Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Presenting the Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition Trophy and Rules!

Finally I can unveil the trophy!


Presenting the trophy to be awarded to the #01 Champion of the Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition at Cooter's Last Stand presented by DukesCollector.com!  I am very proud of this championship cup!


Standing at over 14 inches tall, and quite heavy, this metal cup is a thing of beauty.  The 01 emblem was attached by yours truly and is on there good.


The base is actual marble and the plaque is engraved to perfection.  I'm basically sad that I have to give this beauty away and I'm going to be jealous of whoever wins it.


The #01 Championship Cup was built by our friends at Crown Awards and is something special.  The back and side of the marble base is black and just begging for some cast members of the Dukes of Hazzard to apply their autograph to it.  I'll see if I can make that happen before the competition.


Though there is only one trophy to be handed out, everyone who participates will receive a Certificate of Participation that will be signed by Cooter and the host of the competition  (Hey! That me!)


Along with the awards, I have been hard at work putting this competition together.  I wrote all the questions, wrote the rules, and printed up everything we will need.  This is going to be so much fun!

Speaking of the rules, here they are, all official like:

The Dukes of Hazzard
Trivia Competition at
Cooter’s
Last Stand
Presented by DukesCollector.com

Rules

Competitors will be chosen at random from those who signed up.  A random number generator will be used to choose the competitors. 

Depending on how many people sign up, a pool of competitors will be chosen for the first round.

Players can only sign up once.  If a player signs up and chooses not to play, that player cannot pick his or her replacement and another random player will be chosen. 

The first round will be an elimination round.  Competitors will be given a dry-erase board.  Their answers will be written on the board.  Multiple answer questions will be asked and competitors must answer each question correctly. 

Any missed question in the elimination round will result in elimination.

The elimination round will continue until there are three competitors left.

When there are three competitors left, the quiz show round will begin.  Competitors will be given a buzzer.  The first player to buzz in after the question is read will have an opportunity to answer the question.  The player will be awarded one point for each correct answer. 

There is no penalty for an incorrect answer, but the other players will have an opportunity to buzz in and answer the question.    

The last question will be a wager question.  Competitors can wager any or all of their points on the last question.

The player with the most points after the last question will be crowned #01 Champion of the Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition at Cooter’s Last Stand and be awarded the coveted trophy along with a prize from Daisy Country. 

Each player that is chosen at random to play will receive a Certificate of Participation autographed by Ben Jones. 


By participating in the Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition at Cooter’s Last Stand, eligible players hereby irrevocably agree to comply with these Official Game Rules and agree to abide by all decisions of the host, which shall be final and binding on all eligible Players in all matters relating to the game. There shall be no right of appeal. To be awarded a prize, an eligible player must comply with all provisions of these rules.



So official, I wrote them in a different font.  This competition will be for the biggest Dukes trivia buffs out there.  I'm hoping to find fans who know every little thing Dukes.  Some of the questions are pretty tricky.  The trivia competition will take place on Sunday during Cooter's Last Stand and I can't wait.  See you there!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Limited Edition Lego Rosco's Patrol Car by C3Brix at Cooter's Last Stand


Cody did it again!  The one and only Cody Wells of C3Brix has created another limited edition Lego masterpiece for us crazy Dukes of Hazzard fans.  This time it's a Lego version of Rosco's Hazzard County Patrol Car and it will only be available at Cooter's Last Stand.


Just like the General Lee last year at the Grand Opening of Daisy Country, the Patrol Car is limited.  This time around there will only be 100 cars available, and I'm pretty sure they will go fast at the event.


The detail Cody put in to this car is amazing.  It looks just like it should.  The specially printed Sheriff logo piece really adds the fine detail to the car.


You can almost imagine a tiny Lego Flash riding shotgun inside.


Like the 01 piece on the General Lee, the badge on the door really makes the car special.  The fact that these pieces have printed logos, not just stickers are what make Cody's products so nice.  He really puts effort into them, and it shows.


The car is the same size as last year's General Lee.  I'm really glad that we now have Rosco's car to chase the Dukes boys around in.




I can just imagine a Lego Hazzard County Courthouse behind these two cars.  Hmm.... Hey Cody!


