Collectibles: What to expect in 2016



2016-01-06 10:13:15

The experts at JustCollecting give you their predictions for the collectibles world in 2016. 

VHS collecting goes mainstream

Charity shops don't want them, rubbish tips don't want them, and you've probably got a bin bag full of them in your attic. There is only one word for VHS, and that is "obsolete". 

So could 2016 really be the year VHS joins vinyl and cassette tapes in making a comeback? Possibly. Only around 50% of movies available on VHS have ever made it over to DVD and there are many trailers, interviews and pieces of cover art that just aren't available on any other format, especially from the horror genre.

Obscure video nasties such as Lemora Lady Dracula are worth more than $1,000

After years of being largely underground, VHS collecting is on the brink of raising its head into the nostalgia-loving modern society of today. So if you've got any banned, obscure, video nasties in your collection, this might be the year to get that bin bag down from the attic and store them somewhere mould and dust free.

Copies of 1979's Satan War, The Beast in Heat (1977), and 1973's Lemora Lady Dracula all trade for more than $1,000.

Just don't put that copy of Mrs Doubtfire you've watched 50 times on eBay for $300, please.

Rolling Stones memorabilia surges in value

In April, London's Saatchi Gallery will host Exhibitionism, the first major show covering the history of the Rolling Stones, spanning their remarkable 50-year history. 

The Stones: still living

Unlike the Beatles, who are viewed less like a band and more like a treasured stately home these days, we feel the Stones are taken for granted because they're still a living, breathing rock 'n' roll band. 

It might be a case of "you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone", but this exhibition, with nine rooms and 500 original artefacts, could make people appreciate them as legends a little more. Expect some record-breaking, "Bowie Exhibition"-level ticket sales too as the show travels the world.

First artwork auctions for more than $200 million 

This looks set to be the year we see the first piece of art break the $200 million mark at auction. Since Munch’s The Scream sold for $119.9 million in 2012, we’ve seen a new record set each year. 

Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger holds the record - but for how much longer?

The current holder, Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger, made $179 million last year. This means the record has grown by 14.2% a year over the past three years. 

A 14.2% increase this year would push the record well over $200 million. The fact that a work by Modigliani almost beat the sum paid for Picasso in the dying days of 2015 indicates the incredible health of the market. 

The question is not so much if the record will be pushed past $200 million this year, but when - and which artist?

Collectors travel thousands of miles to buy vintage Pyrex

Last year Pyrex celebrated its 100th birthday with a hugely popular exhibition at New York's Corning Museum of Glass, educating newbies on the history of these mid-century icons of homeware. It's now official: Pyrex is back, and people are collecting it in a big way. 

The underground Pyrex collecting scene is fast becoming mainstream

The price and popularity of vintage Pyrex have been increasing steadily for the past few years but its centenary year was when things got a little crazy - and 2016 looks set to be the year when this largely underground world of vintage homeware collecting hits the mainstream. 

There have already been tales of people driving hundreds of miles to pick up a rare dish they bought on Etsy.

People start seriously collecting Roald Dahl 

2016 marks the 100th birthday of beloved, best-selling children's author Roald Dahl. As always with this kind of anniversary, expect collectors to start looking more seriously at his first editions and memorabilia. 

Dahl was born in Cardiff, Wales to Norwegian parents

The centenary will culminate with a host of celebrations, including a three-day event in Cardiff in which the Welsh capital will be transformed into the "City of the Unexpected", with a cast of thousands of actors, singers, dancers and ordinary members of the public. If you're in the area, expect an army of giant insects and Oompa Loompas. 

2016 will also see the release of The BFG, Steven Spielberg's big-budget take on the big friendly giant, which could easily be one of the biggest films of the year.

A new record price for Detective Comics #27

Published in May 1939, Detective Comics #27 featured the first appearance of Batman. Now regarded as one of the Holy Grails of comic book collecting, the issue is ranked second only to Action Comics #1, which gave Superman his debut in 1938. 

Will a top-grade copy appear for auction this year?

The highest-ever price paid for a copy of Detective Comics #27 stands at $1.1 million, set back in 2010. Since then, several copies have changed hands but none in better condition than the CGC 8.0 copy that sold at Heritage Auctions. However, with Batman vs Superman set to finally smash its way onto cinema screens later this year, Batman will be back in the conversation – and a collector with a higher-graded copy of the book may be tempted into selling. If a better copy does come to auction, expect it to make at least $2.5 million.

More people than ever before try to buy Shakespeare's autograph

April 23 will mark 400 years since Shakespeare's death. The world's media will unite in universal appreciation of the Bard's impenetrable iambic pentameter. Which means Google will be inundated with searches for "what is Shakespeare?", #thebard will trend on Twitter, and people across the globe will be hunting for his autograph. But they're going to be out of luck. Because all six known Shakespeare autographs are housed in institutions. And they're not for sale. Not at any price.

Shakespeare walks into a pub. Landlord: "Get out, yer Bard".

But what are available are the folios, which are collections of several of Shakespeare's plays. First folios, published just seven years after his death, in 1623, are the Holy Grail. But again, you may be out of luck, because only one of the remaining 230 resides in private hands. The last time one sold, it made $6.1m.

A better bet are second or third folios. Third folios (printed in 1663) are actually much rarer and more valuable than the second folio from 1632. Why so? Because the Great Fire of London destroyed many of the unsold editions of the third folio in 1666. A third folio made $374,500 in 2012, while second folios can be bought for just $25,000. But don't expect prices to remain that low for long.

Muscle cars put on strong show

Shelby Mustangs, Hemi Cudas, LS6 Chevelles…

Muscle cars to make the mouth water. 

Muscle cars such as Shelby Mustangs are enjoying a resurgence

But for too long these brash beasts of the road have been almost a dirty word in the highest echelons of the car collecting fraternity, with buyers favouring the sleek lines of the 1950s and 1960s European sports cars, such as Ferrari and Aston Martin. Consequently, prices have been dwindling for years, according to car insurance firm Hagerty, which notes that muscle car values are still below their 2007 high. But there were strong signs of life last year, with the sector posting a 13% increase in value. 

So if you've been eyeing up a bit of muscle for your garage, 2016 looks like the year to take the plunge – before values go higher. 

Female artist record broken again

The record price stands at $44.4 million, set in 2014 by a Georgia O'Keeffe flower painting, with the second-highest price of $28.2 million paid in November 2015 for a monumental Louise Bourgeois Spider sculpture. 

Record holder Georgia O'Keeffe

Five of the 10 highest prices ever paid for works by female artists were set in the last three years, so expect important artworks by women to continue making headlines in 2016. A major retrospective of O'Keeffe's work at London's Tate Modern in October this year could help collectors make up their minds.

Barack Obama's autograph grows in value 

America is witnessing the end of an era: Barack Obama is approaching the final months of his time in office. 

Obama's pioneering status as the country's first black president will ensure his autograph and his personal artefacts will be coveted in the decades and centuries to come. But we can see a surge in demand for his autograph taking place sooner than that. In fact, the coming months should see an upswing in sentimental supporters seeking a personal reminder of one of the landmark terms in the White House.

Obama - 12 months left in office

Obama-signed first edition copies of his The Audacity of Hope can sell for around $400. That price could look small indeed come this time next year. 

And lastly: the art world finally eats itself 

Are Koons (left) and Prince set for a battle in the courts?

We predict Jeff Koons to sue Richard Prince for rephotographing an artwork which Koons himself originally reappropriated from a Richard Price photograph, thus creating a hole in the space-time continuum. 

Agree or disagree with any of these predictions? Let us know at

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