Pete Davidson has thousands of sealed VHS tapes, says they’re valuable

As some of you may remember, my family and I go to San Diego Comic-Con every year. This past year, Mr. Rosie and I were walking the Exhibit Hall floor when we came across a booth that was selling sealed VHS tapes. My husband is big into collecting sh-t and has picked up VHS tapes in good condition from flea markets and swap meets over the years. A few years ago, he bought one of those gazillion pound TV/VHS combos from the 1980s for like $25 on Facebook Marketplace, so he tries to get full use out of it. So, yeah, some of the prices for the VHS tapes at that booth were absolutely bonkers: I’m talking FOUR FIGURES for sealed copies of Back to the Future and Ghostbusters. I learned that day that just like you grade a coin or a comic book, you can also grade a VHS tape nowadays to figure out how much it’s worth.

All of this preamble brings us to Pete Davidson. Pete appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon earlier this week to promote his upcoming SNL hosting gig this weekend. (Side note – and I ask this with all sincerity – but Pete was great on SNL in small doses. Do we really need an entire episode hosted by him being in every sketch?) Anyway, at the beginning of the interview, Jimmy asked Pete about one of his hobbies, which is probably the only thing that he and Mr. Rosie somewhat have in common: collecting VHS tapes.

It turns out that about three years ago, Davidson began collecting sealed VHS tapes, stemming from an instance when he was “really high one night,” and he began buying them up. But he does have a somewhat valid reason behind it.

“In 2026 it’ll be 20 years since the last VHS was made, right, so 20 years goes by, that’s enough time for people to be like, ‘Oh, that was cool, remember?’ like vinyl. So I bought all the sealed ones that exist. Like three to five thousand tapes.”

The crowd chuckled when Davidson mentioned his amount of tapes, so he said, “You guys sound like my mom, no one believes in me. No one believes in me!”

After Fallon showed some pictures of many, many packages arriving at Davidson’s assistant’s house (much to the chagrin of his assistant’s girlfriend), Davidson expanded on his plan, mentioning that sealed VHS tapes are now going for like $20,000 to $30,000 a pop.

He pointed to a recent sale of an original Rocky trilogy in sealed VHS tape form that went for a combined $53,750 at auction, with Rocky leading the way by pulling in $27,500.

“It’s my GameStop,” Davidson said excitedly. “Dude, I own all of them. No one believed in me.”

Although with any big investment there are some risks, in this case one being that only a select few of those 3,000-5,000 titles will actually be worth any money. If that does happen, Davidson has a much less enthusiastic plan C as well.

“If it doesn’t work, I’m gonna be on the road forever dude,” he said.

[From Yahoo]

Look, some people invest in cars and houses, while others put their money in stocks and mutual funds. But, there is another huge community of nerds aficionados who invest in collectibles. It’s what Beanie Babies (whomp whomp) promised us, only it’s with old action figures, playsets, comic books, and now, VHS tapes, apparently. Trust me. I’ve seen people buy and sell these collectibles for an insane amount of money with my own eyes. It’s a thing. Pete’s just doing his Pete Thang, walking to the beat of his own drum with the VHS collecting. In a way, he’s more relatable to those of us who know nothing about investing in the stock market (but want to!). I can totally believe that he’s sitting on VHS tapes that are pretty valuable. If something is deemed to be “worth something,” there are no shortage of people who want to pay for it. Valuable nostalgia is a helluva drug.

Photos credit: Jennifer Graylock/INSTARimages, Darla Khazei/Avalon, screenshots from YouTube

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9 Responses to “Pete Davidson has thousands of sealed VHS tapes, says they’re valuable”

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  1. Shawna says:

    Combine this story with the story about Disney+ and Hulu subscriptions going up. Streamers asking for more money, becoming production houses instead of distributors, cracking down on account sharing, and yanking beloved titles without warning has all led to a new appreciation of physical media. Many of us long for the good old days where you knew you owned your media, and it wouldn’t disappear.

    • SarahCS says:

      I still have a cupboard full of DVDs and will be buying a copy of Barbie when it comes out. We don’t watch them that much but it means that when we do ditch Disney I can still watch Thor when I’m not feeling well.

      Our neighbours were without internet for 5 weeks earlier this year and were so glad they had kept theirs.

      • Laura says:

        Exactly this. Best thing I got in a break up was their old dvd player so I can watch my go to comfort movies and shows. Invaluable. lol

  2. Inky says:

    I love how things we didn’t think would be worth anything in the future now are (video tapes, cassette tapes, those combo cd, cassette player, radio player hi fis we all had as teenagers) and the things we thought would be valuable, aren’t (Beanie babies).

  3. North of Boston says:

    Aside from the SNL gig and fame, and the fact that he has an assistant whose place he can have all this stuff shipped to (instead of filling the living room and bedroom of his 2 bedroom condo* or his mom’s basement) this gathering of volumes of things from his childhood reminds me of some men I’ve met in their 30s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond who are convinced their collections of stuff are the key to happiness, riches, and evidence that they are ‘smarter than the average bear’.

    It’s a choice I guess. If it brings him happiness and entertainment as a hobby, well, you do you Boo Boo.

    Made me think of the guy a friend bought her condo from. At the first showing, he apologized for the sparkly stickers on the ceiling, walls of the 2nd bedroom, where his daughter stayed every other weekend when it was his time with her. Friend didn’t care about that stuff, scraping and painting would make it like new. But she felt bad for the little girl: ‘her’ room was stacked and filled with sports memorabilia… as was the living room and eating area. He had to push back the closing to give him more time to pack the stuff and move it out.

    • Jillian says:

      Reminds me of a boss I had that would obsessively buy collectible toys and hide them from his wife in the office. I managed to get into a locked cabinet in the office I took over and it was filled with Funko Pops. I asked him what he wanted me to do with them and he said “just throw them out.” It’s obsessive behavior, not “amassing future wealth”

  4. AmB says:

    VHSes are arguably better than NFTs because they physically exist, but everybody knows magnetic tape degrades whether or not you watch it, right? So shrinkwrapped is the perfect state they should stay in … just as the food with images of deities should stay uneaten.

  5. Demona says:

    If I had known George Lucas would change and then make the original trilogy unavailable I wouldve never given away my old, pre 1997 vhs tapes. So there is some merit to keeping things because you never know when they can go back and alter it. However, I gave away most of my VHS bc the quality just looked so bad compared to the higher def stuff.

    I’m still much happier without hundreds of VHS tapes sitting around because I personally prefer less clutter but he is 100% right about the 20.year rule. It’s when people in their 30s start to buy stiff that reminds them of their childhood. If i had the storage I’d collect too.

  6. Turtledove says:

    Not gonna lie.. when I saw the headline I absolutely thought he was making a joke reference to personal sex tapes.

    (I swear I am not a pervert, but I recently watched “Pam & Tommy” the miniseries, so that was on my mind)