Forget about “Back to the Future.” Universal Studios Japan wants to get back to reality after a bidding war saw the price of a life-size replica of the time-traveling DeLorean from the popular movie hit ¥9,999,999,999 (about $91.5 million) on the Yahoo Auctions website on Monday.
With the Back to the Future: The Ride simulator scheduled to close at the end of the month, the park decided to auction off the nonfunctioning replica that was displayed in front of the attraction.
The size of the bid, a cost that might be expected for an actual time-traveling machine, has left park officials scratching their heads.
“We have to investigate the bidders. Although we do appreciate the bids, we must remove anything that are placed in an irresponsible way,” said USJ spokesman Johta Takahashi.
The model was first placed on the auction block late Sunday night. At around 7 p.m. Monday, a bid of ¥1.5 billion was placed. Two hours later, the final bid of ¥9,999,999,999, the highest price Yahoo Auctions will accept, was submitted.
Soon after, Yahoo Japan posted a notice on its website demanding the high bidders contact the company within 24 hours. The company said on its website it is now investigating the bids and will cancel them if no contact is made.
The proceeds raised by the charity auction are to be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Fox played the main character Marty McFly in the series and himself suffers from Parkinson’s disease.
“Since the ride is closing, a charity auction was the best way we could think of” to make the most out of the replica, said Takahashi, adding that the auction will close on May 31 as scheduled.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the movie and its sequels were some of the most popular science fiction films of the 1980s and early ’90s. Last year, the 30th anniversary of the release of the first movie was celebrated as Back to the Future year.