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  • The DeLorean: A Blast From the Past? Or a Failure in the Future?


    I was recently lucky enough to pick up a Back to the Future Lego DeLorean on Ebay several days before it was released (for close to retail price!) and when I got it I couldn't help but open it. So I decided to write another review so those of you thinking about picking it up would know more about it and what to expect.

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    First off, the box is great. I love the darkness with the Delorean coming out of the light. The clock in the back ground is really cool looking too. Weirdly enough, this box opened up from the font which I had never seen with a Lego set. It was more like a toolbox or a kit. It was really great for pulling bags out, and when I got done it was much easier to put the leftovers away I it. The box also felt like it was made of something more sturdy than the normal Lego boxes. I may display the box behind the set because it looks so good.


    The back of the box was also impressive as it had pictures of the different customizations and the license plates and of course the Flux Capacitor.

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    It was tough to pop It open, but I just had to build this set as Back to the Future is one of my all-time favorite movies.

    This set is only a 401 piece set, and it looked pretty average pulling it out of the box. No pieces that really draw attention to themselves. But it's a DeLorean, so I am not complaining.

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    The bags aren't numbered. I am not exactly sure why, but this being my first set I have ever put together without numbered bags, I feel like I am going to be searching for pieces quite a bit. It makes you appreciate how big a deal numbered bags are to sets.

    The instruction booklet is really impressive. I don't have too many collector's series or exclusive sets, but this book is the best one I have ever see. It's a very think paperback cover and inside it has a ton of Back to the Future specific information.

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    The book is also in a very slick black. Things really stand out on the page. I think you could even display the instruction booklet if you wanted to as it matches the impressiveness of the box:

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    Because there aren't separate bags to this set, I am taking a few minutes every time I feel like I am at a decent point and taking a picture to show the process. I just decided to dump everything into a pile and figure it out that way. I can't stand wondering if my pieces are still in a bag somewhere.

    Ha! First, we have the minifigures. Number 1 is the good old “Doc”.

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    Of course, I had to put on his scared face because all of the minifigures in my room are somewhere between nervous and freaked-out terrified. The white hair and white cloths really make him stand out a lot. I love the green undershirt and the stop watch around his neck as well.

    The only other minifigure in the set is Mr. Michael J. Fox, or “Mary McFly” as we knew him in the movie. His face is a little more nervous than scared. He, of course, has the puffy red vest and the blue jeans. The skateboard is a really nice touch and I think it adds quite a bit of play-ability to the set.

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    It is time to start the car (Get it? Time! and "Start the car" On fire!). The first little bit is just putting together the frame for the bottom of the car. It is pretty simple piece building and has nothing really out of the ordinary:

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    Moving along, most of the build is staying very simple since we are just building up the frame of the car from the ground up. You can see in the below pictures that the peach-ish pieces are suspended for the four wheels so they can fold up and in. I always loved when the Delorean flew, so I am really happy the wheels aren't stuck like a normal car's wheels.

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    The next little part of the build is finally leading us to the frame of the car. You build up the front and the back while leaving room for the seats in the middle. The steering wheel is installed along with all the little gadgets and dials that are on the dashboard of the time machine. Then the giant exhaust systems on the back of the car. I really liked these and thought they turned out really well. They are like minifigure legs that are facing the same way and pushed into a 2X2 holder back to back. This causes them to not sit flush and therefor look perfect for the Delorean as you can see below:

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    Quickly after, we get to the dime-piece of the car itself: The Flux Capacitor. I was so glad this wasn't a sticker! I cannot put stickers on for anything and I didn't want to ruin the most important piece of the set!

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    Finishing up the frame of the car, it is really starting to take shape. The set really captures the box-iness and the bulky-ness of the DeLorean (if you have ever seen it in real life).

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    Now for the folding doors. Though they look good, this system is a little flimsy. If you don’t carefully open them, it is very easy to accidentally pull the set apart. Not a great + for playability. However, the display value is very good.

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    As cheesy as it is, I really love the fender. The small exhaust pipes look good and the license-plate is great with its “Outatime”. Corny, but perfect for the set.


    As I am getting close to the end of the set, there are quite a lot of pieces left which I figured must be for the customization. There are several different options you can go with to customize the car. First, it comes with reddish wheels you can sub in for the non-flashy gray ones as I show below:

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    It also has the option for a stand to display the set on. I thought this was perfect because now I can display it with the wheels folded in:

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    You can also add the “Mr Fusion Home Energy Reactor”. Everyone loves extra pieces, so I figure “why not?”

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    The best customization is the souped up engine. I had to put this one on. Instead of just the normal closed hood, it has the engine protruding out of the hood. I think it really adds a little variety to the set:

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    So what customization did I go with? I loved the red wheels, so that happened along with the reactor and the engine. Overall, I think it is really impressive:

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    The black long pipe-like pieces going along the side really make the car stand out. The set itself is pretty impressive for a small set. I will say again, though, it is really brittle. It took me four or five tries to have it perfectly put together as the pieces that make up the cabin of the car and the pipe pieces constantly come apart. I really am leaning towards this not really being a great play-set.

    The car itself is really solid, but all the add-ons don't stay together through much roughness at all. Here is a pic of the bottom of it:

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    Here is a picture of how I decided to display it:

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    So, can we make any informed decision about the investment potential of the set? Let's take a look:

    First, there have been 3 previous sets in the CUUSOO series. Only one of them is retired, so it is going to be hard to get a good idea of what the set will do, but we can at least see if it is something you should monitor:

    21100 Shinkai 6500 Submarine

    Retail: $49.99
    Current Value: $229.33
    CAGR: 66.16%
    ROI: 350%

    21101 Hayabusa

    Retail: $49.99
    Current Value: $65.86
    CAGR: 31.75%
    ROI: 32%

    21102 Minecraft Micro world

    Retail: $34.99
    Current Value: $47.55
    CAGR: 35.90%
    ROI: 35%

    Like I said, not a ton of data. The only one that is retired is the submarine, and it didn't do too bad... just 66% CAGR! That is extremely impressive and really sets the bar high for these other sets. Hayabusa came out the next yer and, despite being available at retail price, is selling on Ebay above retail already sporting a 31.75% CAGR. If it retires at the end of the year, I can't imagine it would for some reason go down!

    The Minecraft set is right there with it. Honestly, I think the Minecraft set could do even better that these other two because you can't just buy one of them. If all three of these continue on this pace, this will be close to unheralded performance for the first three set sin a theme.

    So how does the DeLorean compare? Well, I think it is the best looking set of the series and will appeal to more people than any of the others. Back to the Future was a tremendous movie, and one that will never die. Parents show their children and it is passed on generation to generation. Shows like Robot Chicken and Family Guy still reference the movie even though it was created almost 30 years ago!

    I think that the fact that this movie is older only helps this set. Yes, some children may not know it – but parents are going to buy it for their children because they want it. Other parents will buy it for themselves because they want it. The set is a perfect price as well – a value at less than $.10 per piece. It is well done and very display worthy.

    It is hard to really give a prediction before the set is really widely available in a retail setting, so my advice is: watch this set. Pick up one here and there and store it away. And definitely build one. It is a perfect 1 hour build and the set is very impressive. You don't want to be caught in this set's retirement without one. Judging by the others, this set may surely fly away with profits. And there isn't going to be any way to go back in time to stop it.

    Note: All of the information here are my own opinions and are pulled from my experiences. You may or may not have success with these methods.

    Thanks for reading!

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