VHS Tapes You Didn’t Know Are Worth A Small Fortune
| LAST UPDATE 11/16/2022
Keep your eyes peeled when clearing out your old VHS collection because you might be sitting on a goldmine. Get ready to pick your jaws up off the floor because you won’t believe how much some of these tapes are worth!
Barney: Waiting for Santa – $50-$100
Barney was a staple of fun and informative children's TV show for years. The big purple dinosaur still holds a place in many hearts. The show aired in 1992 and was exceptionally well-received in its genre. Researchers at Yale University went so far as to call the show a “Model of what preschool television should be.”
Though the show eventually became a hit for PBS, earlier episodes went straight to VHS. Over time these copies became more and more difficult to find. We're sure some people might be regretting their decision to get rid of Barney: Waiting for Santa because some copies now cost as much as $100.
Hunchback of Notre Dame – $25-$3,000
This Disney classic is still a popular film, but it may have been less popular when it was released back in the '90s. Today, VHS copies of The Hunchback of Notre Dame are highly valuable. Some people have even suggested that this increase in value is due to the film being one of the darkest films in the Disney oeuvre.
Hunchback also boasts an impressive ensemble cast, with celebrities like Demi Moore, Kevin Kline, and Tom Hulce providing their vocal talents for the film. It’s also gone on to inspire sequels and stage performances. In recent years, an eBay seller named danidiva listed a Disney Masterpiece Collection of the film for $90 all up.
Star Wars – $100
Star Wars is the most beloved sci-fi franchise that isn’t sci-fi. That’s right, this intergalactic saga is actually considered a ‘classic space opera’, because of its themes of chivalry and warfare in space. These films are a precious memory in the minds of many viewers, and we hope they’ve still got a VHS copy somewhere.
That’s because the original trilogy is now worth around $100, in news shared by declutter.com. The 1997 gold VHS edition including Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI – Return of the Jedi has an unusually high price tag compared to other Star Wars VHS releases.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – $250-$1,000
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is another wonderful Disney classic holding many great memories for children and adults alike. It tells the enchanting tale of a young woman who finds herself lost in the woods and comes to live with seven dwarf friends in their forest home.
A classic film, Snow White holds a special place in many people's memories and may explain why some copies of the Disney film are worth a fortune today. Just recently, a sealed Masterpiece Collection copy of the film was sold for $250 on eBay. Some copies are listed as high as $1,000!
Fantasia – $1,750
That’s right, Disney has certainly earned their reputation for classic films so it’s no surprise there's another one on the list. Fantasia is an unusual film, as instead of presenting a linear story the film has no lines. Only orchestra music accompanies the short animated segments that tie the film together.
Considering the film was released all the way back in 1940, it makes sense that an original VHS would be a big seller. The Fantasia Black Diamond Edition on VHS is easily the most valuable version of the VHS release, being listed for as much as $1,750 on eBay.
Let It Be – $100-$500
This Beatles documentary has recently been in the news due to LOTR director Peter Jackson’s plans to remake it for the 21st century. But that’s not the film's only claim to notoriety - A copy of the Let It Be VHS is one of the most valuable tapes on this list.
Let It Be documented the making of the last album from one of the greatest musical groups the world has ever seen. The film was awarded a Grammy and Academy Award for best soundtrack. Nowadays an original release VHS copy of Let It Be will go for anywhere between $250 and $500! You heard that right, we wish we had a copy of our own.
Thomas & Friends – $40-$200
Thomas & Friends was a whimsical British children's show from the 1980s and 90s, that still plays on syndicated television to this day. It followed the adventures of Thomas the Tank Engine, a talking train, and his locomotive friends. Suffice it to say, it captured the imaginations of children everywhere.
Nowadays, this beloved children's show is being snapped up by old fans who no doubt want to share the show with children of their own. Many of the episodes were released on VHS, and some of those copies sell for anywhere between $40 and $200, depending on the rarity of the copy.
The Lion King – $1,000
This 1994 Disney film is still loved to this day and is considered one of the best-animated films ever made. And it should be, especially because The Lion King took over six years to film and produce. It was worth the work though, as the film has grossed almost one billion dollars for Disney since its conception.
This film is so loved it has even been entered into the Library of Congress archives. But that isn’t the only place you can secure a copy if you’re willing to pay the price. Masterpiece Collection VHS editions of The Lion King have been sold for as much as $1,000 on eBay, with some sellers listing copies for between $5-$1,000.
Godfather Trilogy – $100
eBay sellers are making VHS buyers an offer they can’t refuse - by listing complete collections of The Godfather trilogy. Both The Godfather Part I and II are considered some of the greatest movies ever made, with the second film being touted as the best sequel of all time.
