mastermind JAPAN x adidas Superstar 80s

  • DESIGNED BY: mastermind JAPAN
  • MADE ON: 05/13
  • ART.NO: G95180
  • FACTORY: APE 779001

mastermind JAPAN exposes probably the most obvious of all the shoes from their final collaboration with adidas, showing off a decent Superstar that may just have been too ‘safe’ for its own good.

Reviews, not matter how hard the writer tries, are in the end about opinion. Objective reporting isn’t truly possible and many times it’s not even worth eluding to the idea that it is because what interests (or disinterests) opinion leaders can be quite entertaining for others. Not to say that british trainer collector Ross Macwaters is an opinion leader, but he’s certainly an interesting fellow to speak with about shoes, and that’s exactly what we decided to do regarding our final review of the mastermind JAPAN x adidas Consortium pack from the Summer of 2013.

Ross, thanks so much for joining us today to talk about these Supes. Let’s start a bit general, what was your opinion about the pack altogether?

As a whole I think it had something for everybody. There were a few staples in there like the Superstar that was always gonna be pretty obvious shoe for them to do, but then there was a few that most people didn’t think they were going to do, so it was a bit of a surprise bunch. Generally when I started talking to people as pictures dripped out, people seemed surprised. I don’t know what they were expecting, maybe more the typical Consortium type of stuff, such as shoes that had been recently released like the Torsion Allegra for example. I know on their original run the Tech Super was there, and they removed that.

You think that people were expecting shoes more traditional to the Consortium range and that the shoes they picked weren’t the normal choices?

Yes, for example I haven’t seen them do a Country in the Consortium range for quite some time. It’s not a shoe that sells particularly well over here in the UK, although I’ve heard that it does quite in Asia. Obviously, with mastermind JAPAN being a Japanese brand taking that demographic into account would matter, and that’s what I mean with incorporating something for everyone. You’ve got the high top Rivalry for an American crowd, and then you’ve got the Country for the Asian crowd, and then you’ve got the Superstar which has both American and UK followings, and then you’ve got a runner, et cetera, so you’ve got something for everyone in that pack.

Right, and then the Gazelle for the classic, simple approach.


And you waited out in line just in case the hype called for more people than it did. But it didn’t seem like waiting was even necessary.

No it didn’t. My friend Flo and I started queuing and we kind of built it up in our imaginations. I think when we were talking to each other we’d both seen how nice they looked in promotional photos and we were both expecting some more hype than there was. Also I must admit I was basing my expectations of hype on the retail value of the Hardland which remains one of the ‘hype’ shoes which still commands quite a high price tag.

Which is actually so crazy because every other Hardland thats been created is relatively a cheap shoe.

They’re horrible. First of all the colorways aren’t really nice. I’ve even seen an all gold one.

They don’t do the silhouette justice really.

No. That and the Hardland the shoe itself just hits with a different kind of an adi crowd. To be honest, those that they dropped in 2010 are a testament to mastermind on how well they can uniquely design a shoe and ‘own’ it in the process. Those were not an obvious choice back then and it was actually a completely new model when it came out to the market. And bringing it back to this pack, other than the Superstar, they have once again stayed away from the more obvious shoes I think.

Yeah, it sounds like they’re always experimenting at least.

Yeah I like that, keeping it fresh.

More specifically about the waiting though how was that, overnight? Were those that waited just super surprised that there weren’t more people there?

I was kind of, I mean I got there early but leading up to it, as I always do with a lot of drops, I got a little bit tense because I didn’t wanna not be the first one in line.

We hear that, but it was really your day, an exciting day for you, right?

Yeah, ’cause it was my birthday! But still I was a bit apprehensive up until arriving because once you’re there it’s like the pressures off and you can enjoy the ride. I think if I hadn’t been there on the Monday before the release I would’ve worried just in case anybody had started queuing early.

How long did you wait? They were released on a Tuesday in Germany but waiting until Wednesday in the UK, right?

Yeah, so basically an obscene length of time. Considering that the next person to actually join the queue wasn’t until Tuesday noonish.

So, fast forward a few days and you’ve got your pack of shoes and one of these shoes you got is the Superstar 80s. When we looked at them all together here in the eatmoreshoes HQ we did an overall comparison and it’s funny because the Pro Model and 80s don’t feature red on the out sole like the rest of the pack. Do you think they avoided this as it would be too unorthodox, or do you think they tried it and it didn’t work, or do you think that they just said ‘naw, forget it, it’s too crazy’?

