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Take out a second mortgage and buy some 1980s Transformers VHS tapes!

May 12, 2015
tags:

Optimus Prime Megatron Grimlock Jazz Soundwave

When I was a mid-1980s kid I was utterly flabbergasted that my parents balked at buying each and every Transformers VHS tape that Family Home Entertainment released. How dare they, you know? I asked for so little. But then you see the above contemporaneous ad and the $24.95 retail price, and you kind of realize why they were reluctant. Isn’t that like a thousand bucks now adjusted for inflation? (Math was never my strong suit.)

Anyway, a belated apology to those poor, pestered souls. I knew not what I asked.

On a related note, remember when VHS tapes were priced to rent? Like a hundred dollars to own it when it was first released, so as to drive business to rental outlets? When you had to take out a mortgage to own that early copy of, say, Prizzi’s Honor? Also, remember VHS tapes?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. timrollpickering permalink
    May 13, 2015 8:34 am

    I’m shocked as over here the small handful of tapes were retail priced at, I think, £7.99 each with two or three episodes on each tape.

    When did VHS in the US make the leap to affordable pricing?

    • May 13, 2015 3:12 pm

      I suppose these Transformers tapes were still in the relative infancy of home video, where there was still a degree of novelty factored into the pricing. And prices went down and down over the years, even more dramatically when you take inflation into account. (And Blu-Rays are dirt cheap now by comparison.)*

      *Wild speculation from someone who probably doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  2. Volker permalink
    May 14, 2015 12:30 pm

    Easy-peasy: $ 71.07 in today’s money.

    http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

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