It seems that there are few limits to what Apple fans with deep pockets are willing to pay for company memorabilia, as we’re often reminded every time we see a some new piece of Apple history go up for auction.
In fact, while many of these auctions are for vintage classic Apple products like early pre-Mac Apple computers, they also sometimes provide a peek into products that many people probably don’t even know that Apple ever made. Such is the case with a pair of rare classic Apple sneakers that sold for over $16,000 at a private auction house.
According to GQ, the sneakers were originally built as prototypes for Apple employees back in the early ‘90s, featuring the older iconic Apple “rainbow” logo prominently on the tongue and Apple branding on the sides. GQ describes the short-lived product as the epitome of “‘90s-ness,” that has become extremely sought-after by Apple fans.
First built as prototypes for Apple employees in the early ’90s, they obviously drew on the most prolific training shoe styles of the time, and have such become a cult relic from the sneaker scene of that time.GQ
In fact, this is actually the second time a pair of these Apple sneakers has appeared in recent years, with the same auction house, Heritage Auctions, fetching $30,000 for another pair back in 2017. At the time, those sneakers were prominently featured in a collection of historic memorabilia, and the bidding on the 2017 pair started at $15,000.
The Apple sneakers were never offered to the actual public, which makes them even more rare and in-demand; although it’s unclear how many were actually made, whenever a pair does surface at auctions they don’t last long. However, they were arguably one of the more normal products to come out of the company’s Apple Collection, which featured everything form t-shirts to sailboards, umbrellas, and laser-etched beer mugs.
Even beyond the Apple branding, the nostalgic design of the sneakers seems to be so popular that GQ reports that Versace sneaker VP Salehe Bembury has considered giving them a high-fashion reboot, although likely without the Apple logo.
Other classic Apple memorabilia continues to fetch similarly astronomical prices, with a classic 1978 Apple computer sign up for auction this week with a reserve bid of $20,000, and a fully-functional Apple-1 computer fetching $458,711.25 at another auction earlier this month, and another one sold in 2014 for $905,000 to the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.
Four years ago, we even saw what is believed to be the very first production Apple computer ever created, a 1976 Apple Computer 1 that was quite likely hand-soldered by Steve Wozniak himself, fetching an estimated $1,000,000 — quite a markup from its original selling price of $666.66, even when you factor in inflation.
Other famous Apple memorabilia includes three history docs signed by Steve Jobs that fetched an estimated $90,000, and Steve Jobs’ 2000 BMW Z8 that ran for around $400,000. In 2013, Charitybuzz also auctioned off a chance to have coffee with Apple CEO Tim Cook for $610,000.
Lest you think that these products are being sold to further line the pockets of the rich, it’s worth noting that many of these auctions have been put up to support charities. For example, the million-dollar Apple-1 was part of a special charity auction to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the six-figure coffee with Tim went to benefit the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.