VHS video tapes reemerging as collector's items

REWIND: Video tapes are becoming collectors items, with cult SciFi, horror and Disney movies among those selling online now. Picture: ISTOCK
REWIND: Video tapes are becoming collectors items, with cult SciFi, horror and Disney movies among those selling online now. Picture: ISTOCK

They are the old VHS tapes that brought movies into people’s homes and now can be found selling online for a tidy sum.

VHS tapes are becoming collectors items, with some eBay sellers asking hundreds and even thousands of dollars for Disney’s cartoon version of Beauty and the Beast.

We do have inquiries all the time for VHS tapes, mainly for well-known ... series like Star Trek, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica.

Jenelle Nankervis

At the Salvation Army’s op shop in Whip Court Bendigo, manager Jenelle Nankervis said there had long been a market for VHS products.

“We do have inquiries all the time for VHS tapes, mainly for well-known TV and movie series like Star Trek, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica,” she said.

In recent weeks Ms Nankervis had received a number of inquiries from people about old Disney VHS tapes after social media posts about their value began circulating.

She said people were investing in VHS tapes in the hope they would be worth something into the future.

RARE PIECES: Antique collector Darren Wright with two of the tapes in his collection. Both tapes are from the early days of VHS video tapes.

RARE PIECES: Antique collector Darren Wright with two of the tapes in his collection. Both tapes are from the early days of VHS video tapes.

Avid antique collector Darren Wright said the appeal of VHS films was easy to explain.

“Never underestimate the power of nostalgia,” he said.

While collectors were interested in the cartridge, the cover artwork was also appealing. The case itself could appeal to some, especially the chunky older versions commonly made out of more flimsy plastic.

VHS tapes were becoming increasingly rare, Mr Wright said.

Like many people, he replaced most of his videos with technologically superior DVDs, though he had kept about 50 of the very first movies to be released in the late 70s and early 80s.

Mr Wright said the collectible value of VHS was somewhat limited because over time tapes could erase.

“My tapes from ‘83 are probably unwatchable now,” he said.

Tapes stored for long periods in damp conditions could also be damaged as oxide built up. 

Those hoping to start (or restart) their video collection could find cult horror movie Evil Dead on eBay for $225 as well as The Fly and The Fly 2 for $45.

Meanwhile on Gumtree music fans could pick up Michael Jackson’s Thriller for $35 and collectors could pick up the first Pokemon movie for $20.