How much are your old laser discs worth?

3 Stars

Flipsy is an online resource for “people selling stuff”, according to its mission statement webpage. The company claims to provide consistently accurate information on the value of a number of product categories.

This week, the company published a story on the value of old laser discs, and came up with some quite revealing data. The kind of questions they wanted to ask were what would be the cash value of an original Pulp Fiction disc, are any laser discs worth more than $1,000, and at a garage sale, which titles would flip for quick cash?

The company says it interviewed top laser disc experts to find out which titles are the most wanted, how to identify their value, and the best means by which to sell them. Among the answers they found were that both Pulp Fiction and Blade Runner: Director’s Cut could actually fetch $1,000, and a copy of Tarsem Singh’s cult horror The Cell could easily line your pockets with a cool $2,500.

Flipsy says its research and accompanying article are a great resource for anyone who has old laser discs and, of course, home theater enthusiasts. You can check out the article here: https://flipsy.com/article/1045/sell-laserdiscs. Flipsy also asks that if you have any other gems of information on laser disc values that you’ve personally gleaned, they’d like to hear from you, so they can add it to their database.

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60 Comments

  1. I do have the first three James Bond films released by Criterion with the commentary. Eon Productions had a issue with the commentary and told Criterion to stop making them and re-release them with no commentary track. I also have The Godfather Trilogy 1901-1980 which has the two movies together in chronological order.

  2. noel aguirre

    Star Wars with Han shooting first and no "Episode IV A New Hope" scroll?

    I'm nitpicking (and being a nerd to boot) but the "Episode IV" addition to the scroll was included on all home video releases until the 2006 DVD release.

  3. noel aguirre

    Ahh yes young Skywalker you were listening – I was waiting for that response. However Han still shoots first- and in CAV- so there can be no denying!

    However, it's far-harder to obtain a LD where Han doesn't shoot first. There are tons of different releases of the original Star Wars Trilogy on LD. I mean, it's Star Wars. The prices on sets like the Definitive Collection and the "Faces" releases are sometimes artificially inflated, considering the number of copies of them that are in the wild. You can go to eBay any day of the week and find them listed. Still, if people are willing to overpay for something that isn't at all rare, that's their own business.

    Most laserdiscs can still be had for a song, compared to what they would have cost when they were released. Honestly, it's rare to find LD content that didn't get a DVD release. It exists, but it's mostly esoteric content and not feature films. I still occasionally purchase laserdiscs of things because I like the cover art, it has supplements that weren't carried over to DVD, or it never got a DVD. The latter are pretty rare, though, I'm finding.

    It's honestly harder to find DVD's of some things these days because they've gone out of print and third-party sellers are asking outrageous prices for them. Try picking up any of the later Walt Disney Treasures releases for anything less than a couple hundred dollars each. It's not easy, if downright impossible in several cases.

    EDIT: Just looked on eBay for a few of the titles in that list. Um.. yeah. They didn't do much research, it seems.

    That list on LDDB shows how much someone listed a disc for, not what someone would actually pay for it. Heck, that Pulp Fiction is a Taiwan release in P&S. People can list something for any amount they want, but that doesn't mean it's what the item is worth or will reasonably fetch on the market. It's pure click-bait.

    OK, not total click-bait, I guess, but you pretty much have to read the entire article to get the honest answer to the click-bait-y headline. Definitely burying the lede.

    Your LaserDiscs Could Be Worth $250 or More – (but they are almost certainly not.)

  4. Just to point out something here: If you want to see the Original, unaltered Star Wars Trilogy (1977, 1980, 1983), you don't need LD's to see these. These films are available on Disk 2 (special features) of the Original Trilogy 2006 DVD releases – and, my understanding is that these DVD prints are essentially the same non-Anamorphic prints from the LD's. Yes, these 2006 DVD's are now OOP, but they are out there:

    http://www.startribune.com/original…on-dvd-if-you-re-willing-to-settle/360627281/

  5. The Drifter

    Just to point out something here: If you want to see the Original, unaltered Star Wars Trilogy (1977, 1980, 1983), you don't need LD's to see these. These films are available on Disk 2 (special features) of the Original Trilogy 2006 DVD releases – and, my understanding is that these DVD prints are essentially the same non-Anamorphic prints from the LD's. Yes, these 2006 DVD's are now OOP, but they are out there:

    http://www.startribune.com/original…on-dvd-if-you-re-willing-to-settle/360627281/

    There are much better versions than that out there.

  6. I've seen Star Wars: A New Hope on LD, and was not impressed by the PQ – very washed out, flat colors & a sub-par picture. Unfortunately, the '77, '80, and '83 original, unedited versions of the Star Wars films are not available anywhere in a decent DVD/Blu format.

  7. The Drifter

    I've seen Star Wars: A New Hope on LD, and was not impressed by the PQ – very washed out, flat colors & a sub-par picture. Unfortunately, the '77, '80, and '83 original, unedited versions of the Star Wars films are not available anywhere in a decent DVD/Blu format.

