YouTubers said they destroyed over 100 VHS tapes of an obscure 1987 movie to increase the value of their final copy. They sold it on eBay for $80,600.

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YouTubers said they destroyed over 100 VHS tapes of an obscure 1987 movie to increase the value of their final copy. They sold it on eBay for $80,600.

Apparent "Nukie" VHS tapes ready to be shredded. RedLetterMedia/YouTube

The YouTube channel RedLetterMedia posted a video in an attempt to drive up the value of a rare VHS.

After amassing many copies of the obscure '80s movie "Nukie," they said they ruined all but one.

Their final tape of the movie sold for $80,600 on eBay.

A pair of YouTubers said they destroyed over 100 copies of a VHS tape as part of an experiment to try and increase its value. They sold the final copy from their collection for $80,600 in an eBay auction.

On December 30, a YouTube channel called RedLetterMedia, which reviews obscure movies, posted a video in which the hosts Richard Evans and Mike Stoklasa discussed what they described as a trend of collecting VHS tapes, which has led to tapes being sold online for large sums of money.

The caption of the video read, "As the owner's of 1000s of crappy VHS tapes, we were curious to dig deeper into this trend."

Inspired by a sealed copy of the movie "Back to the Future" that sold at auction for $75,000 in June, The Hill reported, the duo set out to test which factors made a VHS tape a valuable collectors' item and landed on rarity and condition as two of the key factors.

The YouTube channel, which was founded by Stoklasa, an independent filmmaker, featured a running joke for years where they collected VHS tapes of "Nukie," a sci-fi movie released in 1987. So they decided to use their collection for the experiment.

Stoklasa described "Nukie" in the video as a "mostly forgotten terrible movie," adding: "We're proud to say we very well could be the owners of the world's largest collection of 'Nukie' VHS tapes."

In the video, they said they selected the copy that appeared to be in the best condition and sent it to be professionally graded — a paid service in which a third party assesses the quality, authenticity, and condition of the tape.

A VHS tape of "Nukie" ended up selling for over $80,000. YouTube: @RedLetterMedia

They said their copy of "Nukie" had been awarded a high score of 8.5 out of 10.

Stoklasa then said they would try to increase the "rarity" of their tape "by destroying every copy of 'Nukie' we collected over the last decade," aside from the graded item. In a video uploaded on March 1, 2019, they said they had over 50 copies, but by the time they filmed the video, Stoklasa said they had "104 copies" to dispose of.

The pair appeared to put these additional copies through a wood chipper, and they ended the video by saying the final tape had been listed on eBay. Stoklasa said the money would be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Wisconsin Humane Society "to show that we're not actual monsters."

On January 2, the eBay listing went live. According to the site, after four days and 224 bids, it was sold for $80,600.

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The video chronicling the experiment was viewed 1.2 million times. Top comments labeled it one of the channel's best videos and said it was "like some kind of weird performance art." On Twitter, a post from RedLetterMedia's account promoting the auction when it had an hour left received over 4,700 likes, and fans congratulated them on the result.

Stoklasa does not appear to have publicly commented on the sale of the VHS and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider's Digital Culture team here.

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The_Bloody_9_ on January 12nd, 2023 at 17:24 UTC »

The article doesn't really summarize the video very well. The whole thing was a joke they did while making fun of VHS grading. Destroying their extra Nukie tapes was very much a gag, the eBay listing made it clear that the proceeds of the sale would go to charity. The auction was basically a charity drive connected to a joke video, destroying the tapes did nothing to increase the value of the tape.

sniper4625 on January 12nd, 2023 at 16:30 UTC »

Pretty successful charity drive!

AngryRedHerring on January 12nd, 2023 at 16:09 UTC »

If you've ever seen Nukie you know they should have just gone ahead and destroyed the last one