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Today in late capitalism: Urban Outfitters charging $40 for a 5-pack of used VHS movies

on February 15, 2019, 3:08pm

Every once in a while, when you think that corporations’ willingness to separate us from our money by any means necessary has finally hits its peak, a company ascends to brave new highs in the field of craven cash-grabbing.

Today’s example: Urban Outfitters, which intends to sell you used VHS movies for $40 a bundle and hope you’ll thank them for the privilege. Yes, you read that right. The nostalgia-minded fashion and lifestyle retailer has started selling the “Mystery VHS 5-Pack”, under the auspices of a curated throwback experience. The online description suggests that for the price of a decent dinner or a pair of movie tickets, you too can own such luminaries of the VHS era as A Night at the RoxburyNational Lampoon’s VacationOffice Space, and more. Each set will apparently contain different movies, “curated exclusively” for UO, and guarantee no duds in every batch.

(Read: 10 Timeless Children’s Movies)

Rather than rolling with the initial draft of this article, which was just a series of transcribed screaming noises ending in a suggestion that you simply wad up a couple of $20s and set them on fire, we’ll gently suggest instead that there’s a much simpler way to get the same experience, and probably even a superior one, for a fraction of the cost. Just go to your local resale shop, especially if it’s a record shop, and there’s probably at least a shelf or two of dollar VHS tapes. Nostalgia is okay, everyone; just don’t get bilked out of your money indulging in it.