If you’re of a certain age, then you just might have old clamshell video tapes of classic Disney movies like Dumbo or Pinocchio or The Little Mermaid on VHS. But how much are VHS Disney movies worth these days? Well, if you’re thinking of selling the Disney VHS tapes collecting dust in your attic or parent’s basement, you’re in luck, as I’ll walk you through exactly what your Disney VHS collection is worth.
How Much Are VHS Disney Movies Worth?
Many factors go into evaluating the worth of your Disney VHS collection. The biggest things that will affect the value of your tape are the following:
Rarity – Like most collectible items, the fewer Disney VHS tapes manufactured for a specific movie, the higher the demand, which means the higher the value.
Collection or Edition – Was the tape released in any Walt Disney Movie Collection? A few notable collections to keep a look out for are the Black Diamond Editions, Masterpiece Collection, Gold Classic Collection, Platinum Editions, and any Anniversary Edition. Don’t worry—I will discuss these collections in length a bit later
Title – When searching how much your VHS tape is worth, you will need to do a specific search of the title you are trying to sell. Doing a broad search of Disney movies will not give you a proper idea of how your collectible is valued. A Black Diamond Edition of Aladdin is going to sell at a different price point than the Black Diamond Edition of Lady and the Tramp.
Condition – The quality of the tape will also come into play with the overall value. Even if the collector isn’t going to touch the actual tape, if the VHS itself is scratched or chipped, its value will be affected.
Controversy – Disney movies are not without the occasional controversy, and as tough as it might be to hear, those controversies can hike up the value of your VHS tape. For example, the movie Song of the South is going to be of higher value than your standard Cinderella movie because Song of the South is so entrenched in controversy that Disney will never re-release the film.
Sealed – In your youth, if you were somehow able to resist the urge to rip open the plastic seal off your VHS tape, you’ll certainly reap the benefits when it comes time to sell your collection! The price point will again depend on the aforementioned factors, but with the tape still in shrink wrap, you’re bound to see a little bump up in value.
How Disney VHS Movies Are Valued
If you’re a Disney VHS collector, you may already know this, but for the rest of us, you’ll first off want to check to see if your VHS tapes are a part of any of Walt Disney Home Videos Collections.
The oldest editions are going to be the biggest money-getters but if you’re expecting thousands of dollars for any of your VHS tapes, best to bring your expectations down a few notches. In fact, if you’re looking for a more detailed breakdown of what your Disney movies on VHS might be worth, check out this video:
Now, let’s dive deeper into the specifics of all of the various Disney VHS collections, as each one has its own unique name.
Black Diamond Editions
The Black Diamond Editions are the original classics released from 1984 to 1994. Disney decided to release Robin Hood to start this collection followed by Pinocchio in 1985. After the success of Pinocchio, the Disney Vault came into play and Disney released to the public that Pinocchio would not be produced or sold after January 1986. About 12 years later, The Fox and the Hound rounded out the very last movie that was part of the Black Diamond Edition.
These VHS tapes were first introduced with a black shell case, however this was soon changed to white. If you do spot a black-shelled case, this will add a few dollars to the value of your VHS movie. The degree of price bump will depend on the title.
Disney Black Diamond VHS Value
You are bound to get anywhere from $1.99 -$45.00 for the average Black Diamond Edition VHS. For the more controversial movies and banned covers, you can tag on a few dollars as well.
Currently on eBay, for example, Walt Disney’s Pinocchio with a black shell case is being sold for between $5.00 – $25.00. The Robin Hood Black Diamond Edition with a black shell case is selling at about $25.00, while its white shell case counterpart is going for around $3.00 – $6.00. Lady and the Tramp sold recently for $45.00 with the original factory seal!
- Disney Black Diamond VHS Release List:
Robin Hood (1984), Pinocchio (1985), Dumbo (1985), Sword in the Stone (1986), Alice in Wonderland (1986), Sleeping Beauty (1986), Lady and the Tramp (1987), Cinderella (1988), Bambi (1989), The Little Mermaid (1990), Peter Pan (1990), The Jungle Book (1991), The Rescuers Down Under (1991), Fantasia (1991), 101 Dalmatians (1992), The Great Mouse Detective (1992), The Rescuers (1992), Beauty and the Beast (1992), Aladdin (1993), and The Fox and the Hound (1994).
