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Bob Gale apologizes for MattyCollector Hoverboard

December 11th, 2012 by Saxon 3 Comments

It took first place in our Top Ten Christmas Toys list earlier in the week, but now it seems that the MattyCollector Hoverboard isn’t as awesome as we Back to the Future fans thought… 

As those who ordered the limited edition piece finally began to receive their Hoverboards, it didn’t take long to realize that the pricey item had failed to impress recipients, with many disappointing reviews appearing online.

Producer/Co-Writer of the BTTF trilogy Bob Gale, who visited Mattel to assist in the Hoverboard replica’s design and preparation, has now issued a formal statement about the quality of the product –

Last week, I received the first of my hoverboards.  I had seen the review on “Beyond the Marquee” a few days earlier, so my expectations were lowered.  Nevertheless, I was disappointed.  Jon and Steve’s review was spot on, and my issues are basically the same as theirs.  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.

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. 

Highly disappointing news, but we at FTN admire Gale’s honesty.  As a toy reviewer, when it comes to pricey prop replicas  I expect a high quality product, not a simple kids toy.  It must be screen accurate and perform in a manner which resembles its performance in the movie.  Take for example the MattyCollector Ghostbusters Ghost Trap, which I have had the great pleasure of reviewing for myself.  Beyond the ability to suck in a ghost, it both looks and works just like the prop, as though I’ve reached into my TV screen and pulled it straight from the film!   I’m not expecting the hoverboard to actually float around while supporting a persons weight, but I would at least expect it to actually hover (as was promised several times by the manufacturer).  As the prop itself has no lighting effects, emphasis on sound quality is essential.  To hear that the SFX are “underwhelming”, and that it sounds more like a lightsaber than a Hoverboard is particularly disappointing.  I would have expected Matty to have raided the Universal sound vault for every mix of the hoverboards various noises then incorporated them into the replica, perhaps utilizing a much more sensitive form of motion detector to activate each sound.

Of course, being a prop replica the board will spend most of its time up on display, so you would think that a sturdy display stand would have come with it but instead fans get this weak stand which is difficult to attach the board to.  And seeing as Matty are going for the whole “This is actually a real product which exists in the real BTTF world” angle then why doesn’t the box art, or the toy itself, include the handlebars that Marty rips off at the start of the chase sequence?  Its little details like these that separate the replicas from the toys.

And on top of all that, there are no batteries included.  Come on MattyCollector, you’re better than this…

Check out Beyond The Marquee’s review below

With thanks to AintItCoolNews

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Stephen, or by a strange twist of fate, 'Saxon' as he has now become known as, is FTN's resident toy reviewer. He has been described by many as a 'Professional Layabout' with his hobbies consisting of Beer and Curries. Known for his dry humour and brutal honesty, his video's make for great entertainment. However, he is just a mere figment of your imagination and for all intents and purposes does not exist... Find his videos online at

  • em3

    I also recieved my hoverboard the other day and needless to say I am less than impressed with it. After spending $120 and waiting what seemed like forever to get it I was completley let down. The sound is horrible, it doesn’t slide at all, and like the comment says , good luck getting it to stay on its stand. I had such high hopes for this item but ultimatley I was let down.

  • em3

    oh, and i almost forgot. The board has a horrible rattling noise inside of it when moved, as if something is loose inside of it. :(

    • Anonymous

      What a nightmare. I was gutted when I couldn’t afford to get one, but I’m kinda glad now :( (Marc)

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