In 1989’s Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly travels to the then-distant future of Oct. 21, 2015, where he encounters such oddities as an ‘80s themed diner and videophones.
Both of those now exist, but one Back to the Future gadget that hasn’t become a reality yet is the Mattel-branded hoverboard McFly uses to fly around town. Neither the toy giant nor any other company has yet managed to mass-produce an item that’s been on every kid’s wish list since Part II hit cinemas 25 years ago.
A version of that hoverboard will be ready in time for the 2015 date, if the enthusiasts at Arx Pax have their way.
The California-based tech company has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $250,000 (£155,000) for what they’re calling the “Hendo Hover,” a board that uses a magnetic field to levitate an inch off the ground…provided that ground is made of copper, aluminum, or another non-ferrous metal. A $10,000 (around £6,000) donation will reserve you one of the 10 Hendo Hovers that the company plans to produce before Oct. 21, 2015. (Only six boards remain, so book yours now!)
“It is still early days, but we are absolutely thrilled because we have proven conclusively that what was widely considered impossible is, in fact, possible,” Arx Pax founder Greg Henderson told The Guardian. In a separate interview with The New York Times, he admits that he’s hoping that this technology is applied to bigger things than hoverboards. “That’s why we picked the hoverboard: to capture that attention. If one in 10 people realise there is another use for this stuff, that would be a great success.”
Above: Hendo demonstrate their hover tech with this model Star Wars speeder
Six grand seems like a bargain compared to the amount of money somebody just paid for the actual Mattel prop that McFly used as a getaway vehicle. That sporty pink board was one of 400 items recently auctioned off by the U.S./U.K. collectibles outlet, the Prop Store and the winning bid was a whopping £22,500 for a hoverboard that doesn’t actually hover. Then again, even Hendo Hover riders won’t be able to pull off some of the stunts that Marty accomplished onscreen due to the device’s various limitations. The unfortunate reality is, 25 years after their big-screen debut, hoverboards remain as distant a dream as The Rocketeer’s jetpack.
Or, for that matter, a flying DeLorean.
For those who don’t have a spare £6,000 lying around and will settle for a quality copy, electric skateboard makers ZBoard recently released this replica hoverboard for charity which you can pick up for $700 (around £430) and they’ll throw in a pair of Marty McFly-style hi-tops too.
Image credit: Universal/ZBoard/Hendo