The Top 10 Most Valuable VHS Tapes Ever Sold

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Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Did you grow up on VHS? If so, you may want to check the attic and see if you spot any of these classics that cracked our list of the top 10 most valuable VHS tapes ever sold!

Related: The 15 Most Valuable Baseball Cards of the 1990's

Alternative collectibles and physical media has made a huge comeback in recent years. Vinyl records, action figures, trading cards, even sealed iPhones can bring big money to the right collector. Early VHS tapes have also sprung into the mainstream, with celebrities like Pete Davidson endorsing their value long-term.

Video Home Systems (VHS) were invented in the late 1970s, but they grew to become immensely popular in the U.S. a decade later. The tapes were used for home video productions and, of course, blockbuster films that could now easily be watched from the living room. While these were eventually replaced by DVD/Blu-ray, they remain a prominent symbol of 20th century pop culture. And yes, Pete Davidson is right: some of these sealed VHS tapes are worth the pretty penny

Today, we will be counting down the 10 most valuable VHS tapes ever sold. To keep the list fresh, we are only allowing each individual movie to appear once. Let’s dive right in.

10. 1985 The Karate Kid Sealed VHS IGS 9/9.5 – $19,800

1985 The Karate Kid Sealed VHS

To kick this list off, we have the first installment of one of the most iconic trilogies ever. The Karate Kid remains a staple of 1980s popular culture, and it’s a film loved across generations. This red-bordered sealed tape brought nearly $20,000 at auction during 2022.

9. 1983 Raiders of the Lost Ark 1st Print Sealed VHS IGS 9 – $21,600

1983 Raiders of the Lost Ark 1st Print Sealed VHS

Raiders of the Lost Ark was a massive success, launching the Indiana Jones franchise and earning an Academy Award for Best Picture in the process. While the film initially hit theaters in 1981, it didn’t receive its first VHS printing until two years later. Nowadays, this piece has sold for as high as $21,600 during a 2022 Goldin auction.

8. 1985 Ghostbusters Sealed VHS VGA 85 – $23,750

1985 Ghostbusters Sealed VHS
Heritage Auctions

Ghostbusters is another all-time classic on this list. The Bill Murray-led comedy follows four doctors who embark on a ghost-hunting adventure. The sealed VHS, which has a sharp red border, showcases the infamous Ghostbusters logo. As a VGA graded 85, this copy sold for nearly $24,000 in 2022.

7. 1982 Rocky Sealed VHS VGA 85 – $27,500

1982 Rocky Sealed VHS
Heritage Auctions

Rocky is one of the most successful movie series of all time, and the first installment is often regarded as a triumph in American cinema. This film was released in 1976 but didn’t receive a VHS print run until 1982. Given its immense fandom, finding one of these sealed and in good condition is no easy task. That’s probably why this copy sold for $27,500 last year.

6. 1983 Jaws Sealed VHS IGS 8.5 – $32,500

1983 Jaws Sealed VHS
Heritage Auctions

If you haven’t noticed, many of Steven Spielberg’s films appear on this top 10. Jaws sparked a fear of sharks for every kid who watched it, and it made Spielberg a star director. The iconic Jaws artwork is displayed on this sealed VHS cover, which sold for over $32,000 during a Heritage auction.

5. 1982 The Thing Sealed VHS IGS 7.5 – $37,500

1982 The Thing Sealed VHS
Heritage Auctions

John Carpenter’s The Thing is a horror masterpiece and the only R-rated film on this list. The film was released in 1982, making it one of the first films to receive a mass-produced VHS run. The copy shown above was graded a 7.5, and it sold for just shy of $38,000 last year.

4. 1980 Superman Beta Sealed VHS VGA 80 – $40,000

1980 Superman Beta Sealed VHS
Heritage Auctions

Christopher Reeve’s Superman jolted comic book heroes onto the big screen, and it still holds up as one of the most beloved superhero movies of all time. This VHS cover features an iconic shot of Reeve flying through the air and the classic Superman lettering. In early 2023, the copy sold for $40,000 at auction.

3. 1986 The Goonies Sealed VHS VGA 85 – $50,000

1986 The Goonies Sealed VHS
Heritage Auctions

The Goonies is another beloved 80s movie that follows a band of kids who end up uncovering buried treasure. Originally released in 1986 to widespread commercial success, this film is a generational favorite. It earns the #3 spot on this with an all-time high sale price of $50,000.

2. 1985 Back to the Future Sealed VHS VGA 8.0 – $75,000

1985 Back to the Future Sealed VHS
Heritage Auctions

While this sealed copy may not have reached 88 gigawatts, a $75,000 sale price is astonishing for one of the most beloved movies of all time. Back to the Future is a family-friendly classic, and it’s one that you either watched in theaters or your parents showed it to you. This sealed copy reached its peak sale during a 2022 Heritage auction.

1. 1982 Star Wars 1st Release VHS Beckett 8.0 – $114,000

1982 Star Wars 1st Release VHS

With a fan base unlike any other, it’s no surprise that a 1st release of Star Wars takes the number one spot. The franchise has since blossomed into dozens of films, TV shows and video games, and it all started with George Lucas’ 1977 epic. The original movie, A New Hope, didn’t receive its first VHS print run until 1982. That’s what you see above, graded as a Beckett 8.0. It sold for a staggering $114,000 in 2022.

Did you own any of these on our list of the most valuable VHS tapes ever sold when you were growing up? Let us know @CardTalk pod on Instagram and Twitter!

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