top of page

Magnetic Video (1977-1979)

1977 - Magnetic Video Corporation. The companies' success started when they licensed 100 titles from the production company- 20th Century Fox. They first distributed the titles in Betamax and then VHS. It really gained traction when video stores were created in the early 80s and distributors allowed video stores to rent instead of sell only, this allowed more consumers to be able to afford to watch the movies at home. Most Video Stores even had a VCR for rent because purchasing one was too much to afford for the average income. Also, mail in video stores were created, so anyone in the United States could access VHS or Betamax tapes.  Magnetic Video started even having success in Australia, and the United Kingdom.

20th Century Fox (March 1979- May 1982)

1979 - Magnetic Video was purchased by 20th Century Fox. It is also estimated around 1980, Magnetic Video watermark added. The tapes are C sealed (sealed on 3 sides). They used Magnetic Video packaging until 1982.

1982 - 20th Century Fox, rebrands Magnetic Video, to 20th Century Fox, and changes packaging to a Big Box Drawer, with the name, 20th Century Fox, on the top. 1982 packaging is most notable for its side to front cut out with a red VHS or blue Betamax displayed. Watermark is white 20th Century Fox. Tapes are C sealed.


CBS FOX (June 1982- February 1991) 

Mid 1982 - CBS and Fox Merge. CBS backs out of its partnership with MGM. Packaging remains 20th Century Fox, until 1983. The side to front cut out is still there, but they only have the red VHS or blue Betamax displayed on the side.  Tapes are C sealed.

Mid 1982 - New watermark that is a dual. It has a white 20th Century Fox And white CBS/FOX.

1983 - New packaging is still a big box but now with CBS/Fox on the top of the box and only has a notable side red cut out for VHS or blue Betamax. Tapes are C sealed. 

1984 - CBS/Fox changes to a slide cover (the modern and standard cover of today. The Watermark is a white CBS/Fox. They switched to a Vertical H flap/seal, and because of this, the watermark will ascend up the back of the side of the tape. Not to be confused with the Canadian CBS/Fox, that ascends up the middle/back. Tape Etched with CBS/Fox. 




Late 1984/ Early 1985 - They switch to a Horizontal H Flap/Seal.




Est. Mid 1985 - Some tapes are numbered in red ink. The tapes after the rentals start to not have a colored guard/flap and are not a name brand tape like Scotch. These same tapes are flipped to the tab side. Tapes are still etched with CBS/FOX.


Mid 1986 - 5-star program introduced. First Print name brand name tapes like Scotch, are no longer used on rental copies. They switch to an inhouse first print tape, that can weigh up to 9.6 ounces. Tapes are no longer etched with CBS/FOX. 

Mid 1987- VHS UPC's are introduced on the tapes. 

Early 1988 - Side UPC introduced on the cover. Tapes still have VHS UPC's which are used by the manufacturer, and used by video stores, to detect tampering of the tape.

Mid 1988 - VHS UPC discontinued. (It is possible VHS UPC's were used after for the first prints after this date, for extra security for Rental Video store copies from 1989 until 1991)

Early 1989 - White CBS/Fox Watermark is used from 1983 until early 1989 and then is switched to Blue CBS/Fox watermark used on the bottom of tape seal. Blue tamper seal added to the side of the tape. 

Mid to Late 1989 - Blue CBS/Fox watermarks, put on the back of the tape seal. Blue tamper seal moved to the middle.

1991 - CBS/Fox rebrands to Fox Video. Watermark becomes blue Fox video, on the back of the VHS. Blue Tamper Seal stays in the middle.



bottom of page