Steve McHugh and Antonio Palazzola are ready for their close-up.

The two Hesperia businessmen are stars of the new 13-episode reality show "Barter Kings," which debuts Tuesday on A&E Network.

McHugh, who owns Express Super Pawn on Hesperia Road, and Palazzola have been involved in cash-free trading since 2008.

"We kind of saw what was going on," McHugh said. "We had a lot of accumulated stuff" and fewer buyers for goods. "Everybody had the same exact story: They had all this stuff that they're not using."

And in a down economy, few were able to get the cash they believed their goods were worth but they needed other goods themselves without necessarily having the cash to pay for it.

The pair post announcements online on Craigslist and on email distribution lists, announcing that they're looking to make a given trade.

"In the old days, it might take a year to do (complete) trades," McHugh said. "Now, it takes five or six days."

In the first episode of "Barter Kings," McHugh starts with Elvis Presley gold records and trades his way up to a speedboat that had been sitting, covered up and unused, for three years.

"I actually wish I had those back," he said, "They were pretty cool."

In the same episode, Palazzola turns a used laptop computer into a lifted pickup truck.

The show has been taping since Feb. 6, not including the 45 days spent taping the pilot in the summer of 2011, and is scheduled to wrap up production at the end of June.

Outside of McHugh's one day as a movie extra, this is the pair's first brush with the entertainment industry. So far, they've only seen the first episode and three commercials.

"The reality of this didn't hit until the first commercial hit," McHugh said. "(Palazzola) got eight texts in two seconds."

Palazzola's middle school and high school-aged children now look at him in a whole new light.

"Before, they didn't want anything to do with me, but now, Dad's the coolest thing on Earth," he said.

"Barter Kings" debuts on A&E with two back-to-back episodes at 9 p.m. Tuesday.