10 VHS Tapes That Are Worth Money (No, Really)

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iStock.com/axeiz77

It’s been decades since VHS tapes and players populated living room shelves, but that doesn’t mean the format has totally disappeared. On eBay, Facebook trading posts, and other outlets, collectors are actively buying and selling videocassettes for prices that can stretch into the hundreds of dollars.

Forget those VHS Disney movies, or “Black Diamond” tapes, released between 1984 and 1994 that are purported to be selling for thousands: They aren’t actually anywhere near that valuable. Instead, VHS aficionados are more likely to plop down cash for obscure horror, kids’ content, and genre material that either never got a DVD release or pushes their nostalgia buttons. Here are 10 tapes to keep an eye out for the next time you’re at a yard sale.

  1. The Dark Planet (1989)

Fantasy artist Richard Corben directed this low-budget sci-fi and horror anthology that’s virtually impossible to find, and possibly for good reason. According to those who have seen it, it’s a somewhat cheesy effort with rather crude Claymation special effects. Corben fans, however, consider it worth pursuing, and the VHS release features a beautiful Corben illustration. It occasionally pops up on eBay, with one recent auction closing at $250.

  1. Out of the Box (1998-2004)

Disney’s library of classics may be overvalued, but that doesn’t mean some of their out-of-print material can’t fetch a few bucks. Commercial tapes of Out of the Box, a Disney Channel preschool series that aired from 1998 to 2004, are in demand on the secondary market. Out of the Box: Happy Holidays sold for $219.99, while Out of the Box: Trick or Treat sold for $74.99.

  1. The Prowler (1981)

Not many horror films open at the conclusion of World War II and hint that the rampaging killer may be a war veteran who was abandoned by his girlfriend, only to return to kill again 35 years later. This slasher with make-up effects by gore legend Tom Savini was released on DVD, but fans still seek out the cassette, which was released by different home video distributors in packaging ranging from hard plastic clamshell to a cardboard slipcase. An oversized “big box” version sold for $336.83 on eBay. The standard cardboard edition trades for roughly $60.

  1. Tammy and the T-Rex (1994)

A small cult following seems to have developed around this eccentric comedy about a young man (the late Paul Walker) who finds his brain stuffed into the body of an animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex, and his girlfriend, the titular Tammy (Denise Richards), who tries to find him a more appropriate vessel. A VHS of the movie—which isn't available on DVD—can sell for up to $80.

  1. Deadly Prey (1987)

This cheaply-made action drama about a vengeful Vietnam veteran is a favorite among fans of B-grade films for its low-rent charm. (The AV Club described its aesthetic as “if it were filmed in someone’s backyard.”) An unopened copy with some stellar box art recently went for $125 on eBay.

  1. Blood Lake (1987)

This shot-on-video effort garnered praise among horror fans for its scrappy DIY approach to filmmaking. Collectors pay $120 and up for a VHS copy.

  1. Barney (1992-2009)

The purple dinosaur of your childhood (or nightmares) appeared in a long list of VHS releases, and a few of them seem to hold particular appeal for fans owing to their rarity. A copy of Barney’s First Adventures sold for $300, while the singalong Waiting for Santa netted $125 and Barney’s Rockin’ Rhyme Time finished with $200.

  1. Professional Wrestling Tapes

Pro wrestling was a popular genre on VHS, and some events that are otherwise hard to come by often sell for a premium. A sealed copy of Halloween Havoc 1993 sold for $349.99, while a copy of Wrestlemania III went for $190. Halloween Havoc 1996 can sell for up to $100.

  1. Star Wars (1977)

It’s possible that no other film or film franchise has seen has many home video releases as the original Star Wars trilogy. Their value on VHS is due in large part to the interest of Star Wars collectors, who often fork over $76 and up for the 1982 rental version of 1977’s Episode IV: A New Hope. It's one of the few ways to view an unaltered version of the movie, as many home video releases later changed or added special effects.

