We've been waiting a long time for these. Not only this specific Kubrick set, but Back to the Future action figures in general. This is the first time we've gotten true action figures from the line. [Ed note: ...five points of articulation or more, and it's an action figure.] Previous incarnations that don't count (according to Mr. Stinkhead's Guide To What Counts) include the McDonald's Happy Meal toys and the diecast Doc that came with the Corgi DeLorean. You can read about all of these BTTF toys (and more!) in our Back to the Future toy compendium, lovingly compiled by Tate Blackmore.
I'm not going to take this opportunity to give you a history of Kubricks (though you can see R Hunter's Mini-Fig compendium). They are 2.5 inch tall brick-style figures from Japan, period. Medicom Toy has been snatching up movie licenses left and right, and we're glad they got this one. A lot of times licenses are easier to obtain (or predicted to sell better) overseas than domestically. That's why it feels like Japan has so many cool figures for things we never see here. [Ed note: Are you talking about the Hello Kitty vibrator?] You're going to have to track these down through your local import shop or the internet until a domestic distributor picks them up. Instead of assigning a rating number, I'm going to use a clever, if not slightly obvious-choice BTTF quote to cap each section of this review. "What do you mean Doc, all the best stuff is made in Japan."
I love everything Kubrick because of the artsy edge they bring to the table. There is something unique, and pleasing about their specific formula. Much like playmobil, they have a cool modular style that can be applied to anything, so it's exciting to see how they handle the BTTF characters. Medicom has received some backlash about their use of sculpted heads. Traditionally most human faces were drawn onto a "flat" cylinder, until the Bruce Lee Kubricks, when Medicom introduced sculpted heads. But it seems Medicom is safely back in the "flat" realm again. These Kubricks are clearly Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Even though all that the artists produce are eyes, hair and a squiggly line mouth, they were able to capture a stylized likeness. That's not easy. It's not supposed to be a spitting image of the actors. When you buy a Kubrick, you're enjoying the artists' interpretation of a familiar face. I don't see how they could have done much better. I kind of wish Marty had the checkered shirt and suspenders on underneath his PFD jacket, so you could easily reenact other scenes, but this'll do. "Please excuse the crudity of the model. I didn't have time to build it to scale or paint it."
Ok, so Kubricks aren't known the world over for their articulation. The arms and legs are on ball headed posts, so you can get a fairly wide range of movement. The head and waist are common pegs, so you can get 360° rotation. It's got a solid construction, and because it is modular, you can swap any of the individual pieces with any other Kubrick set. I've just discussed how you shouldn't expect sculpt on a Kubrick... that's true when talking about their faces... the accessories are where the sculpting talent truly shines. Doc's remote control is one of the sweetest accessories I've seen for a toy in a long time. It's so tiny, yet every detail is captured, and it fits in Doc's hand. Marty's skateboard is nice, but nothing overly special. I don't have any of the Kubrick Customize sets, that come loaded with generic accessories, but I'd assume that the skateboard is recycled. I'm not complaining. "You mean you have to use your hands. That's like a baby's toy."
Most Kubrick sets come in box sets or individual boxes. (As opposed to blister packs). Buying Kubricks is sometimes a crap shoot when it comes to which figure you'll get. Their popular Special Forces line, and their Kellogg's series were blindly packed. You had no idea who you would get when you bought each one. They gave you case-pack assortments on the side of the box, so you could guess your odds, but otherwise, you could end up with a lot of doubles. The Star Wars and BTTF figures are individually boxed, and they indicate who's inside. That's good. If I had one or two boxes and one of them was Einstein, I would have been royally pissed off. More on that later. The box is cool, it's easy to pick out from a sea of other Kubrick boxes, it's has the BTTF logo and a line drawing of each character in the series. "Now, this has an interesting feature, a dust jacket..."
What I Don't Like
What were they thinking when they made this Einstein figure. It looks horrible. I don't even like photographing it. Einstein, world's first time traveler,
is given a sculpted head, but horrible people legs. I know this is the "Kubrick answer" to including a dog, but, I don't agree. Maybe Einey (hee hee hee,
just like Heiney) could have been an accessory later on. Series I has Doc, Marty, Biff, Jennifer and Einstein, Biff is a logical decision, but
so is Lorraine or George McFly... Regardless of that crap, my personal feelings are that someone at the Medicom office thinks the Einstein figure is hilarious and
they are laughing maniacally even as I write this. [Ed note: Even with time zones, I'm telling you, this guy is so demented; he laughs in his sleep]
Oh yeah, here's your quote: "Shark still looks fake."
To Be Continued... Hooo-boy I cannot wait to get the Radiation Suit Marty with DeLorean. It doesn't appear that the figures fit inside the DeLorean, but that's
alright. It's a pretty tight looking model. It also appears that figures from BTTF: II will be following. With Future Marty/Marty Jr., Future Doc, and Future Biff. I'm really diggin the Hoverboard and Biff's cane. You'll have to pardon the lack of dates and info here, I do not speak Japanese. It will
be interesting to see if the Mattel logo makes it to the Hoverboard. I, personally would like to see Griff (with Pit Bull), 80's Biff (with warm-up suit), 80's Tycoon Biff, and Old West Doc and Marty. That's just my wish list. Actually it would be cool if they produced an accessory set that comes with Marty, Doc, and Biff, and then the accessories needed to make them 80s, Hell Valley, 2015, or Old West. That would be sweet. "Good morning, Mr. Eastwood. Interest you in a new suit for tomorrow?"
If you're a fan of Back to the Future or Kubricks, you'll probably love this line. It's good you can pick and choose which figures you get, and it looks like there will be more coming on the horizon. "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need... roads."
You can poke around Medicom's web site, but it is all in Japanese
Update: 11.07.03 Wayne let us know about this ultra rare (only one per every two cases) Enchantment Under the Sea Dance Marty. This is pretty sweet looking. It is available in the US, but very difficult to come by. This picture came from SweatyFrog.com. Unfortunately, these next two sets are even harder to come by. They are Japan-exclusives... thanks to Steven from BTTF.com for sharing these figures from II and III.
Though rare, you can find the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance Marty
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