futuristic fizzy drinks bottles which every fan would recognise.
They were expensive though, coming in at around $20 but worth it for that futuristic taste.
Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Adrian Willings.