See all the other shoes have the possibility to do it because of the way they’re constructed but I don’t think the Superstar and the Pro Model – they’re effectively the same sole after all – are set up for this.

You mean it’s hard to make that rubber another color?

Well traditionally if you’re gonna use that shoe, you can’t, it would have to be painted or it would ‘ve needed to be in the mold, which I don’t think would look very good. Genreally when I’ve seen them do that they break up the sole into multiple pieces. With the Superstar Lite they did a couple of years ago they did that, and this is why the rest of the pack had that because of their construction being built from multiple pieces.

Right, and the ZX 500 had little red dots on the traction points.

Yeah exactly, that’s what I’m saying, because that was the way it was constructed so they were able to do that. Thus, it’s probably something they thought of but were likely just restricted.

So zooming out a bit, for us it seems like the second nicest shoe in the pack – the first being the Rivalry – would you say you kind of agree?

Yeah I do, yeah.

Also we compared the Pro Model and these (since they’re very related shoes) and we noticed the upper had this cross-pattern all over it while the Superstar doesn’t. Did you have a feeling from a design sense which one you liked more, which treatment you felt was better?

I would have liked to see them carry that through to the Superstar because I feel like the Superstar required something more. I think if you’re gonna do a collaboration with that silhouette you have to try and do something very different with it and a black Superstar just reeks a little of the NBHD – the black Neighbourhood from the 35th Anniversary – and then you’ve got the Luker and then you’ve got—


Yeah, Atmos, exactly, and you’ve just got a ton of black Superstars that have used that colorway before so it would’ve been nice if they’d used that perfed leather from the Pro Mod to mix it up a little bit. I mean that was the only problem with the Superstar actually: you knew exactly what it was gonna look like. It was gonna be an all black leather Superstar.

Too predictable some how.

Right it was far, far too predictable and I think that is when you have to do some sort of treatment similar to the Pro Model. At first that’s quite an obvious pick as well but then when they put the velcro straps on it–

Threw us all to the side, right?

Yeah, exactly, and I mean that didn’t hit with a lot of people, a lot of people didn’t like that, because they wanted the laced version of it, but they went and mixed it up and maybe that is something they could’ve done more with the Superstar, whether with a different upper treatment or something else unique. I think it’s led to the reselling not going very well. You would imagine, having seen those five shoes, that the Superstar being as popular as it is, would sell for quite a bit more than the others. At least I thought that, prior to the drop, that it was gonna be the most successful shoe. But it didn’t work out that way…

No it didn’t, but we wonder if they had only dropped the Superstar instead of all of them then would the resale value have been much higher than it was… do you think they diluted the hype power of the pack by releasing so many different shoes?

Well, I think that this Superstar was very obvious and they haven’t tried to do anything with its design quirks to mix it up. And I’d also like to say that the poor resell value was down to how many they produced. The Hardland was rumored only to be a run of three hundred which would of course effect their resell.

And like us, you were saying the consistency in the pack kind of threw you off too, right? That it would’ve been nice to see the cross-pattern on the Supes as well?


But what about the stripes? We hate to say this but their material felt a bit suspect…

I know what you mean, it didn’t feel like the same grade leather as the rest of the shoe’s anatomy.

It was quite bizarre.

Actually, there’s a few little issues on all the shoes.

Right, like the heel on the Superstar was also not as one might expect from the typical Consortium or collaboration release. It wasn’t some super buttery leather or totally soft nubuck. Do you think maybe this was just from the fact that they were tackling too many pairs in one pack?

When I saw pictures I was definitely expecting the Superstar leather to be a little bit better than it was in the flesh. Only because I’ve seen adi do nicer leathers, like on the Bathing Apes. That was buttery soft, and when you’ve done a collab that high profile you wanna go all out. I don’t know if that was due to how many shoes they did like you said and that they had to tone it down a little bit or not.

But the boxes were amazing right?

[both laugh]

Yeah the boxes were amazing. I’m really glad they did that. It was nice because it had the details from the Consortium style box but with that black twist on it. That was nice.

