88 miles per hour. Anyone with any semblance of pop culture knowledge will immediately recognise that as the speed Doctor Emmet Brown’s time machine has to hit for its time circuits to engage and it to hurtle back or forward through time. And with the DeLorean from Back to the Future being one of the most beloved fictional vehicles of all time, Hornby Hobbies has seen fit to add it to its ever-expanding range of Scalextric cars.
Fans of the radical race-track system might know that Hornby originally released a DeLorean last year for the film’s 35th anniversary, so how is this different? Well, first of all, this model is based on the car from 1989’s Back to the Future Part II and subsequently brings all the changes that come with that. Sadly that doesn’t include hover conversion, although Scalextric enthusiasts will know how easy it is to make these things fly. Tracks? Where we’re going we don’t need tracks, although we’ll probably have to avoid the cat.
The first edition came with the big hook Marty and Doc used at the end of the film to help take the former back to 1985 but was otherwise pretty standard. This one has the “Mr Fusion” energy conversion system installed, as well as a new shiny 2015-era barcode number plate. It sounds all very futuristic until you realise that was six years ago, and we don’t have flying cars and pizza hydrators and hover boards, though for some reason some people still use fax machines.
As you’d expect from Scalextric cars, the DeLorean is a thing of beauty, just like a miniature version of the real thing, and much less pricey. The scale is 1/32, the same as all main system Scalextric cars, and the little clear box it comes in makes it an attractive display piece for when you’re not zooming around the track. Hmm, can they make a VW station wagon for the terrorists next?
The Scalextric DeLorean comes at the perfect intersection between functionality and nostalgia. It’s great to play with, especially with the working lights, including the flux capacitor, and it’s also awesome because it’s a great representation of that amazing car everyone knows. In 1985, Doc Brown said “The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?” and that certainly fits; imagine if it was the original concept for the film, which was a fridge. Actually, the idea of a refrigerator speeding around the track does sound fairly entertaining.
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It also applies to a certain age group of people, many of who are likely to be fans of Scalextric and Back to the Future, and let’s face it, are Gen X dads. When the film first came out, it was just a fun comedy and there wasn’t a deluge of toys that came with it like you’d expect today. The one thing I remember was a board game that you had to send off for in a promotion with Smiths Crisps, and it was thin and made of cardboard, including the four DeLorean tokens included for different players.
Now, it’s everywhere. Expensive replicas, model kits, die-cast cars, action figures of varying sizes, LEGO, Playmobil, bubble bath. You can even get a special edition DeLorean Transformer named Gigawatt! Of course, collecting these things can get expensive very, very quickly, so perhaps if you want a decent model that won’t take up a lot of space and will also allow hours of fun as you zoom it around the living room, the Scalextric DeLorean is the way to go.
Also, you know they’re going to do a Part III DeLorean with whitewall tyres and valves strapped to the bonnet? Can you really turn that down?
Scalextric Back to the Future Part II Delorean is out now from Hornby Hobbies.