Vintage Disney VHS tapes are being listed for thousands of dollars on eBay, but your trove of Disney classics aren’t likely to fetch more than the cost of a single Blu-ray disc.
WPIX reported on the resurgence of Disney tapes from the ‘80s and ‘90s being listed on the bidding site, where tapes belonging to the ‘Black Diamond’ collection — a nickname for the Walt Disney Classics line of tapes spanning 1984 to 1994, named for its logo reminiscent of a black diamond — are being listed for upwards of $2,000.
While most tapes held in nostalgic clam shell cases are being offered at prices in the hundreds, some sellers have listed copies of 1989’s The Little Mermaid and 1991’s Beauty and the Beast priced at $1,000 or more.
Among the listings are original copies of The Little Mermaid that contain on its cover a castle spire resembling a phallus, a famous error that resulted in its removal from later printings. Sellers typically advertise this tape as “rare” and “banned,” but the tape was later re-released with a different, non-offending cover — and copies of both editions are readily available.
When investigating the price hikes, debunking website Snopes noted the tapes are listed at such exorbitant prices, but they rarely sell at the buyers’ asking price.
One listing of 13 tapes — including such classics as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, The Lion King, and Aladdin — is priced at $2,000, but combing through eBay’s sold listings reveals most tapes, including original copies of The Little Mermaid, sell for anywhere between $1.50 to $35.
Results show sealed copies of Peter Pan and Cinderella sold for $10 and $22.79, respectively, while one complete set of ‘Black Diamond’ tapes sold for just $44.95.
The original Snopes investigation previously uncovered “rare” copies of Beauty and the Beast listed for $4,299.00 and $9,999.99, while its true value — just over $20 in some cases — was revealed by active bidding wars.
Disney, who long operated the ‘Disney Vault’ — a system for periodically making certain films available for a limited time only before ending the production runs — has re-released most of its cherished catalogue through multiple reissues of DVD and Blu-ray.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment has since rolled out its Walt Disney Signature collection of 4K Ultra HD remasters, a line that thus far includes The Lion King and The Little Mermaid.
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