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‘Back to the Future’ hoverboard replica doesn’t hover, is still awesome

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Fact: it's 2012. Fact: we are literally living in the future. Fact: science has, so far, failed to deliver a working hoverboard, as seen in Michael J. Fox documentary "Back to the Future, Part II."

So here's the next best thing: a life-size replica of Marty McFly's hoverboard, in all its neon glory. Announced this week by toy maker Mattel, it'll be accurate to the movie prop in almost every detail, except one.

It doesn't actually hover.

Which, you might think, rather destroys the point -- but, as this official poster from Toy Fair points out, it does still "glide" over most surfaces, thanks to what look like low-friction pads on the board's underside. Barring alien technology, superconducting magnets, or trick photography, that's the closest you're going to get this side of 2015, we fear.

Unusually, the hoverboard is going to be a preorder-only deal. Mattel will be taking orders from March 1 to March 20, and will only go ahead with their production if they receive sufficient interest. You'll have to wait until November or December before the finished products ship -- unless you're Doc Brown, in which case bring one back for us, too.

As for the price, no news yet, but brace yourself for a shock; Mattel describes the board as "a high-cost item," so it's a safe bet we're not talking pocket change here. Expect an announcement before pre-ordering starts. Meanwhile, if you're in need of funds, we suggest zipping back a few months and betting a few grand on the Giants.

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