Category_Collecting, Category_Horror, Category_VHS, Category_Weirdness -

Original 1979 MEDA Home Video Release of HALLOWEEN goes for $13,000 on eBay. Fluke, Fake, or Absolute Lunacy? NOW UPDATED WITH DETAILS FROM ONE OF THE BIDDERS!

A recent eBay auction has the horror and VHS collector community abuzz with reactions of disbelief, awe and for some, disgust. The original 1979 MEDA (predecessor to Media) video release of John Carpenter’s seminal horror film HALLOWEEN recently fetched over $13,000 on the online auction site, and in turn, has sent off an explosion of fervent opinions, speculations and even conspiracy theories. (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE TO READ THE UPDATED STORY FROM ONE OF THE BIDDERS!)

As so finely pointed out by my Mom: "Dude couldn't even get free shipping?!" It's all kinds of whack.

Personally, I think it is TOTAL INSANITY that this tape went for $13,000. It’s borderline lunacy that someone would pay this much for a tape, IMHO. In the immortal words of Mark from SLC PUNK “You can buy a fucking car for that!”

Theeeeesss LOOKS like a silver record... but it's not.. IT'S A LAYYYZZEEERDISC.

This HALLOWEEN tape, while very cool aesthetically and of note because of the film’s notoriety and this particular release’s historical merit, still doesn’t reasonably command this price tag. There are indeed tapes out there that are much more coveted, and fetch dollar amounts ranging from $300 - $1200 for their rarity, and the fact that most times they are the ONLY way to see the flick. That, my friends, is a perfectly legitimate reason to pony up some dough, right? I’d say it’s completely rational as it preserves a film that is unavailable on any other format, and otherwise lost.

As we can see here, the same seller sold an identical copy of the HALLOWEEN Meda Home Video release weeks earlier for around $500. Hmmm... veddddyyy interetschting, Herr Doctuhhrrr.

But perhaps the hottest topic up for debate bubbling inside this incident is the spreading conspiracy theory attached to the dubious auction. There are two things we must consider immediately. First, the bid history: Anyone who is familiar with the functions of eBay can read this data and deduce that it’s most suspect. Take a look at it here, and see for yourself. This has all the markings of a hoax. With a bidding war happening between two profiles with 0 (zero) feedback, I surmise the seller is trying to create the illusion of extreme value so they can sell another copy at an even higher price at a later date because of all the hubbub. The power of suggestion? I believe that’s the aim here. Regardless, this ostensibly adds up to represent shill bidding… which has no validity whatsoever.

I think the most important thing to posit about this perplexing occurrence is that this auction is not representative of the tape's value; and while spectacular, isn't at all valid in the way that it's anomalous… and more than likely a stunt put on by the seller. While certainly of a questionable ethical nature, this kind of behavior also damages the VHS collecting community. Putting this auction out there plants false information in the minds of the collective horror community and creates the potential for exploitation of the VHS collector. Simply put, people might start thinking their old tapes in the basement are worth a fortune. Truth is, VHS tapes, just like any other collectible, are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them.


And here's the awesome update on this:

After this piece ran around the internet for a few hours, a VHS collector named Bill Neil contacted me and wanted to set the story straight about this auction. With Bill’s permission, I am running the original email that came in to me, so that all of us can have better insight as to what the heck was really goin’ on with this incredible analog happening. So without further ado, here’s the story, straight from the guy who lived it: “So I was involved in the $13,000 tape Ebay thing. Here's the lowdown ... Before I tell you the story, let me preface by saying I am a limited VHS collector. I only collect the titles and issues of tapes I remember while growing up. There are not many I want, but when I find one of those gems from my childhood, I do everything I can to acquire it. Sometimes this means paying too much ... way too much for a tape. In your article, I read that some tapes go for $1200 - I didn't know others have bid that high! So, anyway... I have spent the past 4+ years trying to acquire the original release of HALLOWEEN on MEDA ... not the same box with MEDIA on it, but the FIRST with MEDA. Every other day I have checked eBay and got nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. I went to Comicon. Nothing. Tried other sites. Nothing. Tried the Pasadena flea market. Nothing. I got sick in Feb of this year (around the 16th) and didn't check eBay for a week. Guess what? A MEDA copy of HALLOWEEN was auctioned and SOLD!!! Aaaah!!! I think it went for a little over 200 bucks. A lot… but, for me, I would pay it! This lit a fire under me! I MUST get this tape. I was willing to pay A LOT more. Cut to: March 15th, and I see a seller has put up for bid HALLOWEEN and he listed it as MEDIA… but upon close inspection of the picture I see it is the MEDA release! Fuck! I bid $500!!!! There was no way I'd lose.... but I did. An eBay user with ZERO feedback came in and outbid me by 20 dollars. Well, now I was really hot! So, when I see the MEDA tape for bid 2 weeks later, I bid $1,000!!! Crazy,yes ... but I have addiction issues and it seemed "the universe" was telling me to do it!! I would never pay this much for any other tape. And then, within one day, some ZERO feedback user outbids me by 20 bucks. I could NOT believe anyone else had this much disposable cash and would want the tape like I did… and then I slowed down and looked at the picture of the tape. It was THE SAME picture as the auction I lost 2 weeks prior. And then I see it is the SAME seller… and on the auction he writes that the picture IS the tape he's auctioning. How is this possible? I write to the seller and he responds that the person who outbid me 2 weeks ago "didn't come through with the money" and that if this new high bidder doesn't come through, he will sell it to me off eBay for $1000. I respond that this is fine, but I say it is weird all these people offering so much money for something that is not worth this much. Now ... I THINK this made him nervous, because suddenly a bunch of different eBay users WITH ZERO FEEDBACK start upping and upping the bid. I contact eBay and tell them my concerns and I ask to retract my bid cause I just think this all stinks at this point. I also write to the seller and say I am retracting my bid. I guess 12 hours after I spoke to eBay, the auction ended several hours sooner than it should have. I say "I guess”, since I couldn't "see" the auction anymore. I figure when you retract a bid, they erase your bid from history and block you from watching the item (but I could be wrong about that). Anyway, all this is to say that I think NO ONE paid anything for this tape. I'm pretty damn sure this was a scam ... pretty much on me. I know people are reposting that link, and I hope it doesn't make others think they can get that much for a tape since it is all a fraud... and I sadly hang my head to you that I am one of those that spends too much on these tapes (albeit it really is only this ONE holy grail tape that I am willing to go broke for!!). I should cover my ass and say I can't be ONE HUNDRED PERCENT certain this was a fraud, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck ... So, my search continues ..

Man, now THAT is passion, my fellow Tapeheads. And the fact that Bill volunteered to come forward and say his piece to avoid other people thinking this tape is worth this much… well, I think that’s super-rad. But Bill is still yearning to have this tape! So, if any of you Videovores out there have the original MEDA HALLOWEEN Home Video Release, and are looking to part with it and make Bill’s dream come true, please contact us here at LUNCHMEAT, and we’ll put you in touch with him. I’m sure he’d be one ecstatic Videovore, indeed!


By Josh Schafer

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