    They are, but not strictly legally.

  8. I have that Japanese LD for The Cell. Would happily sell it for $2,500, but sincerely doubt anyone would pay even 1/10th that price.

    The claim that the Blade Runner: Director’s Cut is worth $999 is also highly dubious. That disc was produced in mass quantities and there’s nothing particularly special about it.

  9. I'm surprised that anyone would pay any amount of money for most LD's. I.e., these are primarily available – via superior & Anamorphic Widescreen prints – on DVD/Blu. And, if they're not, you can always find them available for streaming.

    Plus, if you buy LD's for the purpose of watching (not just collecting) you'll need a working LD player. Are these even made anymore?! And, even if they are, if they break does anyone out there know how to repair them?! LOL.

  10. JoshZ

    I have that Japanese LD for The Cell. Would happily sell it for $2,500, but sincerely doubt anyone would pay even 1/10th that price.

    The claim that the Blade Runner: Director's Cut is worth $999 is also highly dubious. That disc was produced in mass quantities and there's nothing particularly special about it.

    Just out of curiosity, I had a quick looked on ebay, and presently there's an unopened Blade Runner disc going for $33.

  11. I have two milk crates of LD's and a player, but haven't looked at them for years. I don't really recall what I have, though I do recall buying the big deluxe boxes of Jaws and Bram Stoker's Dracula at the time. I've kept my LD player hooked up to my AVR, but I don't think I've used it (or attempted) in over 10 years or more. I should try and give it a spin sometime.

    I do recall the last time I did use it, I gave my Lethal Weapon disc a spin and it had largely succumbed to disc rot (picture full of static and specks).

  12. The Drifter

    I'm surprised that anyone would pay any amount of money for most LD's. I.e., these films are primarily available – via superior & Anamorphic Widescreen prints – on DVD/Blu. And, if they're not, you can always find them available via streaming.

    Plus, if you buy LD's for the purpose of watching (not just collecting) you'll need a working LD player. Are these even made anymore?! And, even if they are, if they break does anyone out there know how to repair them?! LOL.

    First part is mostly true, but there are some items never went further than LD. There are items that were re-mastered poorly (in some people's opinion) and edited. Commentaries are often unique to LD

    You do need a working player. They aren't made anymore and there are still some people who can fix them
    Currently I have a Pioneer CLD 99, two 704 (actually 3 counting their Mitsubishi Clone) for redundancy and built-in parts warehouse is the worst happens.

    People don't own them for Visual Superiority (– not even the LP pseudo Analog sound style self-superiority ) though some of the audio tracs still hold their own. They are cool, they are legacy, they are something Unique like owning lacquer discs or 8-16mm film prints

  13. Off the top of my head, the best LDs I still have are the 3 Star Wars special editions (the big faces with short featurettes) and the big box edition of My Fair Lady. I got rid of It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World a long time ago- the version with the additional scenes and the hour-
    long documentary (I wish I still had that one).

  14. I was the one all my friends dumped their laserdiscs on. I have thousands of them, including three copies of Song of the South. I'm planning to use them for some sort of Calder-esqe mobile someday. Or perhaps wallpaper a room in them and put a disco ball in the middle. I'm sure they would make a great craft project. I just haven't figured it out yet.

  15. Worth

    Just out of curiosity, I had a quick looked on ebay, and presently there's an unopened Blade Runner disc going for $25.

    I don't actively track current market values, but I could believe that the Criterion CAV edition (European theatrical cut) might retain some value, given that it had some exclusive supplements that never made their way to DVD or Blu-ray. Nowhere near $999, though.

    I have that disc as well, but the jacket has taken a beating over the years, unfortunately.

  16. The Drifter

    That BR LD picture looks to be a re-drawn version of the original BR poster. Harrison Ford & Sean Young look slightly different from the way they do in the original one-sheet.

    I believe that's right. It's either a variation or recreation of the original art. The spinner car and building are also much lower in the image than the poster.

    [​IMG]

  17. atcolomb

    Have my Criterion CAV Blade Runner with the $9.99 price sticker still on it.
    View attachment 56132

    CAV is awesome:thumbsup:

    I kind of wish I had not given my entire collection of 75 discs, and player away for free. But after a few of the discs developed "rot", and DVD was so new I figured they were worthless. I would love to go back and revisit the theatrical version of 'Last of the Mohicans' one more time. I loved the color on that one, and have never found the BD, or DVD to equal it.

  18. Josh Steinberg

    I’ve never owned a laser disc player and I’ll admit to being tempted more than once to buy some just to display the art.

    I may be interested in getting a book devoted to LD cover art. I know there's a book with VHS cover art that looks interesting. Though I didn't like the VHS format either, some of those box covers advertising the films were better than the films themselves – LOL.

  19. I still have a few hundred discs. I have managed to copy all the Looney Tunes (vol 1 – 4) and a variety of single discs ones, all the Playboys discs from the 90s, and am currently working on my concert discs. Then I move on to movies that are not available on another format. So many have excellent gatefolds that would look nice framed. Once I am finished, not sure what I will do with them as it seems more trouble than it's worth to try to see them.

