WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- If money were no object, what would
top your holiday wish list? Flashy cars? Private yachts? Not for a new breed
of millionaire men, who have dropped luxury items from their wish list in
pursuit of faster, more powerful and much more dangerous toys.
This gift-giving season the National Geographic Channel (NGC) gives you a
chance to experience the adrenaline-rushing, testosterone-pounding items on
the wish lists of men with money to burn and a hunger to own some of the
finest ex-military hardware in the world. On December 15 from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT
join NGC as it premieres Tycoon Toys, two one-hour specials that put viewers
in the driver's seat next to millionaires as they play with some of history's
deadliest tanks and military aircraft -- some literally in their backyards!
See what motivates these alpha males to indulge in a pastime where a
single mistake can mean instant death. Each episode also showcases the
histories behind each machine, the battles they fought, their destructive
capabilities and the skills needed to operate them.
In Tycoon Toys: "Tanks," airing at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, viewers will go for a
ride in some of the most remarkable ground fighting vehicles ever built and
visit with their new owners -- some of the world's most renowned tank
collectors -- as they demonstrate the awesome capabilities of their prized
machines. See what makes these high spenders' engines run and why owning
killing machines like the Sherman Tank, German Panzer, British Scorpion and
M18 Hellcat fighting vehicle is just half the fun.
For some collectors, their ultimate hobby reaches its peak during an
annual weekend of war games. Jon Shoop is a member of the 14th Armored
Division World War II reenactment group and owns two of the platoon's M5A1
Stuart tanks. National Geographic Channel follows him and his friends as they
take their tanks to a reenactment event at Fort Knox where they put on a
stunning battle scenario, pushing their tanks to the limits.
For others like Andre and Renaud Veluzat, a big part of the fun is
building their arsenal. They started with one tank and now own a collection of
400 armored vehicles. What began as their hobby is now one of the world's most
prized collections of ex-military ground vehicles and has drawn the attention
of the movie industry. The brothers' war wares have been seen in dozens of
Hollywood films, and they have turned their hobby into a prosperous business.
Tycoon Toys: "Fighter Jets," airing at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, features men who
prefer to put some of the world's most renowned fighter planes through their
paces -- extraordinary aircraft like the Electric Lightning, MiG fighting jet,
"Widow Maker" Starfighter, F15 fighter and the Cobra Attack Helicopter. Once
flown by ace military pilots, these former war birds are now somebody's
passionate and very expensive hobby. With 4,000 pounds of thrust and top
speeds twice the speed of sound, it's a hobby that attracts a certain kind of
individual -- men who have both the money and the guts to take the ultimate
Who are these men and why do they collect and fly these exceptional
machines? Most are high achievers like Bob Lutz, Chairman of General Motors
North America, one of the most powerful men in the car industry, who says that
flying fighter jets reminds him of his youth and keeps him young.
Businessman Mike Beachy Head has created his own private museum of fully
operational military jets. His squadron consists of 14 of some of the most
awesome aircraft ever built, including classics like the English Electric
Lightning, which can travel over twice the speed of sound. Says Head, "I
remember once going vertical in a Lightning at sunset, just the only man in
the sky and this incredible golden light and then I arced the airplane over
hanging weightless at 20,000 feet looking at the most remarkable sunset."
Go inside the world of Tycoon Toys, where men with unlimited wealth can
buy anything, even some of the world's biggest toys. Tanks and planes may not
fit under their holiday trees, but they are at the top of their wish lists.
They buy them, drive them, fly them and shoot them ... and they do it for fun.
Based at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the
National Geographic Channel is a joint venture between National Geographic
Television & Film (NGT&F) and Fox Cable Networks. National Geographic Channel
debuted to an initial 10 million homes in January 2001, and has been one of
the fastest growing networks in history. The Channel has carriage with all of
the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it
currently available to 52 million homes. For more information, please visit
SOURCE National Geographic Channel