There’s nothing like watching a good ol’ VHS tape. Gray, grainy stripes interrupt the viewing experience. Frustrations mount after forgetting to rewind the tapes again. But those delicate ribbons inside the thick, black cartridges hold the stories we remember so fondly — you can’t put a price on nostalgia.
Or maybe you can. If you’ve got any of those chunky hunks of plastic lying around from the ’90s, you can sell them on the collector’s dream site, eBay. Whether they’re a special edition or just a truly beloved film, these ghosts of technology’s past are certain to have someone out there willing to pay big bucks for them.
19. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982): Your ancient copy of Steven Spielberg’s intergalactic pride and joy, a heartwarming tale of inter-species friendship, might just appeal to Spielberg fans across eBay. Heck, one user is selling it for $69.99. E.T. phone the bank.
grimegoodsgirls / depop
18. Blood Lake (1987): Horror fans mean business, especially when it comes to obscure ’80s slasher film collectibles. A VHS tape of Tim Boggs’ messy genre movie, which appears to have been shot on a home video camera, sells for an impressive $120 online.
17. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends (1984): A rare VHS tape featuring Thomas the Tank Engine and his fellow locomotive buds is listed online for $166.67. The seller made sure to point out that the tape has been cleaned with “professional VHS tape cleaning equipment” (whatever that means).
16. Halloween (1978): Cue the music; you know, the music. A factory-sealed 1981 VHS copy of the holy grail of slasher films, AKA John Carpenter’s Halloween, is going for a scary $299.95 on eBay. Michael Myers is worth a little more when he’s wrapped up in sealed plastic.
15. Professional Wrestling Pay-Per-View Tapes: There’s something sentimental about the greasy, gaudy, theatrical wrestlers of yesteryear, which is why old pay-per-view wrestling on VHS sells for big bucks. A fresh, sealed copy of Halloween Havoc 1993 actually sold for $349.99 on eBay.
14. Love to Read with Barney (1992): While selling a pristine VHS copy of virtually anything featuring the iconic purple-and-green educator may earn you pocket change, some dude on eBay seems to think that a “rare library only copy” of a Barney & Friends special is worth $939.33!
13. Star Wars franchise: Unless you live under some self-restricted pop culture rock, you know that Star Wars fans are hardcore about collectibles. So, a coveted, sealed “CBS Fox Red Label” 1977 Star Wars VHS is listed on eBay for a staggering $2,300.
Josh Carlson / Flickr
12. Dumbo (1941): Disney’s old-as-heck classic about a big-eared circus elephant has charmed audiences for decades, making them value their uniqueness. That’s all good and dandy, but we suggest you cash in your vintage VHS copy! A Disney Masterpiece Collection VHS of Dumbo sells on eBay for $2,500.00.
11. The Great Mouse Detective (1986): Yeah, yeah, Disney’s Masterpiece Collection VHS tapes might be worth a pretty penny today, but it’s the Black Diamond Collection that’ll really have you rolling in dough. A sealed Black Diamond copy of The Great Mouse Detective goes for $10,000.
The Great Mouse Detective
10. Fantasia (1940): Disney’s Fantasia famously features animated shorts created to illustrate the whimsical pieces of the Philadelphia Orchestra. One eBay seller hilariously pushes that you and your family will “get swept away in the magic and wonder of this one-of-a-kind movie experience,” all for a modest $11,000.
9. Robin Hood (1973): The story of Robin Hood and his heroic outlaw shenanigans has been told many times. Disney’s animated version, which showcased Robin Hood as a handsome fox (like an actual fox), goes for a good $12,000 online.
8. Cinderella (1950): Cinderelly, Cinderelly probably wouldn’t approve of her rags-to-riches story being sold on eBay for an insane $15,000, but here we are. We wonder what happens if you purchase it at midnight.
7. Mulan (1998): The OG animated gender-bending flick is one of Disney’s best (don’t fight us on this), but we’re not so sure that it’s worth the $15,295.16 that a VHS version is going for on eBay. Nineties nostalgia is overpowering today, not to mention profitable!
6. Lady and the Tramp (1955): If you’ve slurped down a singular piece of spaghetti with your lover, then you’ve seen Lady and the Tramp. Black Diamond with “red signature edition” VHS of the pooch love story sells for $19,999 on eBay!
5. Bambi (1942): The mention of this wildly depressing animated deer movie may trigger some people, so we’re sorry about that. We just had to mention the fact that a certain VHS copy of Bambi goes for $24,000 on the interweb.
4. The Little Mermaid (1989): Every little girl has splashed in the bathtub just imagining they had a scaly fish tale; more specifically, they pretended they were Princess Ariel. If those fishy memories are so precious that you’re willing to spend $34,999 on a VHS tape… bless your soul.
The Little Mermaid
3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937): Considering Snow White is one of Disney’s oldest (it and Dumbo being the only ones to garner a profit before 1943), it makes sense that a dusty, old VHS copy is considered valuable. It can go for $52,200 on eBay.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
2. Beauty and the Beast (1991): This tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme is a cherished love story for the ages; one that features wholesome bestiality and talking kitchenware. Believe it or not, a sealed VHS copy of this romance is listed on eBay for $899,999.
