My SO2 CUSTOM BTTF2 NIKE MAGS: A Detailed Review

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thegreatgalling

Master Member
INTRODUCTION

So the time has finally come for a detailed review of the SO2 Custom Replica NIKE MAGS. I was one of the handful of people who took the plunge and joined the first group to purchase one of SO2’s conversions.

I decided to start my own thread for a few reasons, namely I do not plan on wearing my MAGS, so I wanted to review mine from a display point of view (The other thread’s intention was to focus on wearing).

Secondly, I discovered some tips and tricks that may benefit those members who want to display them like me.

A little backstory is in order. The NIKE MAGS from BTTF 2 have been one of the most elusive and desired pieces for collecting fans. It wasn’t until Mark Poon unveiled his version of the shoes that fans had a chance to display a pair by their Hoverboards. Then, Pitbull changed the game by introducing his amazing conversions here on the RPF. At a great price, he was willing to do for fans what hadn’t been offered previously. Despite the tedious nature of the conversion, he offered the service to fans even after he initially closed his run – out of the kindness of his heart and for the benefit of the community.

There have been other members that have done conversions including but not limited to who45, howlingwind13, lukebrynycz, Jedifyfe, MTB, and more. I have seen some great WIP threads that have been really inspirational and amazing to follow.

Jedifyfe took on the task of making his own pair from scratch, which have come out beyond amazing. Cloneprops is working on a kit from poured and 3D printed pieces which are near perfectly accurate.

All these members have elevated the field for this replica and should be recognized for doing so.

NIKE RELEASES THE OFFICIAL MAGS

Of course, in 2011, NIKE released the very limited edition official NIKE MAGS. Often called the “greatest shoe never made,” the announcement took fans by storm and led to widespread excitement. Soon after, it was revealed that only 1500 would be offered and only in auction for charity. All net proceeds were set to go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

With price tags in the thousands, and only in auctions, few fans had a chance to purchase these shoes. Since the move was great for spreading awareness for the disease, I can’t complain. But the release DID trigger a fervor among fans for a more accurate replica representation.

SO2 CUSTOM NIKE MAGS

In late October, member SO2 revealed his work on an upcoming conversion. What was unique about SO2’s offering was the amazing price and growing list of planned changes. Using a pair of Mark Poon’s shoes as a base, he planned to:

1: Replace the strap to a new Leather PVC material.
2: Replace the NIKE swoosh logo with Leather PVC
3: Glue the Back Strap holder with Velcro on each side to hold in place (Removable)
4: 4-5Hr Battery life with a 9 Volt battery hidden in the sole
5: Include a Switch ON/OFF is hidden and easy access
6: Add lights to all the places we see lit in the film.

Once joining the run, SO2 dazzled us with added elements to the upgrade. Every few days, he would show us one more thing he would include like:

1: Dying the fabric a slightly darker grey
2: Painting the splatter marks
3: Adding the ribs on the side of the shoes
4: Upgrading the bottom lights to EL.
5. Making the front toe more accurate
6. Replacing the tongue of the shoe

We all marveled the build and anxiously awaited pictures.
With that said, I will begin with the shoes:

MY SHOES

(Please note, the EL in the sole appears blue in real life (note the darker pics). I tried to take these pics if differing lighting to show the difference. They are nice and bright when not in the sun).



























MY REVIEW

General Appearance: As you can tell from the pics, I would say the conversion is night and day from the standard shoes you get from Mark Poon. SO2’s light system with the proper number of LEDs , the side ribs, and lowered toe, really give the shoes an accurate feel. I really received what I expected and more. I am honestly happy with how they look and feel they met my needs for this replica.

