When 1985’s Back to the Future blew the doors off of the box office (eventually pulling in $303.87 billion), two sequels were automatically set into motion and released in 1989 and 1990. And somewhere in there, someone got fully turned onto the joy of product placement.
Back to the Future II was particularly chockfull of brand names, including Pepsi, Texaco, Mattel, Pizza Hut, Black and Decker, The Weather Channel, 7-Eleven, and AT&T, among others. But fans salivated most over the special shoe that Nike designer Tinker Hatfield created for the film, the Nike MAG shoe, with its glowing LED panel and an electroluminescent “Nike” for Michael J. Fox to wear as the film’s hero, Marty McFly.
Sneaker aficionados had been begging the company for years to release the same shoe to the mainstream. So in a highly-publicized eBay auction in September, Nike made only 1,500 to auction off on eBay to raise cash for Michael J. Fox’s Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The result was $4.7 million from consumers, which a matching initiative doubled to $9.4 million.
"The enthusiasm this project ignited, and the funds and awareness the shoes generated for Parkinson's research, are both humbling and inspiring," Fox was quoted by OregonLive. "Our Foundation is truly grateful to Nike for this unique partnership that brought Back to the Future fans, sneakerheads and the PD community together in the quest to eradicate Parkinson's from the space-time continuum."
The first pair went to British rapper and "avid sneaker collector" Tinie Tempah, who shelled out $37,500 for the honor at a celeb auction in Los Angeles.
If you missed out and are looking to pick up some Back to the Future memorabilia while helping out Fox’s Foundation, you’re in luck. Technabob reports that auction house Profiles in History will sell off more than 100 items from the films in L.A. between Dec. 15 and Dec. 18. Part of the proceeds will go to the Foundation.
Some of the gear set to be auctioned off includes some futuristic Pepsi and Slice cans, Marty’s Mattel Hoverboard, the case from the Nike self-lacing shoes, and, yes, one of the seven awesome DeLoreans used during the filming. It would make an unforgettable holiday gift, don’t you think?