Let me start by saying that I am fully aware of how ridiculous all this is. That being said, the nerd in me couldn’t help getting caught up in it all.
The last couple of days have been a whirlwind. My brain has been inundated with various news updates about Back to the Future. For those of you who don’t know, yesterday October 21, 2015 was the date in which The Doc and Marty go to the future (in Part II ) in order to prevent Marty’s son from getting sent to jail.
There was a lot of buzz around the date because for 26 years (the movie was released in 1989) people have been waiting to see if the future would hold up to what the movie predicted. Sure we don’t have hover-boards, but there were a couple of things the movie got right, most of which were fulfilled by various brands trying to cash in on the hype.
The most anticipated of all of the collaborations is the Nike Mag. Ever since they were featured in Back to the Future Part II, fans have awaited the day that the fantasy of auto-lacing sneakers would become a reality. Back in 2011, Nike did a release of the Air Mags, however, they didn’t feature the auto-lacing capability.
At the time, they said that there would be a pair on the market by 2015. Sneaker-heads and movie buffs such as myself awaited patiently the next four years to see what would happen. Sure enough as of yesterday, Michael J. Fox received the first pair of self-lacing Nike Mags.
As was the case with the 2011 Nike Mags, the auto-lace versions will be limited to 1,500 pairs and will be release via eBay. The proceeds will go to the Michael J. Fox foundation which researches potential cures for Parkinson’s disease. The auction is set to take place in Spring of 2016. However, in addition to the Mags, Nike also re-released the Bruin, the sneakers Marty wears through the duration of the rest of the films.
Probably the second most anticipated collaboration that was set to happen was between BttF and Pepsi. There was talk about whether or not Pepsi would release Pepsi Perfect, the drink Marty buys at The Cafe 80s in Back to the Future Part II. The plan was to release 6,500 bottle’s at midnight on the 21st. However, it was unclear where they would be sold and by the time people like me found out, they were out of stock.
As it turns out, the bottle were not being sold on Pepsi dot com, but instead on Amazon and Walmart. Not only that, but instead of waiting until midnight, they apparently went on sale at 10pm so even if you knew the location, you still probably got screwed.
The Amazon price was an appropriate $20.15 (get it… 2015) and the Walmart price was set at $19.85 (get it… 1985). However, the next day Amazon and Walmart were slated to sell a few more bottle’s at 9am. My friend Pete was actually able to score a bottle from Amazon for $27 (which included shipping).
Apparently however, because of this massive “ball dropping” by Pepsi, they will supposedly be releasing more bottles next month.
The next collaboration that I was looking forward to was the one between BttF and the street-ware clothing line, The Hundreds.
Apart from just doing a bunch of t-shirts and sweatshirts with images and logos from the movies, The Hundreds also recreated some of the iconic costumes from the films, including the vest, the denim jacket, the multi-colored hat and the red jacket from “the future.”
Back to the Future dot com, Back In Time – BttF documentary, Delorean, McFly Toyota Tacoma 2015 concept truck, History Channel Special – Back to the Present, Jimmy Kimmel – Michael J. Fox interview, Rock Em Apparel – BttF Socks, Nice Kicks – Air Mag 2011 release story, Amazon – Back to the Future: Ultimate Visual History, USA Today – BttF page, The Hundreds – Bob Gale full interview, The Hundreds – Back to the Hundreds collection, The Hundreds – Back to the Hundreds Lookbook, The Hundreds – Lookbook Behind the Scenes, The Hundreds – a look back at previous BttF collaborations
However, my personal scavenger hunt began today. I had heard that USA Today was going to be releasing a copy of their newspaper with the cover story featured in Back to the Future Part II. Because this was set to be the least expensive of the memorabilia, and undoubtedly the one with the highest volume of release, it seemed to me that it should be the most accessible. However, because it was the most accessible and because no one sells newspapers anymore (especially not USA Today), it made it very difficult to find.
I began my day by receiving a text from my buddy Pete who told me he had been to four stores on his way to work, but was unsuccessful in finding a copy of the paper. He asked if I could try and find one while he was at work, and if so, if I would get a copy for him. I was already planning on hunting for one and so, after my phone interview, that’s exactly what I did.
