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.

Recently, I was asked, “What are the global pandemic collectibles that will be valuable?” The list may surprise you.

I have been known to say 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 canceled; thus, all of the original 2020 souvenir items will be valuable as early as 2024, when the Olympics resume competition.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic paraphernalia — everything from t-shirts to Olympic pins — will become valuable, rare, and sought after. Pay particular attention to the blue-and-white, anime-inspired mascot named Miraitowa and the sports newly introduced to the games.

Do your best to collect 2020 Tokyo Olympic items and save them for a good return on investment.


“Thank You, Heroes” Action Figures

Mattel introduced the #ThankYouHeroes line of 16 new action figures representing the people who are working on the front lines during the global coronavirus 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.

For instance, 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. Check out www.mattel.com/en-us/playroom-thankyouheroes.

Fisher-Price introduced a set of Little People heroes called Little People Community Champions Special Edition figure set. 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 FirstRespondersFirst, 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.

In addition, there will be rare paper stimulus checks with President Donald J. Trump’s signature on them in this age of direct deposit. In years to come, they will be of interest to presidential memorabilia collectors and others.

Oh, and a favorite collectible of the coronavirus is probably everyone’s tower of cardboard takeout pizza boxes.


Dr. Lori Verderame is the award-winning Ph.D. antiques appraiser on History channel’s The Curse of Oak Island and weekdays on the Doctor and the Diva. For video call appraisals of your valuables, visit www.DrLoriV.com.

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