30 of the most valuable VHS tapes and DVDs
You’ve probably heard of the Disney Black Diamond edition VHS tapes that are fetching thousands online. These aren’t the only valuable tapes, however … After you read our list below, double-check your VHS and DVD collections — you might be able to flip your old tapes for cash!
30. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Troubled child Elliott finds stranded, friendly alien E.T. and helps him escape planet Earth to go back home. (E.T. phone home, y’all.) At the time of press, a VHS copy of E.T. was selling on eBay for $69.99. Some versions are worth more, though …
Consider a rare promotional copy of the E.T. trailer selling for $4,800 on eBay (as of November 2019). Finding rare products is the best way to appeal to any collector and earn yourself thousands!
Might be worth: $69.99
Year released: 1982
NEXT: One of the characters became a mascot for Hayao Miyazaki’s studio.
29. My Neighbor Totoro
This film is one of Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s most recognizable. It tells the tale of two girls moving to the countryside to be closer to their sick mother. They make friends with the nearby forest critters.
One of these is the sphere-like cutie, Totoro. Since it was made in Japan, it had to be dubbed in English for U.S. audiences. A write-up in Kotaku says that the Fox Studios dubbed tape is more valuable than the Disney dubbed version.
Might be worth: $106.01
Year released: 1988
NEXT: Until 2009, the TV show used live-action models.
28. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends
A VHS tape of Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends: Trusted Thomas and Other Stories is on sale for $166.67, as of November 2019. The seller’s notes indicate that this is a “collectible like new condition VHS tape” that’s been cleaned with a “professional VHS tape cleaning equipment.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Thomas, just know he’s a talking train engine. Before you move on to the next slide, can we talk about this hilarious-looking Thomas Breaks the Rules VHS? I do not remember this unhappy Thomas from my childhood!
Might be worth: $166.67
Year released: 1984
NEXT: Like ’80s action flicks? Got $199? You might like this deal.
27. Kung Fury
In this movie, a person named “Kung Fury” and his friends take on the “worst of the crime the streets have to offer.” As of November 2019, you’ll find a Blu-ray copy of Kung Fury going for $199. (They’ll take “best offer” too.)
This particular product includes two discs — one with bonus material like commentary by Laser Unicorns, an interview with David Sandberg, behind-the-scenes footage, a blooper reel, and more! All for just a mere $199 …
Might be worth: $199
Year released: 2015
NEXT: An actress in this film had to leave the screening of it because she was scared.
Remember the Pinhead character that gave you nightmares as a child? Now Pinhead could earn you a couple hundred bucks. This limited-edition U.S. arrow Blu-ray of Hellraiser: The Scarlet Box is going for $299 on eBay.
In the very detailed seller’s notes, we find that this particular DVD includes many extras, perhaps adding to its value. For example, there’s a limited-edition bonus disc, a 200-page hardback book, and a 20-page booklet with “never-before-seen” Hellraiser concept art.
Might be worth: $299
Year released: 1987
NEXT: Marlon Brando wanted his character to “look like a bulldog” in this movie.
25. The Godfather
Marlon Brando stars as the aging leader of an organized crime dynasty that is transferring control over to his son in The Godfather. In this photo, director Francis Ford Coppola holds The Godfather DVD trilogy.
Not sure how much that particular DVD copy would be worth. However, as of November 2019, a limited-edition collector’s box gift set of The Godfather DVD from Japan is going for $349.00 on eBay.
Might be worth: $349.00
Year released: 1972
NEXT: This film was banned in many countries, made a resurgence in the ’90s, and was banned again.
24. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom
Like The Beast in Heat, Salò was an infamous movie that was banned — twice — in most countries. Its banning and past condemnation has added to the overall value of the DVD — especially if it’s a first pressing.
As of November 2019, there’s a “near mint” condition copy of a first DVD pressing of Salò on sale on eBay. The seller says it’s an uncut, uncensored version that’s part of the Criterion Collection.
Might be worth: $400
Year released: 1975
NEXT: “It’s real to me, dammit!”
23. Professional wrestling tapes
Wrestling is fake, you say? Well, “it’s real to me, dammit!” A report in Mental Floss says that wrestling was a popular genre on VHS tapes. Particular events are hard to find on tape and can sell at a premium on eBay.
Some valuable tapes the report mentions are a sealed copy of Halloween Havoc from 1996 or 1993 and WrestleMania III. Currently on eBay (November 2019), there’s a Rampage ’97 VHS going for $699.99.
