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Helmet collecting future?

Started by 644td , May 16 2018 06:03 AM

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#26 Burning Hazard

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:09 AM

Older generations grew up with TV shows like Combat! while the newer generations play games like Call of Duty World at War, Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty WWII, and believe me these games inspire a whole new generation. My local surplus shop owners are always hunting for cheap M1 helmets to sell for the kids since they can't keep up with the demand. I don't think militaria will be dwindling anytime soon, neither will my interest in WWII US stuff.

 

Just some thoughts 

 

Pat



#27 Pegasus6

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:22 AM

33 now; Started when I was in High School early 2000s. Its nice to be able to have funds to purchase the items I was drooling over 18 years ago.... Although its also worth noting I kept records of pieces I purchased in the 2000s (example 160$ for a Named FS SB OD7 Straps 99th ID Combat worn helmet with Net - 2001 (Meanwhile minimum wage was $5.50 compare to cost now? maybe $300 and minimum wage is what $8.50? here)). Some of the prices have gone down just due to inflation. Some have stayed rather consistent. I'd keep investing in 401K and IRA ECT for investing purposes'... I don't think there ever will not be quite a bit of interest. Someone said it well earlier. WWII has a romance about it. Being an OEF (2011-Ghazni Province) Veteran myself, I cant say the war I fought in was my grandfathers war on Okinawa, not even comparable for so many reasons... Sure to over simplify it, and break it down war is ugly = always will be; asides that totally different. Different culture in the United States now and everywhere else in the world. Comparing country A then to country A now is like apples and pears, wars = mirrors in history and that's different every time. On new helmets' No, I'm not selling my combat worn ACH which is Camo painted underneath the ACU pattern cover. Its perfectly funky and just how it was. So there is value in that argument.Worth more than a measly 200$? The government will charge me more than that for not turning it in when I get out...

Peg6

Edited by Pegasus6, 16 May 2018 - 10:28 AM.


#28 airborneguy44

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:24 AM

I'm 19 and have always loved collecting helmets. Now that I have a few jobs I can actually afford them. I have about 10 in my collection now, with another on the way. I don't think that the demand will ever diminish, but potientially in the future less people will be interested in WWII and more interested in Vietnam-Iraq/Afghanistan helmets. Just my thoughts

#29 644td

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:59 AM

Scott aka:bugme it is great to hear from you and I pray all is well on the mission field. I see that you and Pat failed to put your ages... LOL.
I am enjoying read everyones prospectives.
Marty

#30 stealthytyler

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:02 AM

Someone said it well earlier. WWII has a romance about it. Being an OEF (2011-Ghazni Province) Veteran myself, I cant say the war I fought in was my grandfathers war on Okinawa, not even comparable for so many reasons... 

 

I agree that the scope of WWII was much larger than our modern wars today, but it only takes one bullet... and I am sure the feeling of getting shot at by a few guys on a hill 500 yards away in Afghanistan is the same adrenaline rush and equal perception of intensity as boots on the ground in 1944 France while taking fire from Germans in the countryside. Not all the combat in WWII was like that on the beaches of Normandy during the first few hours of the assault. It just takes one bullet...and for that, all wars are equally dangerous. Not saying that you are, but don't discredit your experiences over there. 



#31 trenchfoot

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 01:03 PM

 

I agree that the scope of WWII was much larger than our modern wars today, but it only takes one bullet... and I am sure the feeling of getting shot at by a few guys on a hill 500 yards away in Afghanistan is the same adrenaline rush and equal perception of intensity as boots on the ground in 1944 France while taking fire from Germans in the countryside. Not all the combat in WWII was like that on the beaches of Normandy during the first few hours of the assault. It just takes one bullet...and for that, all wars are equally dangerous. Not saying that you are, but don't discredit your experiences over there. 

