Discovery Channel’s “Combat Cash” delves into military collectibles

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.




  1. The California Boys ( they like to call themselves) over at the U.S. military forum are trying their hardest to make this show more than it is. All their minions love to join on the band wagon and suck up. this is one weak ass will not make it. Sorry but the truth stings

  2. My grandpa brought a few german helmets home and a uniform. I need cash and would be interested in selling

  3. i would like to know how to get ahold of the show. I have some WWII items they may be interested in.

  4. These shows are all just that: Television shows meant to entertain a viewing audience that knows little about the subjects and items being discussed. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Pawn Stars, Cajun Pawn Stars, Real Deal, American Pickers, Storage Wars or Military Cash — all the transactions are staged by a lot of very inept actors on both sides of the bargaining table.

    Do you think that someone would actually bring a priceless “American Treasure” into a pawn shop: rare coins, classic autos, WWII bomber planes, etc. to sell? And if those pickers are really in the business of buying for resale, why do they always pass up the good stuff for rusted out signs and 3-dollar tin toys? And by the way, could they really make a living by travelling around, filling up their van with a few items for only a $200 or $300 profit margin? And getting back to the pawn shops: Would you really hire any of these people to work in a store that you owned? Wasn’t it a big surprise to learn that the new hire was the one that sported the most hideous tattoos up and down her arms? Kind of like the girl on Pickers, huh? See a pattern?

    Do you think that William Shatner actually wanted a couple of junkers from Iowa to decorate his home? Wasn’t it miraculous that just after they purchased a large oil-related sign that they just happened to run into a famous NASCAR driver who was looking for one? And how lucky the pawn stars were when going to an airshow at the last minute and being invited to take a flight in a B-17? I’m sure this happens to all of us, right?

    Personally, I’m getting a little disgusted at all these phony shows, and I’m hoping that the present overabundance of them will soon be their downfall. I’ve been a militaria dealer for the past 40 years or so, selling most of my finds at gun and militaria shows in a four-state area. I’m a small dealer, but have found and sold some fairly nice articles over the years. However, unlike the tv shows, people weren’t waiting on me to show up at their doors before ever deciding whether or not they’d want to sell something. It takes a lot of time, a lot of study and a lot of work. I just hope others who are posting here will realize that television is not real life — that these are only cheaply-produced 30-minute segments used to sell advertising. Maybe all the people in them were once what they still purport to be, but by sensationalizing their former professions, they’ve removed most of the integrity out of their professions.

  5. Have you guys seen the suck fest going on over at the us military forum? Talk about sucking up, makes me want to throw up. This show will not last.

    • Yea I have checked it out. Looks like everyone is kissing some serious A in hopes of being on the cookie cutter show. I agree it will not last

  6. I agree speculators who get in this hobby as an investment better watch out unless you have money to throw away.

  7. Hey, Sure there might be some parts of the show some dont like, but I’m just glad to see a show about our area of interests.
    Maybe some younger folks will see it and gain an interest in our collecting hobbies.
    I’m worried that in 25 years or so all this “stuff” we are collecting and investing in will be of little interest to the youger generations and our (MY) investment will have lost it’s value, just like all our other investment!
    The show is sure good enough for me.

    • Hi Brad, Part of the problem with this hobby is people buying military item’s for an Investment. If your in this hobby for an investment be very careful not everything will go up in value.
      People in this hobby should buy what they love to collect and if it goes up in value great, if it does not still great because you love the item and your happy to have it.

  8. That tank is awesome .how maney are still running?

    That’s 70 years of history! ! Keep them
    Running! !!

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