Way back in 2006, I interviewed one Al Cabino regarding his mission (dubbed "Operation McFly" and chronicled on a blog that now appears to have been taken down) to convince Nike to produce and sell the Nike Air Mag sneakers Marty McFly wore in Back to the Future Part II. When we spoke he had solicited over 19,000 signatures on a petition that he planned to present to Nike, and kept repeating, "The objective is to get the shoes." As for Nike, when I contacted them about it, nobody would admit to having heard of him, and the idea "made them laugh." But now... it appears it may have worked.

Even better, the result may be even more than Cabino hoped. At the time, he told me he "realizes that the shoes wouldn't have automatic laces, but is nonetheless confident that they would be popular on the street because of their mix of pop culture cred and quasi-futuristic style." But according to io9, "Just this year, Nike patented a rough design for a light-up shoe with built-in batteries that (somehow) helped automatically secure the shoe onto the user's foot. AKA POWER LACES." As for Cabino, he appears to have dropped out of sight—blog gone, MySpace long un-updated, no recent press... My theory? Nike's got him.

UPDATE: They're real, Michael J. Fox is going to be on Letterman talking about them tonight, and there are only 1500 pairs that will be auctioned off on Ebay to benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation. That means you will probably never get a pair and that you can't be mad about it either.