-Review and Photos By Andy Jones
Playmobil has been catching lightning in a bottle with their licensed playsets the last few years. The Ghostbusters firehouse and Ecto-1 are my favorite of all the Ghostbuster action figures and toys made. Their How to Train Your Dragon and recent Scooby-Doo sets are true to the source material, but still retain that Playmobil design and quality. I got very excited when I saw the pics of the Playmobil Back to the Future series at the 2020 Toy Fair and couldn’t wait for May when they’re set to arrive at retailers.
Straight out of the box, the DeLorean strikes me as beautiful. It looks like the DeLorean, and it plays like a playmobil car. The two gull wing doors lift to open, the tires move, and every detail is in place. There is a flux capacitor, time circuits, the machinery on the back, even the OUTATIME license plate. It only took a few steps to pop the pieces together, and they look great. The body is all plastic, but playmobil did a great job of replicating brushed stainless steel. This DeLorean would display fantastically on your shelf with your other Back to the Future collectibles, but there’s so much more…
It lights up! Yes, this beauty lights up! The blue bar going around the front bumper, and the blue two bars behind the gull wing doors light up, just like in the movie. PLUS, the Flux Capacitor lights up! There are two main modes, blinky and steady. But if you just activate blinky, it’ll transition into steady. Augh, the wheels fold down for flying mode! More on that in a bit.
The Doc and Marty figures look fantastic. The right amount of specific detail, from the hair to the outfits, this is clearly Doc and Marty, even without the DeLorean. Care was taken to include the out-turned cuffs on Marty’s jean jacket, and the tool bet for Doc. I love Einstein too, he even has his stopwatch hanging around his neck.
I’ll take this opportunity to talk about the 1955 set of Doc and Marty. You get 1955 Doc (who has grey hair) in his 50s outfit, and Marty with his Enchantment Under the Sea dance suit. They come with additional accessories such as the red guitar from Johnny B Goode, and Doc has the Save the Clock Tower flier. I love that Doc’s gloves can pop off and on.
Also, I want to point out its evident that the designers working on this project have a love for the movies. They included the I Love You and phone number from Jennifer on the back of the flier. This was not an over-night cash grab. They didn’t just slap the logo on existing playsets. Every detail was considered.
So we have the main DeLorean, and we have then we have the 1955 pack. I’m hoping this opens the door for additional two-packs and accessory sets. I would love, of course, and 2015 set with Doc in his yellow silk lab-coat, and Marty in his self-drying jacket and a hoverboard. We could also get a George and Lorraine, and with the favorite Playmobil Old West theme, we need 1885 Doc and Marty in cowboy gear. That being said it would be easy to include just a Mr. Fusion with the 2015 two-pack, to plug into the plutonium port on the DeLorean without needing to buy a brand new DeLorean. Oh, I also want a radiation suit Doc and Marty two-pack.
The accessories are also fantastic. With the DeLorean you get the remote control for Doc and the vintage JVC style video camera. I checked, and this is not just re-dux of the commonly available Playmobil camcorder. To my knowledge it’s all new. There’s also 3 plutonium canisters, Doc’s stopwatch, the radiation case, and Marty’s skateboard. I love that Marty’s skateboard has labeling from the movie, again, this is a detail that a fan would make sure to include.
Oh, I don’t want to forget the lightning rod that plugs into the back, delivering 1.21 Gigawatts straight to the Flux Capacitor!
How does this Back to the Future DeLorean compare to others? One of the gems of my collection is the 1:18 scale SunStar Back to the Future II DeLorean. It’s die-cast metal, the wheels fold down, the hood and gull-wing doors open, and it fits an Art Asylum Minimate Marty McFly. It’s beautiful and captures every detail. However, they’re very expensive now, and not something I like to handle often. I feel the Playmobil DeLorean looks great next to the SunStar, and is comparable in size, but the Playmobil one lights up, and has figures built to fit inside.
I also have the MiniMates DeLorean which is a bit more cartoony, and one point I had the “frosty” Diamond Select DeLorean, which had lights and sound, but was also very expensive (and the wheels don’t fold down). So for $50 in this Playmobil Back to the Future set, you get a light-up, wheels-down DeLorean, a Doc, Marty and Einstein, and a bunch of accessories. Go ahead and spend $8 for the 1955 two pack and you’re doing pretty well.
I also want to take this opportunity to say kudos to Playmobil for including the fold down wheels on their first iteration. I’ve noticed a lot of collectible companies will release a #1 DeLorean with no fold-down wheels, the manufacturer’s expectation is that you’ll definitely buy the first one to come out, and then definitely buy the one with fold-down wheels a year or two later. Financially it’s smart, if not advantageous, but I’ve come to expect it. So I was super surprised when this DeLorean came with fold-down wheels. I only hope it doesn’t mean this is a one and done voyage into the Back to the Future universe. I would love for a BTTF III DeLorean with train wheels and 50s tech on the hood and the locomotive from Playmobil set 4002 in the Future.
Great Scott! This DeLorean captures the heart and spirit of the Back to the Future films while keeping its feet firmly in the Playmobil wheelhouse. It will look great in your BTTF collection, it’ll look great in your Playmobil collection, and this is one collectible you can really play and have fun with.
Review and Photos By Andy Jones
Review Samples Courtesy of Playmobil