Prior to the popularity of compact discs and digital video discs, videotapes used to rule the world. These were rectangular black boxes that had magnetic tapes inside, where films and clips were usually stored. Back then there were no Netflix or flat-screen televisions, neighbors exchange these tapes that used to be labeled by writing on one side.
As much as the videotapes used to be a household fixture in the 90’s, they become obsolete many years ago, probably because the technology used to play them was replaced by much faster and modern devices. In fact, the last maker announced the halt of operation in 2016, citing a drop in sales as well as difficulty sourcing some of the parts as the reason for the dying business.
As a result, the only ones available to date are those preserved by owners or those that were shabbily thrown away and retrieved from the trash later on. Nonetheless, the obsolescence of videotapes doesn’t change the fact that it had become a classic that can easily arouse nostalgia. Today’s kids probably won’t know what it meant to be holding these things, but for a 90’s kid, it could bring back some serious memories from childhood.
Although you can easily download videos and stream movies on the internet or various streaming apps nowadays, people from the pre-technology era used a handheld system to record important events and occasions. There’s an unparalleled happiness felt once you spot a videotape nowadays, that’s how rare these retro items have become.
A videotape may not be the first thing that pops to mind when you think about holiday gifts but it will definitely put a smile on the recipient’s face because of plenty of reasons – for one, videotapes are now hard to find, you’ll have to visit flea markets, collector shops, thrift shops, among many others, as well as look for great finds on the internet, which will take time. All this effort spells nothing but thoughtfulness.
Secondly, it brings back childhood memories from the good old 90’s. Holding a videotape meant revisiting familiar experience from your past, like watching clips and films in the living room on that bulky TV with friends or family. In today’s digital age where CDs and DVDs are more commonly used, it is best to bring back memories through this retro gift.
What’s more is that these videotapes are capable of storing huge amounts of data, with some companies claiming theirs can fit up to 4 gigabytes. The grainy outcome of the clips that were stored for a long time will be perfect to give off the ultimate retro vibes.
Gifting someone a videotape will not only be meaningful, but also advantageous in the long run. The right kind of videotape will appreciate in value as time goes by – these are the collectibles that some are willing to shell out cash for no matter how high the asking price.
For example, a “Let It Be” videotape of the final performances of the band Beatles, may fetch around $50 to $100 today. This video reportedly wasn’t digitized, so there’s higher chance that the price may still increase.
Oddly enough, even with the advanced technology people have nowadays, most people are drawn to items and artifacts from the past. This may sound weird but if you take a look at some of the current offerings on the market from TV shows to clothes to accessories, the 90’s trend is here to stay, no doubt.
For instance, Netflix’s popular series “Everything Sucks” was also set in the 90’s. The show is full of nostalgic Easter eggs, including Tamagotchi, a handheld Japanese-made tiny digital toy that allows users to take care of their virtual pets.
Cell phone cases shaped and designed like video cassettes are also gaining popularity among kids nowadays. More evident is the comeback of the 90’s fashion, including chokers and so-called co-ords, short for coordinated tops and bottoms.
The point is, in this era of “Flashback Fridays” and “Throwback Thursdays,” everything nostalgic is, needless to say, making a comeback and for some, it had not left. Most are still re-watching “Friends” years after the 90’s show had ended and some companies are still profiting by reviving from the iconic things from that decade.