9 Disney VHS Values That Might Surprise You 

If your 90s collection of Disney VHS tapes is still in good condition, a few might be worth a tidy sum.

Published October 12, 2022
Disney VHS Tapes

Disney kids have turned into Disney adults and their obsessive - bordering on manic - love of all things from the House of the Mouse is unparalleled. This includes the VHS tapes you probably learned your first Disney musical numbers from. Though largely defunct in our streaming age, since practically every Disney film is at your fingertips when you open up Disney+, some people long for the physical touchstones of their childhood, and that includes the often un-rewound VHS tapes of their favorite Disney films. Since enough time has past to turn these once common forms of entertainment into something novel, there are some of these early Disney titles you'll want to hunt down in the old electronics section of your local thrift store because of their secret high $$$ value.

Black Diamond Disney VHS Tapes Worth a Lot of Money

Walt Disney Black Diamond Collection

Known as the Black Diamond collection because of the black diamond on the cases' spines, the first line of Disney VHS tapes sold from 1984 to 1994 included most of Disney's classic animated films including hits like Dumbo, Sleeping Beauty, and The Little Mermaid. Collectors love a first edition, and Black Diamond VHS's are as close as anyone'll get to 1980s and '90s gold. While not every copy of these tapes is worth a ton of money, a few just might have you rummaging through your dusty VHS collection for a quick cash turnaround.

Beauty and The Beast

Beauty and the Beast might be a tale as old as time, but it hasn't always been a valuable collectible. The Oscar-winning animated film was released in 1991 to critical acclaim, with a killer soundtrack, a villain everyone could get on board with hating, and a digitally rendered ball sequence that blew little kids' minds. When it comes to Disney VHS, you can't beat Beauty and the Beast. In fact, one rare sealed Black Diamond copy of it, with the original sales barcode intact, recently sold on eBay for a pearl-clutching $37,777.77. Although this is far from the norm, where sealed copies usually sell for around $100, you just might luck out and get a very interested buyer.

The Fox and the Hound

A lesser-known Disney classic is The Fox and the Hound, a film that explores the unlikely friendship of a hunting dog named Copper and a wild fox named Tod. Released in 1981, it didn't leave as much of a lasting impact as later films from the decade, like The Little Mermaid, did. Yet, if you're a dedicated Disney collector, you absolutely need to add this less popular title to your collection. And one collector did just that by buying a near-mint VHS on eBay for an eye-watering amount - $17,500 to be exact.

Aladdin

Aladdin was a huge hit in the 1990s with its sprawling atmosphere and beautiful soundtrack (not to mention Robin Williams iconic performance as the Genie) and adults love to rewatch Genie and Aladdin's first meeting in the way it was originally intended - on a fuzzy wide screen tv. Open Black Diamond copies of this VHS can sell for around $200 each, but when the right collector finds your listing, they can go for more money. In one case, an eBay seller sold their lightly used copy for $3,000.

Song of the South

Although we're loathe to include a horribly racist film in this list, because it's been returned to the Disney vault never to be seen again on streaming or any other entertainment platform, the European VHS copies of Song of the South are worth a fair amount of money. Even by the 1990s, many people hadn't seen the film save for the catchy song "Zippa-Dee-Do-Da" on Disney sing-a-long videos. At the very least, if you happen to come across a copy of this in an attic somewhere, you can take the $100-$200 dollars you make off of it on eBay and donate it as a further kick in the rear to Disney for letting this one get made.

Disney Masterpiece Collection VHS Tapes With High Values

Disney Masterpiece Collection VHS Tapes

The Masterpiece Collection was really similar to the Black Diamond series and included a plethora of Disney's greatest hits from the 1930s-1990s. Interestingly, this series focused on less-acclaimed titles from the mid-century, which explains why that '90s nostalgia for the Disney Renaissance that's driving so much of the market's resurgence hasn't made these older films big-ticket items at online auctions. However, you don't have to pass over every Masterpiece Collection tape you find, and a few of these titles speak to certain collector's sentimentality - and bank accounts.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

If you're going for retro Disney, you can't get much more vintage than 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A massive phenomenon unlike any animated film before it, this flagship film launched the Disney animated movie into the stratosphere. And while you probably aren't moved that much by the dated dialogue and vocals, some have a unique attachment to the film. One fan put their money where their mouth is and spent $1,175 on a near-mint VHS Masterpiece copy from 1994 with the hard shell case intact.