Just like last year at the Grand Opening of Daisy Country, the Cooter's Last Stand Limited Edition Lego Rosco's Hazzard County Patrol Car by C3Brix will come in tins that will be individually numbered.  The car and the tin make great display pieces.



Cody will, of course, be at Cooter's Last Stand and he's bringing some surprises.  He's created a very special Hazzard County Championship Wrestling Belt that I can't wait to see in person.  Cooter's Last Stand is going to be so much fun.  I can't wait until next week!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Dukes Of Hazzard: Gone Racin' - A Book Report


Did you know there was an official story of how Bo and Luke went to NASCAR and were replaced on the farm by Coy and Vance?

No, not the story of how John and Tom left the show and were replaced by Byron and Chris, but an actual "in cannon" story of the events that lead to Bo and Luke leaving Hazzard to chase their stock car racing dreams and how Coy and Vance ended up back in Hazzard!


The Dukes of Hazzard: Gone Racin' by Eric Alter is a novel that was released in 1982.  It is a collectible that's a little on the rare side but I've had it in my collection for quite some time.  I have both the standard American version and the British version.  Both of them are in excellent condition and I never really wanted to read them because it would crease the spine of the paperback.



The front of both editions have similar artwork that is used on a number of different items but most noticeably used on the album cover and the shoe box.  The American version has been photoshopped in a weird manner that cuts away the top of the General Lee to show the bottoms of the characters.



The British version doesn't have this oddity on it.



Each version has a different familar Dukes of Hazzard logo on top.  The backs of each version are more different than the front.  The American version has more artwork that includes another picture of the Gen'ral, the police car, and the Jeep.  Also included are actual pictures, not artwork, of Coy and Vance looking quite out of place (don't they always look out of place?)  The British version just has text.  The blurbs on the back of each are similar, but have a few differences.  The British version refers to our favorite car as only "The General." It also separates the third paragraph and for some reason has it in a different color than the rest.  The American version has everything in one paragraph.


Originally I thought that the only reason the other cousins, Coy and Vance, were added to the back cover were because this book came out in '82, during John and Tom's strike, but had already been written with Bo and Luke as the stars.  I thought they included Coy and Vance just because they would be on TV when it was released.  I was wrong.  This book actually tells the tale of Bo and Luke leaving Hazzard!  I was blown away by this story.  It really was surprising.


A few years ago, I bought a copy of the book in rough condition and more or less forgot about it.  Recently I have been organizing everything and adding items to the new DukesCollector.com collection database and got the three different copies of the book together.  I decided that it was time to finally read the only official Dukes novel so I took the beat up copy with me to the beach and read it as I sat in the sand before playing volleyball every day.  I really expected this book to be on the same level as today's "young adult" books:  geared toward young readers and pretty basic.  I was really surprised that the book was well done and had a story that really kept me involved.  Ok, I would be excited about any Dukes story, but it is definitely on a much higher level than the read along stories that came with record and tapes that were geared toward elementary students.

Right off the bat, you recognize that the narrator is not the balladeer from the show.  There is a narrator, but he just doesn't have the same feel for the story as Waylon.  It is obvious that the author didn't try to replicate Waylon's style and that is appreciated.  The book does start off like a typical episode, but the narrator goes into a little more detail introducing the reader to Hazzard County and the characters.  The book is meant to be read by fans of the show, but could also be enjoyed by folks who never saw an episode.  At the beginning, Bo and Luke are flying through Hazzard in the General Lee, whose "engine sounds like a herd of angry buffalo."  There are a lot of phrases like this throughout the book.  The Dukes have an impromptu race with a blue sedan and both cars get chased by Rosco.  The Duke Boys out-drive the out-of-towner and Rosco ends up in the pond.  Typical Dukes stuff that we love.  That is followed by a scheme by Boss Hogg to swindle the Duke Farm away from the Dukes, nothing new here.  One addition from the beginning of the book that I loved was the introduction of Barnard Pugh, from "the County Land Assessors Office" that was sent by Boss Hogg to estimate what the foreclose auction would bring.  A Real Estate Appraiser!  In Hazzard County!  Just like me!!  Boss's latest scheme involved phony back taxes and making the Dukes come up with $10,000 or he would foreclose on the farm so he could build "Hoggland, a year-round resort for vice and corruption."  Nothing too far from the TV show yet.

