Whether it’s antiques, storage belongings, sports memorabilia or items being sold at a pawn shop, it seems like there is a reality show for everything these days. And thanks to Discovery Channel, you can now add military collectibles to the list.
Premiering tonight at 10pm ET, Combat Cash follows Bob Chatt and Owen Thornton as they use their knowledge, experience and money to pursue rare military artifacts. Also referred to as militaria, these items include tanks, GI Joe figures, World War II flame throwers, Saddam Hussein propaganda banners and Vietnam war-era helicopters.
As much as Thornton and Chatt enjoy what they do, don’t be fooled into thinking this is just something they do for fun in their spare time. Because there is such a high demand for the obscure artifacts they track down, they have been able to turn the hobbies of others into a money-making business for themselves.
Discovery Channel is rolling out two shows tonight as part of the special premiere. In the first installment (10pm ET), the two men find a a propaganda banner with Saddam Hussein’s image that was reportedly removed from a building in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have also been hired to find an operational WWII Japanese tank, easier said than done when it’s estimated there are only 10 in the world.
In the second show (10:30pm ET), Chatt and Thornton fire WWII guns to add realistic sounds to a video game project. They also attend a D-Day event to deliver a rare helmet and negotiate a “DUCK” amphibious vehicle, and Thornton suits up to storm the beaches with hundreds of WWII reenactors.
The unique aspect to Combat Cash appears not to just be the artifacts the two men find — which is pretty cool in itself — but the bond they form with the military enthusiasts they are hired by and encounter. It’s one thing to find a piece of history from WWII, but there’s something special about attending a D-Day event or hanging out with soldiers that can literally put the reality in the overused term reality TV.