This after battle report will follow a similar format as previous years but is packed with new facts which I trust you’ll enjoy. MAX 34 is now in the books! Hard to believe this show has been going on for 34 years. That’s right, and I haven’t missed one yet and do not plan to miss any in the future. It all started back in St. Louis, then Baltimore which was cool.  After that, we’ve trucked to Monroeville, Charlotte, Indianapolis and now for the 10th year in a row, we are back in Monroeville, PA, which is about 20 miles from Pittsburgh. Before I forget to tell you, the 2019 MAX Show will definitely be in Monroeville once again. It will be held from Thursday, September 19th until Saturday, September 21st. This gives you plenty of time to plan ahead.
This is a great time of year to travel as the weather is never an issue (unless you got whacked by Hurricane Florence). In order to get in on Thursday the 19th at 12:30 PM as an early bird, you need to join the Ohio Valley Military Society. That is a very simple process and I definitely recommend it.


Otherwise, the two days for the public will be Friday and Saturday and that gives you plenty of time to cover all the halls.


This was the 10th year in the Monroeville Convention Center and I still believe everyone will agree with me that this is BY FAR the best venue of any hall we have ever been in, especially if you were in the front hall. The lighting is very good, the aisles are spacious. I did have many customers tell me that they also liked the relaxed atmosphere of the back rooms and the fact that they are carpeted. I can’t tell you because I was so busy, I never made it out there. The concrete floors in the main hall are hard on your feet so you need to wear appropriate footwear.
the line forming outside the show
The location is easy to find, but the parking is not quite sufficient so you need to be very careful to park only in designated areas or risk being towed. There are numerous hotels and restaurants within a short driving distance. The DoubleTree Hotel is right next door to the show and is convenient. If you tell them you are with the MAX show and use the promo code OVM, you can save a few bucks. There are numerous other less expensive hotels in the area.
The airport in Pittsburgh is not that far away but is a very costly taxi ride. However, I can tell you the way to go! Use Uber as I did and the ride was less than half the cost of a taxi. My total charge for the ride back to the airport was $49.00 including the tip.
This was the second year that I did not make the 11-hour trek with truck and trailer to the show. My son Patrick suggested I fly instead of driving and he did not have to ask me twice. Non-stop out of Boston on Jet Blue was under $300. The traffic from the airport to the show can be a bear but this year it took us about one hour each way and that’s not so bad!
The entire OVMS Staff is very familiar with the ins and outs of the MAX Show because many of them are long term attendees. They are seasoned promoters and ran the show like a well-oiled clock.
Bill with the Sundborg Family...2 generations of collectors
The entire staff, from the management to the security guards, was friendly and cooperative and deserves a big pat on the back for a job well done! This year the OVMS used constables/sheriffs for security and they had their act together. I felt from start to finish that they were in our court and went out of their way to make this a good experience, not only for the dealers who filled the tables at the Convention Center to full capacity (just under 1,000 tables), but also for the OVMS members and public who did attend. The crew had an 11-hour drive down from Massachusetts due to traffic and construction. They made it back in a little over 10 hours so overall, our journeys were without event.
The OVMS sets the rules and they stick to their guns. They are consistent in applying and enforcing their rules and we fully support this. For example, they insist that all dealers remain open for business until 4 PM on the Saturday of the show. This allows attendees, who in many cases come from long distances, to be able to cover the entire show. This creates potential selling opportunities for dealers. It also portrays a more professional approach than attendees being run over by dealers trying to make an early exit from the show. It also looks bad to a person who has paid a full admission price to see a half empty hall. I am fully in favor of this rule as long as it’s applied in a consistent fashion. We made a number of sales in the last two hours of the show.
I have never missed a MAX Show in the 34 years since it started and have every intention of continuing to support this show. It is still a vital part of the hobby. I totally encourage those of you who have stopped going to the MAX for one reason or another, or who have never attended a MAX show, to plan on attending next year.  If you need additional encouragement or have a question, call us!
Bill with young and enthusiastic collector Elliot
Speaking of Attendance, from our perspective, I thought the attendance was better than 2017. I could be wrong but it sure stayed busy at our tables. It was the first show where I still had both Volumes I and II of my well received books THE STORIES BEHIND THE TREASURES OF WORLD WAR II “The Making of a Collectorholic” available and I sold lots of numbered, personalized and signed books. I was electrified by the kind comments from readers of Volume I and II.
Once again, I know the people who did attend were pleased by the variety, quality and quantity of the items being offered. I had a number of collectors show me items they bought at this MAX Show that really were bargains! Many times they said they were able to pick up an item or two for their collection.
Bill with Shaun with his new TOY
Once again, I was pleased that I had the opportunity to spend a little extra time with some collectors, so it turned out to be beneficial from that standpoint. I met people for the first time and that will pay dividends down the road. I also saw people that had not been to a MAX Show in years return and that was good to see!
Bill admires Jonathan's latest acquisitions from TRD
I talked to people from Japan, South Africa, Australia, Greece just to name a few. Many of the regulars from the EU were also there.
Sales were very decent and better than the last few years! Once again, thanks to the beauty of the internet, several of my customers asked me to bring items to the show. This certainly helped. The exchange rate was better this year than last year at this time but I did not notice an additional influx of Europeans, Russians or Asians. Who knows what the future holds regarding the pendulum swing of currency? We didn’t break any records but we considered this a VERY GOOD show.
Purchases were also numerous. Once again, even though I honestly did not have the time to wander the aisles at all, I did manage to get myself in trouble on more than one occasion. I was selective in what I bought but there is plenty that you will see with upcoming updates on the site, so stay tuned!
My Staff consisted of the always present Dave MacKinnon, as well as my son, Patrick, now a seasoned veteran of his eighth MAX Show. Also along to his seventh MAX show was my staff photographer, Jeff Demers. ( ). If you are looking for a professional photographer to shoot one piece or your entire collection for a very reasonable rate, please contact Jeff. He brings new meaning to “Have camera, will travel!”  Just take a look at the photos on my website to see his work. My good pal and adopted son, Kevin Bourgeois, rounded out the Ruptured Duck Show Team.
That good looking bugger in our team shot was my pal from down under. This was Paul Lynch’s second trip to the MAX so we let him come behind the table as long as he was behaving himself.

I hope to see even more of you at the next MAX!



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