In the spirit of the film series - and partially because we didn’t get the set until very recently - we’ve decided to release our review of the Back to the Future (BTTF) DeLorean Time Machine LEGO CUUSOO set to here, several months after it’s been put on sale. This set is just one of a growing collection created by the minds at "Team BTTF", a set of conceptual LEGO artists that aim to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation and bring Back to the Future to a new generation of fans.
The founder of this group - and one of its Moc Builders, is Masashi Togami. He and a couple of fellows by the names of Sakuretsu and Legohaulic create the sets, while Sakuretsu creates custom minifigures to go along with each creation. While this set is the only one that’s gotten through the process from concept to final set, they’ve created concepts for an impressive cross-section of Back to the Future LEGO sets for CUUSOO.
Over at Team BTTF’s CUUSOO profile at LEGO, you’ll find a Doc Brown GMC Value Van, Jules Verne Train, Locomotive 131 (to push the DeLorean), Griff’s Hover BMW, Marty’s Truck, the Hill Valley Courthouse, UCS DeLorean, and Biff Tannen’s Ford. In some cases they’re still in the process of CUUSOO, in others they’ve released their own instructions for fans to build on their own.
In the gallery above you’ll also notice a different version of the original DeLorean. When a project is approved with CUUSOO, LEGO has a real professional LEGO Master Builder* take a peek and re-build the set from the ground up. In doing this, they create a set that’s both ready for mass production and strong enough to fit LEGO standards.
*Yes, Master Builders are real. They’re not just in The LEGO Movie. In reality, a Master Builder is an employee of LEGO who knows their LEGO so very well that they create the sets you buy in the store. They also travel about the world creating LEGO setups for stores.
The Master Builder involved in this set goes by the name Sig Anderson. Another name for Master Builder is LEGO model designer, and Anderson has been making sets with the crew for over 30 years. In the instructions for the DeLorean, Anderson tells of how the original model - made by Team BTTF - was a great starting point - and that many of the elements in the original model made it through to the final build.
Above and below: the DeLorean with its car door closed and open. Gull-wing style in full effect. This set of photos also shows the transformation from BTTF I to BTTF III.
He also mace clear that this set comes with one of the newest sets of LEGO pieces on the market today, a Technic element with part number 87082, part name Double bush 3M ø4.9. This piece is in quite a few Technic sets today and only a few non-Technic sets, including the AT-AP from Star Wars.
Needless to say, a lot of thought went into creating this model - both Team BTTF and LEGO’s Sig Anderson certainly put in the work.
We first heard of CUUSOO when we confirmed the LEGO Minecraft set back in 2012. Fast forward to April of 2014 and we’ve for five fully-functional top-notch builds ready for the public. There’s the Shinakai 6500, Hayabusa, Minecraft, DeLorean, and the Curiosity Rover.
Now we’re having a peek at our second CUUSOO set. The first time we had a peek was with our LEGO Minecraft CUUSOO Review from June of 2012. With the DeLorean we’ve got a whole different level of complexity.
DeLorean Time Machine
In this set we’ve got more than just a couple of unique pieces included, and more than your average set delivery as well. Instructions for this set is fat - a book with perfect binding rather than your average stapled booklet. Inside you’ll find that Team BTTF will be giving all of the cash they get (1% of the royalties for all sets) to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
It should also be made clear that according to @RealMikeFox (Michael J Fox himself), this set is "B*tchin’."
The set includes 401 pieces and three different builds. You’re able to change out minor pieces to create the DeLorean as it appeared in any of the three movies - you get red rims as well as gray, a modified hood, and a few pieces which represent the "Mr. Fusion" added in the year 2015.
The tires also fold down so you can hover, and several transparent pieces are included so the craft can hover under its own power. Two license plates are included, the original OUTATIME and a 2015 bar-code orange plate. You’ll get a custom piece for the Flux Capacitor.
You’ll also get a custom piece for the time circuits. If you’re a real Back to the Future buff, you’ll find the current date on this pice to be correct (10/26/1985) while the destination date doesn’t correspond with any film.
In fact this destination date - as noted by the instructions booklet included with the set - is 1/28/1958, the date on which the first LEGO brick was patented. When we first saw this detail in the booklet and on the piece, we knew we had a set on our hands created with real affection for both brands: BTTF and LEGO.
Above you’ll see a set of photos of a replica of the DeLorean from Back to the Future II photographed at CES 2014. Having seen this beast up close and personal, we can personally attest to the accuracy of this LEGO build - it may not look identical, but it certainly feels right.
This set is not one you’re going to want to play especially hard with - it’s not necessarily made for kids. Instead we’re going to ahead and suggest that it’s really intended for adults - secretly, of course, as LEGO is a youngster-aimed company.
The Back to the Future LEGO set code-named 21103 is easily my favorite set to have been released in the past 20 years. It wasn’t difficult to re-kindle my love for LEGO in the first place, but I’ve not felt as excited as I was for this set since I was getting LEGO for my birthday when I was a youngster.
If you’ve got a friend or associate that loves Back to the Future and has played with LEGO at any point in their life, this is a fantastic gift to toss their way in the near future. I rarely suggest that someone actually go out and buy the product I’m reviewing, but at $35 USD it’s hard to say no.