  1. A History of Violence (2005)

Why would a film easily available on DVD and streaming services command a premium price on cassette? Because this David Cronenberg thriller about a family man (Viggo Mortensen) with a dark past was the last major studio movie to ever be released on VHS. It recently sold for $75 on eBay.

6 Tasty Facts About Scrapple

Kate Hopkins, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Kate Hopkins, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Love it or hate it, scrapple is a way of life—especially if you grew up in Pennsylvania or another Mid-Atlantic state like New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, or Virginia. And this (typically) pork-filled pudding isn’t going anywhere. While its popularity in America dates back more than 150 years, the dish itself is believed to have originated in pre-Roman times. In celebration of National Scrapple Day, here’s everything you ever—or never—wanted to know about the dish.

1. Scrapple is typically made of pig parts. Lots and lots of pig parts.

Though every scrapple manufacturer has its own particular recipe, it all boils down to the same basic process—literally: boiling up a bunch of pig scraps (yes, the parts you don’t want to know are in there) to create a stock which is then mixed with cornmeal, flour, and a handful of spices to create a slurry. Once the consistency is right, chopped pig parts are added in and the mixture is turned into a loaf and baked.

As the dish has gained popularity, chefs have put their own unique spins on it, adding in different meats and spices to play with the flavor. New York City’s Ivan Ramen even cooked it up waffle-style.

2. People were eating scrapple long before it made its way to America.

People often think that the word scrapple derives from scraps, and it’s easy to understand why. But it’s actually an Americanized derivation of panhaskröppel, a German word meaning "slice of rabbit." Much like its modern-day counterpart, skröppel—which dates back to pre-Roman times—was a dish that was designed to make use of every part of its protein (in this case, a rabbit). It was brought to America in the 17th and 18th centuries by German colonists who settled in the Philadelphia area.

In 1863, the first mass-produced version of scrapple arrived via Habbersett, which is still making the product today. They haven’t tweaked the recipe much in the past 150-plus years, though they do offer a beef version as well.

3. If your scrapple is gray, you're a-ok.

A dull gray isn’t normally the most appetizing color you’d want in a meat product, but that’s the color a proper piece of scrapple should be. (It is typically pork bits, after all.)

4. Scrapple can be topped with all kinds of goodies.

Though there’s no rule that says you can’t enjoy a delicious piece of scrapple at any time of day, it’s considered a breakfast meat. As such, it’s often served with (or over) eggs but can be topped with all sorts of condiments; while some people stick with ketchup or jelly, others go wild with applesauce, mustard, maple syrup, and honey to make the most of the sweet-and-salty flavor combo. There’s also nothing wrong with being a scrapple purist and eating it as is.

5. Dogfish Head made a scrapple beer.

The master brewers at Delaware’s Dogfish Head have never been afraid to get experimental with their flavors. In 2014, they created a Beer for Breakfast Stout that was brewed with Rapa pork scrapple. A representative for the scrapple brand called the collaboration a "unique proposition." Indeed.

6. Delaware holds an annual scrapple festival each October.

Speaking of Delaware: It’s also home to the country’s oldest—and largest—annual scrapple festival. Originating in 1992, the Apple Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville, Delaware is a yearly celebration of all things pig parts, which includes events like a ladies skillet toss and a scrapple chunkin’ contest. More than 25,000 attendees make the trek annually.

11 Honorable Ways You Can Help Veterans

BasSlabbers/iStock via Getty Images
BasSlabbers/iStock via Getty Images

This Veterans Day, make a difference in the lives of former military members. Just thanking a veteran can go a long way, but an act of kindness means even more. Here are 11 ways you can show vets that you appreciate the sacrifices they made.

