Star Wars VHS tape expected to hit $60,000 in auction

STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE Obi-Wan Kenobi/Ben Kenobi ( Alec Guinness). PHOTO: Lucasfilm.
STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE Obi-Wan Kenobi/Ben Kenobi ( Alec Guinness). PHOTO: Lucasfilm. /

As the streaming wars rage on, and physical media becomes more and more a thing of the past, some people still want to cling to their CDs, DVDs, video game cartridges, and yes, even VHS.

The collecting market for VHS has exploded recently as more and more people have turned a nostalgic eye to the video format that dominated the industry for the better part of two decades, before it fell to the DVD back in the 2000s. While you may have started to hear stories of certain movies on VHS becoming sought after by collectors, one of the biggest sales may be about to happen, with the auction of a VHS of Star Wars IV: A New Hope that is expected to go for $60,000.

Now, before you rush to put your long forgotten Star Wars VHS on eBay and plan a dream vacation on all the money you’re about to make, this isn’t just any copy of Star Wars IV: A New Hope. The tape available for sale is the first release of the movie from 1984, and is still sealed, as well as having been graded. According to the auction site, Goldin, there are several things worth noting to highlight the rarity of this particular VHS.

"The presented copy is a first edition and includes a “Gray Tape-Head,” a “First Edition Stereo Only” red label, a “1984 Sleeve,” and “First Edition CBS/Fox Watermarks.” VHSDNA Condition Report: Edges: 6.5, Corners: 8.5, Gloss, 8.5, Flaps: 8.0. A sealed first edition copy of “Star Wars IV: A New Hope” comes with a seal rating of B and an overall grade of NM 8."

In addition to this particular VHS, the site has a few other Star Wars VHS tapes for sale including two more copies of the 1984 release of Star Wars IV: A New Hope (though missing some of the mentioned features that make the first tape so valuable) as well as a set of the 10 year anniversary set of the entire original trilogy on VHS. While these tape’s likely won’t go for as much, they are still expected to sell for somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000.

Will this be the highest price ever for a VHS of a Star Wars movie? It’s hard to say. We don’t know if this is just a temporary spike in interest in VHS collecting driven by nostalgia for the format, or if this is just the beginning of a fad that will see these prices soar over the next several years.

Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time that people have shown interest in a Star Wars movie on VHS. Even before the explosion of interest in sealed and graded VHS tapes, the tiny niche of people who were interested in VHS collecting were always interested in Revenge of the Sith on VHS. That’s because, until Disney bought Lucasfilm, it was the only Star Wars movie to never receive a VHS release in the US. While VHS was still relatively popular when the first two movies of the prequel trilogy were released, by the time Revenge of the Sith was released on home video it was clear that the medium had lost out to the more popular DVD, and more and more releases were becoming DVD only. In fact the last major movie that Hollywood ever released on VHS came out less than six months after the DVD of Revenge of the Sith was released.

However, the movie was released on VHS in other countries where the move to DVD took longer, making it a sought after item to American collectors who wanted what was then the entire Star Wars saga on VHS.

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