Everything at a glance
- Old VHS cassettes fetch high prices at auctions
- A Star Wars cassette was valued at 70,000 euros
- A Back to the Future cassette was auctioned off for almost 72,000 euros – so: Ready to raid your basement?
First the VHS cassette was replaced by the DVD disc, then the Blu-ray won the competition against HD-DVD as the successor medium. Nowadays, everyone streams series, films and nature documentaries on Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime, and whatever other video streamers are called.
Regardless of the various upheavals in the home entertainment sector, quite a few people still have their old “Video Home System” cassettes lying around – be it in the attic, in the basement or in a moving box that has never been opened.
You can read below what maximum prices such salvaged cassettes can fetch at auction. But be careful: the cases presented here are collector’s items in their original condition. It is doubtful that VHS complete collections of Popsicle or Bud Spencer films achieve such prices.
Over 70,000 euros for an old Star Wars video cassette?
✅ Star Wars: At the beginning of last year, an auction at the Goldin auction house made the media rounds: a handful of VHS cassettes were put up for auction, including cassettes from the initial home video release of Star Wars.
As a reminder: The first Star Wars film was released in cinemas in 1977, and in May 1982 the milestone science fantasy film premiered on VHS, Betamax, LaserDisc and other forms of presentation that today seem completely antiquated.
A sticker with the inscription “First Stereo Only” and a “First Edition CBS/Fox” watermark were evidence of the authenticity of the collector’s item at Goldin. The market value of the video cassette was estimated at the time at 60,000 US dollars (approx. 57,000 euros). Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any reports about the amount for which Star Wars actually changed hands on tape.
Apropos: If you like it retro and have a thing for Boomers shooters in the George Lucas Cinematic Universe, check out Dark Forces.
Star Wars: Dark Forces is getting an official 4k remaster, the trailer shows all the changes
✅ Back to the Future: A video cassette of the cult classic “Back to the Future” was auctioned for 75,000 US dollars (almost 72,000 euros). The auction was held by the auction house Heritage Auctions.
A total of 260 sealed VHS cassettes were offered for sale as part of the auction. The majority of the video cassettes were first editions of films from the 70s and 80s.
The special feature of this special VHS cassette of Back to the Future, produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Robert Zemeckis: The cassette previously belonged to Tom Wilson, the actor who embodied the fictional character Biff Tannen in the Future trilogy.
✅ More film classics from the 70s and 80s: At the same auction at Heritage Auctions, video cassettes of films such as “Jaws” (approx. 31,800 euros), “The Goonies” (approx. 47,500 euros) and “Ghostbusters” (approx. 22,500 euros) were purchased.
A special gem that changed hands during the auction for 16,600 euros was a video cassette of Tony Scott’s action classic Top Gun with Tom Cruise. The special thing about the cassette: The cassette was a promotional gift from the soft drink Diet Pepsi.
Speaking of outdated playback media: Will DVD, Blu-ray and 4K discs come to an end in 2024? Large electronics retailer sorts out the silver discs
Were you so short-sighted as a child that you simply tore open your VHS cassette of Dumbo, The Jungle Book, or The Little Mermaid – instead of selling the parts, originally welded together, for five-figure sums at renowned auction houses? And anyway, what was the last VHS you ever bought, if you ever bought one? Feel free to write it in the comments.