Looking at the Back to the Future Souvenir Magazine

Time Travel

This week is Back to the Future week on the Cavalcade of Awesome to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the original Back to the Future movie on July 3.  Today we look at the Back to the Future Souvenir Magazine.

Goonies souvenir mag Batman Souvenir mag Gremlins souvenir mag

In the ’80s it was fairly common practice to release souvenir magazines and books with the release of big tent pole movies. These magazines would provide story details, lots of movie stills and some behind the scenes info to help promote the movie. Along with these magazines studios would release poster books as well as novelizations.  Movies like Aliens, Rambo, Superman II, Star Trek IV, Gremlins and many others received both souvenir magazines and poster magazines.  As an example, I myself have the 1989 Tim Burton Batman official souvenir magazine (see above) as well as the movie novelization.  I also have the James Cameron directed Aliens movie magazine (to be used in a future article).  Shawn on Branded in the 80s did a great writeup on the Goonies Official Souvenir Magazine.  The Goonies magazine that Shawn talked about was a goldmine of deleted scenes and concepts as you can see here.  The Aliens and Batman magazines I have don’t have as much behind the scenes or deleted scenes depicted in the many, many movie stills within.

Anyway, talking about movie souvenir magazines, today I want to take a look at the Back to the Future Souvenir Magazine.

Back to the Future magazine front

Released in the Summer of 1985, this was used to promote the movie’s release (as all souvenir magazines tend to do). I bought it off the rack at our local Western Supermarket because I loved the movie (which I literally saw 10 times in the theater).  However, my copy was read so often it literally disintegrated in my hands after a few years. It took me a while, but I finally was able to replace my copy with a new, very near mint copy (including the poster!).

As you can see, the cover is nice and bright with a great image of the Drew Struzan poster art.  It’s interesting to note that the logo for the movie on this magazine is missing the light blue outline that can be found on the finished theatrical poster.  It makes for a visual difference and I like it.

Inside you can find tons of movie stills.  Here’s an image of the first page, the title page.

BTTF souvenir mag page 1

You have to love the funky aqua and pink color scheme. So totally ’80s.  The text in this section gives a brief overview of the movie’s plot, just before the rest of the magazine does the same thing.

In the middle of the magazine is a giant, fold out poster. I scanned it in four parts and stitched it back together (with varying degrees of success).

BTTF fold out poster top
BTTF fold out poster bottom

The poster has a nice image of the time machine on top with some movie facts about the vehicle and the scale model used by ILM inserted into the very top. On the bottom you can see some early pre-production art on both the time machine and the effects of time travel on the car. To see these bigger, click on the images.

BTTF Souvenir mag cast

Here’s the final page of the souvenir mag with some random pictures of the main cast.  The rest of the magazine is filled with movie stills from various points in the movie, nothing you can’t see if you watch the movie.  Unfortunately nothing that was removed from the movie during post production (unlike in the Unofficial Book of the Trilogy, which I’ll talk about later) was included in this magazine.

BTTF souvenir mag back

Here’s the back cover of the souvenir magazine. Great image of the back of the Delorean and, randomly, the words to the other Huey Lewis song on the soundtrack, Back in Time. I’m surprised they didn’t use the Oscar nominated Power of Love, but I guess Back in Time better fits the theme of the movie.

Overall, this book is fantastic with lots of cool color images and factoids about the movie.  I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more “behind the scenes” info and artwork/photos from deleted scenes or concepts.  Regardless, this is definitely a blast from the past for me as I bought it when it was new and vividly remember reading and drawing pictures from the photos inside.  A great scrapbook of the movie.

Stay tuned. More articles coming this week celebrating the Back to the Future 25th Anniversary.

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5 Responses to “Looking at the Back to the Future Souvenir Magazine”

  1. I agree with you that the color scheme is funky. This is a nice souvenir though. And I really like the back page. Flyin’ Delorean.

  2. It was nice of them to provide the specs for the time machine. I’m working on constructing it now. I got a flux capacitor off eBay, but it’s not easy finding the plutonium.

  3. I love souvenir magazines! I wish I could find them for every movie.

  4. I have that Batman Souvenir Magazine as well. I didn’t have the BTTF one so this was a great post for me!

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