Universal celebrates 35 years of Back to the Future

Universal has turned the clocks back to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the beloved film franchise, Back to the Future, with the launch of a whole programme of ‘inspired-by’ merchandise, theatrical re-releases, celebrations, digital content and more.

Proceedings officially kicked of on October 21st, the fan-created anniversary of the date travelled to by Marty McFly in film when he lands the iconic DeLorean into October 21, 2015. Celebration launches will now roll-out over the course of the next year.

Putting the campaign into top gear – that’s 88mph, as we all know – YouTube Originals and Ample Entertainment have launched the new learning series, “Could You Survive the Movies” – an exciting series dedicated to exploring the magic and science of cinema’s most iconic moments.

On the roster is of course Back to the Future. Each episode see YouTube creator and host Jake Roper take viewers on a journey into the world of a different movie; blending unscripted scientific exploration with narrative storytelling. In the premiere episode, Jake steps into the original 1985 film to find out if you could survive the massive pressure wave generated by a giant guitar amp, time travel paradoxes, and the electricity from a lightning bolt travelling through your body.

Could you Survive the Movies? is available to stream on YouTube.com/Learning and the Vsauce3 YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, new toy partner Playmobil has created a collection featuring fan favourite characters and vehicles including Marty McFly, Dr. Emmett Brown, the DeLorean Time Machine and more – coming in May 2020. These will be joined by Funko POP! figures, a new themed board game from Ravensburger, collectable movie prints from Classic Stills, with more promised from the likes of Hasbro, Mattel, and 3D Retro Collectibles.

Universal is expanding its publishing programme with new novelty formats from Running Press and Insight Editions, a new comic series from IDW Publishing, along with existing fan-favourites from other partners, such as: Back to the Future: DeLorean Time Machine – Owner’s Workshop Manual, Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History, William Shakespeare’s Get Thee Back to the Future, and the Back to the Future: The Classic Illustrated Storybook.

Elsewhere, a lifestyle collection of apparel and accessories include retro looks that are still relevant today. Expected partners include Criminal Damage, Box Lunch, Dumbgood, Haus of JR, Hot Topic, Just Hype, Primark, Suavecito, Super 7, Zara and more.

Rubies and FUN.com will have costumes for fan celebrations beyond Halloween. With a nod to the nostalgia trend, Universal has once again partnered with the Otis School of Design for a special Back to the Future collection designed by students to be presented at the annual scholarship and benefit fashion show in Spring 2020.

On top of this, a Back the Future musical, directed by Tony Award winner John Rando, opens for a 12-week run at the Manchester Opera House on February 20, 2020. The musical features a book by the film’s co-creator and co-writer Bob Gale, and new music and lyrics by Alan Silvestri (who composed the score for the original 1985 film) and Glen Ballard.

The anniversary will be commemorated by Universal Parks & Resorts, key retail partners and more.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent some six years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@bizmedia.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobHutchins3 if ranting is your thing...

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