Urban Outfitters VHS tapes

Urban Outfitters never misses a trick, and when they’re not selling overpriced t-shirts, they’re cashing in on nostalgia. Case in point: the store is now selling a “mystery box” featuring 5 random used VHS tapes. And it will only set you back $40!

Retro is always cool, and some things never go out of style. You know what has gone out of style, though? VHS. I know there are people who still hold VHS near and dear, and I also know that there are a plethora of films that only exist on VHS, having never been transferred over to DVD or Blu-ray (or streaming). But for quality purposes, VHS is abysmal. And yet, year after year, I see people clinging to it. There are even modern-day indie horror movies that get special VHS releases.

Enter Urban Outfitters. Sometimes the store sells controversial, problematic items. Sometimes, they decided to charge a laughable amount of money for random VHS tapes. The website has a product called “Studiohouse Designs Assorted ‘90s Comedy VHS Tape – Set Of 5”, which features a “Set of 5 iconic, assorted ‘90s comedy flicks on VHS tape, curated by Studiohouse Designs exclusively for Urban Outfitters. Each set is unique, iconic and will vary from what is pictured here. Don’t worry – there are no duds in this batch!” As an example, they have the following image, which you better believe includes a copy of The Waterboy.

Look, I’m not one to judge. If you want to plunk down your hard-earned cash for some used VHS tapes, go nuts. But I can’t help but think this is a bit silly. To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, VHS tapes had their shot, and nature selected them for extinction. I’m not saying that as someone who doesn’t get the appeal, either. I grew up as part of the VHS generation. I often fondly look back at the glory days of the video store – a time when I would walk up and down the rows of tapes for what seemed like hours, scanning for something that caught my eye. Hell, when DVDs started to become more prevalent and replace VHS, I resisted. I refused to upgrade, and kept buying tapes. But sooner or later, I accepted the truth: that DVD, and eventually Blu-ray, produced superior picture and sound. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

But by all means, feel free to head over to Urban Outfitters and buy some tapes.

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