Saturday, October 3, 2009

2009 MAX Show

Bring Money!

I went to the 2009 Military Antiques Extravaganza in Monroeville Pennsylvania this weekend.

Goodness! Extravaganza is right. What a show.

Comprised of mostly top-of-the line objects with few fakes, most notably the one below:

WWII German lid with a post-war liner. An oddly obvious attempt at subterfuge at such a prestigious show (and dig that crazy chinstrap bail).

The organizers of this show strive for authenticity of objects and they seem to do a pretty good job of policing their dealers. About the only thing bogus at this show were the prices. Generally unrealistic asking prices seemed to be the order of the day, flying in the face of not only the current economy but also the realities of ebay. Obviously this show's for the hoity-toity, not for the hoi-polloi such as I.

It is Nazi heavy in artifacts. I saw but one South American helmet, a Peruvian Adrian, and there were no Scandinavian, Asian, or Cold War Eastern Bloc helmets to be found. Anyone hoping to score modern ballistic plastic and composite helmets would have similarly found themselves out of luck.

Helmet-wise this show consisted of, in ascending order, WWII Russian, Japanese, Picklehauben, U.S. M1s, and Nazi German lids. I was in a sea of swastikas, to the point of creepiness.

Interestingly enough I saw almost no money changing hands, at least not on Saturday. Perhaps this was a reflection of general economic hard times, or simply the unrealistic asking prices on most of the items. Leaving me to wonder exactly who the target clientele was supposed to be:
deep-pocketed bunker decorators? rubes? overeager monied beginners? neo-nazis? Mel Brooks? (click the link, you'll be glad you did)

Crazy daddy-o!

Nonetheless it was worth seeing... once.

You can watch my low-resolution video below, thus saving a trip to Monroeville (you'll thank me for that).

Keep your sense of humor and keep on collecting!



Ragnarok said...


Thanx fer the video! I've never ben to the MAX. You're correct about the prices. Just from the exchanges I've seen on different forums, I'd say that there is a lot of inter-dealer and high-roller trading going on, much of it after public hours.

The one German Nazi lid you showed was a total workover. The shell was a BGS M35/40 clone, with the telltale cown suspension system. (The M35/53 model?) Great pics and video.

Steve Z.

Mannie Gentile said...


I share your skepticism. I felt I was at a private club that decided to sell tickets to passersby.


Gary Dombrowski said...

I've heard the MAX show is something to see but also hear comments about the prices. The video was great and the Spike Jones number could not be more fitting. Thanks Mannie. ~Gary

Jeff said...


I attended the "Show of Shows" in Louisville, Kentucky this past March and I noticed a lot of the same things: high prices, and a lot of people walking around with their hands in their pockets. I bought a few small - ticket items but the show was not worth the trip from New Jersey!

I think some of these dealers need to stop dreaming and get a little more realistic about their pricing!

I also felt the same about the Nazi stuff. I collect US WWI items and they were few and far between amid Hitler's jockstrap and all the other Nazi gear.

Mannie Gentile said...


Interesting idea that. Hitler's jockstrap as a hedge against inflation.