John Z. DeLorean is back in the car business.
Nationwide, 404 Toys "R" Us stores are selling a pint-size version of the DeLorean car featured in the movie "Back to the Future Part II" under a licensing agreement between Universal City Studios Inc. and the former Detroit auto maker. DeLorean said he would get about 5% of the toy car's sales.
"By the time I give up on them, it will be 'Back to the Future Part 71,' " DeLorean said Tuesday in a telephone interview from New York City. In the original movie and the sequel, stars Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox use a modified DeLorean to travel through time.
The original DeLorean sports car--with its gull-winged doors and stainless-steel body--was produced in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from 1981 until October, 1982, when the British government shut down the plant after 9,000 cars were made. That month, DeLorean was arrested on a drug trafficking charge in Los Angeles, for which he was acquitted. He has been in and out of court since then in divorce and bankruptcy proceedings.