You could be sitting on a treasure trove of valuable childhood movies.
Streaming has replaced trips to the video store, but VHS tapes are becoming a hot commodity among collectors.
Classics like Back to the Future and movies with a cult following like the original Fast and the Furious are fetching thousands on eBay.
But before you go sprinting to the garage or rummaging around the attic – proceed with care: the condition of these tapes is key to their sale price.
11 MOST VALUABLE VHS TAPES
1. “Back to the Future” — If you could time travel back to 1985 in the DeLorean, tell yourself not to open your copy. It’s selling for $1,000.
2. “The Fast and the Furious” — By the time it came out in the early 2000s, many of us were already on to DVDs. A VHS version of this Paul Walker and Vin Diesel classic can bank you a cool $1,000.
3. “Teen Wolf” — A first printing of the VHS tape with the iconic cover of Michael J. Fox bearing his chest just sold for $1,190 on eBay.
4. “Gremlins” — America fell in love with those furry, evil little menaces in this 1980s staple. A copy today goes for $1,250.
5. “First Blood” — Sylvester Stallone was in his element. A copy of this gem just went for $1,525. The original VHS tape still had the $29.95 price tag on the front. How’s that for appreciation?
6. “Halloween II” — An unopened copy of this blockbuster sequel recently sold for $1,525.
7. “Dumbo” — A limited-edition version bundled with a Mickey Mouse ornament recently sold for $1,575.50.
8. “Conan the Barbarian” — Who doesn’t love an old-school, enemy-crushing masterpiece? A mint copy is worth $1,725.
9. “Taxi Driver” — First printings and early releases go for a pretty penny. An initial release of the Robert De Niro classic sold for $1,905.
10. “The Goonies” — Recently went for $4,050. As the saying goes, “Goonies never die.” Neither does this VHS tape’s market value.
11. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” — Calling all Freddy Krueger fans. A new copy recently sold on eBay for $5,000.
Sorry, that copy of ‘Aladdin’ you watched 50,000 times as a kid is a dud.
eBay says that around 250,000 VHS tapes are sold on the online selling platform every year.
Additionally, it revealed more than three million dollars has been spent on VHS tapes by eBay buyers.
Ever wonder how long your old VHS tapes last?
Their magnetic particles can degrade over time, causing a picture and sound quality loss. Under ideal conditions, you’re looking at 10 to 25 years.
That’s a big range, so let’s look at the factors that play into it.
● Storage conditions: Tapes stored in cool, dry places away from direct sunlight fare better. Humidity and high temperatures are no good.
● Playback wear: There’s slight wear and tear every time a VHS tape is played. Over time, this can lead to tracking issues and visible ‘lines’ on playback. That’s why your childhood favorites got so messed up.
● Mold is the enemy: If stored in damp conditions, mold can grow on the tapes and damage the video and audio. Once mold sets in, restoring the tape to its original condition is tough.
● Proper rewinding: Believe it or not, using a dedicated tape rewinder rather than the VCR’s rewind function can prolong the tape’s life. It reduces strain on both the VCR and the tape.
VHS tapes aren’t eternal. If you’ve got cherished moments or rare finds on VHS, consider converting them to a digital format to ensure they stand the test of time.
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