LAS VEGAS (WSVN) — O.J. Simpson could soon be starting a new chapter in his life if he is granted parole, and that has some willing to pay a hefty price for the convict’s collectibles.
Victor Moreno and Keta, Las Vegas-based memorabilia experts, said they are expecting a spike in Simpson souvenir sales if he is released from jail.
“This is the one that’s probably the most sought after, the Heisman Trophy helmet, signed by all the trophy winners, and O.J. is right there,” said Moreno as he showed the prized item.
Love him or hate him, Moreno said, there’s one thing certain about the former football star and screen actor. “He sells,” he said.
At the Memorabilia.Expert showroom in Vegas, Simpson merchandise is mixed in with the likes of “Babe” Ruth and Kobe Bryant, superstars of the sports world.
“The reason why people are interested in O.J. is because people collect themes,” said Moreno. “O.J. is one of the rare people who was a Heisman Trophy winner and a Hall of Famer.”
Collectors who go online will find no shortage of collectible options. From an autographed Buffalo Bills helmet for $2,900, to a University of Southern California jersey for just over $400, Simpson memorabilia can be pricey.
“It’s a conversation piece,” said Kieta, “and ultimately, when you collect — you have an O.J.-signed jersey in your office, or a helmet — people are going to say, ‘Oh, my God. Where did you get that?'”
It appears to be a different story with average Americans. After an acquittal for double homicide and a conviction for robbery, opinions of Simpson are strong.
“I wouldn’t want anything crappy O.J. has. The guy is a jerk,” said one man.
“I don’t know whether he’s guilty or innocent, but I still would like some of his stuff,” said another man.
Moreno said collectors are predominantly seeking items from Simpson’s athletic career. The expert said they want to remember who Simpson was, not who he became.”
“I had a gentleman who knew O.J. pretty good in L.A. and had his original mug shot, and he wanted to auction it, and he wanted … a crazy amount of money,” said Moreno. “I said, ‘Nah. It’s not going to happen.'”
Moreno added, anything Simpson signed while behind bars seems to fascinate collectors. Some of the memorabilia at the center of the robbery case, which was returned to the victim, is currently for sale online.
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