A recent auction conducted by Heritage Auctions set a new record, but it wasn’t for a comic book, toy or baseball card – it was for a VHS tape. That’s right, the most beloved of antiquated media has developed a larger following in recent years as a collectible, and a recent auction spotlighted the hobby. But they weren’t just any old video tapes, they were all still sealed in their original plastic, and most were graded by the Video Game Authority (VGA).
The record-breaker was a copy of 1986’s Back to the Future, sealed and graded at 80+, featuring a note from the tape’s owner, BTTF actor Tom Wilson (Biff Tannen); it sold for $75,000 after a bidding war – the highest price ever paid for a VHS tape at auction. His copies of Back to the Future 2, Back to the Future 3 and a box set featuring all three films also fetched top dollar at the auction.
Second place went to a sealed, 85-graded VHS copy of The Goonies, which sold for $50,000. Interestingly, a high-grade Betamax copy of The Goonies sold for $35,000 less earlier in the same auction, proving that there’s a love for VHS that eclipses other outdated media like Beta.
The auction also featured high-priced VHS tapes of Jaws, First Blood, Ghostbusters, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Top Gun, the latter of which was a rare Diet Pepsi-branded giveaway copy. All in all, the 260 tapes sold for $584,750, drawing bids from 598 bidders around the world.
“This auction was an unprecedented success, on many levels,” said Chad Thompson, President of the Collectible Grading Authority (CGA), parent company of the VGA. “Not only did it generate a lot of money for the sellers, and deliver some great collectibles into the hands of the buyers, it demonstrated that grading is not the exclusive domain of cards, comics, video games and toys. Everyone knows that video games can generate big numbers, but now we see that VHS can deliver that, as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a big rush on attics and garages, looking for vintage sealed tapes.”
About Collectible Grading Authority:
Collectible Grading Authority (CGA) is the parent company of the well-known and established grading companies, Action Figure Authority (AFA), Video Game Authority (VGA), Collectible Doll Authority (CDA), and Die-Cast Authority (DCA). CGA was founded over 20 years ago, in the early 2000s, in order to provide toy collectors throughout the world with added peace of mind when making purchases sight unseen. Before AFA, toy collectors, dealers, and investors had no universal standard by which to judge an item’s condition. They have worked diligently for years to develop the standard they use to accurately convey the condition of original and un-tampered with collectibles, thereby creating a safer collecting environment and helping to ensure that everyone’s investments are protected for years to come. CGA is the standard grading company and has graded well over 400,000 items from action figures, first-shots and prototypes, dolls, die-cast, video games, consoles, to most recently, VHS tapes. All acrylic cases for graded items are custom made from scratch in house and are also available to purchase on their site. CGA is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. For more information visit toygrader.com.