HERITAGE PRESSES PLAY ON ITS FIRST STAND-ALONE VHS AUCTION
By Rhonda Reinhart
From Back to the Future and Star Wars to Top Gun and The Goonies, the offerings in Heritage Auctions’ inaugural VHS and Home Entertainment Signature® Auction include some of the most popular films ever released.
The June 9 auction – a nostalgia-rich event celebrating a format that forever changed the way people watched movies – will take bidders back to “that magical time when our local video store was the center of the universe on Friday and Saturday nights,” says Heritage Auctions VHS Consignment Director Jay Carlson, “a place where you would bump into your friends and neighbors, all looking for that perfect film to bring home.”
In honor of the auction – which includes highlights such as a pristine sealed copy of Back to the Future owned by none other than Tom Wilson, the actor who played villain Biff Tannen – we’re throwing it back to the days when your neighborhood video store’s staff picks were a go-to source for flicks you might not have considered. In that spirit, we asked Heritage Auctions’ most movie-obsessed staffers to share their favorite films from the blockbuster event.
The Monster Squad
“As a kid, I discovered The Monster Squad at my local video store and was immediately hooked. A group of kids taking on Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s monster and The Creature? It felt like this movie was made for me. It wasn’t until the internet came along that I realized there were others who not only knew about The Monster Squad, but also loved it as much as I did. When I began collecting sealed VHS, The Monster Squad was at the top of my list, along with titles like Back to the Future, Star Wars, The Goonies, The Karate Kid and Indiana Jones. I’m excited to see this copy go to another extended member of The Squad.” –Jay Carlson, Consignment Director, VHS
“Before I was allowed to cross the street, I learned the consequences of crossing the streams. Ghostbusters was my original favorite film, and a deaccessioned video store copy of this 1985 home video release was the first VHS I ever owned. Most every afternoon, I slid that tape in our bulky Emerson VCR and pulled out my Peter, Ray, Egon and Winston action figures; Ecto-1 Ghost-mobile; and Firehouse Playset to reenact the plot along with the action on-screen. To me, it’s a small miracle that this incredible artifact survived the last 37 years in pristine, unopened condition, free of the tracking issues and the bare spot on the box where I peeled off the store’s sticker on my long-gone childhood example. Archivally slabbed and beautifully presented, this iconic VHS serves as a physical reminder of my earliest, most carefree memories.” –Zach Pogemiller, Associate Director, Movie Posters
“In the months leading up to Tim Burton’s first Batman film, I was beside myself with excitement. Hollywood was finally going to take The Dark Knight Detective seriously after decades of fallout from the ultra-campy Adam West TV version. I bought the action figures, the bubblegum cards, the T-shirts and even the novelization of the film. And, months after seeing the movie in theaters, I bought it on VHS, probably at Best Buy or Suncoast Motion Picture Company. I’ve watched it many times since, and it is still my favorite Batman movie, partly because of nostalgia, but also because it’s simply a lot of fun to watch. The film did boffo box office numbers and unleashed a new wave of Batmania. ‘What are you? I’m Batman!’” –Brett Weiss, Video Game Specialist
The Princess Bride
“One of the best movies ever, with some of the most quotable one-liners still to this day (‘As you wish,’ ‘Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya,’ ‘Inconceivable!’), The Princess Bride is the fantasy fairy tale cult classic that keeps on giving. I watched The Princess Bride as a kid but didn’t truly appreciate the humor and nuances that make this movie a pop culture masterpiece: the banter between Westley as the Man in Black and Inigo Montoya as they’re fencing on the mountaintop; Miracle Max and his wife, Valerie, constantly bickering while bringing a mostly dead Westley back to life; and, of course, Inigo and Fezzik’s constant rhyming, which frustrated Vizzini to no end. ‘Anybody want a peanut?’ Westley and Buttercup’s undying love is what drove the story, but it’s the characters we meet along the way that steal the show. It’s an adventure that never ages and just gets better with every watch.” –Melina Hudgins, Senior Social Media Creative Strategist
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
“This auction has numerous classics, but none are more memorable to me than Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I was introduced to the franchise at a young age, as it was my mother’s favorite franchise, and I would watch the films with her repeatedly. I remember dreaming of going on treasure-hunting adventures; what kid didn’t? I enjoy the entire franchise, but the father-son duo of Sean Connery and Harrison Ford has this film at the top of my list. To this day, I can’t hold my laughter during scenes with both of them, including the scene featuring the iconic line ‘Don’t call me Junior!’ The classic status of the film paired with the 80+ grade makes this copy a must-have. Get ready to go on a treasure-hunting adventure come auction day. And don’t forget your fedora and whip!” –Jesus Garcia, Consignment Director, Trading Card Games
“Growing up in the ’80s, I watched everything, including a lot of horror movies I was definitely too young to watch. And even though it was only rated PG, Poltergeist might have scared me more than most of the others. Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg’s film about malevolent spirits wreaking havoc on a nice family living in the suburbs, especially their children, hit close to home and haunted my nightmares for years. I still think of the film anytime I have to look under my bed. Forty years later it still holds up as one of the best horror movies to come out in the 1980s.” –Jay Carlson, Consignment Director, VHS
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
“Growing up, I was a regular viewer of Star Wars, The Muppet Movie, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and Back to the Future, so my interests were somewhat limited. But I was always fascinated by the posters and VHS boxes I would see at our locally owned movie rental store. In particular, I remember the promotional artwork for Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. I didn’t see any of the Halloween movies until college, but that large image of the masked killer was terrifying to me as an elementary schooler. I wondered what the story was behind ‘The Return.’ Years later I would find out (and not have too many nightmares). I remain a horror fan, and I have those VHS boxes to thank.” –Eric Grubbs, Entertainment & Music Cataloger
RHONDA REINHART is editor of Intelligent Collector.