Due to their prestigious place in film history, VHS copies of the complete trilogy are in increasingly high demand. In particular, the black and gold limited edition VHS collection has been sold for as much as $300 in the past. Current copies of this edition are listed for as much as $100.
Sleeping Beauty – $500
This animated film version of Sleeping Beauty is Disney’s interpretation of the old fairy tale. In the film, a young Princess named Aurora is cursed by Maleficent, a wicked fairy who condemns the princess to eternal sleep. These days a VHS copy of a film is worth more than anyone could have expected.
Masterpiece Collection editions of Sleeping Beauty have recently sold for a pretty penny, one copy even going for $500. Just like the Lion King, some first edition copies of the Sleeping Beauty VHS have been listed in the thousands, though we don’t have confirmation of purchase.
WCW Bash at the Beach – $140
A little different from the other items on this list, World Championship Wrestling released VHS copies of their pay-per-view event Bash at the Beach, an event that began in 1992. The show broadcasted iconic wrestler Hulk Hogan in some of the biggest moments of his wrestling career.
As a result, copies of Bash at the Beach have been gobbled up by wrestling fans. One of the most valuable is the 2000 recording that shows Hulk Hogan’s final match for WCW. Copies of the 1994 Bash at the Beach have also recently been listed on eBay for as much as $140.
The Sword in the Stone – $250
The Sword in the Stone had a particularly special place in the Disney oeuvre. This would be the last film made under the direct leadership of Walt Disney, who was still the head of the company at the time. It was also the first film composed by the Sherman brother, who later wrote iconic Disney soundtracks such as Mary Poppins.
VHS copies of The Sword in the Stone can be found on eBay if you’re willing to shell out for it. Some sellers have listed Black Diamond limited edition copies of the film for as much as $250! There are currently multiple copies between $30-$250 alongside it.
The Jungle Book – $1,200
If you happen to have a VHS copy of The Jungle Book lying around, you may want to consider letting go of your childhood favorite. As we’ve discovered, like many Disney classics, a copy of this film might sell for more than just the “bear necessities”.
Again, we cannot confirm that these copies have actually been sold, but we can confirm that sellers put a VERY high value on this childhood film. eBay sellers have listed copies of The Jungle Book Black Diamond edition for anywhere up to $1,200. Can you believe it?
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial – $2,000
This timeless story of interspecies friendship is considered one of the best films of the 1980s and has influenced many aspects of pop culture today. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is so beloved it was even entered into the United States National Film Registry due to it being “Culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Given how highly-regarded The Extra-Terrestrial is, it’s only natural that it’s the price should reflect that. One copy on eBay has been listed for as much as $2,000. This may be in part due to the customized “Green tape” appearance. The top half of the tape is bright green, reflecting the color of the film cover.
The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under – Valued together at $2,000
If you were a fan of The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under, we hope you still have your old VHS versions hidden away somewhere. The two films are about an international mouse organization dedicated to “rescuing” others. If you have these tapes in good condition (or brand new) you may be looking at making a hefty profit.
When rare Black Diamond editions of both of these films are sold together, they rake in a lot of money. eBay listings show that these two films can command around $1,500 to $2,000 when bought together. You might be taking your own trip down under if you get your hands on these animated wonders!
The Fox and the Hound – $1,000
By now it should be no surprise that this next tale of animal friends is produced by Disney. The Fox and the Hound is the touching tale of yes, a fox and a hound who struggle to maintain their friendships despite their animal instincts trying to push them apart.
As lovely as the story is, even we’re surprised at how valuable a VHS copy of this 1981 classic is worth. The classic film cost a hefty $12 million to make. These days pre-owned Gold Collection editions of The Fox and the Hound are being listed at an incredible $1,000, with unopened copies costing even more.
The Little Mermaid – $20,000
The Little Mermaid follows the adventures of the mermaid Princess Ariel. The film was one of the most successful Disney films made during the 1980s and 90s. It signaled the beginning of Disney’s rebirth as a beloved animation company. It even won two Academy Awards, for Best Song and Best Original Score.
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If you were as big of an Ariel fan as we were back in the day, you may be looking to relive good memories by purchasing an old copy of The Little Mermaid. But you may be out of luck, with some Black Diamond editions costing a mind-boggling $20,000 online. This could be partially due to the “banned” cover art depicted in the VHS case.
Halloween – $13,220
While horror films may not be thought of with the same affection as Disney cartoons, they still have their share of dedicated fans. This is certainly the case with the 1978 classic slasher film Halloween. The ghoulish villain Michael Myers is a pop culture icon even today.
These days there are a lot of people who would go to great lengths to get their hands on some Halloween memorabilia. The world realized this in 2013 when an auction of an early VHS tape of Halloween garnered $13,220! Since then people have tried to replicate the seller's success but haven't come close. Most copies are listed on eBay for between $25-$300.
