Art & Antiques: Coronavirus collectibles

Over the last month or two amid Coronavirus, I have been busy with interviews about the value of stuff found in attics and basements prompted by the nationwide stay at home orders and home cleaning projects. I have been talking to folks nationwide who have emptied out closets and garages via video call appraisals using Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Facebook, etc.

Recently, during a barrage of interviews by major media outlets — big city TV networks, the Washington Post, various online magazines — I’ve been asked “What are the global pandemic collectibles that will be valuable?” As I told many reporters, the list may surprise you.

I have been known to say on my YouTube channel, DrLoriV, that art and antiques reflect society. With that in mind, the most impactful cultural event, worldwide, of 2020 is the spread of Coronavirus. Associated objects are many.

Here are my picks for the most valuable collectibles of Coronavirus. So, if you have them or if you can acquire them, save them in your favorite storage or display case as they will be the valuables of the future.

2020 Tokyo Olympic collectibles

I was lecturing in Tokyo in Fall 2019. I experienced many exhibits, events and promotions there relating to the forthcoming Olympic games. As a result of Coronavirus, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games have been cancelled, thus, all of the original 2020 souvenir items will be valuable as early as 2024 when the Olympics resume competition.

Everything from t-shirts to Olympic pins, Tokyo 2020 Olympic paraphernalia will become valuable, rare and sought after. Pay particular attention to the blue and white Anime-inspired mascot named Miraitowa and the newly introduced sports to the games. Do your best to collect 2020 Tokyo Olympic items and save them for a good return on investment.

#ThankYouHeroes action figures

Mattel introduced the #ThankYouHeroes line of 16 new action figures representing the people who are working on the front lines during the Coronavirus global pandemic. These new action figures represent EMTs, first responders, doctors, nurses, medical techs, essential workers, delivery drivers, grocery clerks, etc. These toys will definitely be the collectibles of the future. Buy an action figure — I bought the brunette nurse with the white face mask — and a portion of the purchase price will be given as a donation to help first responders. When you get your action figure(s) in a few months, you will have one of the most desirable Coronavirus collectibles.

Fisher Price introduced a set of Little People heroes called Little People Community Champions Special Edition Figure set in a pack of five toys. The five pack includes a Little People figure of a doctor, nurse, EMT, delivery driver and grocery store worker. A $15 donation from each online purchase will be donated to support First Responders First, a charity.



There will be more Corona-collectibles that emerge as time goes on. With the onset of summer wedding season, we will see Coronavirus-inspired items like lacy white bride and groom face masks and individual table settings for guests. I took an unexpected trip to the hospital in April and secured a real hospital issue face mask which I kept for posterity’s sake.

There will be rare paper stimulus checks with President Donald J. Trump’s signature on them for collectors. In years to come, they will be of interest with Presidential memorabilia collectors and others.

Oh, and a favorite collectible of the Coronavirus is probably the tower of cardboard take-out pizza boxes.

— Dr. Lori Verderame is the award-winning Ph.D. antiques appraiser on History channel’s No. 1 hit show, “The Curse of Oak Island.”


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