Originally Posted by:eric2015
Guys, here's my take... I've heard these complaints in a number of places, and I can't help but respond.
1. The props in the movie, ITSELF, are not accurate to one other. There were over 30 boards, and by Bob Gales's own admission, each was unique. My God, look at the color variations alone from board to board. A typical moviegoer, though, wasn't going to notice amongst fast action scenes and the like. But the fact remains, there was no consistency in the movie props, and Mattel had to choose qualities from each board to bring together into a SINGLE product.
2. The darn lenticular surface! I'm a bit disappointed at Bob Gale's reaction to this... considering HIS two boards don't have the famed lenticular surface on them! Really?? There was an auction recently where one of the real board props was sold - and it, too, had NO lenticular surface. If the auctioneer's description is correct, they noted that only a few early boards had this type of surface. All of the later boards produced for the movie were done with a single plastic sticker image and no lenticular surface (exactly like the Mattel board). The auctioneer also noted that this was the more popular (abundant) variant of the prop. If you'd like to watch for yourself, go to YouTube and search for "screenused hoverboard."
If both the lenticular surface AND non-lenticular surface was used on the props, I'm at a loss why people would be so up-in-arms over it. Both are accurate. For whatever reason, Mattel wasn't able to recreate the effect with enough confidence in the final product - they chose to scrap it and go for the non-lenticular variant. So what? I could see if they changed the color from pink to yellow or something, but the fact remains that not only was the non-lenticular surface screen accurate, but it was actually the more prominant amongst the props... less Bob Gale's own boards would be of the lenticular type!
3. I've heard some people complaining about build quality - largely nit-picks like, "why is there a seam in the sticker around the edge." To this I can only say - people, get real. There are plenty of manufacturing techniques that could have made this a FLAWLESS product, but if you know anything about manufacturing, you know that precision comes with cost. For a low-volume product in the $120 price range, this wasn't going to be a masterpiece in precision. And for those who, again, saw the original props... MAN, this is a major improvement in build quality. The original props had plenty of imperfections, sloppy material cuts, ragged edges, quick paint jobs, etc. Would fans rather have had a prop that resembled THOSE imperfections? I think not.
Look - bottom line is I think Mattel did a stand-up job. If this was a mass-produced (hundreds of thousands or millions of units) product, I would have expected the price range to be $50 - $60, and I would have also expected small improvements in some areas of the build. But it wasn't - and if I recall correctly, these things are still assembled by hand.
Because the original prop was not a well-polished product, itself, I think Mattel had to go after a concept of - what would a real toy look like IF we produced one? They couldn't replicate every aspect of 30 boards and their variants. They couldn't replicate the imperfections of the props. There was certainly room and necessity for interpretation on Mattel's part, and they delivered that vision decently. At the end of the day they produced what the hypothetical TOY would have looked like if it really existed... a toy.
So, amongst this defense for Mattel, do I have gripes? Yes, I do. For instance, the fuzzy foot strap should have been more fuzzy... and definitely not as big, as it was intended for a child's foot. But I definitely see a lot more CORRECT than I see wrong with the board... and given the studio's own major variations and inconsistencies within their props, I think this is a huge success.
Last but not least, we should also acknowledge that this is THE only authentic, Mattel-produced product... and given it's the first, and maybe last, to be produced since the movie, it'll probably end up being worth quite a bit one day when they're in very short supply. Love it or hate it, I expect these will be selling on eBay for a pretty penny not far down the road. So Bob Gale won't be too unhappy with his $1,000 investment... regardless of the lenticular surface!
Ok Eric, now I can't help but to respond to your lengthy take on things. To start, let me say that you make some great points, and I agree with you on most of them, but one. #2, about the lenticular surface...I think you are dead wrong on this.
People are "up-in-arms" as you put it because its not about coming up with the best replica of all the different variations of the board...obviously for different shots and stunt-use, there were ton of different boards that needed to be used. Some of the "screen-used" boards for flying stunts dont even have the magnets at the bottom, so would you also argue that it would have been acceptable for Mattel to leave these off? No, I'm sure you wouldnt.
The idea of this replica, and what everyone was expecting, was to replicate the Hero board. Yes, they might not be able to get the measurements down to the milimeter or get the seams perfect due to production limitations, but Mattel SHOULD have covered all of the main characteristics of the Hero board. Its not about the 30 different variations, but what that board is PERCIEVED to look like if it were actually one board. Fans were expecting, and deserve, an on-screen movie accurate prop replica. In my view, that means the replica should look like what the hoverboard is portrayed to look like on screen. Forget all of the variations used for different shots/stunts. The board in the movie has certain famous and very distinguishable characteristics, and the lenticular surface is one of the top 3, if not the TOP characteristic of the Hoverboard...and Mattel really dropped the ball on this. I would have been happy to pay a little more (even though the price is already high) for them to get this right, and I'm sure most other fans would agree, including Bob Gale.