Independent filmmakers destroyed more than 100 VHS tapes of “Nukie” with a wood chipper to make their sealed copies more valuable.
YouTube channel Red Letter Media has proven the value of nostalgic cult VHS tapes.
RLM, consisting of Mike Stoklasa, Jay Bauman, and Rich Evans, set out to put their massive fan-sent VHS collection of “Nukie” to good use. With 1.46 million subscribers, a Patreon page, and frequent celebrities like Jack Quaid, Macaulay Culkin, and Patton Oswalt, the founders of film review RLM decided to use their platform for charity. After nearly a decade of collecting VHS copies, the trio of presenters finally watched the 1987 South African sci-fi film ‘Nukie’ – the infamously bad ‘ET’ knockoff about an alien trying to save his brother from evil researchers. they sold their best copy for over $80,000 on eBay.
Host Stoklasa explained that the idea came from a recently sealed VHS copy of “Back to the Future” that sold for $75,000 at auction, leaving YouTubers wondering what “Nukie” would get. Stoklasa and Evans decided to destroy 104 copies of “Nukie” to make their sealed copy even rarer. In a video posted on December 30, the RLM hosts sent a VHS in prime condition to be professionally graded by a third-party service that evaluates tape quality, authenticity and condition.
“We’re proud to own the world’s largest collection of ‘Nukie’ VHS tapes,” Stoklasa said, captioning the video: “As owners of a thousand crappy VHS tapes, we were curious. to dig deeper into this trend.”
The RLM copy of “Nukie” is rated 8.5 out of 10 for quality. The remaining 104 tapes were then destroyed with a wood chipper, and Stoklasa made “Fargo” references.
“Are there more ‘Nukis’ in the world?” Probably, but now less because of the video,” Bauman said.
The certified VHS sold on eBay for $80,600 on January 6, and the YouTube video has been viewed more than 1.2 million times.
Auction money was donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and the Wisconsin Humane Society. “What two great charities,” Stoklasa said. “I can’t think of a better charity to give to… We try to give them as much money as we can.”
Bauman replied, “Well, ‘Nukie’ has animals and kids, so it’s appropriate. Happy bidding!”
The official Red Letter Media Twitter page teased: “Witness the sale of the world’s most expensive videotape!”
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