Sleeping Beauty

You don't have to prick your finger on the spinning wheel to pay for this vintage VHS using a blood contract. Nowadays, there are every type of Disney princess out there, but in the 1950s and 1960s, choices were limited. If you loved medieval mythology, then Sleeping Beauty was right up your alley. With light and dark fairies, kings and queens, dashing princes, and a dragon, what more could you ask for? For around $10, you can stream the movie on Disney+, but you can't beat the authenticity of watching it on your old VHS tapes. Pass on your well-loved tapes to kids with a passion for the past, or if you've got the limited edition Masterpiece copy, list at an auction and you, too, might find a buyer who's willing to pay $700 for it.

Dumbo

Dumbo is an undeniably underrated Disney movie if only for the way Dumbo never speaks a word and yet makes you cry your eyes out. Although it does have the special Disney brand of racist background characters that movies from this period always had, laughing with friends over the "Elephants on Parade" scene while utterly sloshed makes it worth having an early VHS tape of it. While you've been drinking, you probably can't remember your Disney+ password, but you can trust that ingrained muscle memory for setting up a VHS to kick in. If you're finished enjoying that rediscovered Masterpiece copy of Dumbo, you can list it on eBay and try to get about $50 for it. At least it's enough to buy a mid-shelf bottle of your favorite adult juice.

Honorable Mentions Worth Some Money

Vintage Walt Disney Home Video Sing Along Songs VHS

Beyond the standard collections of VHS tapes that Disney made in the '80s and '90s were a slew of unique tie-ins, straight-to-video sequels, and limited edition copies. Just like how people have niche favorite Disney movies, so too are their niche VHS tapes you can find littering online auctions. In their best condition, these Disney tapes can fetch $50-$150 - a nice chunk of change to add to your rainy day fund.

"Banned" Little Mermaid

Disney animators were no saints, and some of the things they got past the censors have become legend to naughty Disney adults. For instance, there are rumors about explicit words being written in the clouds in The Lion King and the priest marrying Prince Eric and Ariel seems a bit too...happy to be joining the two in holy matrimony. But, one of these that Disney caught was the noticeably phallic shape of the castle on The Little Mermaid's VHS case cover. This 'banned' VHS is collectible in its own right, with copies being listed on eBay and Etsy for around $50.

Disney Sing Alongs

If you were born in the early 1990s and were nursed on Disney VHS tapes, you probably remember learning all of the lyrics to the company's films with their bouncy sing-alongs. These compilation videos traveled from one hit song to the next, showing you a snippet of the scene from the movie and teaching you all about pace and lyrics using a bouncing ball across subtitles. These tapes are totally obsolete now, but some Millennial parents want to give their kids a 'proper' Disney education. In fact, one factory sealed three-pack of these sing-along VHS tapes recently sold for $129 on eBay. That's a huge amount for a VHS that doesn't include a single feature-length film in it.

Tips for Making Money off of Disney VHS Tapes

You don't have to have your own successful Etsy shop or booth in a local antiques store to make some money off of the House of the Mouse's vintage VHS tapes. In fact, this can be your first and only foray into selling collectibles online or otherwise. But, if this is your first time, you should consider a couple of things before gifting them to your '90s obsessed teenage neighbor.

  • Factory sealed clamshells are the way to go - Disney adults have a hunger like no other, and they're ravenous to have every possible piece of Disney merch the mouse ever made in their collection. While VHS tapes aren't super high on their lists, they'll pay the big bucks for factory sealed clamshell cases with nary a fingerprint or rewound tape in sight.
  • List where your audience is looking - You should always be discerning with where you list things you want to sell because you want the people who're interested in your products to actually find them. So, for vintage Disney products, you can stick to less hoity-toity places like eBay, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace.
  • Popular titles aren't the only coveted ones - Naturally, you know that popular titles like Beauty and the Beast and Lion King's VHS copies would draw some interest, but lesser known titles like Robin Hood and The Fox and the Hound have their own appeal because they can complete someone's collection. After all, wouldn't you dip into your saving to get the book or outfit you've been waiting for?

Declutter and Make Money the Disney Way

No one can deny the power of the '90s renaissance that's going on in social media and pop culture. Capitalize on all of the dusty boxes of your childhood knickknacks by seeing which Disney VHS tapes you can find. Most of these well-loved tapes won't bring in more than about $20, but there's the odd copy that sells to a fanatical Disney adult for thousands. Don't cheat yourself out of the possible big win by throwing away these mostly defunct tapes. Take a few minutes to browse through the pile and envision just what kind of fairy tale life you might be able to make for yourself.

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9 Disney VHS Values That Might Surprise You