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In response to a Seasoned Cooking Bulletin Board question posed by "Dan", this column will focus on Disney's video contributions to children's collectibles.
Not long ago I was fortunate to attend a workshop on the value Disney animated big screen blockbusters reduced to video format for home viewing. I have to tell you, shortly after this workshop I visited my best friend who still resides in my home town area in Ohio. I couldn't help but drool over their family's collection of Disney movies. Her oldest child is eleven years old and she started collecting these movies, as most parents do, when he was a toddler. That means that she has one heck of a return on her original investment...over 2000% in some cases.
Let me show you what I mean. The first releases of Disney big screen movies made for video sales are called the "Classic" version, most of them anyway. Back when the Classic version of Sleeping Beauty was released it sold for around $9.00, today that movie, if you get lucky enough to find one, or if you're even luckier and you own one, is worth approximately $220.00 PVT (previously viewed tape). Dan had asked me if Disney movies were worth anything, and if they are should you go ahead and view them, or leave them unopened. Well Dan, that same Sleeping Beauty "Classic" is worth $550.00 +/- unopened. Guess that answers your question, huh! Unbelievable!
The Disney folks are experts on the collectability of their products. They've been doing this long enough, but even they didn't realize what they were doing when they first started. The collectability comes in where Disney only produced a certain amount of videos, just to see if the idea would catch on - guess what? Of course, those Disney folks are smart cookies and figured things out. By the time Little Mermaid was released they knew what they were doing.
The second release of the Classic versions of the various movies are called "Masterpiece" editions. All of these Masterpiece versions have a hologram of Cinderella's castle on the spine of the box. Why did Disney add a hologram to the box? Because, it won't copy on a color copier! Yep, crooks were/are copying the movies and copying the covers, which will slip out of the cases after opening the cellophane, and selling them to unsuspecting victims. Watch out! Later, I'll give you some more tips on how to avoid counterfeits.
There are two released Classic editions that are nearly impossible to find anyway, yet alone unopened. The movies are Lady and the Tramp and Song of the South. Lady..., will be released in the very near future, but until very recently no one ever thought that would happen. It is commonly rumored, mostly because Disney folks can be sooooo tight-lipped, that the famous crooner Peggy Lee, who was the singing voice of Lady, sued Disney for royalties. Back then no one got royalties and Ms. Lee, seeing that every other animated character now gets a cut felt that she deserved one also. Apparently, the court system did too! Disney, then vowed not to release this movie until the death of said star. I truly don't know if she has expired, or if the powers that be at Disney worked out the problems. Alas, Lady and the Tramp is coming!
Song of the South, it is said, will never again be released in the United States, because it is not politically correct. I think that is enough said on that subject. However, you can still get a fresh copy from Japan, with English subtitles, and in England I hear it sells for about $35.00 American. Hey, if you know of anyone going over there - let me know. Heck, I don't even remember seeing the movie. The last value I have on Song... is around $250.00 PVT. See, this is where I'd have trouble, I'd want to own a copy of an unopened video, but I'd want to see the movie, too, Ahhhhhhhh!
Here are some other approximated values of video releases (keep in mind these are a few months old, and values may be different in your part of the world): Classic Little Mermaid - $140.00 PVT/$325.00 NEW; Classic Peter Pan - $100.00 PVT/ $175.00 NEW; Classic Jungle Book - $100.00 PVT/ $140.00 NEW; Animated 101 Dalmatians - $100.00 PVT/ $160.00 NEW. As you can see, unopened copies are worth almost twice the value of the view movies. Most of everything else is still available, if you have the contacts.