MJ's 'Thriller' jacket could go for $400k at auction
June 7th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

MJ's 'Thriller' jacket could go for $400k at auction

Millions know the song, have seen the video and even memorized the moves of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and now the highest bidder can own the jacket Jackson wore in what’s touted as “the most famous music video of all time.”

Beverly Hills auction house Julien’s Auctions calls the red and black calf leather jacket with winged shoulders one of the most recognizable and famous garments of the 20th century, an item that “sparked a 1980s fashion craze like none other.”

“It is truly the most iconic piece of pop culture history,” Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, tells CNN. “You see the jacket and you know what it [is] immediately and who it belonged to.”

The estimated price is $200,000-$400,000, but that’s what Julien refers to as a “conservative estimate.” He says people have expressed interest in purchasing the jacket for even more.

“Michael Jackson has an unbelievable fan base,” says Julien, adding that he expects bids from around the globe.

The jacket was given to Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush, the late King of Pop's longtime costume designers, to use as reference for subsequent concert performances of the song. It even includes an inscription to them on the jacket’s inside lining, and the sleeve is signed, “Love Michael Jackson.”

Part of the proceeds from the jacket’s sale will go to support The Shambala Preserve, a California wildlife sanctuary for more than 60 exotic felines like lions and leopards, including a Bengal tiger named “Thriller.” It’s no coincidence, because Jackson once owned and named “Thriller.” She’s one of two of the pop star’s tigers that ended up at Shambala in 2006 when the singer moved from his Neverland Ranch.

Julien’s Auctions has sold hundreds of items tied to Jackson over the years, including the glittery glove he wore when he unveiled his signature “moonwalk” during the Motown 25 television special. The auction house sold that glove five months after Jackson’s death to a casino in Macau, China, for $350,000. At the time, Julien touted the glove as “the Holy Grail of Michael Jackson memorabilia." He told an interviewer then that only one item would be a bigger get—Jackson’s “Thriller” jacket– but Julien says he had no idea where it was or who might have it.

Now the jacket is set for auction the weekend of June 25, which coincides with the second anniversary of Jackson’s death.

The garment is among 600 items being offered at the Music Icons Auction, which includes other things worn by Jackson like a fedora and even the wig he donned at a press conference announcing his “This Is It” tour three months before his death.

Other offerings include an Elvis Presley original “TCB” necklace, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” denim jacket, Ringo Starr’s wool cape from “Help” and a 25-year-old custom Jaguar that belonged to Frank Sinatra. There are even items tied to Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Madonna and Lady Gaga.

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. obsequiar vino

    That is very interesting, You are an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your feed and stay up for seeking extra of your wonderful post. Additionally, I've shared your website in my social networks

    November 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brian

    As we now know the jacket went for a lot more than the 400k estimate.It seems the purchaser is going to use it to raise money for childrens charities.This is a great idea in my opinion, I just hope he does.Micheal would approve

    August 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Howard

    Deborah Nadoolman Landis claims that she designed the Thriller jacket, this is a complete lie. It was designed and made by Mickey Anderson of "Skintight leather Fabric and Garments".
    Check out the story by the ceo of the company here: http://youtu.be/DCzSoZ9nk3s

    June 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaspm

      Mickey and David are one of the best kept secrets in show business and in the fashion (clothing) industries. They designed manufactured and sold (all in house) clothing to celebrities from Elvis/Pricilla, Jimi Hendrix (David and Jimi were even roommates in NY City), Michael Jackson, and the list goes on. That reminds me. This list includes Sonny & Cher... and the list and "the beat goes on"...

      June 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. thomas

    i want it

    June 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. billy mays


    June 12, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rock With You Horsegirl

    The media needs to apologize publically for what they did to Michael.

    June 10, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mjforever

    The Jacket should be in a museum for his fans. Thriller video is now in the Library of Congress. MJ was a huge humanitarian, His scalp was burned from to pyrotechnics while making a Pepsi commercial. He took the 1.5 million he got from the lawsuit on Pepsi and gave to the Burn Hospital. Bless Michael, he had talent was persecuted by misreporting media and a DA that was for whatever reason out to get him. The California DCHS never found anything on him and neither did the FBI who followed him for 10 years trying to get evidence for Sneddon..

    To the Haters, read the FBI file released after MJ's death, get a life and stop saying RACIST things and Libelous things you have NO actual evidence of about Michael Jackson.

    CNN should remove remarks with racist words and vulgar accusations that have never been proven. They are not curtious, they are contemptous. amd possibly libelous considering MJ does have children. Again the MEDIA helped to persecute MJ. It is time for the MEDIA to stop this!

    RIP MJ, you Thrilled the world with Thriller, your beautiful lyrics in Heal the World, and Will you be there and We are the World will always be remembered, and your gift for dancing has inspired millions to try to dance with the perfection you did. Your precission in dancing left the world Speechless! You ability to KEEP THE FAITH when adversaries were trying to destroy you gave hope to many of the unfortunate!

    Your fans Will BE There.

    You showed the world that we all have an inner child in us that is pure and we should never forget what it feels like to be a child. RIP.

    June 10, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rock With You Horsegirl


    June 10, 2011 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Omarr

    If only I could read the lottery!

    June 10, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rock With You Horsegirl

    Lot of money!

    June 9, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jim Dandey

    Who gives a crap? Seriously, bidders: get a life. Do something real with your money, like donating it to AIDS or cancer research...

