“Well, I’ve cleaned out my shed at last! All the old junk I never use is gone!” I said to a friend once. That friend congratulated me on my Herculean effort, then asked “Hey, did you happen to keep any of your VHS tapes? They’re potentially worth a lot of money nowadays.” To which my blood turned cold, my smile dropped instantly, and my response was this:
Here are a few VHS tapes I had which I wish I’d saved from the dumpster!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Specifically the 1990 live action movie. Doing a small search on eBay, you’ll find this VHS tape as an opened copy sells for around $5 or so. But an unopened copy… Now that sells for nearly $200! The one I found, not graded, has a slight tear in its packaging and has the “Save $20 at Pizza Hut” sticker and a small cartoon-ized TMNT watermark on the upper left-hand side.
Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition
This gold box set of the Original Trilogy in its Special Edition seems to range from low figures like $20 to high ones such as $1,700 give or take a few hundred dollars in other listings. I can almost see why this one is valuable: it’s rare in that the OT has been patched together more times than Frankenstein’s monster and THIS was the first official re-tread into such a feat.
Being on VHS tapes, it’s part of a basically dead technology and is the only way to revisit the nostalgia of that first time Star Wars fans saw George Lucas’ biggest mistake-… Err, I mean, “biggest triumph” in Greedo shooting first.
Who ya gonna call? Probably an investment banker if you sold this VHS… Okay, I didn’t have this sort of copy of Ghostbusters; looking at what this movie is worth unopened, I sure wish I did! It’s listed here at $3,300… That’s a nice chunk of change. As far as this copy, mint condition is what it has going for it. Well, that and a difference of its original full frame ratio on VHS vs. the later widescreen ratio in later releases on DVD and Blu-Ray. But the pristine packaging is nice to look at, and you just know you own a piece of cinema history here.
Finally we hit the crème de la crème! You better believe I had the 1989 Batman movie on VHS ever since I was a kid. Though we, naturally, opened it and an opened copy of this VHS tape is worth about $5 or so. But a simple unopened copy seems to range about $120 give or take. I’ve seen examples of sealed and graded Batman VHS tapes which went higher in price, but you have to beware of tricksters in this game selling high for what you can’t be sure is the real deal.
Hard to believe, ain’t it? But in some form of rarity or another, these VHS tapes are worth lots of money. I still kick myself in the leg for tossing mine into the dumpster years ago and I always will. If you still have VHS tapes in your possession, I strongly advise you to look up what they might be selling for these days on eBay, Etsy, places like that. You never know, you may be holding onto a small fortune!
Please note: two of the original picks on this list (Disney’s Sleeping Beauty; Disney’s Aladdin) had to be replaced because, as I found out thanks to fan input, they were hoaxes. Apparently you can’t always trust what you see on the internet; who’d have thought it?
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