Might be worth: $699.99
NEXT: This famous purple dino was originally intended to be a dog.
22. Barney & Friends
If you’re not aware of this “Barney” character, here’s the gist: He’s a purple T. rex that’s extremely friendly and helps children learn about the alphabet and such. Mental Floss says that a few pricey Barney VHS tapes were on eBay due to their rarity.
As of November 2019, a “rare library only copy” of Love to Read with Barney is going for $939.33 on eBay. In the product description, the seller says that in their 10 years of selling VHS Barney tapes, they’ve never seen this one. (Yowza.)
Might be worth: $939.33
Year released: 1992
NEXT: Star Betsy Baker was originally suspicious of the filmmakers.
21. The Evil Dead
Horror movies seem to be popular among collectors. In The Evil Dead, five friends travel to a remote cabin and find a Book of the Dead. They end up summoning demons from the nearby woods. Oops.
Any limited-edition product is likely to be valuable down the line. That includes this limited edition of The Evil Dead Blu-ray with a figurine, listed on eBay for $1,111 (as of November 2019).
Might be worth: $1,111
Year released: 1981
NEXT: George Lucas thought this movie was going to flop.
20. Star Wars
Fans’ interest in Star Wars is partly due to the fact that VHS tapes from the series are astoundingly valuable (in some cases), says a report in Mental Floss.
Original versions of VHS tapes (unaltered versions) are very valuable, apparently. A rare, original sealed Star Wars VHS tape with a “CBS Fox Red Label” from 1977 is on eBay as of November 2019 for a whopping $2,300.
Might be worth: $2,300
Year released: 1977 (Episode IV – A New Hope was released)
NEXT: This was Walt Disney’s favorite movie made by his studio.
Circus elephant Dumbo’s massive ears were often the center of ridicule among his circus’ peers. A mouse helps Dumbo see the potential in his unique ears, even helping him fly. It’s a reminder that your differences can be assets.
In some blurry photos on eBay, a seller says that the VHS copy of Dumbo they’re selling for $2,500 is in very good condition (listing current as of November 2019). They have likely viewed other Disney tapes going for thousands online.
Might be worth: $2,500
Year released: 1941
NEXT: In this movie, actor Vincent Price fulfilled a life dream of being in a Disney film.
18. The Great Mouse Detective
Here’s another Disney Black Diamond tape on eBay (as of November 2019) that’s selling for thousands. The seller’s notes indicate that the Black Diamond classics are extremely rare and this particular copy is brand new, and still sealed.
The Great Mouse Detective is a kid-friendly Sherlock Holmes with Basil as the mouse version of the famous detective. In the flick, Basil investigates the kidnapping of a toymaker. (See? Very kid-friendly.)
Might be worth: $10,000
Year released: 1986
NEXT: This was Eva Gabor’s last film.
17. The Rescuers Down Under
Two Rescue Aid Society (RAS) agents (mice named Bernard and Miss Bianca) travel to Australia to rescue 9-year-old Cody and a golden eagle from a poacher — Percival McLeach. Another Disney movie, a Black Diamond VHS of The Rescuers is selling on eBay for $10,999.
(That’s as of November 2019.) The seller’s notes indicate the product is pre-owned in good condition and its original artwork is “very good.” “Please see pictures in detail, zooming in as they are provided for detailed condition,” writes the seller.
Might be worth: $10,999
Year released: 1990
NEXT: Disney instructed colorists in this film to use whatever colors they wanted.
In Fantasia, Disney created short cartoons to go along with famous Western classical music pieces played by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Conducted by Leopold Stokowski, the orchestra provides the soundtrack for iconic skits like “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”
As we know by now, Disney tapes are listing on eBay for insane prices. This particular 1991 VHS is listed on eBay — as of November 2019 — for $11,000. The seller indicates that the tape is used but in good condition.
Might be worth: $11,000
Year released: 1940
NEXT: Friar Tuck was supposed to be a pig but was then changed to a badger.
15. Robin Hood
A report in the Australian 7 News reads: “Disney might be starting to remake the classics, but there’s nothing quite like an original. And the nostalgia is paying off for long-time Disney fans and collectors.” Robin Hood has been remade many times over.
However, there ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby. A Black Diamond edition of Robin Hood is currently on sale on eBay for $12,000 (November 2019).
Might be worth: $12,000
Year released: 1973
NEXT: When she began suffering from Alzheimer’s, the starring actress didn’t remember playing the main character but was comforted by a song in this movie.