How to Spot a Black Diamond Edition?
On the spine of the VHS shell case, you will see a black diamond toward the top. Inside the black diamond, there will be text that reads “The Classics.” The sleeve on the case will also, typically, have a peel-away corner on the bottom right side of the front cover.
The Masterpiece Collection was released from 1994 to 1999. This collection started with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and ended with the re-release of Robin Hood, two absolute classics!
Disney Masterpiece Collection VHS Value
You can expect to see a bit of a dip in value when it comes to most Masterpiece Collection VHS tapes (specifically when compared to the Black Diamond Editions). The range, depending on title and condition, typically goes for around $3.00 -$30.00, but you can expect a bit of a bump if you have any anniversary copies released in this collection.
Currently on eBay, The Walt Disney Fantasia film, in great condition with rare black shell casing, is going for around $10.00. You will occasionally find monstrously high Buy It Now prices exceeding $5,000.00, but don’t be fooled, this is very likely a scam (or just a seller hoping to rope in an ignorant buyer).
The Robin Hood Masterpiece Collection edition—newly sealed—is being sold for about $5.00 – $10.00. Currently, the top seller in this collection on eBay was the 55th Anniversary Masterpiece Collection version of Bambi with a new seal that sold for a whopping $45.00! So yes, you can certainly make some nice pocket change with your Disney VHS collections, but you’re likely not going to strike it rich and begin planning for your early retirement.
- Disney Masterpiece Collection VHS List:
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1994), Mary Poppins (1994), Dumbo (1994), Alice in Wonderland (1994), Robin Hood (1994), Sword in the stone (1994), Pete’s Dragon (1994), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1994), The Three Caballeros (1994), So Dear to My Heart (1994), The Lion King (1995), Cinderella (1995), Pocahontas (1996), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1996), Aristocrats (1996), Oliver & Company (1996), Bambi (1997), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1997), Fun and Fancy Free (1997), Mary Poppins (1997), Sleeping Beauty (1997), The Jungle Book (1997), Hercules (1998), Peter Pan (1998), The Little Mermaid (1998), Melody Time (1998), The Black Cauldron (1998), Lady and the Tramp (1998), Mulan (1999), The Rescuers (1999), 101 Dalmatians (1999) The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1999), Alice in Wonderland (1999), Robin Hood (1999).
How to Spot a Masterpiece Collection?
This collection is easy to spot! Near the top center of your VHS case, you will see “MASTERPIECE” in all capitals near the title of the movie.
Gold Classic Collection
The Gold Classic Collection was released from 2000 to 2001 and started with the hit Toy Story and ended with the re-release of Oliver and Company. Every VHS movie in this collection came out within the span of roughly a year to a year and a half.
Disney Gold Classic Collection VHS Value
Maybe it’s the cool golden banner at the top of the cover, but you can actually get a nice bit of pocket money when selling your Gold Classic Collection compared to your average VHS tape. Again, depending on the factors discussed prior, you can get on average anywhere between $1.99 – $15.00.
The Gold Classic Collection Edition of Mulan, in good condition, is currently going for anywhere between $1.99 – $6.50 on the secondary market. However, Mulan with a brand-new unbroken seal has sold for about $7.99 to $10.00 on average. To provide a comparison of how a single title can lose value based on the collection, I’ll bring back the example of Robin Hood. The Gold Classic Collection version of Robin Hood is currently being purchased for about $4.00 to $7.00 on secondary marketplaces like eBay.
- Disney Gold Classic Collection VHS List:
Toy Story (2000), Mulan (2000), Pinocchio (2000), Aristocats (2000), The Fox and the Hound (2000), The Three Caballeros (2000), Saludos Amigos (2000), Make Mine Music (2000), Melody Time (2000), Pocahontas (2000), A Goofy Movie (2000), Fun and Fancy Free (2000), Alice in Wonderland (2000), Mary Poppins (2000), Robin Hood (2000), The Rescuers Down Under (2000), Hercules (2000), A Bugs Life (2000), Pocahontas II (2000), The Black Cauldron (2000), The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (2000), Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (2000), Pete’s Dragon (2001), The Sword in the Stone (2001), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (2001), Oliver and Company (2001).