A little more backstory is given to some characters than we ever see in the show.  The story of Uncle Jesse being the best moonshiner around is told.  It goes into detail about the government taxing liquor and moonshiners evading the taxes.  It tells about Jesse running from the Revenuers and being the best at it.  It also mentions that Bo came to live with Jesse first as a teenager followed by Luke, then Daisy.  And then about Jesse letting the boys go on one moonshine run and how hey got caught their first time.  It then tells about the deal Jesse made with the government to keep the boys out of prison and on probation.  All of that is from the first four pages of chapter two.  It is also mentioned that Bo and Luke are both 21 years old.  Their age is never mentioned on the show.

After the introductions, the book really sways away from a standard episode.  The driver of the blue sedan from the beginning turns out to be stock car world champion Fireball Watson.  A detailed story about how moonshiners evading revenuers lead to the creation of stock car racing is included.  The Duke Boys impressed Champion Fireball Watson with their driving skills and he says if he can ever help them out, to look him up.  They then see an article that says the winner of the Daytona 500 could take home $100,000.  After that the Dukes enter the General Lee in to the Daytona 500.  Yup.  The story is only a little over the top.  Well, I guess a little more than a little.  Bo, Luke, Daisy, Uncle Jesse, and Cooter form the Dukes Family Racing Team and travel to Florida.  Boss Hogg can't let the the Dukes win the big race so he employs a new patrol car for Rosco to chase the General Lee in.  The new car has a name, the Exterminator, and is described as the fastest, most powerful patrol car available.  The make or model of the car is never detailed nor is any information given about the appearance of the car, but I sort of pictured it as being similar to the Johnny Lightning Hazzard County Patrol Car Zinger.


The Exterminator is a fun new addition and plays in to the story a lot throughout the book.

The Dukes get into several adventures on the way to Florida including driving an accident victim to the hospital in the General and getting a police escort over the state line.  Boss, Rosco, and Cletus also travel to Florida and there are scenes similar to the the (later) final season episode "The Dukes in Hollywood" that are fish out of water scenarios that include Boss Hogg living it up in a luxury hotel.   When the Dukes finally make it to the Sunshine State they see the ocean for the first time and camp out on the beach.

Along their adventure the cousins each find love interests, Bo and Luke meet twins Tonya and Tamara, daughters of Fireball Watson and Daisy falls for Houston Crawford II, the son of the biggest race promoter in NASCAR.  One aspect of the story that stuck out to me was Luke seemed to be more impulsive than Bo and Bo was more level headed and is the cousin to get the family out of a jam.  The author sort of switched those role between the cousins.  There was also one instance in the book that said "Bo and Duke..." which is an error that always bugged me when it would show up in articles and advertisements.

The General doesn't jump that often in the story, but there is a big one in the book.  During a police chase where the entire Daytona police force, and the Exterminator are chasing the Duke Boys they take the Gen'ral off the pier and jump him into the ocean.  Yeah I guess the book is a little too over the top. The General Lee was going so fast before the jump that it skips across the water and the boys are able to stop on the beach and hide out under the pier to escape.  The big climax involves the General Lee racing in the Daytona 500 and Rosco, in the Exterminator, actually chases them around the track.

While reading the book, sitting on the beach, I commented to Natalie that they could actually tie this in to the TV story line and leave Bo and Luke on the NASCAR circuit and bring in Coy and Vance.  I was still under the impression that this book was planned before John and Tom left and it coincidentally had an over the top story about Bo and Luke chasing their dream to race on the NASCAR circuit.  After the story was resolved in the book, the NASCAR promoters offered Bo and Luke positions as drivers and they declined because they had responsibilities on the farm.  Then Uncle Jesse told them that they should follow their dreams and don't worry about the working on the farm because he just received a letter from his other nephews who are "tired of wandering all over the world" and want to come back to Hazzard County.  I was stunned.  When was this book written??  Was this ending added to accommodate for the departure of Bo and Luke?  I'm left with answers to so many questions.  I've been pretty deep inside the Dukes of Hazzard world for quite a while and I've never known there was an official story that took place between seasons 4 and 5.  I'm really surprised that I've never talked to another Dukes fanatic about this book.