1. Aladdin (1992): “Ten thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck!” Yeah, well so will the cost of a Black Diamond Collection VHS copy of Aladdin. An eBay seller is boldly offering it for $1,000,000. We’ll just watch it on Disney+.
We’ve mentioned just how nostalgic ’90s VHS tapes are, along with pretty much all toys and grungy accessories from the era, but the ’80s produced some of the most eccentric comic books, action figures, and playsets (as well as VHS tapes); and they’re worth a fortune today.
2. Air Raid ($30,000): You might want to take a deep dive through your game collection as soon as you finish reading this. Only two known copies of this game exist, so if you’ve got the third, you’ve just struck gold!
3. Star Wars Ewok Combat PlayPack ($6,000): Unopened Star Wars items are exceptionally rare. If you manage to come across this ordinary Ewok set, for example, prepare to pay a fortune.
4. Masters of the Universe Eternia Playset ($1,900): The Eternia Playset is the most sought after by collectors, as its many small pieces have made finding a complete set nearly impossible.
5. VHS Tapes ($): While that VHS copy of The Wizard of Oz you’re keeping for posterity likely won’t net you much, the interest in cult films and B-movie horror flicks has caused the value of certain VHS tapes to skyrocket. A copy of 1987’s Tales from the QuadeaD Zone sold for $700 in 2011.
6. Mego Elastic Batman ($15,000): If you think this toy looks like a cross between Batman and Stretch Armstrong, you’d be correct — that’s exactly what it is! There are only two known Mego Elastic Batmans in existence, so if you spot a third, snatch that thing up!
Stretch Armstrong World
7. Well of the Souls Playset ($2,000): 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark ushered in the age of Indiana Jones, and with the film’s popularity came a fresh wave of merchandise and collectibles. The Well of Souls Playset remains the cream of the crop, though it’s definitely an odd choice for a toy.
8. G.I. Joe Motorized Battle Tank ($950): If you were lucky enough to get your hands on this toy back in 1982, there’s a good chance you probably destroyed it along the way. If not, though, and you still happen to have it in the box, you’re looking at a pretty nice payday.
9. Thunder Wings Lion-O ($2,783): Though the series only ran for four seasons, ThunderCats spawned a highly collectible line of toys. One of the most valuable of the bunch is Thunder Wings Lion-O.
10. American Girl Dolls ($4,200): If you had one of the original American Girl Dolls from 1986, your parents definitely weren’t happy about it: after all, who spends $100 on a doll? Well, you get to have the last laugh, as the original lineup is now worth several thousand dollars a pop.
11. Transformers Optimus Prime ($1,000): What’s more awesome than transforming a plain old semi-truck into the high-tech robot commander of the Autobots? Making a cool G, that’s what, and that’s exactly what you’ll get for an original, mint-condition Optimus Prime action figure.
Angry Canadian Decepticon
12. Laser Light Skeletor ($11,285): If you were living in Europe in 1988 and were a big Masters of the Universe fan, then hopefully you got your hands on this legendary collectible. Mattel only released the toy in Italy and Spain, making it one of the rarest Skeletors in existence.
13. Ghostbusters Fire House Playset ($600): Following the film’s breakout success in 1984, toy companies scrambled to turn Ghostbusters into a toy empire. Kenner struck gold with their Fire House playset, and today the toy, in-box, can fetch a pretty penny.
The Lost Toys
14. Daredevil #168 ($1,000): Comic books are making a comeback in a big way, and if you happen to own the debut issue of Daredevil’s nemesis/love interest Elecktra in mint condition, you can surely bet it’s worth more than 50 cents.
15. “Power Drencher” Super Soaker ($600): Today’s Super Soakers have way too many bells and whistles, so it’s no wonder people are willing to shell out big bucks for the 1989 model in its original packaging.
16. Stadium Events ($40,000): After this game was released by Bandai, Nintendo decided to buy the concept and rebrand it as their own. The company then recalled the original issue, though those who held onto the Bandai version of the game, box, and controller are now sitting on a fortune.
17. Knight Rider 2000 Voice Car ($300): Heart-pounding action, a talking car, and David Hasselhoff? It’s no wonder Knight Rider was so popular in its day, and why the toys it inspired are so valuable. A 2000 Voice Car in the box will fetch hundreds of dollars.
18. Fireball Island Board Game ($250): Innovative board games, especially the older ones, are the Holy Grail for game collectors, and this marble-rolling adventure is no different. A well-kept U.S. version of the game will sell for hundreds, but the Dutch version seems to go for more.
Vect0r / Reddit
19. The Polar Express ($800): When it comes to making a quick buck, your childhood book collection probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But if you happen to have a well-preserved, first-edition copy of this holiday classic, you may find yourself a few hundred dollars richer.
20. Teddy Ruxpin ($1,000): Talking toys were all the rage in the ’80s, but the storytelling Teddy Ruxpin was something special. A modern version of the beloved bear will run you $100, but the original 1985 edition with working tapes is worth much more.
Blinkle / Reddit