Back To The Future Writer Bob Gale Withdraws Endorsement Of The Hoverboard

Earlier in the year, Bob Gale co-creator and screenwriter of the Back to the Future films endorsed a work-in-progress version of Mattel’s hoverboard collectible. Looking back now, he recalls:

I was convinced Mattel was going to do us – and themselves – proud, and that the final version would be something every fan would want to own… I put my money where my mouth was: I dropped a grand and ordered eight of them for myself.

Money not well spent – if we spot a job lot of eight B-grade plastic skateboards without wheels on e-Bay anytime soon, we’ll know where they came from because Gale has seen the finished replica now and he’s not happy.

His review, sent to the BTTF fansite, contains this sad lump of disappointment:

The plastic stand is poorly designed and damn near impossible to make work. And although it was indicated that the board would somehow glide across certain smooth surfaces (like carpet), mine certainly didn’t. I too thought the sounds the board makes were underwhelming. But I would have forgiven all of these things if they had just gotten the lenticular quality of the movie board correct.

This, in my opinion, is the product’s biggest problem. It’s supposed to be a prop replica so, at a $120 pre-sale price, it should look perfect. But it misses that mark. It’s not a disaster–far from it: the colors, dimensions, weight are great with a solid build quality, and the box graphics are a lot of fun (even though it’s missing the sticker that says “warning: does not work on water!”).

And if it was $70, I’d give it an A. But at almost twice that price ($130 now), it is, at best, only a B. And dammit, I expected an A.

A B grade seems a touch soft, but I don’t think Gale is here to praise with faint damnation. He’s apologising.

I put myself out there to promote this, so now I want to publicly stand here with egg on my face and apologize.

This product, at this price, falls short of the top notch standards that you and I have come to expect for something that carries the Back to the Future brand.  To those of you who bought one because of my endorsement and are upset with the product, I’m very, very sorry.  Please accept my apology.

I share your disappointment, and you have permission to put my photo on a dart board and throw sharp objects at it.

Never. Well, not this side of the Back to the Future stage musical anyhow.

Previously: a video review of the thing.