Quality Control: Now there has been some discussion about quality control, so I will show some of the less desirable findings on the shoes. When I opened the box, I did notice some glue over spill, some glue spots on the grey fabric, and the LED cutout on the ankle to be a little amiss. Parts of the sole were cut at the front, and two splatter marks had hit the upper fabric. The “G” on one of my MAG decals was also damaged. I can’t attribute any of these things to SO2’s work, as he received the shoes directly from Mark, and they could have already been on the shoes. Finally, I have found the replaced tongue a bit “crinkly” for my taste, but I like it better than the stock tongue and thought it was nice of SO2 to include this.











NOTE: I was able to almost completely remove the splatter marks and the glue spill, so these became non issues. Honestly, the other things really did not bother me, and I am more happy about the shoes generally than concerned with these minor issues. Keep reading for how I cleaned up the shoes.

The lights: There have been complaints of faulty switches, with some members needing to jiggle the shoes for the lights to work. While my switch works fine, my lights do flicker occasionally, which is very unnerving and unfortunate. Every once in a while, I need to squeeze the fabric behind the ankle LEDs to get the lights to work. It makes me feel like the connections are not strong, and easily damageable. I would never wear these as moving them quickly flickers the lights.

All in all, if I am gentle, turning them on and off seems to shine the lights fine. And so far, any issue can be ameliorated with a light tap. I hope this remains the case.

Communication: I think we can all agree the worst part of the run was SO2’s numerable issues that prevented him from adequately communicating to the group. He seemed to have undergone a growing list of personal issues that led to delay after delay. Ultimately, this led to a pretty unnerving experience for those involved. Originally, SO2 promised these would be all done in a month. Considering the work that needed to be done, I was skeptical and would have been understanding if SO2 asked for more time, but no such admission or request ever came. Sure enough, the shoes arrived over two months later. Not a problem, but the lack of information definitely made this worse. After a time, no updates were given, no photo updates were posted. We were treated to teaser pics, a large absence, and our shoes’ arrival.

To give an idea, in thirty days, the run was plagued with the following issues:

1. SO2’s grandmother was hospitalized which required him to leave town.
2. SO2’s access problems with the RPF prevented him from logging on to the thread
3. SO2 could log onto the thread but not read or send PMs
4. SO2’s phone broke so he couldn’t receive calls or texts
5. Even though SO2 had our emails from Paypal, no one was emailed updates
6. SO2 said he would contact everyone to get their updated address information but never did.
7. Long unexplained absences
8. SO2 had tried to mail all our packages but they were returned because he didn’t include a phone number
9. He had to pick them all up at the Post Office, get our numbers and reship

Admittedly, I think SO2 and I communicated via email more than some of the other members, and i have to say our interactions were always pleasant- he IS a good guy. And I am giving SO2 the benefit of the doubt and believe his issues were genuine (and seemingly out of his control). And with all that said, receiving the shoes truly blew all that away. I am glad they came, but I am a little disappointed about the stability of the LEDs. I am hoping they remain nice and bright for years to come.

Fixes: Now, in preparing my MAGs for this thread, I did two things that I think all SO2 first customers could benefit from.

1: FOR GLUE SPOTS AND SPLATTER MARKS: Take an old T-shirt WITH NOTHING ON IT, NO WATER ETC. and simply wipe at the glue gently. Doing this removed ALL the residue! It didn’t affect the color or the fabric in the slightest. I was even able to almost completely remove the paint splatter on the fabric. I can’t explain it, but it worked for me. I had a dime shape glue mark similar to Sapgoblin’s on my toe, and I got it off.

2. FOR DISPLAY PURPOSES: Add some rigidity to the shoe!
Take a look at the official NIKE MAGS:



Notice where the strap goes? See how rigid they look?

When Mark Poon’s arrive (and how they looked out of SO2’s box), the strap is usually down here:



So what I did, was to add these to the shoes:



Yep, a can of Tennis balls. Let me explain:

I bought two cans, removed the balls and labels, and cut them to about 4.5 inches:




I then stuck them in each shoe:



I think it made a tremendous difference!

