A couple weeks ago Beyond the Marquee (along with www.BTTF.com) were invited to the Top-Secret Design Center of Mattel Toys in Los Angeles for an Exclusive look at their upcoming prop-replica Hoverboards from Back to the Future Part 2. We got a glimpse at the working prototypes and met the team behind their production. Now we’ve returned to Mattel for another Exclusive report. This time we were asked to document the historic meeting between the Mattel design team and Co-Creator, Co-Writer and Co-Producer of the Back to the Future trilogy; Bob Gale. Jon Donahue and the BTM team were on hand and file this report.
Ever since MattyCollector.com accounced the limited-run of prop-replica Hoverboards on their website, the Internet has been ignited with excitement and speculation about the boards. Thanks to Beyond the Marquee’s recent behind-the-scenes report with Scott Neitlich, the Marketing Brand Manager for Matty Collector, fans got a much better understanding and appreciation for what was going into production. Scott asked fans to “take a leap of faith” in knowing that his passion project of creating Hoverboard replicas are being made for fans by fans! Questions and issues from Back to the Future fans and Prop-Replica enthusiasts concerning errors on the prototype created for the recent New York Toy Fair were addressed by resident Marquee’ologist (and voice of Marty McFly in the Telltale Back to the Future Video Game); AJ Locascio.
After the cameras stopped rolling, we learned from Scott that in order to ensure the planned Matty Collector Hoverboard replica was screen accurate to the films, they were already planning to compare it to an actual prop Hoverboard from Back to the Future Part 2. The person bringing it to them? Mr. Bob Gale.
Bob Gale along with Robert Zemeckis, co-wrote, co-created and co-produced the Back to the Future trilogy. So, who better to sit in with Mattel than one of the founding fathers to make sure the prop-replica was being made correctly? Bob arrived with long-time friend, Michael Lantieri, the Special Effects Supervisor who worked on the Back to the Future films and other big name Hollywood productions, and was chiefly responsible for making the Hoverboards appear to “hover”. In the depths of the Mattel Design Center in an unmarked conference room, Bob and Michael passed around 2 original Hoverboards (one made of foam, the other of wood) and a wooden Pit-Bull Hoverboard. For over 2 hours they spun tales of the secrets behind how they achieved the flying/hover effects and shared some never before seen conceptual Hoverboard designs. Bob even took time to read thru about a 1/2 dozen letters written from kids in the late 80’s and early 90’s who had written Universal, Steven Spielberg and the Back to the Future Fan Club, asking for more information on where they could purchase a Hoverboard of their own (some kids were more naive and innocent and just simply asked if they could be sent one).
Toward the end of the meeting, the Design Team bombarded Gale and Lantieri with questions of their own and then went to work meticuously measuring the screen-used boards, taking pictures from every angle and making very detailed notes. If there was any doubt that Mattel could pull this off, then they should be quickly dismissed after this meeting. Bob Gale even noted that he was impressed with the mock-up that was made just off screen grabs from the film and some unit photography of the board. He stated he had full faith in the design team and that they would not disappoint the legion of fans who dreamed of actually having a Hoverboard in-hand by the time 2015 arrived.
Pre-orders for the Hoverboards continue to run until March 20th 2012, so head over to www.MattyCollector.com to reserve yours now before they are gone!
Special Thanks to Scott Neitlich and the Mattel Design team for giving Beyond the Marquee the Exclusive opportunity to bring these updates to the fans. We’d also like to extend thanks to Bob Gale and Michael Lantieri for sharing their stories from all 3 films and reminding us of why we fell in love with the Back to the Future trilogy. And lastly, thanks to Stephen Clark at www.BTTF.com (the Official News Source for ALL things Back to the Future) for his contributions to these episodes as well.
Check out our first visit to Mattel with the Matty Collector Hoverboard team at the following article and video here: