Guide to Buying Souvenirs from the 2012 London Olympics

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The Ultimate Guide to Buying Commemorative Apparel and Souvenirs from the 2012 London Olympics

The Olympic games occur every four years in a different host city. This worldwide event brings countries from all around the globe together to celebrate the achievements of their athletes. In 2012, the summer Olympics took place in the beautiful, historic city of London. Fans of all ages watched and delighted as Great Britain's athletes won medal after medal for a historic total of 65 medals in all, the highest count achieved by the United Kingdom since 1908.

Although many citizens of the U.K. flocked to London for their favourite events, the ones who were not as fortunate could only watch the events from their homes or other chosen locations. For those who attended and those who did not, commemorative apparel and souvenirs offer a welcome opportunity to remember those glorious weeks of the 2012 London Olympics. Buyers can find commemorative apparel and souvenirs from the 2012 London Olympics at retail websites such as eBay. Before buyers shop, however, they should know which items offer more value for the price.

Commemorative Medals from the 2012 London Olympics

Gold, silver, and bronze medals are iconic symbols of achievements at the Olympic Games. The chart below lists the number and type of medals won by U.K. athletes during the London 2012 Olympics.









Together, these medals result in a grand total of 65, a stellar achievement for the athletes of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Having a replica of the actual medals given to the athletes in 2012 is a must for many collectors. Artist David Watkins designed the medals for the summer 2012 Olympic Games. On the front, the Greek goddess Nike, patron deity of the victorious, was depicted before the Panathinaiko Stadium, the site of the very first modern Olympic Games. On the back, the medals featured a design of crisscrossing lines and a few geometric shapes intended to represent the the river Thames. The traditional five Olympian rings and the word "London" were also on the back of the medal. Any souvenir replica of a 2012 Olympic medal should have all of these design elements.

Participation Medals from the 2012 London Olympics

Participation medals differ from the cheaper commemorative medals sold at souvenir shops during the Olympics. Each participant, official, or IOC member involved in any Olympic Games is given a special participation medal. These medals honour the individual's contribution and serve as a unique commemorative piece that owners can treasure or sell, depending on their preference. Some owners choose to sell their participation medals. Depending on the year in which the participation medal was awarded and on the identity of its original owner, it may be worth thousands of pounds. Buyers who locate a participation medal from a particularly noteworthy Olympics, such as the 2012 London Olympics, should make the investment if they have the budget for it. In a century or so, the value should be much higher than the original purchase price.

Autographed Objects from the 2012 London Olympics

Photos and other items autographed by Olympic athletes are typically popular amongst buyers and collectors. The higher the achievement and visibility of the athlete, the higher the value of the signed item. For instance, American swimmer Michael Phelps is famed in his home country and around the world for his astonishing 22 medals, 18 of which were gold. An item with his autograph is considered valuable, particularly if the authenticity of the signature is proven or verified in some way. If one is thinking of buying at item which was supposedly signed by a favourite athlete, the seller should be able to provide information about the origin of the signature, such as the precise moment and location when it was obtained. In some cases, the seller may have a photo of the athlete to confirm that the meeting did occur and that the signature is genuine.

Toys from the 2012 London Olympics

Manufacturers created teddy bears and other stuffed animals with the 2012 London Olympics logo and colours. These pieces were geared towards younger fans attending or watching the games with their parents. Toys and figurines make great gifts for children who admire their nation's athletes and aspire to greatness themselves. In some cases, a well-chosen commemorative gift for an athletic child could be the beginning of a path to the Olympics.

The two mascots of the 2012 London Olympics, Wenlock and Mandeville, were odd one-eyed dolls. According to their fictional backstory, they were formed from steel droplets that fell from the final girder of the Olympic Stadium. In spite of their quirky, unusual appearance, Wenlock and Mandeville sold well as plush toys. Buyers may choose to invest in special, limited edition versions of these mascots for young Olympics fans.

Apparel and Household Items from the 2012 London Olympics

The geometric logo used for the 2012 London Olympics has a modern flair that looks very attractive on apparel and textiles. Shirts, pillows, blankets, and hats with the logo were sold all over London and beyond during the Games. If interested in such pieces, buyers should first identify the type of apparel or household items they want. If they need shirts or hats, they must decide on the sizes to buy. Once they know what is available in a particular item and a specific size, they can consider the pricing in order to get the best value.

Olympic Torches from the 2012 London Olympics

For the London 2012 Olympics, the organisers planned an extensive, complex relay lasting from mid-May until the end of July, just before the beginning of the Olympic Games. During the 70-day period, about 8,000 people had the opportunity to carry the torch. Festivals and celebrations accompanied the torch wherever it went.

Fortunately for collectors, there is more than one Olympic torch. The Olympic flame itself is lit in Greece and then sent to the host nation for the relay. However, there are multiple torches involved in the process, making it possible for a devoted collector of Olympic memorabilia to obtain one. For instance, the torch carried by Lord Sebastian Coe during the 2012 London Olympics relay was auctioned off thousands of pounds. In his younger years, Lord Coe won four Olympic medals before retiring from athletics. Other torches were auctioned off during the course of the Olympic games and shortly afterwards. Collectors who are determined to obtain a 2012 torch should monitor auction websites in case an owner of such a torch decides to sell.

Other Souvenirs from the 2012 London Olympics

If one is on a tight budget, then the smaller souvenirs such as badges, pins, mugs, and keychains may be a better fit. These items are often labelled as "limited edition" pieces. However, due to the vast amount that were made for the Games, sellers should have plenty in stock at affordable prices.

Ideally, collectors should focus on items that are truly limited edition pieces. For instance, if only 20 of a particular item were made, and if the item is directly related to the 2012 London Olympics, that item has a good chance of holding its current market value and possibly increasing in value over time.

Buying Commemorative Apparel and Souvenirs from the 2012 London Olympics on eBay

You can find thousands of items from the 2012 London Olympics on eBay. In the search bar on eBay's main page, type "souvenirs from 2012 London Olympics" or a similar search term to begin your search. You can also try "2012 London Olympics programmes". When results appear, you may find that the list is too long to go through in one shopping session. If so, use the search filters to select your preferences for the condition, price, location, and seller of the items. eBay eliminates listings that do not match those parameters, making your results more manageable.

eBay's top-rated sellers have high feedback scores from customers and usually provide quality products. To find listings from these sellers, look for the Top-rated seller seal on product pages. You may also be interested in sellers who offer free shipping, package deals, return policies, or bundled items. The "save a search" feature on eBay allows you to save your search and have eBay notify you every time a seller posts an Olympic souvenir from the 2012 London Games. Once you receive the email about the new listing, you can go online and view the product.


The apparel, souvenirs, and memorabilia related to the Olympics are highly coveted. Directly after the end of the games, however, prices on such items drop significantly. If collectors or fans are interested in obtaining a few pieces of commemorative apparel and souvenirs from the 2012 London Olympics, they should find a premium selection online via websites like eBay. It is quite possible to obtain commemorative shirts, hats, coins, medals, books, keychains, and other items at bargain prices.

Buyers should take time to investigate each piece that they are considering, particularly if it is expensive or unique. Certain items need to be verified to ensure authenticity. Buyers should feel free to ask sellers additional questions related to the souvenir's origin, material, and condition. Thanks to the many sellers on eBay, finding the souvenir that one desires may not be difficult. With the right collection of commemorative apparel and souvenirs, sports fans can enjoy the memories and revisit the glory of the 2012 London Olympics.

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