    June 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jill

    man the guys hate and the girls love, so what does this mean, well, mj was one hunky dude and they are simply jealous, lol, love 4 eva mj.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kathy

    Rachel...thanks...just saw the video...We will love Michael till eternity won't we?
    I wrote him when he was going through the last trial and told him to keep praying.
    I saw him, on tv in his pj's, one trial day and it broke my heart.
    I hated to see him hurting, physically,and emotionally.
    There will be no one like him again.

    June 9, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. rachel

    this is from youtube..for the ppl who keep saying hateful things...you are wrong.......
    love him too, sincerely rachel7036
    this is one example of truth and LOVE......

    June 9, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bob

    I'm down for purchasing the 'zombied' version of this jacket. Awesome.

    June 8, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  16. rachel

    ignorant fools, hope you get the shock of your life one day, ok, I'm stopping now.........much LOVE to michael jackson......miss you!!!!

    June 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  17. mia

    Kim. Apparently you didn't follow the court case or you are simply stuck on stupid. I take the latter. The accusing family was proven to be "GRIFTERS" it was laughable. RIP Michael J. Jackson.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  18. lac

    if i hit lotto before june 25th, i would bid on it for sure.

    June 8, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  19. @@and@@

    You should know cuz it takes 1 to know 1.

    June 8, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  20. @@darth loser

    I agree with u. There is no more mid class because of the "rich that earned their money". Just the rich and the poor. (Just how the rep's want it) Darth potatoe is on welfare anyways. Feed him mashed to the hungry.

    June 8, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  21. @darth loser

    Yeah they earned their money off the backs of ppl that really work. You know, the 1's that put gas in their cars, pay their taxes (without tax breaks), the 1's who don't get free healthcare,the 1's who invested in their 4O1k's while losing their butts , wall st "earned" from their HARD earned money, etc etc etc..yeah they sure earned their money. Screw the poor and feed the rich. What a loser you are !

    June 8, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  22. kathy

    Kim...so are you saying that the Guinness Book of World Records lied?

    June 8, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • TheTruMessage

      Kathy, Kim is a fool, as harsh as that sounds. How did he donate money he didn't have? That would mean the organizations never got the money he promised, no...donated. And it would have been announced that they never recieved any funding. How ridiculous can a person be? It wish every time someone decided to type something asinine on their PC, they would be meet with an electric shock until something worthwhile came from their brains, or the lack their of.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  23. kathy

    Some of the comments on this message board, prove AGAIN that Michael was too good for this world.
    Michael donated 500 million dollars in charity contributions when he was alive.
    He is DONE and he owes no one anything.
    Pray for his family, please.

    June 8, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  24. IF I

    If I had that kind of cash I would much rather stock the shelves of food pantries for ppl in need. I would rather help ppl losing their homes. I would rather HELP than buy useless nothingness. 2 bad ppl with money are 2 selfish to help any1 besides them selves.

    June 8, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Darth Tater

      @ IF.

      People with money have it because the earned. Screw the lazy. Feed the homeless to the hungry.

      June 8, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      It's their money and they spend it as they want, if you had that kind of money u would be bidding for this jacket and some other stuff as well, while attending the needs of who u want to help out.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  25. Ben

    awesome if i had the money i would definitely buy it!
    and seriously you people make me embarrassed of being American! (because lets face it no where else except some parts of UK, are nothing more but hated mongering freaks with NO respects, there are only a few exceptions) , being born in this era, im only 16 but you know what, let the haters hate, these are people who have been brainwashed (obviously) but my generation and the generation after that etc will always love michael and respect him, unless you trolls decide to make fun of him all your lives spending all your time in mj related articles and videos and talking trash, michael wins, he lives forever his legacy is forever , in a 100 years, he would be bigger than ever and well you trolls, well you WONT be remembered, and how does that feel that a guy you hate is more loved and admired around the planet and will be for thousand and thousand of years 😀

    June 8, 2011 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Big D

      Ben, what you said was beautifully spoken, just like the heartfelt song- 'Ben'. Man you couldn't have summed it up any better. I preached, if you will, to these troll, and trash talkers on so many occassions that my remarks could be use in a reference book for those who needed or wanted to make a statement in Michael's behalf, but just didn't know where to start. You said a mouthful brother, for real. I'm impressioned with your savvy and for you being able to shift through the nonsense and see it as it truly is. Yeah, Michael will live on; there's not a darn thing these haters can do about that. They can hate until the "cows come home" and Michael willl still live on. So it would seem reasonable for them to give up on trying to persuade Millions not to love him. It's not gonna happen. He is indelibly seared into our minds and subconcious. Keep speaking truth regardless of the detractors.

      June 8, 2011 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
    • eunis

      I would like to buy it and burn it.

      June 8, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  26. Jeremy

    Are you guys kidding me only 400K I think this piece could reach a million easy peasy!

    June 8, 2011 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
  27. Diana

    Stop being puerile, stop being disgusting and most of all stop playing the part of a witch finder general. You do it solely to be contentious and its boring. This is about the selling of an icons jacket, not the klu klux clan style verbal lynching of a compassionate and vulnerable human being.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  28. josie

    MJ thats gross and disturbing

    June 8, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  29. sarah

    Even though i will never have that kind of money, if i did those would be the things i'd be willing to spend absurd amounts of money for. although i'd rather buy Jimmy Page's 12 string. either way it'd be incredible to own a piece of music history like that. even at a ridiculous price.

    June 7, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  30. rachel

    thats awesome, Thriller is my favorite music video...
    stop the hate, spread the LOVE.......

    June 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  31. MJ

    Typical... there's always a few ignorant and judgemental American judging someone out of hate. Get a life (red carpet)

    June 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Me CASA

    why does anyone need this really!!! WHY???????????????????????????????

    June 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |

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