A Toy Story poster signed by Steve Jobs has sold at auction in Los Angeles for $31,250 — more than $6,000 more than its starting price.
The 24-inch-by-36-inch poster was signed by Jobs back in 1995. Its high price tag was due to the relative scarcity of Jobs’ autograph. While Toy Story isn’t widely thought of as one of the most important moments of Jobs’ life, it was actually a major turning point for him.
A turning point for Jobs
Today, Jobs is widely considered one of the greatest figures in the history of tech. He’s also widely regarded as a top CEO, who took Apple from a struggling company in the mid-1990s and made it, well, Apple.
But things weren’t quite so rosy for Jobs during the first half of the 1990s. Having been booted out of Apple in 1985, he started NeXT and acquired control of Pixar. But neither business was succeeding in the early 90s. NeXT launched two computers, which failed to make a commercial impact. Pixar, meanwhile, tried selling its own computer, which proved equally unsuccessful.
Toy Story marked the point when things turned around for Jobs. It was Pixar’s first feature-length movie. It wound up becoming a massive hit, runner-up only Aladdin and The Lion King in terms of animated movie box office.
Shortly afterward, Jobs floated Pixar on the stock market in late 1995. The IPO made Jobs, who owned more than 80% of the company, a billionaire.
Not too long after, Jobs sold NeXT to Apple, and took over as interim (and then permanent) CEO. In other words, Toy Story symbolized the point at which Jobs’ fortunes began to turn for the better.