Back To Nike Mag | Grailify
Back To Nike Mag

Back To Nike Mag

Or: how Nike changed the present by predicting the future in the past - with the MAG.

The sneaker game is about trying to connect to the past while moving into the future. The film Back to the Future took this literally. The protagonist Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, travels from 1985 to 1955 and somehow loses his way on the way back. The essence of the film is that everything you change in the past affects the future. But McFly also had to adapt to the 1955 past, which wasn't too hard - black Chucks, leather jacket and sunglasses. In the process, he drops a few pop culture references to Calvin Klein and Darth Vader and casually "invents" rock 'n' roll and skateboarding. Sequels followed in 1989 and 1990, in which McFly travels into the future - all the way to 2015!
Props play an important role in the film, and it seems that the producers knew exactly who to ask for advice. Just like Stanley Kubrick, who collaborated with NASA and the computer industry in 1968 for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Universal asked the Swoosh for help with the sneaker game. They developed the Nike MAG, including a giant box, lighting and of course automatic lacing! The super tall shoe came in a striking colour scheme, in grey with a hint of blue in the transparent outsole and a white Swoosh on the upper. It's amazing how well Nike has captured the taste of our times. Right down to the material, which was synthetic rather than the canvas or leather that dominated the 80s and early 90s. And then there was the chase scene with the hoverboard that had Mattel lettering on it. On the day of the premiere, the director jokingly told the media that it was real - leading to thousands of "orders" for the board from Mattel! But fans had to wait until 2012 for Mattel to introduce the Matty Collector, the original hoverboard for collectors with great packaging and hover sound. The only drawback - it doesn't hover.
But Mattel wasn't the only company to pay tribute to the hoverboard. In 2009, Nike SB released a new high-tech shoe, the TRE AD, nicknamed "Mags" because it came in the original MAG colours and featured a glow-in-the-dark Swoosh. The Nike 6.0 also entered the reference game with a silver dunk with laser embossing in reference to the Delorean. Then it was quiet again until 2011 when the bombshell burst: In one of the best marketing blows ever - including a high-tech website and viral clips featuring Tinker Hatfield and Doc Brown himself - the Nike MAG was announced. Fittingly, and as you know, it was limited to 1500 pairs and only sold online via auctions on eBay USA - the shoe of the future can only be sold without a physical price tag.
Now we are in the actual future of film, making 2015 the year of MAG. First of all, this year saw the invention of the first real hoverboard, tested by Tony Hawk. Then Nike SB released a whole range of MAG-inspired colourways: a Janoski Max, a Koston Mid and of course a Dunk. There wasn't much buzz around this package - perhaps for good reason? The MAG with automatic lacing is still a possibility. Nike filed the patents early and the clips with Tinker Hatfield promise that something is coming - we will know soon!

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