Nike has done it once again, albeit in a slightly more updated way. The footwear giant has recently made available a raffle in which fans can win a pair of the 2016, self-lacing versions of the Nike MAGs. The drawing is in partnership and support of a very worthy cause, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research – all proceeds of the ticket sales will go to the MJFF. As most of you may already know, this isn’t the first time the MAGs have been released, so in celebration of the 2016 announcement, we here at HYPEBEAST are taking a quick look back at these special sneakers’ introduction to the world in 2011.
It’s not even a question that the Nike MAG is the holiest of all grails. Ever since the shoes’ debut appearance — worn by Michael J. Fox’s character Marty McFly on the 1989 Robert Zemeckis sci-fi hit Back to the Future Part II – sneakerheads have always longed for the day a real pair would be mass-produced and released by the all-mighty Swoosh brand. But it wasn’t until April of 2007 that the nostalgia bug caught on as brothers Mickey and Charles Maloof started a petition to influence Nike into recreating the coveted models. You can visit an actual archived version of that petition site called, “McFly 2015: Make It Happen” here.
In the years prior to the MAG’s actual 2011 release, which was four years earlier than what the Maloof brothers had demanded, the mythical sneaker started rearing its head in other ways. It made an animated appearance on Kanye West’s Takashi Murakami-directed music video Good Morning in 2007, where it was seen worn by West’s bear mascot. In 2008, Kobe Bryant made some noise when the future Hall-of-Famer appeared at UNDFTD LA by DeLorean wearing the “McFly” Hyperdunks that featured the original MAG’s colorway. 2009 would see the announcement of the Nike Hypermax wrapped in the famous colors as well and getting a wider release, but sneakerhead dreams were soon crushed when it was announced that the drop would be cancelled. With its sights clearly more focused on the technological aspect of the kicks rather than just the colorway, team Nike, consisting of Tiffany Beers, Michael Friton and Tinker Hatfiled, filed patent papers on behalf of the brand for a shoe designed with an automatic lacing system. It would be an eventual setup to the innovative features we’re seeing now in 2016 with the HyperAdapt and the MAGs.
Then in 2011, it finally happened: the public initially received a video teaser of “McFly’s closet,” which showed thousands of MAGs lined up on shelves on September 6, but it wan’t until September 8 that the official unveiling would happen. The announcement stated that 1,500 pairs of the Nike MAG shoes would be auctioned on eBay in support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The Back to the Future actor even made an appearance that day on The Late Show With David Letterman to announce the project and shed light on his incurable disease.
Events surrounding the initial release
The official celebration of the MAG announcement was the ‘Back for the Future‘ event that took place at Hollywood’s Montalban theater. The night had fans, industry people and notable influencers in attendance to witness this momentous occasion that joined together Nike’s innovative design and Michael J. Fox’s important cause. The event was hosted by Community actor Joel McHale who brought out Tinker Hatfield and Christopher Lloyd to the stage to say a few words about the release. On site also was a Back to the Future II DeLorean DMC-12, some movie props, and a live auction of the very first pair of Nike MAGs signed by Michael J. Fox.
London also had its own auction event at the city’s OFFSPRING & OFFICE sneaker shop that same year. Although on a smaller scale than the official celebration in Los Angeles, the London event also released a special pair of MAGs in a cool plutonium case to the highest bidder at the cost of £8,000 GBP (Approximately $10,100 USD). There was even a video message shown from Michael J. Fox thanking everyone for their support.
How much did the auctions raise for Michael J. Fox’s cause?
According to a NikeTalk post and as confirmed by Nice Kicks, the total amount raised by the 2011 auctions equaled $5,695,190.53 USD. The highest winning bid came in at $9,959.00 USD for a size 10, with the lowest at $2,300.00 USD for a size 7. Below are the total amounts the auctions raised raised per day:
Day 1 = $911,927.34 USD
Day 2 = $647,539.91 USD
Day 3 = $554,120.31 USD
Day 4 = $508,077.50 USD
Day 5 = $511,112.10 USD
Day 6 = $492,481.97 USD
Day 7 = $488,076.90 USD
Day 8 = $499,851.16 USD
Day 9 = $511,479.82 USD
Day 10 = $570,523.52 USD
Additionally, Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, and his wife Anne Wojcicki promised to match donation dollars of up to $5 million USD through the end of 2011. Consequently, this brought the total proceeds of the online auctions up to $9.4 million USD, according to Wikipedia.
Who came out with a pair(s)?
Business Insider reported that Kanye West was able to buy a pair, as well as Kid Cudi getting the chance to get his hands on four pairs of MAGs. British hip-hop artist Tinie Tempah spent close to $40,000 to own the first available sets and former San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson was also seen wearing the MAGs in the team’s dugout. Throughout the years since, artists and personalities such as Fabolous, The-Dream, Wale, Soulja Boy, Trinidad James, The Weeknd, comedian Pete Davidson, and even Michael J. Fox himself have been seen wearing the highly-coveted grails. We’re sure more celebrities out there have donned them in one way or another.
If you were one of the lucky ones who got a pair in 2011, you probably had some options: hold on to them as an investment and sell at the right time when the value is at its highest, stock them as a trophy piece in your collection, or actually rock them like a true sneakerhead whose sole mission in life is to break necks. In 2014, three years after the initial auction release, Sole Collector asked if the MAGs had held its value. Mind you, the original auction average prices for the sneakers were $3,800 USD. At 2014 the average selling price on eBay was $8,100 USD with the highest sale reported at $11,000 USD and the lowest at $7,500 USD. So if you decided to sell around 2014, you would’ve came out with a pretty substantial profit.
Now in 2016, you can pretty much find the same average prices of $7,500 USD to $11,000 USD at auction sites and consignment shops. You can snag a pair even lower if you have the right connections and plugs in your contact list.