  20. My first laserdisc purchase was Clint Eastwood’s Sudden Impact (I bought it in 1989). I remember thinking “Wow! What a great looking picture!”
    The disc was 4X3 ratio, so I didn’t fully appreciate how the correct ratio is the only way to properly watch a film. I think my first letterboxed film was Lethal Weapon 2.

  21. I joined the Columbia Laserdisc Club, and my first three free discs were all letterboxed musicals: The King and I, The Sound of Music, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when watching these films finally on my television in widescreen.

  22. I remember Camelot Music would have twice a year a half off sale on Laserdiscs including Criterion. When I got to the store before they opened there would be a big line in front of the doors.

  23. This article is silly. Sure there are rare discs, titles never issued on other formats, exclusives, exclusive extras and the rare late releases-with the Japanese only late release final discs going for crazy money. But LDs are a nice hobby and an important one for film buffs since they usually feature a superior soundtrack to even later spiffed up releases.

    I’ve never paid more than $3-5 per disc and a bit more for the fantastic box sets. If there’s one I’d really like I wait for a good deal if possible.

    Now if you really want to get into rare and expensive disc collecting there’s Japanese MUSE discs. There’s something I’d love to see in person one day.

  24. Spencer Draper

    Now if you really want to get into rare and expensive disc collecting there's Japanese MUSE discs. There's something I'd love to see in person one day.

    I think you'd be underwhelmed as I was. I went to a friend's house where he had the HLD X9 player and some MUSE discs, and I kept thinking how inferior it looked to the hidef system adopted in this country. MUSE was little more than an "early adoptor" curiosity that deserved its fate.

  25. Spencer Draper

    Probably compared to today but 1080i in 1991 is impressive and some folks I know have gone whole hog with super high end gear resulting in some remarkable results. Just like LD the system is very dependant on hardware.

    The X9 was the ultimate, the pinnacle, of laserdisc players. The thing was enormous, built like the proverbial tank, and could play discs that other players couldn't. What I saw was everything that was wrung out of the laserdisc format. What people were impressed with 30 years ago doesn't hold up. I'm glad it was never adopted here.

  26. RobertR

    The X9 was the ultimate, the pinnacle, of laserdisc players. The thing was enormous, built like the proverbial tank, and could play discs that other players couldn't. What I saw was everything that was wrung out of the laserdisc format. What people were impressed with 30 years ago doesn't hold up. I'm glad it was never adopted here.

    Some might say that the HLD-X0 was superior to the X9. As huge as the X9 was, the X0 was even bigger, and supposedly had a better laser or something. The big downside to the X0, however, was that it was a single-side player only. No auto-flip.

  27. Worth

    I've never seen MUSE laserdisc, but from what I've heard it was generally considered inferior to DVD quality, let alone modern HD.

    I have an HLD-X9, but never invested in the MUSE decoder or discs. My understanding is that a still or largely static image on MUSE could look very good, equivalent to a 1080i TV broadcast. But whenever the image was in motion, the resolution dropped precipitously.

  28. Actually from the samples I’ve seen others post it’s quite remarkable and more akin to early hd forms but with an analog gloss to it. Not all decoder units were equal. But it is a hassle to do, exorbitantly expensive, lacks 5.1, and as mentioned does lose some resolution on motion. Plus only a select number of features were ever released thus increasing the rarity.

    The X0 is supposedly the best player ever made but is indeed single sided only. The greatness is due to it using a different type of laser than was standard and it has the ability to read through some laser rot.
    The X9 is said to be second to it and the best autoflip player.

    LD is extremely hardware dependant but when you get a great player with really good clean video output and a good setup going it can result in a really nice experience. I adore my Panasonic Lx-900 which has none of the ringing, CLV smearing or other issues like my older pioneers/other players I’ve used.

  29. Seems that there's still a fair bit of interest in Laserdisc out there. I posted those Blade Runner photos from earlier in the thread on my blog (along with shots of the backs and gatefolds), and the post is getting a surprising amount of traction in social media shares.

    I guess LD nostalgia is taking hold.

  30. What we need to keep our LD collection alive and kicking… is new generation gears that:
    1. going to play possibly 8inch video disc in the future that holds 8K videos as well as advance audio formats in coming years,
    2. backward friendly with past decade techs such as LaserDisc*, DVD**, FHDBD, current UHDBD.
    (*with aid of integrated analogue to digital conversion, **image upscaler)

  31. YANG

    What we need to keep our LD collection alive and kicking… is new generation gears that:
    1. going to play possibly 8inch video disc in the future that holds 8K videos as well as advance audio formats in coming years,
    2. backward friendly with past decade techs such as LaserDisc*, DVD**, FHDBD, current UHDBD.
    (*with aid of integrated analogue to digital conversion, **image upscaler)

    Good luck with that. Electronics companies aren't even interested in manufacturing Blu-ray players anymore.

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