Laserdiscs... is there still any collectors' market?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by CWillman, May 14, 2018.

  1. CWillman

    CWillman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    L.A., CA
    My storage bills have gotten so high that I am finally going to have to part with my laserdisc collection, which is in the thousands... roughly half of them still sealed, some titles that have never been released subsequently. I realize the majority may realistically be worth pennies at this point, but obviously there are a few titles here and there which will raise some interest. Are there any LD collectors amid the Hoffman forums? I'm still not sure whether to take the time to figure out what's worth anything individually and sell as such or just offer them as a lot after holding onto them all this time. Any advice appreciated! (I mean, besides the advice of getting in a time machine to the mid-'90s and selling them for a down payment on a house then.)
  2. I love LD's but other than selected titles they are virtually worthless unfortunately
  3. Dave Garrett

    Dave Garrett Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    I feel your pain. I spent a fair amount of time and money in the 1990s building a substantial LD collection, but I haven't been able to muster the energy to significantly cull the herd, despite intending to do so for a long time now. There's no shortage of LDs that have been rendered essentially irrelevant by a superior DVD or Blu-ray, but conversely there are more than you'd suspect that have never appeared on home video since (such as Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film), or have been released in other formats but still have something that distinguishes the LD from later releases (such as the Mei Ah deluxe set of Wong Kar-wai's Ashes of Time, or the Criterion CAV Goldfinger). An example: I have all of the "RKO Classic Collection" LDs released by Image/Turner, and although Warner Archive has made progress in cleaning up RKO catalog titles for (frequently stunning) DVD and Blu releases, there still remain a bunch of those titles on LD that have yet to see a release on the smaller discs.

    I haven't really kept up with market prices for LDs that are still actively sought by collectors, but unless you already know which ones in your collection are likely to be worth something, separating the wheat from the chaff for thousands of LDs is going to be a fairly time-consuming process of looking up titles on LDDB and eBay's completed auction listings. But with a collection that large, it may be worth the effort to identify the ones that are worth something and sell those off individually, then try to offload the garden-variety titles that remain as one huge lot. That may be easier said than done, as I've seen bulk lots of LDs go unclaimed even when offered for free to anyone willing to bear the shipping cost.
    PhantomStranger and CWillman like this.
  4. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    The value of the Criterion LD of Goldfinger (and Dr. No and From Russia With Love) always stumped me as the only thing making it valuable is the withdrawn commentary track. I remember when these were going for a good penny but have no idea if they're still in demand.
    CWillman likes this.
  5. Dave Garrett

    Dave Garrett Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    They appear to still be in demand, if not exactly fetching the higher prices they once did - no copies currently available on eBay but a recently completed auction had all three CAV sets bid up to $125:

    James Bond Laserdisc Criterion Banned Commentary Dr No From Russia Goldfinger 6d | eBay
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  6. CWillman

    CWillman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    L.A., CA
    I was wondering if those Criterion Bonds still held any value, too. I will separate these from the pack, if nothing else, so thanks for this reminder. I also remember one of the last Looney Tunes boxes to be released being in high demand because it was pressed in very low quantities and had some of the censored cartoons that will never show up on DVD. I should see if anyone still cares about those. I have to assume "Song of the South" has been bootlegged enough that the once coveted Japanese LD I have of that is no longer in demand.
  7. Dave Garrett

    Dave Garrett Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    Oh yeah, the Golden Age of Looney Tunes Volume 5 apparently hasn't lost much of its luster - I see that in the past 3-4 months three copies have sold on eBay for between $250-300. That was probably the last LD that was still on my want list until I finally got one several years ago at a price I was willing to pay (under $100).

