The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

In 1985, after a power struggle developed between Steve Jobs and John Sculley, Apple Computer’s charismatic co-founder was forced out of the company his vision had created. For the next twelve years, the company foundered, lost marketshare hand over fist and almost went bankrupt before Jobs returned to the company in 1997 to put things right.

We all know that story. Still, it’s amazing how just one item from the dark years can hilariously put the disconnect between pre- and post-Jobs Apple in sharp relief. Could anything better exemplify the now-amusing differences in vision between Apple under Jobs and Apple under Sculley than this 1987 relic, The Apple Catalogue?

Let’s put it this way. Under Jobs, Apple sold great computers. Under Sculley, Apple released an entire catalogue of Apple-branded sweaters, watches, coffee mugs, beach umbrellas, towels, backpacks, scarves, hats, wind surfing equipment…

Right here, in these yellowed pages, is the difference between John Sculley and Steve Jobs. John Sculley internalized all of the lessons he learned at Pepsi making fizzy sugar water: he tried to turn Apple into a whored-out brand for the Pepsi Generation, where the logo was the product. Steve Jobs’s vision was very different: he was out to change the world.

Here’s the complete catalog. As egregious as this shilled out tat is, there’s more than a few products here I wouldn’t mind getting for Christmas. That beer stein and watch are pretty swank, but my vote would be for the leather computer bag on page 1. What’s your favorite?

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

The Apple Collection Was Everything That Was Wrong With Late 80s Apple [Gallery]

[via Retronaut.co, Reddit]

  • Dan Bennett

    Rose lenses on page 15. Brilliant.

  • Robert Daniels

    I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.. :|

  • Oli Newman

    i want every single one of these products…

  • Blake Beavers

    I would pay at least $100 for most of these things…

  • david bogie

    Compared to the junk every company throws a logo onto these days, some of this stuff is golden. I had one of these catalogs and even owned a few of the trinkets under $25. 

  • prof_peabody

    I still like the rainbow logo better than the new white one.  Some of those keychains are seriously desirable. 

  • Derek Poore

    I want one of the Nylon Mac bags. A few other things are appealing, but this mostly makes me have a big sad.

  • Evan Benford

    I don’t know about you guys but some of those bags on page 8 look really nice. I buy one

  • Sydney Nichols

    “After a rough day windsurfing, the Apple sweatshirt is just the thing.”

    Amazing.

  • firesign

    Say what you want, but I want that Apple truck.

  • stickam

    The Apple branded Braun products are kinda cool.   They even have the Braun calculator that the first iteration of the iPhone used a an inspiration for the Calculator app!

  • Camerongerardy

    i want that truck, the watches, the towels, the army knife,…..just give me the whole freak’n catalog

  • TechUser

    I had the Apple handblown glass mug with the etched logo on the bottom for over 10 years… Until my uncle dropped and broke it!

  • JT_CHITOWN

    Seriously, what is up with the kid on the left on page 31?  Could he look more bitter?

    I’m having a flashback now to my extensive Jams collection back in ’86.  *shudder*

  • MoistPup

    Horrible garbage. 

  • ImTrollButHonest

    This stuff has value as collectibles, but it’s garbage.

  • Grahas

    I think I want to vomit.

  • diego gonzález

    Mother of god…

  • diego gonzález

    Mother of god…

  • HerbalEd

    Skully and his adults board never got it.

  • Alcofrybas Nasier

    I see a white Apple logo on the watch!

  • Rothgarr

    I miss the 80s…

  • FenTiger

    bag o’ shite. I say we take off and nuke the 80’s from orbit…

  • Guest

    I’ll take the black sunglasses and the money clip FTW! HA! This is awesome, better than the stupid clock that they gave me when I worked there. 

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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