DR. FRANKENSTEIN’S CASTLE OF FREAKS Magnum Entertainment Clamshell Goes for $2100 on eBay AKA The Ill Effects of Ignorant and Sensational VHS Collecting Journalism in the Modern Rewind-Inclined World!
Killer cover to be VHSure, man. But not $2100 killer. Not no way, not no how.Seem absurd? Indeed, it is, Tapeheads. Ah, but, I believe I have the explanation. That bogus LoveAntiques.com article put Dr. Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks at the very top of the list. That article was subsequently bounced around on various UK sites, and even here in the US, most notably on Money.com (a sister site of heavy-hitting Time). That re-post on Money also included a short video that flashed the value of DFCoF at $2,100, which is the exact amount of the auction in question. That post on Money.com also ran on March 31st, 2016, which is also that exact date of the $2,100 DFCoF sale on eBay. Coincidence? I think not, Videovores. Here’s a look at a screen-cap with the sold listing…
I wish this was Photoshop, but it's not, Tapeheads. Check out the ended auction here.As you can see at the top of this image, the tape has already been re-listed at that same price, which means one of two things: either the original buyer was suddenly struck with some VHSense and decided to rescind their bid, or this seller had another copy of DFCoF laying around, and is trying to get another VHSucker to purchase it at the same woefully inflated price. Either scenario is plausible, and both are equally as troubling. If you look at current auctions for DFCoF, the trend of $900 and up is there, along with the actual UK tape at $100+ and almost guaranteed to rise with 4 days left to bid. Here’s a stone cold fact: The US release of this tape is NOT worth $2100. The value of this tape ranges from $10 – $30 depending on the condition and the inclination of the collector. That price range can be evidenced by the other completed listings for this title, which all fall within the normal $10 - $30 range. NOTE: eBay is not the be-all and end-all price guide for VHS tapes. However, I will say that the previous link stands to my point, and that the buying and trading that happens on the VHS Collector boards on Facebook will reflect the same value on this tape. You have my rewind word. What’s apparent to me is that this DFCoF listing and potential purchase(s) are undoubtedly a direct effect of the lamentable LoveAntiques.com “Most Valuable VHS” post. That article has obviously inspired a dreadful mixture of cash-grabbing greed and analog ignorance, set forth by a sensationalistic post from a company framing VHS tapes as “investment antiques”, and then propagated by irresponsible and frankly lazy journalism. The problem is, it’s these kinds of ignorant articles that infect people with unfounded and false notions about the value of VHS. For instance, ever since this bogus Buzzfeed ballyhoo came forth, loads of people seem to think that The Beauty and the Beast Disney VHS is worth nearly 5 figures (check these outrageous eBay listings). Plain and simple, it is not. The Beauty and the Beast tape (Black Diamond version or not) is worth… wait for it… ONE dollar. And that’s a generous estimate. The curious (and kinda scary) thing is, Buzzfeed marked this tape with a value of only $500. It’s since gone UP in value on eBay, which is both inexplicable and insane. Two copies apparently went for $9000 just a week ago. Who are these people paying these prices? Have they ever been to a Goodwill store? Considering the circumstances, that’s a fair question, man.
Maybe even 50 cents. And, yes, that is a Price is Right reference for anyone who thought it!So what’s to be made of all this “Your VHS is worth a fortune!” online hooey? For the dedicated Videovore, it’s a source of frustration for sure. It’s misinformation on our culture, which can cause a whole host of problems, and not just with pricing. Ultimately, one can only hope that articles akin to this one will be written and re-posted in order to offer actual inside-the-culture information (along with real research) and help debunk all of the silly, misinformed and ultimately bogus articles on our favorite format. I know one thing’s for sure, though: if someone wants to give me $2000 plus for Dr. Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks on Magnum even after reading this article, hit me up. I got you, man. And I’ll throw in a fresh copy of Beauty and the Beast. No charge.
We’d love to hear more thoughts on this expanding topic, Tapeheads. Leave a comment and VHShout it out.