It is finally here! The latest LEGO CUUSOO to be released as an official LEGO set is the Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine (21103). The set was created by Masashi Togami and Team BTTF and was submitted to CUUSOO on August 1, 2011. It wasn’t until April 28, 2012 that the projected had enough supporters to go to the Summer 2012 Review. During the review stage, the DeLorean was going up against three other popular projects and we all know the outcome of that. In December 2012, LEGO announced that the DeLorean Time Machine would be an official LEGO set. During the 2013 San Diego Comic Con, LEGO released the set on sale early for attendees of the event and on August 1st, the set was officially released to the public which is two years to the day after it was first submitted on CUUSOO. The set contains 401 pieces and retails for $34.99, a $0.09/piece ratio. The box contains five unnumbered bags, one fairly large instruction booklet, and three loose plates.
The front of the box has a black and blue background with the very recognizable Back to the Future logo at the top center area of the box. At the bottom left of the box is a circular inset of the Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown minifigures. On the upper right corner of the box shows the infamous clock from the Hill Valley Courthouse. Right below that is the star of the show, the DeLorean Time Machine in flight mode.
The back of the box shows all three versions of the DeLorean from all three movies of the Back to the Future trilogy. On the bottom right are some labels that say “Customize your model to match one of the three movies.” The text is on a red background which looks like embossing tape. On the bottom left are four inset squares showing off some details of the set.
The instruction booklet is in an Architecture-style book but it uses thick high-quality paper instead. The cover has the same image as in front of the box. Inside the front page, you have some information about the movie and the DeLorean with pictures from all three movies. A bit further in the book, it also talks about the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and how it raises awareness of the disease. On the next page, you have some Highlights of the temporal displacement modifications for the DeLorean. The book then starts on the building instructions with some LEGO and Back to the Future facts throughout the build. At the end of the build, the book talks about the creators of the set, Team BTTF. The following page talks about how LEGO model designer Steen Sig Andersen faced challenges of taking Team BTTF’s design and transforming it into the final product. The last informational page of the book talks about what LEGO CUUSOO is about.
There are two minifigures in the set, Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown. Marty wears his signature red down vest or a “life preserver” as the people in the 1950’s called it. Underneath the vest is his white checkered Shah Safari shirt and below that is a red t-shirt. For Marty’s legs, he has Guess blue jeans. He has a double-sided head with a small smirking smile on one side and and a scared look on the other. He has a shaggy brown hair piece. For his accessory Marty has a purple skateboard.
Doc Brown wears a white full length radiation suit over a green shirt which is over a white shirt. There is also printing of a stopwatch hanging around his neck and a pocket protector. On the back of the torso is the suit’s radiation symbol. Doc has a double-sided head as well with a happy expression on one side and a shocked expression on the other. He has a white swept back hair piece.
The DeLorean build begins with putting together various plates including the three 2×16 plates that were loose in the box. On the 11th step, you will be building the hover conversion mechanisms which changes the wheels’ axles from “driving” mode to “flying” mode. After that, you’ll continue adding plates to reinforce the chassis. On the back is a neat SNOT technique for the taillights.
After that, you’ll be creating the dashboard that sits on hinged bricks. The dashboard features the time circuits which has two dates instead of three like in the movies. The destination date shows January 28, 1958 but that wasn’t a date from the movies. It is actually a little LEGO fact of when the the first LEGO brick was patented. The other date is October 26, 1985 is the date that Marty goes back in time.
A few steps after you create the dashboard, you will build the black exhaust vents using headlight bricks that will rest on hinged bricks. These vents will eventually become the propulsion system for the DeLorean in the second movie. They go on the sides of the yellow stud in the middle of the rear which is where the plutonium is inserted.
Heading towards the middle of the car, there are a couple of blue tap pieces which act as some tubing of sorts. Right is front of them on the inside cabin is the flux capacitor. The printed capacitor piece reads:
DISCONNECT CAPACITOR DRIVE BEFORE OPENING
SHEILD EYES FROM LIGHT
Notice that the word “shield” is misspelled. LEGO is already been informed of the issue and is already working on a solution.
At this stage, we’re almost done with the build. The front bumper is made from white pieces using a simple SNOT technique. After it’s attached, you will be building the gull-wing doors which is one of the main features of the car. Finally, you’ll add the wheels and the back bumper. The license plate has iconic California “OUTATIME” printing just like the one in the movie.
To switch to the converted DeLorean in BTTF II, just flip the wheels and add the Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor to where the plutonium was inserted. The license plate switches out to the orange California barcode from the future. It even has the number sequence of 136113966. Also, add the clear slope pieces to the bottom of the car to make it seem that the car is flying.
To convert the car to 1885 version in BTTF III, you’ll have to switch out the wheels to the red ones and add on the vacuum tubes and other components on a boxframe to the hood of the DeLorean to help control the time circuits.
After the Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine (21103) was announced as the next as the next LEGO CUUSOO set, I was excited along with many of the other fans out there. Then a picture of the set was leaked and people did not like the look of some of the features of the car such as the stepped tile hood and the front white bumper. Other complaints about the car include the windshield area where there are pillars used to create the “windshield” instead of using a glass piece and the small interior.
To me, I don’t have an issue with these “flaws”. Considering the DeLorean is made of LEGO bricks, the idea is to make modifications to it using your imagination. From what I’m seeing from pictures online, those “flaws” have gotten people to recreate and build using techniques that they have found useful.
The DeLorean has a very sporty look to it. The gull-wing doors can be easily opened without having to remove any pieces. The minor details such as the printed pieces have a major impact on the overall design.
The “flying” version of the DeLorean is easy to be converted to by making a few changes. It’s a nice representation of the 2015 car from the end of the first BTTF movie and the main car in BTTF II. Although it is still good looking, it still doesn’t compare to the 1985 version.
The “Old West” DeLorean has some details similar to the one in the third movie. The main concern throughout the build was how the hood was constructed but it was necessary for the new engine. Given LEGO’s ingenuity, the boxframe vacuum tubes and components is a solid addition to the car. The red wheels are also nice although the ones in the movie were whitewall tires and not fully red. Finally, the directions in the book were a little vague because it didn’t show Mr. Fusion in the build for this version but it does in the back of the box. After watching the movie, I can confirm that the device is on the car. The images I have were taken were taken before I could confirm it so they’re missing that piece.
Overall, I really like the set and at a reasonable $35, it is a definite good addition to my LEGO collection. Despite some of the “issues” of the set, the LEGO designer did a pretty good job in capturing what Team BTTF had in mind in their CUUSOO project. There are some nice techniques used to make the DeLorean pop out such as the exhaust vents/propulsion system and the front and back bumpers. All the printed pieces were a great addition although there is the spelling error on the flux capacitor. The minifigures in the set were spot on with their outfits. The DeLorean makes a great display piece or a for to play with. For those who made/are making Back to the Future MOCs now have an official set to add to it. For the collectors, this is a definitely a set to pick up. Again, I would like to congratulate Team BTTF for achieving their dream.