Were you a Disney kid growing up in the 90s? If you were, then you probably had a bookshelf filled with classic Disney movies on VHS, all contained in those bulky, plastic clamshell cases. Well, according to some auctions on eBay, if you held on to a VHS copy of The Little Mermaid, particularly one labeled with the black diamond “Classics” emblem, some nostalgic collectors may want to pay huge amounts for it.
VHS copies of movies like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King have all been listed for upwards of $9,000. Who knew Disney movies could be so valuable? You might be sitting on a goldmine if you happen to be someone who kept all of their old movies.
Then again, maybe not. While there are certainly a lot of listings on eBay for VHS Disney movies listed in the thousands of dollars, those auctions do not seem to be very popular. The idea that something like a VHS copy of The Little Mermaid might be worth a small fortune is not based on any fact or actual valuation of the item.
According to snopes.com, several blogs began reporting on these supposed VHS sales on eBay in early 2016, noting only the asking price of the items.
However, further research showed that even though these “rare” VHS tapes were listed in the range of thousands of dollars, the number of bids on them was 0.
The rumor of The Little Mermaid VHS being valued so high stems from an urban legend concerning a rather unfortunate and inappropriate looking spire in the castle on the box cover.
The story of the, let’s just say, “anatomical spire” began in the mid-1990s when Entertainment Weekly ran a story on the questionable artwork. However, the artist claimed he had no intention of drawing the castle inappropriately.
So what does all of this mean? It means that even though you might be able to post your Little Mermaid VHS tape on eBay for thousands of dollars, you might not actually sell it.
However, you might stand to make some money if you kept your entire Disney VHS collection. There are a lot of nostalgic collectors out there willing to pay within the 20 to 30 dollar range for original tapes.
Or you could just try your luck in posting a VHS tape for close to $10,000. You might get lucky, like this person who allegedly sold a VHS copy of Beauty and the Beast for $9,000.
Unfortunately, the sale of that VHS couldn’t be verified and may have just been a “fluke,” according to Snopes. Dario Smagata, a VHS and Betamax collector wrote on Quora that despite the claim that these tapes are rare, “You can find dozens of them in thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales for $1 or less.”
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