Dumbo – $4,800
Dumbo is one of the shortest films ever produced by Disney, but that hasn’t made it less valuable in anyone's eyes. This sweet film from 1941 follows the story of Dumbo, a circus elephant with peculiarly large ears that grant him the ability to fly. Sadly, because it was released during WWII, it barely made a profit upon release.
But any owner of an early VHS copy of Dumbo will find themselves in a very different position. The tale of the famously shy flying elephant is currently listed for as much as $4,800 on eBay. That is assuming they’ve got a Black Diamond copy, which is the rarest version available.
Aladdin – $17,500
An adaptation of the middle-eastern folk tale collection Arabian Nights, Aladdin earned a mind-boggling $500 million at the box office. It was actually Disney’s biggest earner until The Lion King was released. The classic film even won two Academy Awards and a Grammy for its soundtrack.
The film was so profitable that it makes perfect sense for original VHS copies to be valuable as well. They are so valuable in fact, that according to LadBible Aladdin and its sequel Aladdin and the King of Thieves have been sold together for $17,500. Today, single copies of Aladdin are listed on eBay for around $7,500.
Beauty and the Beast – $17,500
By now it's safe to assume that Disney films are the most high-valued VHS tapes of all time since almost every Disney production has made this list. Beauty and the Beast is another film from the Disney Renaissance of 1989 to 1999. Like a couple of other films from this period, Beauty and the Beast even won an Academy Award for its soundtrack.
Despite its success, VHS copies of the film were only made between October 1992 and April 1993. This makes it one of the rarest Disney productions a person can find. According to Vice, some copies have sold for as much as $17,500. One look at eBay reflects this somewhat, with Black Diamond editions listed as high as $25,000!
101 Dalmatians – $4,500
While the 101 Dalmations has the classic cuteness overload of most Disney fare, it also has something unique - one of the most iconic villains in film history. That’s right, Cruella De Vil left such an impression on viewers that she was even ranked #39 on the American Film Institute’s list of film villains.
This extra-memorable antagonist might be part of the reason that a VHS copy of 101 Dalmatians is worth so much these days. Assuming it’s one of the coveted Black Diamond editions of the film, it could be listed on eBay for as much as $4,500.
Lady and the Tramp – $2,000
You may remember this Disney favorite because of it’s famous pasta scene. This film tells the tale of two dogs, Lady and Tramp, who meet in a small town and fall madly in love. The 1955 film is undeniably adorable, but you’re really going to fall in love if you happen to have an old VHS copy of this film lying around.
Yes, a copy of this canine romance is worth more than you think. You may want to consider digging through your old belongings to double-check because multiple Masterpiece Collection or Black Diamond editions of this film have been listed on eBay for around $2,000 a pop!
Bambi – $2,000
While Bambi is just as cute as the rest of the Disney collection, there’s another, much more tragic reason you might remember it. This film about a young deer coming of age has such a sad scene that The Washington Times even warned parents to ‘emotionally prepare’ their children before watching it.
Though the film was released in 1942, the first VHS copy didn't hit shelves until 1989. So why is it worth so much today? We aren’t quite sure about that, but what we do know is that a Black Diamond copy of this tearjerker has recently been listed on eBay for $2,000!
Cinderella – $9,000
Back when Cinderella was released in 1950, Disney was facing financial disaster in the wake of Bambi and Pinnochio. Neither film made enough money for the company. Fortunately, the classic rags-to-riches princess story enchanted audiences everywhere, and Disney was saved.
Almost four decades later the decision was made to release the film on VHS. But as it turns out, the smartest decision of all was to hold on to that 1988 tape. That’s because nowadays an original release of Cinderella is worth a small fortune, with Masterpiece Collection copies listed for as high as $9,000 online.
Songs of the South – $150-$250
You probably haven’t heard of this controversial Disney film, and if you have, you likely haven’t seen it. That’s because it has aged poorly, with subject matter widely considered tasteless to modern viewers. In fact, the film is so controversial that it is completely unavailable on any Disney streaming services.
But for anyone morbidly interested in watching a piece of abandoned history, you can still find the film on VHS. And according to eBay, many people are interested, as most brand-new and pre-used copies of the 1946 film are selling for anywhere between $150-$250.
Alice in Wonderland – $5,000
A fascinating film adaptation of the classic children’s book, Alice in Wonderland was originally panned by critics and received very little attention from the public upon its release in 1951. Thankfully the film was added to a television line-up, where it saw great success, before being re-released in the '70s.
It was apparently the psychedelic elements of the film that made it so popular in the '70s. That may be the same reason VHS copies of Alice in Wonderland are worth so much today. On eBay, there are copies of the Masterpiece Collection edition listed at $5,000.