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When Did They Stop Making VCRs?

By Elaine Elliott

Remember back in the day when every household had a VCR? Sleepovers, family movie nights, and the holidays all revolved around putting a VHS in the VCR to watch your favorite movies with a bowl of popcorn and a beanbag.


Now in the digital era of Bluray and Amazon Prime Video, the VCR has become irrelevant. In fact, it’s completely obsolete and new VCRs aren’t being made anymore.

So when did they stop making VCRs?

VCR first boomed in 1975 when the tech companies RCA, JVC, AMPEX, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, and Matsushita all sold their own versions of the videocassette recorder. By 1985, VCR sales were peaking before witnessing a slow decline by 2000 due to the introduction of CDs.


The 1980s might be trending in some ways, but the popular analog video medium that dominated during the era of neon spandex and big hair saw its official demise five years ago.


Funai Electric (known as Sanyo) sold its last VCRs in 2016 after making the videocassette recorders for over 30 years. Panasonic stopped selling VCRs shortly before then in 2012. And Distribution Video Audio sold the last VHS tapes ever made in 2008.


This means for the final 8 years that VCRs were sold, you couldn’t even buy new VHS tapes! But as many of you know, VHS tapes and VCRs are still widely available on resale markets such as eBay. So if you really want to relive the analog media days with your old VHS movies, you can find fairly cheap VCRs around $50 online.


Don’t forget to digitize your VHS tapes with KODAK Digitizing! Since the era of VCR is officially over, it’s important to safeguard your analog medium with digitized versions that you can play on your laptop, TV, or even share to loved ones through email.

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