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Future of the Hobby

Article about: I have been collecting IIRP militaria for almost the past 8 years and have seen the prices of items inch up and up during that time. I have read and heard the stories about 15 or 20 years ag

  1. #1

    Default Future of the Hobby

    I have been collecting IIRP militaria for almost the past 8 years and have seen the prices of items inch up and up during that time. I have read and heard the stories about 15 or 20 years ago, and I shake my head in disappointment I never had the inclination and knowledge to jump into the hobby when I first visited Poland in 1994.

    In any case, are we in a financial bubble when it comes to this hobby? I am 28 and cannot imagine many people my age or younger being passionate about history or the intricacies of collecting in this field. From my experience, most collectors tend to be older and more affluent. Is at some point this top echelon of collectors going to pass away like the original owners and a flood of items going to hit the market as the kids of these collectors decide to sell "dad's old military crap"? Will there be enough new collectors in 5 or 10 years time to absorb this supply if and when the time comes?

    Really open to your thoughts on the future of this hobby and the trend in prices (which at times seem completely idiotic - I live and work in Poland and cannot imagine who buys some of these things for 5000zl or more or 2000zl for that matter).

  2. #2


    Hi, I read, with interest, your posting and sad to say, when I was a lot younger, I too thought that as I got a bit older, interest would drop and more goodies, at better prices would start to appear on the market. Wrong!! As long as boys are boys and grow into men, there will be an intrinsic interst in things military. Like a lot of younger men, I went through the militaria mill, starting with toys of military interst then buttons and badges then bits of uniform and tin hats and the odd bayonet. Suddenly I was rudely awakened by the opposite sex who wanted houses and children and clothes etc. Ergo, no money and little collecting. As the snappers leave home, the pub becomes a bit less of a draw and the morgage payments subside I found odd amounts of money available to spend, correction invest in my near dormant collection and off I went again. You are correct in so much as older collectors tend to have more by way of disposable income as we are nearing the latter part of the cycle. However, for every old collector who falls of his pearch, there are several lads who like history and some of them become ardent collectors just like their predecessors and so the cycle begins again. Have no fear, collecting militaria is here to stay. As long as small boys collect small boys toys, they will mature into big boys who collect big boys toys!! Having said all this, I fear one weak link in the collecting community that appears to have a vested interest in wrecking the whole system. The scum who deliberately set out to systematically ply the market with absolute crap and sell it as genuine plus those like a certain Pole who you may have heard of who don't even pass on junk, they just lie and cheat and rob collectors of their hard earned cash. Sorry, I have gone off on one! Collecting militaria is just like collecting anything else, collectors gravitate to their financial constraints. Some can afford 10's, some 100's, some thousands and the real lucky ones, millions of pound/dollars or even zl's.

    Cheers Michael Ryan.

    PS both my grand sons are militaria addicts. I think that it is in the genes??

  3. #3


    I think there will be less young people taking up the hobby.
    but i feel prices will still rise

  4. #4


    This sort of question gets asked on a fairly regular basis and apart form the odd blip, prices rise and will continue to rise. A flood of Russian medal hit the market when the iron curtain came down and devalued some older collections but within a relatively short time they had risen again.

    Unless there is a wide spread drop in interest - which some people often suggest might happen as older collectors die off and are not replaced by new younger collectors - I suggest you buy what you can afford and hang in there for the long haul as what you buy now will almost certainly go up in value and you might be able to upgrade in times to come by trading in that which you can currently afford for the better items, but it is unlikely that prices will drop by much if at all in the future IMHO.


    Whatever its just an opinion.

  5. #5


    Have to agree with Jerry,I started way to late in life to ever be able to own anything fantastic,so for me the boat has long sailed unless I win the lottery?TR items will never feature in my home purely down to cost,but as already said by mike there is an aura around old military things that even those who visit that know nothing about war cannot help but be drawn to have a sneak look and ponder and yes the younger generation as a whole may not have the slightest interest in the events from so long ago but thats why its down to us here to teach and educate them so they may carry on the tradition/pride and passion..............

  6. #6


    I think there is plenty of young collectors out there. I know quite a few actually.
    One thing they all have in common though: they cannot afford many of the things showcased on here. I think the hobby of collecting militaria will exist as long as there are you men and boys (and the occasional women ) around, don't you worry.
    Although I think that what the collections consists of might change with time.
    Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.

  7. #7
    Fred Green



    We will all get old and die and our wives will sell it off for a $1. an item!! New collectors will arise and the same will happen to them. The Circle of Life!!


    Sell it now before the wife gets the money!!!!

    DSCN4620 (1024x768).jpg

  8. #8


    The ever rising flow of quality copies will in the end destroy for many many collectors.

    Imagine the copies made in the 90s - poor storage and voilà- year 2020 and they have turned into socalled "attic found" militaria ready to fool most collectors.

    My 2pesos worth regarding the "future" of this horrible uncurable addiciton called Collecting.....
    Collect ROA, Cossack, Schuma and other WW2 Volunteer militaria.

    "Be Humble and kind, for you may find that it was Odin you entertained"

  9. #9


    I don't know, I think the hobby is exciting and No matter how good the fakes get they will never be exactly like the period produced items. Even if it means you have to work harder and harder to figure out the difference between real and fake it shouldn't be a problem to the collectors who are really passionate about what they do.

    My two cents. My big problem is money, even though I think I do pretty well with what I have.
    Best regards, Patrick

  10. #10


    Fred Green quote "We will all get old and die and our wives will sell it off for a $1. an item!!"

    lol, That's exactly why I have everything cataloged so that my kids don't see everything cheap after I'm gone. I will say though that it's not the cost of the items or the future value that drives me. It's the history of each thing I have and what it means to me to have it. As most of you, I grew up reading about these battles and wars and had family members that fought in them. I have some field dug items for example that are rusty and most people would call them junk but because of battlefields they came from, they are priceless to me. It is amazing though to see that helmets and other items just shot up greatly in the last 10 - 15 years especially. It doesn't matter if they keep going up as I probably would not sell anything.

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