Michael J. Fox with his hoverboard in ‘Back to the Future Part II’
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 theaters 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 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 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 realize there is another use for this stuff, that would be a great success.”
Watch a video from The Verge of the hoverboard in action:
Ten thousand dollars 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£ — that’s over $36,000 in American currency — 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.
Watch the hoverboard scene from Back to the Future Part II:
Photo credits: Universal, Everett