This Monday news centered around Back to the Future has us doing some time traveling of our own. CNN revealed that a sealed, nearly perfect 1986 VHS tape of the smash hit sci-fi flick was recently picked up at auction for a whopping $75,000. That’s right, while the prospects of retirement or buying a home for many of us is a laughable dream, someone out there had $75k lying around and thought, “I know what I’ll do!” The craziest part is that owning the tape was something A LOT of people attempted to do which is making us question what the rich are doing with their money, but we digress.
Tom Wilson, who nabbed the role of Biff Tannen in Back to the Future, posted the collector’s item on eBay, but was so overwhelmed by the amount of responses that he decided to take it down. CNN’s initial report also stated that the actor was letting go of several other VHS tapes, leading us to wonder how much he’s going to rake in when all is said and done. Of the other pieces heading for auction, Wilson was releasing his hold on Back to the Future II, Back to the Future III, and Back to the Future, the trilogy box set. For the original time traveling Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd led movie, Wilson took it to the auction experts at Heritage Auctions, a company based in Dallas. Along with pristine copies of each film, Wilson also penned a note to the big winners to better drive up the tapes’ value.
So who was the lucky winner – or rather money bags buyer – of Wilson’s copy of Back to the Future? That would be a collector from New York who said that the film’s markup was the most he’s ever paid for a new piece of old property. As someone who’s lived in New York for over a decade, the buyer’s location comes as no surprise. New Yorkers will fight tooth and nail to spend the largest amount of money on whatever it is that they want just to land it as their own – something that makes residents of the Empire State truly incredible.
And if you thought Back to the Future was just the beginning of the VHS boom, you’d be wrong. It turns out that people have been willing to shell out the big bucks for those blocky, easily ruin-able tapes for quite some time now. In the CNN report, Heritage Auctions revealed that they’ve been pushing out a lot of big titles including The Goonies, Ghostbusters, and Jaws. A lot of the products are coming from longtime collectors, with even more arriving from actors tied to the films like Wilson. For those closest to the production who were smart enough to keep their copies of the original product safe from the elements over all these years, the timing couldn’t be more perfect to cash in on that sweet sweet VHS money.
Who knows, with such a big comeback, maybe Blockbuster will even have a resurgence! We know that won’t happen, but for nostalgia’s sake, wouldn’t that just be the cherry on top? You never know what treasures await you in the attic or basement at your parent’s house, so before they have their next garage sale, you may want to take a look at your VHS collection of yesteryear. Perhaps you have an original, shrink wrapped, pristine version of something like Jaws or Back to the Future that’s going to help you pay off your student loan debt.