There was nothing quite like cracking open the pillowy cocoon that encased a clunky VHS tape for movie time. But, whether it was a new purchase or fresh from Hollywood Video or Blockbuster, popping that bad boy in a VHS player and fiddling with the pause/rewind/play functions for way too long was as good as it got.
In 2022 VHS tapes are thought of as relics, sequestered in a cupboard or in the attic, never to be played again. With modern shiny options like Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming services (that you don’t have to rewind after watching), it’s only natural to have forgotten our old friend VHS.
Many of us still have players and tape collections laying around collecting dust, whether it’s due to nostalgic attachment or pure laziness. Think twice the next time you’re fighting your hoarding tendencies. Some Disney VHS tapes are accruing value amongst collectors, and not all of them are that uncommon.
How Do I Know What I Have?
Don’t get too excited; it’s important to remember that not all Disney VHS tapes are rare or valuable. Value is determined depending on the rarity of a particular video. Disney released six different collections of classic films between 1978 and 2001, the most valuable being Disney’s Black Diamond Classics Collection. This collection was released between 1984 to 1994, beginning with Robin Hood and ending with The Fox and the Hound.
You can spot a Black Diamond Collection by looking for a black diamond surrounding the words “The Classics” on the spine. Refer to this guide from Our Departure Board for a complete history of Disney VHS collections.
Some tapes were limited prints, meaning their cover art was discontinued while still on the shelves, making them rarer. A notable example is The Little Mermaid, with the original cover art copy going for a few grand.
Another helpful tip is to learn how to date your tapes. VHSs have three different dates. These will be important when it comes to listing and selling.
Print Date/Time: The date/time this specific tape was produced. Look for the ‘six-digit code-four digit code’ on the side of the VHS (image below). The first six digits refer to the date of manufacture in MMDDYY format (e.g., 102497 = 24th Oct 1997), and the following four digits refer to the time of manufacture (e.g., 1621 = 4:21 pm).
VHS Copyright Year: The year this VHS was released but not necessarily produced. Look on the cassette label or the back/spine of the VHS case. You may have to convert dates from Roman Numerals.
Content Copyright Year: The year the movie was first released, potentially decades before the VHS release. Search online for the name of the content or watch the VHS end credits. The content copyright year should be located next to the Disney emblem.
Disney fanatics and collectors reign over a large portion of the online marketplace. It’s all happening on eBay, the internet’s tried and trustworthy platform for turning junk into cash. Etsy is another platform with several vintage Disney VHS listed and sold for top dollar.
This world can get a bit confusing, with tapes ranging from 10 dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Value is a perceived entity, meaning you just have to find someone willing to pay what you think a copy is worth. Start an account on eBay or Etsy and connect your payment method. Do some research on the site to get an idea of the market.
Once you find a rare tape you want to sell, create a listing and pay a small fee to get started. Etsy, developed initially for selling handmade goods, cannot pit buyers in a bidding war. However, if you think there will be a big competition for your tape, eBay could be a wiser decision.
Here are some Disney tapes that have sold exceedingly well. Maybe these will motivate you to open the storage unit or take a trip to the attic. If you want to do your own research, you can tick the “sold” filter while searching eBay to find out what others have paid for a specific VHS tape. Notice that all of these sales were made this year. It seems this market is not dissolving anytime soon.
Black Diamond Classic Walt Disney “The Jungle Book” 1991
Date: June 3, 2022
This one wasn’t even sealed, and it sold for almost five grand!
Black Diamond Classic Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast -VHS Sealed
Date: Apr 25, 2022
I have no idea how one keeps a brand new Disney VHS sealed all of these years. Someone must have had the foresight to know they could buy a new car with it one day! This was the most expensive one I could find in recent history, and now for almost 40 grand, it is just sitting on someone’s shelf.
Disney Black Diamond Collection
Date: May 08, 2022
It’s not a bad idea to go for quantity over quality. This might just do the trick in piquing bidders’ interest and upping perceived value. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could find a collection like this at a yard sale for a few bucks.
Black Diamond VHS 101 Dalmatians
Date: April 28, 2022
This is a lot of information to take in, but hopefully, we’ve inspired you to take a second glance at what you might have thought was junk. Remember, the better the quality, the more valuable the collectible.
It might take some patience, but you’re likely to find a good profit if you have any tapes mentioned. Good luck, and let us know if you find anything!
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