Meet Tadataka Goh, a Japanese jazz bassist who is perhaps the world’s biggest collector of Apple-branded goods — you know, Apple t-shirts, pens and hats.
Over the last 15 years, Tadataka has amassed the largest collection of Apple knickknacks on the planet. He has thousands of items, including hundreds of pens, t-shirts, baseball caps, posters and buttons. He has the first issue of Macworld magazine and an Apple-branded traffic cone.
Tadataka has possibly spent more than $100,000 on them. That’s right — more than $100,000.
“Looking at his collection, he’s probably spent several hundred thousand dollars,” says Steve Naughton, co-owner of RedLightRunner.com, which sells Apple collectibles and counts Tadataka as its best customer ever.
The Japanese are well-known for being enthusiastic collectors, and the most otaku can be fanatical completionists. Even so, the scope of Tadataka’s collection boggles the mind.
He’s got so much stuff, even he doesn’t know how much he’s got. He recently posted pictures of more about 4,000 items to an online gallery, and has scores more pictures to upload.
Click on to see some of Tadataka’s collection. You have to see the photos to appreciate how big this collection is.
Tadataka’s collection includes kids toys, plushie Mac dolls, Apple watches, toolkits and binoculars. He has more than 350 mugs and coffee cups; over 140 pens and pencils; and about 400 items of clothing (tshirts, jackets, shirts, hats and shoes). He has boatloads of miscellaneous items, from Apple Zippo lighters to an ’80s denim tie decorated with a rainbow Apple logo.
Amazingly, Tadataka stores all the items in his room — in closets, chests and bookshelves.
Naughton says Tadataka is his best customer. “He placed more orders than any other customer at RedLightRunner,” he says.
As well as RedLightRunner, Tadataka bought a lot of items from Bonnie, a former Apple employee who is selling off her large collection of Apple items on eBay. Bonnie was recently interviewed in Episode 73 of RetroMacCast.
“I have not seen any other collection as large as his,” Naughton adds. “For me and I think most people, we like to have an item or two for inspiration, to remind us what Apple is about (ie. Think Different, innovation, creativity, etc…) But I’m not too sure what drives someone to have an extraordinary large collections of stuff. Maybe he’s a fanatic? Or maybe he plans on retiring off it someday? I always thought that he was purchasing stuff from us to resell in Japan.”
Asked what drives him to collect Apple memorabilia, Tadataka, who speaks limited English, simply said: “I love Mac.”
(See the full email interview below — it’s comically painful, so I put it at the bottom.)
Here’s the link to Tadataka’s online gallery of his collection. And here’s the email interview:
CoM: How many items do you have?
Tadataka: I don’t know.
How long have you been collecting?
Tadataka: Probably 15 years or more.
Where do you store your collection?
Tadataka: In my room
Where did you buy the collectibles?
Tadataka: Auctions and Internet Shop like Red Light Runner…
How much did the collection cost?
Tadataka: I don’t know.
Is the collection finished?
Tadataka: No, I continue, if I can.
Why are you collecting Apple memorabilia?
Tadataka: I Love Mac.
What do you think about Apple and Steve Jobs?
Tadataka: Mmmmm, I have no idea. I love Mac, but Steve does not like to sell Apple items. Probably he hate collectors like me.
Do you have a Mac, or an iPod or iPhone?
Tadataka: I have 128K, Spartacus (TAM), G3MT300, iBookG3, Newton 2100. Mainly I use iMacG4. I bought iPhone on begining of May.
Do you use the items you collect? Do you wear the shirts?
Tadataka: No, I don’t use them.
Do you have any other collections?
Tadataka: Apple or any other categories? Regarding Apple items, you can see almost on my gallery.
What does your wife or girlfriend (or maybe children or friends) think of the collection?
Tadataka: – – – – – – – – –
What do people say when they see the collection?
Tadataka: Anybody don’t know my gallery wo/ you and Bonnie and few.
What is your favorite item? Why is it your favorite item?
Tadataka: Insignificant questions.
Tell me about yourself. What is your name, your occupation, your age and your city?
Tadataka: My name is Go. I’m a Jazz Bassist.
Can you please email me a picture of yourself?
Do you also have a picture of the entire collection? Or a picture of the collection where it is stored? Or on display?
Tadataka: I don’t know. But I’ll sell some items that are doubled or no interesting anymore on Japanese auction site. Here’s a link to Tadataka’s auction site. It’s currently empty.