They’re called hoverboards, or electric scooters. New York City just banned them for safety reasons and they can cost anywhere from $350 to $2,000, so what do you need to know before buying one?
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Ever since Marty McFly zipped around on one in Back to the Future Part II, people have looked forward to the day they could own a hoverboard.

Here we are at the end of 2015 (the year in which that 1989 film was set), and though technically not a hoverboard, self-balancing boards are all the rage this holiday season and give the rider some sense of “hovering” above the ground.

If only, it actually worked like this:

The product, available from several manufacturers, is powered by a lithium battery and operated by leaning in and balancing. But with reports of injuries and a price tag that isn’t friendly for all budgets, the major question this holiday season is — to buy or not to buy?

Here’s a guide to help you navigate the pros and cons, the safety risks and why the hoverboard has become the hottest gift of the holiday season.

Pros 
Ease on down, ease on down the road: With a little practice and a lot of balance, these hoverboards are fairly easy to use. With a little effort (seriously, lean forward, go forward) you are on your way. As you get more comfortable on your board, it becomes easier to maneuver — it just takes a little practice. (Not to mention this has to be a great core workout!)

You can get one: Though the hoverboard is the hot gift to get, it is also the expensive gift to buy, with most costing $300 to $500, from various manufactuers. So while demand may be high, the price has kept these pretty easy to obtain — either via online retailers or through mall kiosks.

Not smaller than a breadbox, but smaller than a Segway: Self-balancing boards are much more compact than their handle-barred counterpart, the Segway, and they weigh much less. The average weight for these boards is 20 to 25 pounds, and they are small enough to stow away in a locker or a duffle bag for easy transportation.

No bus fare, no problem: Short on bus change? Not going far enough for an Uber? Feeling too lazy to walk? No problem. Grab your hoverboard and go. The self-balancing board can range in speed of up to 10 mph and travel 10 to 15 miles on a charge.

Cons 
It’s all about the money, money, money: Today’s hoverboards do not come cheap. You are looking at spending upwards of $300 and some can cost as much as $2,000.

Ride over a crack … : If you are not careful, serious injury can occur while riding on your hoverboard. Scroll on down to our safety section for more.

I am smoking! No really, my board is en fuego: Several reviews show some brands of hoverboards have issues with overheating — some even to the point of catching fire. So if you are in warmer climates, you might want to wait until the temps are mild before going out on a long, leisurely ride. An Alabama man recently recorded his board catching fire after riding it a short distance, and in Lafitte, La., a family’s home was destroyed after a charging hoverboard caught fire.

You can’t ride that here: Many businesses and towns are putting limits on where hoverboards can be used. So though you may think it is cool to zip through the mall, mall security may not agree.