Universal Pictures celebrates 35 years of Back to the Future with major campaign

From fan created content, Amazon exclusives, and a whole host of toys, games and more, this year, Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment are taking fans of the Back to the Future franchise on an 88mph journey across the categories to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the iconic time-travelling series.

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads… but it may be time to upgrade your television as fans around the world can now look forward to more fan-created content, as well as the 4K Ultra HD release of the Back to the Future Trilogy, so you can watch the moment George McFly lands Biff that world-celebrated bop on the conk in the clearest of definitions.

On top of this, retail exclusives and new consumer products have all been rolling out across the retail space throughout the month, ahead of the fan created Back to the Future Day holiday today, Wednesday, October 21st 2020.

“Very few franchises in Hollywood history have shown the kind of staying power of Back to the Future,” said Bob Gale, co-writer and co-producer of the trilogy.

“To be celebrating 35 years of this iconic film series – through incredible product collections and fan-created content from around the world – is truly a testament to the heart of the film itself. Yes, it’s a sci-fi adventure, but it’s also about family and the fans’ emotional connection to the characters – which is something everyone can relate to, no matter what generation or time-traveling decade you’re from.”

As part of the 35th anniversary celebrations, Universal Brand Development partnered with content creation platform Tongal to invite animators and fans from around the world to recreate their favorite scenes from the original Back to the Future film.

Eight creators – from Uruguay to Ireland to Brazil – were greenlit to bring their ideas to life. The videos have been rolling out on the Back to the Future Facebook fan page over the last few days, with a final compilation video debuting today to coincide with the anniversary.

The fan creators attached to the eight videos (+ one edited compilation) represent a global and diverse fandom of this beloved time-traveling franchise:

  • “Marty’s Dream Amp” by Javier Benia O’Neill – Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
  • “The First Time Traveller” by Elliot Ruddy – Dublin, Ireland
  • “Alien in the Barn” by Crankub Animation Studio (Martí Montañola and Sara Esteban) – Barcelona, Spain
  • “Marty McFly and the Butterfly Effect” by Bethany Borg – Malta
  • “A Visitor in the Night” by Neto Rodrigues and Gabis Fromme – São Paulo, Brazil
  • “Race for Surviving” by Calaveres Animació (Javier Asensio, María Larín, Nicole Herrera and Felipe Armand) – Valencia, Spain
  • “Fateful Punch” by Eric Power – Austin, Tex.
  • “Cardboard Cute-Out” by Team Explainly (Max Naff, Alex Hagan, Derik Smith, Sam Naff, Elizabeth Abreu, Andy Toizer and Ben Jackson) – San Francisco, Calif.
  • Compilation video edited by Firman Machda – Bandung, Indonesia

Meanwhile, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment celebrates the 35th Anniversary of the groundbreaking first film with Back to the Future: The Ultimate Trilogy available now on 4K Ultra HD for the first time. This collection includes all three movies in collectible discbook packaging.

Additionally, it is loaded with bonus material including an extra disc that comes with over an hour of new content, such as rare audition footage from Hollywood stars Ben Stiller, Kyra Sedgwick, Jon Cryer, Billy Zane, Peter DeLuise and C. Thomas Howell; a tour of the film’s props and memorabilia hosted by co-writer/producer Bob Gale; a sneak peek at the new musical show; a special episode of the popular YouTube Series “Could You Survive The Movies?;” and more.

In celebration of Back to the Future Day today, Amazon will be hosting a dedicated Back to the Future storefront, where fans of all ages can find something that will take them back in time. If fans checkout using smile.amazon.com/backtothefuture and select the “Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research” as your charity choice, a portion of sales will be donated to that charity.

It’s your kids Marty, something has to be done about your kids… and indeed, Universal has that demographic covered. First up, Playmobil has gone back to the future with a model of the iconic DeLorean that features folding wheels for hover mode, doors which open upwards, an illuminated flux capacitor inside and illuminated exterior.

Also included is plutonium, which can be inserted at the back of the vehicle. The play-set is complete with Marty Mcfly and Doc Brown in their outfits from 1985 plus a plutonium case, skateboard, remote control and Einstein, the dog.

Fans can also countdown to the holidays at 88MPH with this the Playmobil Advent Calendar: Back to the Future that includes Marty McFly, Emmett “Doc” Brown, Jennifer Parker, and Biff Tannen, along with a highly detailed model of the Hill Valley courthouse with its iconic clock tower, plus lots of accessories from the classic cult film, all with great attention to detail.

Meanwhile, Hasbro has launched the Transformers Back to the Future Gigawatt figure and IDW Comic Series, bringing together two iconic brands both in figure and comic book form for the first time.

Hasbro is in good company in the toy aisle which also features Funko’s commemorative range of character collectibles, JADA with Back to the Future vehicles and remote- control toys, puzzles from Ravensburger, Rainbow for plush and Rubber Road for adult gifting and toys.

GB Eye and Pyramid are on board for stationery and gifting and GB Eye has also taken the license for posters whilst RMS has pocket money purchases and stocking fillers covered this Christmas.

In soft lines, the HYPE Back to the Future collection nods at the franchise era, the 1980s, with expressive designs in a monochrome and neon colour palette. The HYPE. stamp features enlarged graphics, all-over prints, contrasting flames, and illusion checkerboard with a cyberpunk aesthetic, whilst embracing the ’80s grunge trend.

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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