Very well said. On the topic of the future, here's what I say; Quality pieces will always bring quality prices. That identified and unit marked ww2 paratrooper helmet that dropped into normandy will not go down in value in the future because of what it is. A plain jane ww2 m1 with no story may drop, which I doubt, but not the good stuff. It seems like ww2 is the war that many experienced and new collectors focus on, and because new generations are collecting it, I doubt there will be any significant drops in price or demand. 



#32 Airborne-Hunter

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 02:30 PM

Bugme said it best with ebb and flows of the market. The helmet market as large as it may seem is still a markedly thin one so it only takes 2 - 5 people to really move the overall market. I'd wager that this is exactly what happened a couple years back. In patch collecting there were one or two buyers that for years really pushed squadron patches. Today, prices are down on a lot of squadron patches because the two buyers aren't pushing them anymore (at least the ones they already have). Helmet collecting is very much similar, but for different reasons that I'll shy away from. 

Generally speaking, most hobbies are dying. Militaria included. I think worst case we'll see something similar to civil war collectables where the market went up flat lined and stayed relatively there over the long haul for the majority of items. Iconic pieces will hold value or increase more so. That said, the only nice complete FS FB M1 at Pomona that I could find was $1050.00 (no typo) and the last one that sold locally pulled almost $500 (repaired leather strap too). Market seems fine to me. 

My only concern is that some, shall I say, PRE-RETIREMENT, collectors that I know are growing rather tired of the high prices and are off-ing the peripherals of their collections to focus on, shall we say, more generally accepted investments such as stocks/houses/ect. 

 

Best ABN



#33 AnDuc49

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 03:48 PM

One of the other younger collectors here.

To be honest, I'm not sure how the market will turn out. I started off collecting Vietnam helmets and that's still my main focus. I remember when I first started, prices were reasonable, but everything has increased.

Being a high schooler, I don't really have the funds to travel to shows, so I mainly have to rely on online sites to purchase my items. However, with more and more people going to the same "waterhole" in a sense, there's not much more to grab at prices that I can afford.

While I'm not necessarily quitting from helmets or collecting, I don't think it's feasible right now at least where I live.

As the only one in my community interested in the Vietnam War, specifically the Vietnamese perspective, I've been working more and more alongside Vietnamese veterans. Though nothing beats holding a helmet that was worn and used during the conflict, talking to the men who were actually there, reading personal letters and diaries that they kept, handling photos, etc. it's an equally rewarding experience.

I'm privileged to know too that most of this information is not available to the collecting community. As many of these veterans only speak Vietnamese, almost everything is done thru my native tongue. Besides the obvious benefits, this has been a hugely enriching experience and has helped me improve my speaking skills.

I hope someday to be able to provide the stories, letters and diaries I've collected to the community

#34 milsurp_scout_14

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:34 PM

Some rambling thoughts from a 28 year old collector.

 

Despite being surrounded with surplus during an early highschool stint in CAP, I had no interest till I turned 20. Got reintroduced to surplus through prepping, then it snowballed from there. I collect helmets and more for myself, not having any family to pass anything along to, or any close friends my age who enjoy it. However, as I have found through selling stuff, there are a lot more young collectors (15-25) than I would have thought. Be it through Call of Duty/video games, movies, etc, they seem to get into it. Many try to acquire a full setup of whatever period for airsoft use--airsoft is a huge market for militaria, lots of it original. Others just collect and build displays, or do re-enacting. There's a lot of people into the SOF/SEALS/DELTA side of it, and Vietnam has really exploded in the last few years. I think Gulf War stuff will get hotter in the next few too. Nearly all of these people are buying one or more helmets.

 

I see USMF has younger members, but others like to showcase their collections on a picture app called Instagram (many sell on there too). Many, without the benefits of local surplus stores, buy online, often competing directly for high bids, and driving up the values. Also, particularly with WW2 M1's, there is a growing scarcity of true originals, due to people using decent originals to fake higher-value variations; and torn up originals being 'refurbished' to un-issued condition by various companies. I don't see helmets of any era de-valuing long-term--prices seem to be getting more insane.

