Warhead has posted a great editorial on a look back at the Black Box era..
“The Black Box era. Love, hate, hype, the death of old favourites, the introduction of new ones. Personally I believe it has been the most important time in Nike SB history. After two years of black and purple this January we’ll switch to the ‘golden’ age, but before that let us look back on the Black Boxes. During the orange, silver and pink boxes Nike has been building. Their goal? Becoming a respected member of the skateboarding industry.
After previous failed attempts this was their final oppertunity, now or never. They established a team of respected riders, supported local skateboardscenes and the shoes sold pretty good. The number one problem was the fact that most of the shoes weren’t bought by skaters. This hurt Nike’s image, even though a lot of people were happy that their favourite shop managed to stay in business because of the sneakerheads lining in front of the store for the new releases, those that actually wanted to skate the shoes were screwed. Prices were getting jacked and supplies were limited and you’d have to wait a full month for a new shipment to arrive.
During the Black Box era Nike took the final steps of becoming a major player. More stores got accounts and even though there’s no real proof for it, production numbers seem to have grown as well. New was the introduction of the Premium line. Nike hasn’t forgotten about the people that got them where they are today, the premium shoes are made for the sneakerheads. Although some of the Premiums didn’t cause a lot of hype (Puff n Stuffs, for example) other were definitly succesfull. People camped for the 3 Bears, Dino Jr’s and MF Doom’s. Regional releases like the SBTG’s, Michael Lau’s, DOTD’s and C&K’s had a lot of hype backing them as well. Saying Nike neglected the sneakerheads during the Black Box era is a hard statement, off course there were less special releases or sought after colorways, but face it, Nike has grown up.”