How to Spot a Gold Classic Collection?
Spotting the Gold Collection is probably the easiest of all the Walt Disney collections! On the front cover of your VHS shell case, you will see either a gold or black banner with red text that reads “Gold Collection” with a small circle in between with Cinderella’s castle and “Classic” written underneath.
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Now that we’ve made the complete transition into the 21st century, this Collection saw a combination of VHS tapes and DVDs! All thirteen movies in this collection were produced in DVD format, while only eight of them were also manufactured on VHS. The VHS tapes were released from 2001 – 2006 and saw a lot of classics re-released.
Disney Platinum Edition VHS Value
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are you’re not going to get much when selling your Platinum Edition VHS tapes. Since they’re relatively new compared to the Black Diamond Editions, they’re likely to be in a lot of Collector’s collections.
The movies currently sell for anything from $0.99 to $15.00 on average. If you do find the rare a cardboard-sleeve or originally sealed Platinum Edition, you can expect a few extra dollars, but sadly nothing to write home about.
The top seller on eBay for the Platinum Edition collection that I saw was a factory sealed copy of Aladdin. This copy went for an impressive $25.00, while a cardboard sleeved Cinderella sold for a little under $18.00.
- Disney Platinum Edition VHS Release List:
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (2001), Beauty and the Beast (2002), The Lion King (2003), Aladdin (2004), Bambi (2005), Cinderella (2005), Lady and the Tramp (2006), and the Little Mermaid (2007).
How to Spot a Platinum Edition?
The Platinum Editions stand out when you’re looking at the front cover. You’ll notice a silver, platinum, or gold banner at the very top of the shell cover of the case that reads “Platinum Edition.” This is the same banner that shows on the DVD versions of the movies, but this collection was consistent no matter the format the movie was purchased in.
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Disney VHS Banned Covers and Controversies
Song of the South, Dumbo, and Peter Pan are just a few Disney movies that have come under scrutiny as of late, but did you ever hear about The Little Mermaid banned cover in 1990? To make a long story short, Disney got caught in a little bit of controversy when consumers saw a phallic symbol appearing covertly on the VHS cover for The Little Mermaid. The story has since grown into a strange legend over the years thanks to the internet, with many believing that a disgruntled employee intentionally snuck the phallic symbol into the art as a way to voice his or her displeasure with Disney.
But that’s all an urban legend, at least according to the great myth busting site Snopes. Over there, they actually spoke with the artist who inadvertently drew the symbol during that fateful time, and apparently it was purely coincidental that the image resembled male genitalia.
Prices of Banned VHS Covers and Controversial Films
You’ll be looking at a little higher price range for any controversial or banned cover edition of any Disney VHS tape, ranging from (on average) $20.00 to $75.00. Not a huge bump up from any of the other Disney Classics, but you can expect to easily sell the more controversial title and banned cover at a higher price point.
The Song of the South VHS tape, for instance, can be sold for a solid $35.00 to $75.00 on the secondary market, depending on the condition of the tape. The highest sold copy I found of Song of the South (sealed) went for a whopping $150 on eBay! By contrast, The Little Mermaid Black Diamond banned cover was currently selling for about $20.00 as of publication.
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When we began this journey, the goal was to answer the following question: how much are VHS Disney movies worth? Hopefully by now, you have a much better idea of the true value of Disney films on VHS.
As with any collectible, the rarity of the item and the condition of the item is absolutely paramount. Your rare VHS tape doesn’t hold much worth if it’s falling apart. And the most pristine Disney film on VHS doesn’t have any value if Disney manufactured an endless amount of copies for the public.
However, if you rifle through your old tapes and happen upon that perfect combination of rarity and condition, then you just might be able to secure some really nice pocket change once you throw your old tapes up for auction on the secondary market!
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