Trust me future parents of 1955, even if you don’t like action figures, your kids are gonna love them.
There is no double about it: the Back to the Future license was a huge get for NECA, and last year’s 35th Anniversary celebration is continuing on in 2021 with the full time-traveling crew. With the large and committed fan base, I am hoping NECA will have an opportunity to explore all kinds of supporting characters and pointed variants, but I am glad that much of the focus has been on Marty and Doc to this point. Frankly, covering our two main protagonists across the ages is the foundation this line most needs. Having previously gotten Marty McFly in his 1985 and 2015 duds, it was only logical that a 1955 appearance would be next, and NECA has made it so with this new Ultimate Battle of the Bands Audition Marty.
I am a fan of the BttF movies, but admittedly, only casually. I enjoy the first two movies for sure, but I think I have only seen part three once or twice. So, for me, seeing Marty realized in plastic accuracy over his adventures is just what I wanted from this line from the start. I am happy to also have Doc Brown in his 1955 look, with 2015 on the way — you really cannot have Marty without Doc. Well, your 1955 Doc is not gonna believe what this new Marty has to tell him about the future, and Audition Marty is hitting the big box places, along with specialty stores now.
I am pretty sure I am in the majority when I say I find the 1985 Marty with his red vest to be the iconic look for the character. This version pretty much retains that overall look, but Marty’s stylish dungaree jacket takes center stage for his guitar shredding scene. As you can imagine, from a construction standpoint, this figure uses much of the same parts as that previous ’85 release, but some new portraits and accessories make this one worth having for sure. If you are familiar with that figure, you should know what to expect here in terms of articulation and such. I will say that paint applications on the figure are very solid, and overall, the joints are good, too. I did heat up one of the elbows just to make sure it would move fluidly out of the package, but everything else was just fine, and the scheme works for Marty.
Obviously, being the “Audition” Marty, this figure is meant to be specific to the scene where Marty wows his parent’s high school classmates with is the guitar playing abilities (and on an axe that had not even been invented yet, no less). The accessories and new heads support that well, so not only do you get the guitar, but also some new hands, the Walkman, the “Save the Clock Tower” flier, and the vanishing picture. The last two are paper prints (which makes sense), but the detail in the flier is particularly nice in terms of the print quality and lettering. The Walkman is also a nice inclusion that fits on the figure well and can be used with 1985 version of Marty if you like, too. The cord and actual headphones are made of a soft PVC so it can be manipulated for various posing, or if you want to affix it in a specific way, it can be slightly heated and then quickly cooled so it stays in position as you like.
Now, for the actual audition scene, the heads, hands, and guitar are the important pieces, and just having a Marty McFly that can convincingly rock out, is too much fun. There is a swappable left hand included to hold the guitar neck (or Walkman), as well as a right hand with the guitar pick. Marty’s articulation enables some great guitar-playing stances, so if that is how you intend to display the figure (like me), you should be able to get pretty creative. Marty, of course, also comes packaged with the “vanishing” hand and an appropriate exasperated portrait, so if that is how you would rather display him, that works remarkably well, too. Especially if you have the 1955 Doc to look on with him. I will note that the alternate head included with this particular figure has a slightly wonky right eye, like the printing was slightly misaligned. It shows up more under close-ups, but if you have a chance to pick between figures at the store, you might look out for that.
I really like where this line is going. Like I said, I am not them most die-hard BttF fan in the world, but I do enjoy the movies, and I am very happy to have this cornerstone of 80s nostalgia added to my collection space. I feel like I am satiated with the important Marty looks from the first two movies at this point, so anything after this will be icing. NECA continues to handle the likenesses well here, and the specificity of this figure for that pivotal scene makes this one you cannot pass up. You can get your pre-order in at Dorkside so you don’t miss out, so go do that. It looks like 2015 Doc will be up next, so you can get your fix of clear neckties in the near, ahem, future.