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'Blind with rage': Pepsi Perfect shortage infuriates 'Back to the Future' fans

Social media erupts with the ire of fans who fear they missed out on their one opportunity to order a little piece of "Back to the Future Part II." Pepsi later says fans will get another chance.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
3 min read

Pepsi Perfact
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Pepsi Perfact
Pepsi Perfect with a hoverboard replica. Amanda Kooser/CNET

"Back to the Future" fans had hoped to be sipping a Pepsi Perfect by now, but most of them are making sad eyes at their computers after facing a fast sellout of a special release of the bottles.

Fans have been waiting for this day ever since the 1989 sequel, when Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrived in the future on October 21, 2015. In honor of the film, Pepsi decided to make 6,500 limited-edition bottles of Pepsi Perfect available.

Pepsi Perfect makes a cameo appearance at an '80s-theme cafe in the future. Fans got extra-excited about the prospect of owning it because it feels both iconic and attainable (selling for $20.15, about £13, AU$28). The release date? October 21, 2015, naturally.

Now imagine the stress when Back to the Futurites discovered that some of the Pepsi Perfect bottles went on sale early and that other people had snapped them up. Actually, you don't have to imagine it. Here's a selection of what they said:

Amazon reviewer Pissed AF wrote: "I am SO upset!! This didn't even pop up in the search! And you released it a whole hours early? Are you kidding me?????????" This is currently the top most-helpful review on the Pepsi Perfect Amazon page.

Twitter user Paul Brown shared a GIF of his failed attempts to buy Pepsi Perfect. "Nothing makes sense and I'm blind with rage," he reports.

Shawn Caple tweeted this message: "If I had a time machine I would go back and tell Robert Zemeckis to make it a Coke Perfect."

The Pepsi Perfect Amazon page has attracted over 700 customer reviews, most of which are one-star ratings accompanied by messages dinging the release and lack of communication about the sale process.

Despite the despair infesting social media and Amazon, Pepsi stepped into the mire and tried to reassure fans that Pepsi Perfect would still be available on the morning of October 21: "The future may have arrived early for some lucky fans, but #PepsiPerfect isn't sold out just yet! It goes on sale this morning!"

However, nobody could figure out the magic time for when the bottles would go on sale at either Amazon or Walmart and reports continued to trickle in on Reddit of lucky fans snatching up random bottles at odd times.

Some fans may inevitably remember Back to the Future Day as their own personal Pepsi Perfect Frustration Day. It would have been nice if Pepsi had simply announced an on-sale time and spared fans the confusion and all-nighters spent refreshing the Amazon product page. But it's not like we can go back in time and fix that now.

Pepsi announced later in the day that fans will get another crack at the coveted memorabilia in the future. The company will offer up a second limited run of 6,500 Pepsi Perfect packages through shop.pepsi.com on November 3 at 6 a.m PT. Pricing will once again be $20.15.

The collectible bottles will ship six to nine weeks after orders are placed. Expect the second round to be just as popular as the first. This move should help smooth over relations between Pepsi and thirsty "Back to the Future" fans.

Update, October 21 at 4:15 p.m. PT: This story has been updated to include information about Pepsi's second-chance rerelease of Pepsi Perfect.