Walt Disney’s Cinderella tells the classic fairy tale of a young lady with an evil stepmother and stepsisters that sneaks off to attend the prince’s ball. The prince falls in love with her and sets out on a kingdom-wide search when she leaves at midnight.
A seller on eBay put their VHS copy of Disney’s Cinderella on eBay for sale at a whopping $15,000 as of November 2019. Again, the fact that other sellers are listing their Disney VHS tapes for incredibly high prices is a factor. Are they selling? Hard to tell …
Might be worth: $15,000
Year released: 1950
NEXT: This was Disney’s first DVD release.
In the summer of 2019, a 1999 copy of Mulan was sold for $15,295.16 ($21,111 in Australian dollars). It’s no secret that Disney tapes are selling like hotcakes. Nineties nostalgia is partly why.
“From Disney to classic movies, your old VHS tapes can be a great earner with pristine, special edition sets sometimes fetching thousands of dollars,” trend watcher at eBay Sophie Onikul told MailOnline. “Dust off your old VHS tapes and get listing!”
Might be worth: $15,295.16
Year released: 1998
NEXT: Disney almost didn’t include the iconic spaghetti-eating scene.
12. Lady and the Tramp
Disney is coming out with a live-action version of this classic dog TALE (Get it — “tale” is like “tail”? Like a doggo’s tail? And they’re dogs? Never mind …) but there ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby, when it comes to collecting.
There’s a VHS tape of the film on eBay for $19,999 as of November 2019. A 1992 tape, the seller notes indicate it’s a Black Diamond with “red signature edition” and still works. Although used, the casing and tape are in good shape with some wear and tear.
Might be worth: $19,999
Year released: 1955
NEXT: Xerox was involved in the animation of the 101 dogs’ spots.
11. 101 Dalmatians
The cartoon version of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians is the one with the most value on eBay at the moment. There’s also the live-action one, but those tapes aren’t priced very high right now.
As of November 2019, a used Black Diamond edition of the cartoon 101 Dalmatians is listed on eBay for $22,500. The film tells the story of Roger and Anita and their dalmatians Pongo and Perdita evading the evil Cruella De Vil.
Might be worth: $22,500
Year released: 1961
NEXT: Children voiced the young characters, which was unusual for 1942.
Yes, it’s THAT movie about a cute little deer named Bambi that made everyone cry. When combing through your collection of tapes, it might be important to note that the Disney VHS tapes are more valuable than the DVDs.
(At least according to this writer’s search on eBay. Please, send me hate mail if you find out otherwise.) A Black Diamond edition VHS of Bambi is currently listed on eBay for a whopping $24,000 (November 2019), while a DVD is $199.
Might be worth: $24,000
Year released: 1942
NEXT: Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, and Kermit the Frog are briefly seen in the opening scene.
9. The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid is about a mermaid named Ariel that falls in love with a human prince after rescuing him. She’s always dreamed of living on land and now she really wants to live on land.
She bargains with the sea witch Ursula (who looks like an old boss I had, interestingly enough) to trade her voice for the ability to live on land. The ’80s and ’90s nostalgia might contribute to the high values of some Little Mermaid VHS tapes.
Might be worth: $34,999 (price on eBay as of November 2019)
Year released: 1989
NEXT: The character name “Dopey” was almost nixed because it was “too modern.”
8. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Disney’s first-ever full-length film, Snow White is about a princess exiled to the forest by her evil stepmother. She befriends seven dwarfs and they adopt her into their household.
This was a part of the era where Disney princesses needed to be rescued by princes. As of November 2019, someone is selling a 1994 Black Diamond edition VHS of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on eBay for $52,000.
Might be worth: $52,200
Year released: 1937
NEXT: It was the last production to end with a “The End; Walt Disney Productions.”
7. The Fox and the Hound
Disney movies equal nostalgia for many a movie lover — hence why people are flipping out over Disney+. Nostalgia has been cited as one of the reasons why Disney tapes sell for so much.
For example, this Fox and the Hound 1994 VHS is going for $60,000 on eBay. Turns out there might be a dark side to this Disney VHS craze: They might not be worth that much and no one might actually be buying these highly priced tapes.
Might be worth: $60,000
Year released: 1981
NEXT: It took three tries to make this into a full-length film.
6. Beauty and the Beast
Black Diamond Disney tapes are usually prized by collectors and/or Disney fans for their rarity. The logo for Black Diamond tapes is — surprise — a black diamond with “The Classics” written in it.