Real Mags



Mine




A new set of Mark Poon’s:



All in all, I am very happy with them. Aside from the communication issues, and the rare, but scary light flickering, I would give this run and product high marks – certainly am amazing conversion overall.
 
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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Nice pair of shoes matey, however couldn't you just have gone back to the past at the exact moment these were first being made and thus warning the maker of the 'future' errors, which you now so painstakingly had to correct and fix?

:rolleyes

-Chaim
 

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dbalschi

Sr Member
Looks good! Interesting idea using the tennis ball tube to stuff them and much more economical than the ideas we had discussed.
 

thegreatgalling

Master Member
Def. I love that they are clear and hollow too, so it still looks like an empty shoe when you look into it.

Thanks for all the advice as always D.
 

Jedifyfe

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great Review GG. Finally someone who actually did this! Thank you.

Everything that you said is not a surprise nor really a big deal if you like them. The problem I forsee is for people who want to WEAR them.

As for your review and the Quality Control issues that you pointed out, I see that they are simply a product of a rushed job. I know this because I have been converting my own along with another member's shoes.

There really is no reason for over painting or glue spillage (though I have to admit the lycra sucks up the glue and it can blead very easily) <--- this has happened to me also, but VERY minimally.

The toe area. This is a fairly hard thing to get just right, BUT it's doable. I have been able to perfect it with no glue spillage:












The ankle bubbles are another simple thing to get right, if you just take your time. It's all about forming the bubble and cutting the foam to fit. Though the foam ankle part is fairly skinny near the front and hard to get a new bubble shape perfect, it is still 95% doable:







Along with the shape being cut out correctly and more snugly, the bubble should protrude out about 1/4 inch and not be flush with the ankle part:








The ankle LED's are again a miss. I can tell you that S02 used the incorrect LED's. I can tell that his are direct LED's and not diffused. The reason I know this is mine used to look the same until I tried the diffused version. The difference is dramatic. With direct LED's you get less of a glow and more of a direct shine. The green and yellow direct LED's are where you see it the most. No matter haow charged the battery is, the red LED's always look brighter. Whereas with diffused LED's they all gow evenly and brighter.









The things that I commend S02 on are the recoloring of the rubber and the strap. Both of these are done really well.
 

thegreatgalling

Master Member
Thanks Brad, I think yours are coming out terrific. Really and truly excellent.

Like you said, we expected some glue spillage based on the pics we were provided of the progress, and as I wrote, it really doesn't bother me much. I am impressed enough by the whole appearance of the shoe that the problems I mentioned aren't a focus. Afterall, you can see how close you have to get to them to really notice. From a foot away, I think they are pretty convincing. I think it is also a testament to Mark's replicas and how a little tweaking can deliver a pretty great outcome.

And....

I also took some solace in remembering the screenused shoes look like this :lol:











And not this:

 

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MitasTouch

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Nike better widely release the Mags. So many fans would be pissed and our dreams would be crushed.
 

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MitasTouch

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
And what are you going to do about the gaps where the LED housings are? They seem to be cut very wrong.
 

thegreatgalling

Master Member
Nike better widely release the Mags. So many fans would be pissed and our dreams would be crushed.
Would be nice if they did. The technology for power laces certainly exists now, so here is to hoping 2015 is a wide release. As Brad has said in other threads, they would have made the same money for charity arguably if 10,000 were sold at $600 as opposed to 1500 at $4000.
 

thegreatgalling

Master Member
And what are you going to do about the gaps where the LED housings are? They seem to be cut very wrong.

I am inclined to leave it alone, but I guess some hot glue or some clear epoxy to fill the gap wouldn't hurt.

You see, my theory is that SO2 wasn't looking directly at the sole straight on when he cut, but more of an angle - the reason I say that is because from above looking down, the housing lines up. Now this is hard to show, so I ask you take my word on this, but it absolutely depends on how you look at it. If I move slightly north of the shoe, it lines up.

Check this out:

Just by moving my head, this:



becomes this:



then this:



then this:

 

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