And the last detail was the lace jewel bones, what did you think about those?

I liked that it was metal, but the problem was that it doesn’t sit on the shoes.

Oh the bone is metal? It’s not plastic?

Yeah from what I gather. It’s cold and it’s very heavy so I assume it’s metal. It’s nice because it’s got that quality, it echoes the quality of mastermind and what you’d expect from a heavyweight street wear brand, but it doesn’t really fit on a Superstar. It kind of spins around on the laces they’ve given it. Rattles around a bit. Ironically enough, if they had made it plastic it would’ve likely sat a little bit better on the shoe.

Oh no, so the one part where they kind of opted for the higher end materials might have actually counted against them!

It’s because it moves from side to side and sort of spins around. Also one can blame the laces a bit as they’ve gone for the 80s laces. It’s a nice design quirk but in practically it doesn’t really work.

Not always every detail is thought through or tested through to the end it seems. Thinking through details, we know you’re someone often buys (what you consider) rare shoes in twos: one to wear and one to ‘collect’. But you only got one of the Superstar 80s right?

No, I got two. I got two in the Superstars.

[both laugh]

Alright, that answers the question then you’ll be keeping one to collect and one to wear then, huh?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I doubled up in all of them. The ZX, the Gazelle, Rivalry, Superstar, but only one in Pro Model. And I didn’t get the Country actually but everyone was on me like “buy the country and then you’ve completed the set!” and I’d respond “I’m not like that”. If I don’t like a shoe I don’t like a shoe and I’m not gonna buy it just to complete a set. I’m not gonna lay down 165 pounds just for a sense of completion. I’ve got all the 35th Anniversary Consortium Supes except for the Tate collab because I just don’t like it and I’m not gonna add something to my collection just to complete a set. That’s not how I collect trainers.

Yeah, that’d be a bit crazy. Gary Aspden mentioned this recently when talking about the difference between 35th Anniversary collectors and adicolor collectors. Sure, with 35th Anniversary there are thirty five shoes so it’s hard to get them all, but still very possible. However with adicolor, with the clothing and all, it’s about four hundred articles altogether, so it’s just damn near impossible to get it all.

Really? Yeah, adi went really hardcore on those.

It’s kind of what you’re saying here, that sometimes it doesn’t make sense because you just buy the shoes you like, but also other times it doesn’t make sense because it’s simply too much to buy.

Yup, that just shows the fine line between over and under producing stuff. And that is a reflection on their resell value. Take a look at the 35th Neighborhood Supe; people still sell that for almost one thousand dollars. If you’ve got a good size and someone who is willing to lay down the cash you can get about that price for them. Which is still quite a lot!

It certainly is! So back to the mastermind release, would you call it a good birthday overall?

[Ross laughs]

Would I call it a good birthday? I don’t know! I think so, as I enjoyed the day. I just like being out and around other people who collect and I really like talking about shoes in general and getting to know other people with similar interests to me and finding out what they’ve got to say. It’s more than just buying the articles and going home, it’s about the other people. Thats what I really enjoy. And you know the longer you’re out queuing the longer you have to meet people. So yeah it’s cool. I don’t look back on it and think “oh, a wasted birthday” by any means.

Cool, cool. But you didn’t pick up that jacket, you resisted it? How much was it?

No I didn’t. It was seventeen hundred pounds.

Woo boy!


Did someone buy it, do you know?

Yeah, I think someone did. In the end I decided it was a bad cut for me. The medium was a good fit but it was too short and the large was a good fit but maybe too boxy, too wide for me. That’s not something I would ever wear, I would just be buying it to keep it in my collection, and thus one thousand and seven hundred pounds is too much simply to add that to my collection. Way too much. If that would come down in a sale then maybe… I think Foot Patrol still has theirs…

You’ll be watching it I guess?

Surely, I will be. And if one pops up later on in good condition I’ll likely snap it up, but only purely because of the bag, which I really, really want.

We love you Ross, you’re out to buy this seventeen hundred pound jacket for the bag it comes in?

Yeah, I do like that bag.

[both laugh]

Thanks Ross man, great to have you hear to discuss the drop, the Supes, and the ideas behind reselling rates, hype power (or lack thereof), and a collector’s mentality in general.

Don’t worry about it!

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

shoes contributed by Ross MacWaters