I began my search by going to our local Barnes and Noble; Pete’s suggestion. After a quick look around and asking the cashier, I was out of luck. Apparently B&N doesn’t sell that paper. Next I made my way to Shaw’s where I knew they sold USA Today, as I had seen it there the day before having mistaken the release date of the paper. (The Doc and Marty go to October 21, 2015 to prevent the headline the next day -October 22nd- from happening). Unfortunately they either never got them or, more likely, were already sold out by the time I got there.
Following that, I went to Stop and Shop in the next town over. I asked a worker if they sold newspapers and if so, where they were. He pointed me to the front of the store where I found a newsstand. Upon my arrival, I found that I wasn’t the only one looking for a copy. Another man a little older than me was clearly on the same mission. When no issues of the paper could be found, we began chatting.
“You lookin’ for the paper too?” I asked. He told me he was and that he had gone into a few other places nearby with no such luck. We then got to talking about our love of Back to the Future. He told me he had gone to a screening of Part I and Part II the night previous at the AMC in Danvers.
After a bit of nerding out we parted ways. However, before we did, I asked him his name. He told me it was Joe and asked if I wanted to give him my number so if he found a copy, he we give me a call. I handed him my business card and told him I’d do the same.
On the way back to my house I stopped at a liquor store and a convenience store I saw along the way, both with no luck. After that I went to the nearby Econo Lodge thinking that maybe they would have some extras, since motels usually put USA Today’s outside of hotel rooms, but alas, they had none. I guess they don’t do that anymore.
Finally, I decided to throw a Hail Mary. I made my way to Oak Grove and hopped on the train. I was determined to get a copy and could think of only one place that would [most likely] have one… The Airport. The train seemed to be going impossibly slow and though I knew that it’s speed wouldn’t effect the outcome of my adventure, whatever will be will be, I still just wanted to get there already.
At the State St station I transferred to the Blue line where I had to wait five minutes for a train. At the Airport station I hopped on the free shuttle that takes traveler’s to Logan. On the bus I nervously waited to see if I had chosen wisely. I tried to use my phone to check if they would have the store that I needed at the terminal to which I was headed but my LTE was getting very poor reception.
Finally, the moment of truth was upon me. As I arrived at Terminal B, my heart began to race. Looking through the glass I noticed a pre-security Hudson News, exactly the store I was looking for. However, I wasn’t out of the woods yet, I still needed to find an intact copy of the paper.
As the bus pulled to the curb, I quickly assessed which door had the least traffic before hopping out the back. I made my way through the crowds of people and luggage and entered the Hudson News. I began frantically looking for the section where they kept the newspapers as if I were Jack Bower looking for a bomb. I could see magazines, snacks, drinks and books but couldn’t find the newspapers; did they not have them?
Then, in the corner of the store, I found the paper stand. I began scanning the shelves of the paper racks, beginning at the middle and looking up and down. I saw the Post, the Herald, the New York Times but not what I was looking for. Then, finally my eyes centered and I found it. There it was right at the top, the first paper on the rack, USA Today! I was elated, I couldn’t believe my gamble had paid off.
I grabbed three (one for me, one for Pete and one for Joe) and turned to head to the register. Before getting to the front of the one person line, I turned around and grabbed one more. I knew I would regret not getting an extra one just in case. As it is there were still at least six or so left. I briefly considered cleaning them out, or, at the very least, buying a couple more to have as either back ups, or to try an re-sell for profit at a later date. I decided against it and stuck with the four I had; I didn’t want to be greedy. I made my $8 newspaper purchase, then headed back to the shuttle to take the train home.
In total I [we] went to eight places to look for the paper if you include the Mobile gas station my mom went to when I told her about my adventure. Even though it was just for a stupid piece of paper, I’m glad I did it. To me and to BttF fans it’s more than a piece of paper. It’s a piece of movie memorabilia. We can say we were alive in a time that was immortalized by a piece of cinematic and pop culture history. A piece of history that was 26 years (my whole lifetime thus far) in the making.
In the words of Doc Brown, “Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.”