As of November 2019, there’s a 1992 VHS copy of a brand-new Beauty and the Beast on eBay for sale at $899,999. If you’re unfamiliar with the Beauty and the Beast story, it’s about the blossoming love between bookish Belle and Beast.
Might be worth: $899,999
Year released: 1991
NEXT: Actor Robin Williams ad-libbed so much of his dialogue in this film.
OK, $1 million is a little crazy for a VHS tape — even if it’s a Black Diamond edition. I mean, c’mon! You can probably find a $1 Aladdin tape at a garage sale. Tell that to this seller on eBay — they seemed down for this crazy scheme.
“You might be one of those eccentric millionaire’s (sic) that want to be a little bit more eccentric by purchasing this item,” read the seller’s notes. “You will make my life great, send all 3 of my kids to college, and you’ll be famous.” Good luck, dude …
Might be worth: $1,000,000
Year released: 1992
NEXT: Our honorable mentions … Its budget was a mere $300,000 but it grossed $47 million at the U.S. box office.
4. Honorable mention … Halloween
Michael Myers took out his sister on Halloween night 15 years ago and he’s baaaaack (*said in the same voice Carol Anne Freeling uses in Poltergeist*) to get freaky! A new, factory-sealed 1981 tape is priced on eBay for $299.95 as of November 2019.
This particular VHS tape is a media release — this might add to the rarity, along with it being a new, sealed copy. Horror movie collectors (the complete opposite of Disney tape collectors) would love to get their mitts on this one …
Might be worth: $299.95
Year released: 1978
NEXT: This film was banned in the U.K. and never released in the U.S.
3. Honorable mention … The Beast in Heat
The Beast in Heat is about a creature called “The Beast” created by an SS officer for the purpose of torturing prisoners. Yikes. A report in Metro indicates that some tapes are valuable because they were banned quickly after release.
If you spot any banned tapes at a garage sale, it’s worth getting them to flip. According to Severin Films, The Beast in Heat was never released in the U.S. and was eventually banned in the U.K.
Might be worth: $39.99 (price for Blu-ray listed on eBay as of November 2019)
Year released: 1977
NEXT: Some critics said this was a “film gris” — a subcategory of film noir with a left-leaning angle.
2. Honorable mention … The Prowler
A Blu-ray disc copy of the classic noir, The Prowler, is selling for $99.99 on eBay as of November 2019. Not the prices Disney VHS tapes are going for, but still pretty steep for a Blu-ray.
In The Prowler, Susan Gilvray calls the police after thinking a prowler was on her and her husband’s property. Cop Webb Garwood responds to the call and falls in love with Susan. Devastating events occur soon after.
Might be worth: $99.99
Year released: 1951
NEXT: The title song, “The Devil,” is performed by Hoyt Axton.
1. Honorable mention … The Legend of Hillbilly John
A “laser disc” copy of The Legend of Hillbilly John is on sale on eBay for $149, as of November 2019. I’ve seen much more valuable VHS tapes and DVDs while writing this article, so don’t “Marie Kondo” your collection just yet. There might be some gems in there!
In this flick, “Hillbilly John” is a wandering singer that meets an ugly birdlike critter, gets transported in time, then gets involved with the devil’s work. (Wow, that’s a lot going on in poor John’s life.) Hedges Capers stars as John.
Might be worth: $149
Year released: 1972
Sources & Links: VHS copy of E.T., E.T. trailer, Fox dubbed DVD eBay listing, Fox Studios dubbed tape, Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends: Trusted Thomas and Other Stories, Thomas Breaks the Rules, Blu-ray copy of Kung Fury, Hellraiser: The Scarlet Box, The Godfather, first DVD pressing of Salò, wrestling was a popular genre, Rampage ’97 VHS, Love to Read with Barney, The Evil Dead Blu-ray, Star Wars VHS tape, VHS copy of Dumbo, Black Diamond tape, Black Diamond VHS of The Rescuers, 1991 VHS is listed on eBay, Disney, trend watcher at eBay, VHS tape, 101 Dalmatians, Black Diamond edition, DVD is $199, price on eBay as of November 2019, Black Diamond edition VHS, Fox and the Hound, Disney VHS, Beauty and the Beast, this seller on eBay, Carol Anne Freeling, factory-sealed 1981 tape, Blu-ray listed on eBay, banned quickly after release, The Beast in Heat, The Prowler, The Legend of Hillbilly John, Hillbilly John