Are VHS Tapes all created equally, or is it a matter of perspective?
People buy VHS tapes for a whole host of reasons. For some it’s purely about the aesthetics, they just love the way these things look. They know about dvd, blue-ray, streaming etc. It’s just none of it really cuts the mustard like a clunky chunky piece of video cabinet ware. For some its how they sound, how they look. Even the texture, even the smell.
Here we explore a a solid fist full of reasons why vhs is re-popularised, and reveal truths about a vhs tapes value that some people might not even want you to know. We’ll start with some of the easy ones.
For some folk it’s the Art, the over stated crazy ass machine gun wielding gem staring back at them, On the front cover heroically immortalized beneath the plastic is typically such a sight. Frozen in only a way 80’s Film Producers knew how to freeze them, Men, Myths and Legends were combined, rolled into a script, Squeezed into a one liner of a synopsis that could take a steam roller to your mundane life in an hour and 30 minutes. Taking the Action Concept even higher, whether or not that was even possible, the producers did it anyway. Anytime any place, permits, no. The 80's. Bringing yet another new meaning to the words cool as…. In the truth of those particular times, vhs was often a nice vantage point, maybe the only vantage point to see things as they often were. Your chance to take a peek into a world beyond the normalcy. Whoever you happened to be, you could dig deep and learn plenty about the era. all at the same time as kicking back and relaxing.
Some buy into the tapes and it’s about the Art work itself, in a more direct manner. Maybe it's that less than laser generic ink patterning, maybe its the swarves of ink colour from the more experimental times of commercial printing. Collectors say, "the covers just looked better." On the money right? The time and attention to detail was just through the roof back then. More than that, the art conveyed the style of former decades and was often hand drawn with much dedication, bringing an ever more human feel to the work. For many this is where a vhs tapes value resides, in the art.
Some want a safe option and they get it, with vhs. Tired of finding scratched, burned, dvds, that were never all that fabulous in the first place, collectors find solace in the fact that they have a time tested durable product.
Young children can't scratch video tapes like DVDs. On top of that vhs get paused and stay paused until you resume play. Nice One. Some vhs’ers just prefer the comfort of sleep after a movie, being left in peace after dozing off. Rather than running the risk of an intro tune repeating in their comatose ears for another hour or two. Same intro loop over and over, for a seeming eternity. If you have been there with your dvd intro music you’re shaking your head right, vhs all the way.
When you get down to it there are a million reasons why people still (or now do) love video tapes. Some people just like looking at them, some people like the way they smell... honestly. The first time that got said to me, quite frankly it was hard for me to understand. How can people be really going around sniffing video tapes?
But now Surrounded by enough rental tapes it is possible to check in with the statement. The faint mixture of 50 year old sweets, chocolate, cigs, and long since banned hair products, fills the room with quite a fragrance. You cant help but notice it.
There are the fanatics, the die hard fans, whether its Mr Blobby, or Thomas the Tank, there are masses of followers looking for the perfect copy on vhs tape of practically every character that has ever donned the stage, this episode, that episode, the first ever series, the third episode , the last, the special edition. There is always a fanatic waiting, eagerly in the bushes, of videodom to reaffirm a video tapes value to themselves and others.
There are a million and one reasons why people still buy vhs, and I’m one of them. Love buying videos, always have, always will.