If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, Disney animated movies on VHS tapes were likely a huge part of your childhood. The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast were all instant classics and are still beloved by children and parents alike today. And who could forget the classics that were re-released? Cinderella, Bambi, and Sleeping Beauty might have already been decades-old at that point, but they were still popular with a new generation.
But those VHS cassettes! Man, those things were a pain, especially once DVDs became common. You couldn’t easily skip to your favorite scene, and the tape was inevitably all the way at the end when you just wanted to watch your favorite movie. Why is it that your siblings could never remember that one simple phrase: “Be kind, please rewind”? So, it’s easy to see why DVDs quickly replaced VHS tapes, which meant most people just threw their cassettes in the trash. Well, I hate to break it to you, but if you’re one of those people, you might have thrown away a secret gold mine. It turns out some of those old Disney VHSs might be worth some serious cash.
The first thing to know when trying to determine if you have a pricey cassette on your hands is what to look for. The most collectible Disney videos are part of what people in the know call the “Black Diamond Classics.”
There are 18 videos that make up this collection.
Currently, the most valuable and highly-sought-after of these films is Beauty and the Beast.
This shrink-wrapped, still-sealed version is currently listed on eBay. The starting bid? A staggering $25,000!
Other copies of Beauty and the Beast run the gamut where pricing is concerned, but the most expensive one that actually has people currently bidding on it is the Collector’s Edition below.
It could be yours for $50 … plus $8.02 for shipping!
The most expensive Black Diamond Classic version with bids actually placed on it is the opened copy below, with a current bid of $24.50.
The “Black Diamond Classics” are easily identified. Just look at the spine for the black diamond mark at the top.
When you open the case, the VHS itself will also have a diamond with “The Classics” written inside.
If you’re really lucky, you’ll also find the small brochures and pamphlets that came inside each VHS case.
Even if you don’t have any “Black Diamond Classics,” you still might be able to make some money off your old Disney collection.
Regular VHS tapes can sell for a tidy sum, especially if they’re in good condition. As with any collectible, still wrapped and never opened VHS cassettes are often the most valuable.
Limited-edition runs, tapes with one-of-a-kind defects, and rare copies are also in demand. This version of The Little Mermaid, for instance, is worth thousands of dollars, due to its artwork (which was later banned and disused for further cases). And if you have a version of Beauty and the Beast with the song “Human Again,” you’re in luck; the song was cut from later versions, so ones still featuring the song are worth a pretty penny.
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