The 5th edition of the Amsterdam Aviation Collectors Fair took place at the Vanzantenhal venue on September 16 and 17, 2023.
As a collector who resides in the United States, the Atlantic Ocean represents a major obstacle when it comes to attending shows in the old world. The cost of transatlantic travel (even when you can travel for "cheap") can detract from any deals that you might find at the event. But there is more than just the models and other collectibles; there is also the experience and the unique opportunity to meet with collectors from other parts of the world. Additionally, since many prominent figures of the hobby tend to attend larger international shows, such as the Amsterdam Fair, these shows are an opportunity to get a glimpse of the ins and outs of this hobby that we are so passionate about.
The organizers of the fair did a great job of promoting the fair, to the point that I went from simply being aware of it to seriously interested in attending. Work and family responsibilities needed to be sorted out, but everything came together, and on September 14 I found myself at IAH holding a ZED ticket for UAL20 (airline industry perks, I would not have pulled the trip off without them).
I arrived early at IAH and while leisurely strolling around I came across a large Concorde model in the British Airways Landor livery displayed in the lobby of the HAS Executive Lounge at terminal D. I have walked countless times in front of that lounge but had never seen this model there. Talk about setting the tone for a trip to an aviation collectibles fair!
My ride to Amsterdam:
I got a seat (no window, unfortunately, but beggars can't be choosers...), and after a two-hour delay caused by some earlier thunderstorms, we were on our way.
I was amazed at how many die-cast models were available, and generally for good prices too. Also, there was an impressive selection of 1:500 models, although many were repeated.
Enjoy the photos:
The transatlantic trek was well worth it. While I did bring home some nice models, it was the social aspect of the show that made the experience exhilarating. I got to catch up with fellow collectors as well as meet in person many of the European collectors that I knew from the internet. It was also nice to see the massive NG Models mold unveiling firsthand.
Dedicated aviation collectors are a rare breed, so it is always exciting to interact with like-minded aviation enthusiasts in person. While touring the worldwide collectibles show circuit might not be viable to most of us, I would like to encourage collectors to try to visit one of the major international shows at least once (once every few years is even better). Just remember to bring cash and a big hard-case suitcase.
My ride back to IAH:
Jorge A. Zajia