Sealed VHS tape sets auction record with $75,000 sale

(Gray News) – A collector in New York paid $75,000 for a near-mint-condition copy of “Back to the Future.”

According to Heritage Auctions, that’s the highest price ever paid at auction for a sealed, graded VHS tape.

The 1986 VHS belonged to actor Tom Wilson, who played the role of Biff Tannen in the film.

Wilson had assembled a collection of sealed, graded copies of “Back to the Future II” and “Back to the Future III,” both accompanied by signed notes from the late MCA executive VP and Universal Pictures chairman Tom Pollock to Wilson.

“The urge to open this, to open the shrink wrap, to me, was nearly unbearable, because not only does it include Back to the Future I and II and – mint – but also the documentary ‘Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy,’” Wilson said.

A near-mint-plus VHS copy of “The Goonies” sold for $50,000, making it the second highest-selling video at the auction.

Collectors also sunk their teeth into bidding wars of “Jaws,” which ultimately sold for $32,500.

Despite an original price tag of $79.95 still affixed to a near-mint copy of 1984′s “The Empire Strikes Back,” the VHS sold to the highest bidder for $12,500.

The auction closed with collectors trying to outbid one another for a Diet Pepsi promotional copy of “Top Gun,” which sold for $17,500.

A total of 260 VHS tapes were featured in the auction event, bringing in a total of $584,750.

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Debra Worley

Debra Worley

Debra Worley joined Gray Television's corporate digital team as the Enterprise Digital Content Manager in May 2021. She had previously overseen all things digital at WECT and Fox Wilmington since 2007.