An exceptional occurrence took place as a rare VHS cassette tape of the iconic eighties film “Back to the Future,” still sealed in its original wrapping, was auctioned for an astonishing £8,000. This “mint condition” copy, part of the first batch released in 1986, exceeded its estimated value of £4,000 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas, due to the enduring popularity of the movie. In recent times, collectors with nostalgic sentiments for classic films on VHS tapes from the 80s have shown remarkable interest, especially with disposable income now available to them.
VHS and Betamax tapes gained prominence in the late 1970s alongside the emergence of video recorders, dominating the market until the introduction of DVDs in 1995. By the late 2000s, the VHS format had largely become obsolete. Jay Carlson, the consignment director of VHS at Heritage, noted the significance of “Back to the Future” among collectors, citing its connection with the film’s fans and the consistent demand witnessed in various auctions since the previous year. This specific copy holds value due to its early production characteristics, including the coveted wraparound MCA Home Video block-style watermarks.
“Back to the Future,” starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, emerged as the highest grossing film of 1985, amassing $210 million. The film narrates the tale of a teenager accidentally traveling back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean created by scientist Emmett ‘Doc’ Brown. Notably, actor Tom Wilson, known for his role as Biff Tannen, sold his own copy of the film for £60,000 in June 2022 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Wilson’s collection of VHS tapes also included sealed and graded versions of “Back to the Future II,” “Back to the Future III,” and the 1990 “Back to the Future” trilogy boxed set, accompanied by personalized notes and signatures.