 

At the several shows and shops I circulate through over the past few years, I often hear collectors senior to me mention that we need some 'fresh blood' in the community. But let's all admit, it takes a certain type of person to get into this hobby--lots of people look at my gear and think it's "cool", but fewer actually buy it. It may just take time till the younger crowd gets some funding, which was my biggest roadblock until I got out of college. 



#35 thorin6

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:37 PM

Nostalgia plus funding equals collecting.  For older collectors, fathers, grandfathers, and uncles had stuff; they played with it and listened to stories, and watched films like "Combat" and "Mash."  At a certain point they wanted to own the things that they remember fondly and finally had the funds to indulge.

Today's youngsters (Millenials, GenXers, etc.) play video games and watch movies.  At some point they, too, will want to own things they remember from those games and movies, and possibly from fathers, grandfathers, and uncles (hence Vietnam stuff and Middle East war stuff, Desert Storm, OEF, OIF).  Once they have the funds, they'll start acquiring stuff.

The demise of the surplus stores plus fewer shows will push many of them on-line; ebay will become less important and other forums (Instagram, Facebook, Craig's List, etc.) will become more used (I say that because ebay's business model seems to be turning away from auctions and more to buy-it-know and away from old stuff and towards newer things that more people want).

I also think that new collectors will move away from buying a lot of items and move to smaller collections with higher end items; unfortunately this will open the door for more fakes (or reproductions pushed as real) hitting the market.

And don't rule out the unanticipated; a super movie about WW1 may hit the theaters and DVDs, and drive collecting WW1 helmets up, much like "Saving Private Ryan" drove up the desire for M1911/M1911A1 pistols.  Prices seemed to double overnight, and pistols manufactured by US&S more than doubled in price (and still remain high even today).


Edited by thorin6, 17 May 2018 - 01:38 PM.


#36 hmmca

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 04:58 PM

Well, I am in the same boat Marty, turning 50 in less than a week now.  As you know I just started collecting helmets (and I hope they keep their value).  But for the most part I never collect anything hoping to make a big profit on it.  I just try to get things that I like and that are more importantly real and just get them to the next caretaker down the line (and hopefully preserve any known history)  My feelings are ( and I am a complete beginner) is that the are not making any real ones any longer and I am sure that in the future people will want them just like we all did.



#37 644td

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 05:27 PM

Happy early birthday Greg!!!!! Your two weeks older than Mel!!!!
CHILDREN OF THE 80s!!!!!! Quote from twisted sister I WANNA ROCK
Marty. ROLL TIDE

Edited by 644td, 17 May 2018 - 05:28 PM.


#38 Theorywolf

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:34 PM

All the helmets I have are ID'ed helmets and groupings that are top shelf,  If my sons want these and are willing to take care of them and know about their history they will go to them. If by that time they are not interested I have wonderful collector friends on this page that I would sell them to.  Yes, for a good price! :) 



#39 ken88

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 01:38 AM

I've asked myself the same question. If you've paid a lot for some of your items, it would suck to see prices go down. 

 

I think the most important thing is that an original ww2 helmet will always be rare, no matter what. Rarity is always a huge factor in deciding what something is worth, so that's at least some sort of certainty. 

 

The historical value will always be there, you know. Helmets produced during a worldwide conflict will always spike interest. 

 

I don't think the prices will ever drop to an alarming low rate, should they ever drop at all. If you look at what civil war militaria is doing for instance, ww2 militaria seems to be a good investment. 

 

In my opinion the fact that the whole world seems to have some kind of connection with the troops that liberated so many countries, the sacrifices that were made, makes that what these troops carried will alway be interesting. You could compare to art in some way. 

 

As a European I realize a lot of the value also has to do with to what force an item belonged to. American and German militaria seem to be most interesting, possibly because that's what -indeed - is getting most media attention. 

 

All things considered, I think you can feel good about an investment as long as the item is authentic. 




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