    And the profusion of SOTS bootlegs hasn't dented the value of the Japanese LD too much either:

    song of the south japanese laser in DVDs and Movie Laserdiscs | eBay
    Apollo C. Vermouth and CWillman like this.
  8. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I'm really surprised that even those two beautiful Star Wars box sets are worth little. I used to have an enormous collection. To get rid of them, I literally gave most of them away. I have maybe 50 that I will continue to keep, like the Star Wars set, buy why I have no idea. I doubt my player even works.
  9. Takehaniyasubiko

    Takehaniyasubiko Forum Resident

    Just like with LPs, some people like the big artworks.
  10. Apollo C. Vermouth

    Apollo C. Vermouth Forum Resident

    Still have my machines and Laserdiscs. If ya have a list message it to me. Might be able to help you out figuring what's worth listing and what isn't.
  11. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    City of Angels
    If you bough Japanese only released concert material you have sellable titles. Things that were only on (common) VHS in US, but laser disc in Japan are also desirable.

    So titles that got no DVD release are always desirable.
  12. Blair G.

    Blair G. Forum Resident

    Delta, BC, Canada
    Wonder if my Criterion Lawrence of Arabia is worth anything, CLV I think.
    I’ll need to check all my discs, the collection is small

    A quick look on eBay, the answer is : “not much”, people are asking in the low teens and the only recent completed sale is $15 for the CAV version.
    Tells me the others must be worth even less.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  13. vinylbeat

    vinylbeat Forum Resident

    I still own a few hundred laserdiscs and recently re-hooked up my Pioneer Elite CLD-79 to my (not so new) Sony LED HD TV using a composite video cable. Player still works and doesnt look all that bad especially on older black and white films.

    Been watching some classic vintage horror and sci-fi discs lately that I haven't played in 15-20 years....well I do own some on DVD and or blu-ray, but most of the films I own on laserdisc box sets I've never upgraded and probably never will.
  14. mtbikenh

    mtbikenh Active Member

    Erie, Colorado
    I was just at the Denver area record show and there was a guy there selling a huge collection of LD. It was the only few tables I never saw anyone at. Actually a few people walked up and started browsing but walked away as soon as they realized what they were looking at.

    I hope you have good luck selling your collection. I know how much it hurts when you realize something you put so much effort into is no longer desirable by other.
  15. vinylbeat

    vinylbeat Forum Resident

    I guess if I could find old or rare horror and sci fi laserdiscs cheap, I'd probably pick them up. Same goes for Criterion titles, Japanese issues or nice box sets. On the rare occasion I do see used Laserdiscs offered locally, they're mainly 80's-90's blockbusters or family favorites.

    Seems like eBay or online is your only option for specific titles or genres on Laserdisc these days........ that's if you have an interest in them in the first place.
  16. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Forum Resident

    Sapporo, Japan
    Didn't I read that many LD's are unplayable now as the data has disintegrated or something?

    Daftly, I bought the original Twin Peaks tv show entire series on LD in 3xboxes, 3 huge heavy clunky boxes, on a whim from Book Off here in Japan for $1. Just couldnt walk past it. Now I have it, with nothing to play it on. Classy doorstop I suppose.
  17. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Sydney, Australia
    I don't know about disintegrating? In 2015 they were still going strong!
  18. vinylbeat

    vinylbeat Forum Resident

    Sounds like you're referring to "laser rot". Some discs have been know to develop this problem where the video starts to breakdown, developing artifacts to the point where the disc becomes unwatchable. I've only had this happen on a few discs myself.
  19. statcat

    statcat Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    yes I would say they are worth something. I joined a facebook group recently and was surprised to see people addicted to watching VHS tapes and buying them. I see another group on there "Laserdisc Forever" with 9K members so I know there are people interested in them.

    Laser rot was a problem with some cds and dvds as well.
  20. joefont

    joefont Forum Resident

    I think you're right; there is still some demand for the covers/artwork mostly for horror and sci-fi titles.
    Takehaniyasubiko likes this.
  21. jacks2start

    jacks2start Active Member

    kannapolis NC
    I still collect laserdisc today, just don't see that many in the wild in my area
  22. vinylbeat

    vinylbeat Forum Resident

    They're almost becoming like 8 track tapes. On the rare occasion I do find any. They're usually titles I don't care about. Decent horror and sci-fi Laserdiscs are rarely found in my area at good prices.

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