Red Letter Media raises $80,000 for charity that sells sealed ‘Nukie’ VHS

The independent filmmakers destroyed over 100 “Nukie” VHS tapes with a wood chipper to make their sealed copy more valuable.

The YouTube channel Red Letter Media proved how much nostalgic cult VHS cassettes are worth.

RLM, consisting of Mike Stoklasa, Jay Bauman and Rich Evans, set out to donate their vast fan-broadcast “Nukie” VHS collection to charity. With 1.46 million subscribers, a Patreon page, and frequent celebrity guests like Jack Quaid, Macaulay Culkin, and Patton Oswalt, the founders of RLM Film Critics decided to use their platform for philanthropy. After almost a decade of collecting VHS copies, the host trio finally got their hands on the 1987 South African sci-fi film “Nukie” – the infamously bad “ET” impersonation about an alien who sets out to prey on his brother evil explorers – and sold their best copy on eBay for over $80,000.

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, and creators were excited to see what Nukie would bring in. Stoklasa and Evans chose to destroy their 104 copies of “Nukie” to make their sealed copy even rarer. In a video released Dec. 30, the RLM hosts sent the VHS, which appeared to be in pristine condition, for a professional evaluation by a third-party, who will assess the tape’s quality, authenticity and condition.

“We’re proud to say we could very well be the owners of the world’s largest collection of ‘Nukie’ VHS tapes,” Stoklasa said, captioning the video: “As owners of thousands of crappy VHS tapes, we have been curious to delve deeper into this trend.”

The RLM copy of “Nukie” was rated 8.5 out of 10 in terms of quality. The remaining 104 tapes were then destroyed with a wood chipper, with Stoklasa making “Fargo” references.

“Are there more Nukies in the world? Probably, but less so now because of this video,” Bauman said.

The reviewed VHS sold on eBay on January 6 for $80,600, with the YouTube video being 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,” said Stoklasa. “I can’t think of better charities … We’re going to try to give them as much money as we can.”

Bauman replied, “Well, ‘Nukie’ has animals and children, so it’s appropriate. Happy bidding!”

The official Red Letter media Twitter page teased, “Look at the sale of the world’s most expensive videotape!”

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Lindsay Lowe

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