I’ve already saved my VHS tapes from their glory days but I’ve had them boxed away since I bought my house and moved three years ago. I’ve grab a few here and there from the box to showcase but mostly my only display has been Nintendo cartridges.
I’ve been selling off some of my games and toys for random things my family needs or junk I want to buy but can’t justify spending the money on. I’ve unloaded my N64 games besides the ones I actually like and unfortunately unloaded a few higher end titles for SNES like Earthbound and Chrono Trigger. Anyway, I’ve had some room on my shelves lately so I started displaying my VHS.
I’ve even found myself picking up one or three here and there. I’m mostly reselling what I don’t actually want or after uploading the gold to YouTube, but I’ve kept some.
My plan with vhs is to get all the titles I liked growing up and think of on vhs. I don’t care to ever watch them as I don’t care about the quality or the nuances. I like the box art and the memories. I’ve always enjoyed the medium for all the nostalgia and I even produced a documentary on the subject called Adjust Your Tracking*
I have most movies I like on a digital format at this point for actually viewing. I no longer buy physical copies of the new things, I have Avengers purchased through iTunes not Blu-ray. And even though Apple got my money for The Natural, I still want the vhs tape I recall from childhood. The thing is; now I decided I want the laserdisc version because I never could when they were the bee’s knees.
I remember when I was around 16 or 17 I babysat for some kids whose parents were outstanding nerds that I didn’t truly appreciate when I was younger but they had a laserdisc player and it was so awesome being paid to watch movie after movie with those kids. I never even dreamed of having one because I just knew it was out of my reach. I never put it in the same category as vhs, I thought of it like having a home theater.
The first laserdiscs I ever owned were the Back To The Future trilogy. My good buddy Josh got them for me as a present one birthday or Christmas. The thing is, Back to the Future will be owned on all formats. Multiple times. Forever. Anytime I see a copy I don’t have I want it. This was not the start of a laserdisc collection but rather an addition to my BTTF collection.
My favorite childhood movie, the one that changed my life before even puberty, was Pump Up The Volume. One day I had money to burn and I was playing on eBay and I saw a LD copy for sale and thought it’d look nice in a record frame so I bought it.
Still not a collection.
Another day I looking over eBay and I come across a copy of Panther, the Dwayne Wayne vehicle about the start of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. If you haven’t seen this, it’s fantastic. One of my favorites that I have on vhs (with no cover) and no other option for. I don’t think it did very well even with it’s stellar cast. So I find a copy for like a dollar and some change and instantly buy it and shove it in a frame.
Still not a collection.
But then I have a booth at an event where the cast of Just One of the Guys is going to be reuniting. I instantly had to figure out what I’m going to have signed and obviously landed on a laserdisc. I also saw that Danny Hicks was going to be there so I picked up a copy of Evil Dead 2. I’m typically not someone who gets signatures on things. The only other signed anything I have is a poster by Steve Martin and it’s only because that’s how they came when I saw him live. I had heard he doesn’t sign stuff so I was pretty into it. I also thought about how it’s not about the ink marks it’s about the fact that the artist held this item, it existed to them too. So I thought; I working the event let’s get some John Handcocks.
As it turns out signatures are expensive and I was only willing to fork over money for Evil Dead. The cast and director of Just One of the Guys had a package deal price but tabling at the event was awful. It was hands down the worst show I’ve ever been a part of or walk through so I didn’t make any money. The only reason I got the cash for Danny Hicks was because while he was bored out of his mind at the event and we bullshitted, I traded a Garfield phone to a friend who was the photographer at the event for the exact price of his scribble.
I’m still not collecting laserdiscs. I don’t even own a player.
My birthday was rolling around and I wanted to buy myself something nice so I grabbed my N64 games that didn’t sell on a resent eBay listing and hit up my local media resell shop when my dude was working and start looking around for what to buy. I picked out Mario Maker 2 for my daughter who’s been wanting it for a bit and a copy of Friday the 13th for me. With more money coming to me in trade value and knowing I’d get some sort of discount for it being the anniversary of my birth, I looked over the laserdiscs for something special. I find Oh God, You Devil to go with my recently purchased sealed VHS copy of the 2nd installment in the series. The Natural, which as you know is the greatest sports movie ever made. I picked up White Men Can’t Jump and Malcolm X too.
Shit. I started a collection.
*No I didn’t. It was like $10 on Kickstarter.