1. Pick up the tab for a veteran's coffee or meal.

elderly man at a parade with a sign thanking veterans
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The next time you see a veteran in a restaurant or standing in line for coffee, pick up the tab. You can do so anonymously if you would prefer, but even a quick "thank you for your service" would mean a lot to the veteran. You don't have to limit yourself to dinner or a latte—you could pay for a tank of gas, a prescription, or a cart of groceries.

2. Drive a veteran to a doctor's appointment.

military man in wheelchair talking to doctor
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Many veterans, especially those who are infirm or disabled, have trouble making it to their doctor appointments. If you have a driver’s license, you can volunteer for the Department of Veterans Affairs (DAV) Transportation Network, a service provided by all 170 VA medical facilities. To help, contact the hospital service coordinator [PDF] at your local VA Hospital.

3. Train a service dog to help veterans.

military man hugging a dog
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Service dogs aid veterans with mobile disabilities and post-traumatic stress disorder, helping them rediscover physical and emotional independence. It takes approximately two years and $33,000 to properly train one service dog, so donations and training volunteers are critical. Even if you aren't equipped to train a dog, some organizations need "weekend puppy raisers," which help service dogs learn how to socialize, play, and interact with different types of people.

There are several organizations that provide this service for veterans, including Patriot PAWS and Puppy Jake.

4. Replace one light bulb in your home with a green one.

A green light bulb
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The Greenlight a Vet project is a simple way to remind yourself and others about the sacrifices veterans have made for our country, and to show your appreciation to them. Simply purchase a green bulb and place it somewhere in your home—a porch lamp is ideal since it's most visible to others. Over 9 million people across the nation have logged their green lights into the project's nationwide map so far.

5. Help sponsor an honor flight to veterans memorials.

A group of veterans visit the Vietnam memorial in Washington D.C.
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Many of the veterans who fought for our freedoms have never seen the national memorials honoring their efforts—and their fallen friends. Honor Flights helps send veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam to Washington D.C. to see their monuments. You can help sponsor one of those flights.

6. Write a letter to thank a veteran.

Veterans Day parade
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Operation Gratitude is an organization that coordinates care packages, gifts, and letters of thanks to veterans. You can work through them to send your appreciation to a vet, or volunteer to help assemble care packages. And, if you still have candy kicking around from Halloween, Operation Gratitude also mails sweets to deployed troops.

7. Volunteer at a VA hospital.

a veteran saluting the American flag
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Whatever your talents are, they'll certainly be utilized at a Veterans Administration Hospital. From working directly with patients to helping with recreational programs or even just providing companionship, your local VA Hospital would be thrilled to have a few hours of your time.

8. Get involved with a Veterans Assistance Program.

veteran marching in a military parade
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There are veterans in your community that could use help—but how do you find them? Contact a local veterans assistance program, such as the one offered by DAV. They'll be able to put you in touch with local vets who need help doing chores like yard work, housework, grocery shopping, or running errands.

9. Help veterans with job training.

military men meeting in an office setting
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Adjusting to civilian life after military service isn't always smooth sailing. Hire Heroes helps vets with interview skills, resumes, and training so they can find a post-military career. They even partner with various employers to host a job board. Through Hire Heroes, you can help veterans with mock interviews, career counseling, job searches, workshops, and more.

10. Help build a house for a veteran.

Volunteers help build a house
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Building Homes for Heroes builds or modifies homes to suit the needs of veterans injured in Iraq or Afghanistan. The houses are given mortgage-free to veterans and their families. You can volunteer your painting, carpentry, plumbing, wiring, and other skilled services—or you can just donate to the cause.

11. Volunteer for an "Operation Reveille" event for homeless veterans.

military dog tag that says
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The VA continually hosts Operation Reveille, a series of one- to three-day events that give much-needed supplies and services to homeless veterans. Vets can receive everything from food and clothing to health screenings, housing solutions, substance abuse treatment, and mental health counseling. They take place at various places across the nation all year long, so contact the representative in your state about when and how you can volunteer.

This story first ran in 2017.

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