One issue that I had with the book is a coin flip between Bo and Luke to decide who drives the Gen'ral in the Daytona 500.  They flipped a coin a few times before in the story and it was established that this was a normal occurrence.  The final flip is the big one.  Bo flips the coin and and doesn't show it.  Luke called tails and Bo peeked under his hand.  It was tails but Bo told Luke it was heads.  Bo lied to Luke and took the wheel of the General Lee.  The entire time I was reading the rest of the book I thought that lie was going to come back somehow, but it never did.  It was often expressed how much the family meant to each other and how the Dukes don't lie and right before the big finish, Bo lied to Luke.  I've always been a "Bo guy" so it upset me that his character was smeared a little.  I'm not sure why the author included that part and never revisited it.  Odd.

In the end, the story flowed right into the first episode of season 5.  Again, I am shocked that I never knew much about this book.  If you have one in you collection, give it a read.  I left a lot of details out of this book report and hopefully didn't spoil it for anyone who actually plans on reading it.  There are a few pages of pictures in the middle of the book and I included them below,  nothing that has to do with the story and nothing we haven't seen before.  The Dukes of Hazzard: Gone Racin' is a surprising and fun book, a great addition to the collection, and an important part of the Dukes of Hazzard legend that I never knew existed.





Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Announcing The Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition at Cooter's Last Stand Presented by DukesCollector.com

Cooter's Last Stand is about a month away and today I get to announce something I'm very excited about and have been working very hard on. During all the great festivities of Cooter's Last Stand, there is going to be a Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition, and it will be presented by DukesCollector, and I'm hosting it!!!


The Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition 
At Cooter's Last Stand
 presented by DukesCollector.com

The trivia competition will be open to all Dukes of Hazzard fans but the questions won't be too easy. I'm looking for the most knowledgeable Dukes fans to compete against each other with one Dukes fanatic taking the crown as Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Champion!   The competition will bring together aspects of everyone's favorite game shows and will be fun for the competitors and for those watching. The champion will win a one of a kind Dukes of Hazzard themed trophy as well as other prizes yet to be announced.  A few well known Dukes friends will be helping out with the competition and their names will be announced soon.  More details and official rules will be released here on DukesCollector as well as on the Cooter's Place homepage and facebook.  Study up on your Dukes knowledge and get ready for an epic showdown between the most discerning Dukes of Hazzard minds at the greatest Dukes of Hazzard event to date: Cooter's Last Stand.



Cooter's Last Stand takes place July 29th and 30th at Cooter's Place in Luray, Virginia.  Drawing from the tradition of Dukesfest and Hazzard Homecoming, Ben and Alma will make Cooter's Last Stand an event to remember.  On top of the Dukes of Hazzard Triva Competition, the cast of the Dukes of Hazzard, John Schneider, Tom Wopat, Catherine Bach, Ben Jones, Sonny Shroyer, Rick Husrt, Don Pedro Colley, and more will attend, there will be hundreds of General Lees, many other Hazzard vehicles, stunt shows, professional wrestling, a civil war reenactment, BMX stunts, and so much more.  Tickets are on sale now at CootersPlace.com This is going to be the greatest Dukes event ever and I'm so happy I get to host the trivia competition.  I will unveil the Championship Trophy soon and have all the details and rules closer to the event.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Knickerbocker's Dukes of Hazzard Toys


During the Golden Era of Dukes of Hazzard toys, there were several big toy companies creating Dukes items.  Ertl, Mego, Gordy, and Knickerbocker were the biggest.  They each had their own spin on Dukes products, Mego was action figures, Ertl was diescast, Gordy was, well a bunch of random things, and Knickerbocker really cornered the market on plastic mechanical General Lee toys.  I've blogged about a lot of these items as they came into the collection, but I wanted to write a Knickerbocker specific post and take a picture of just about everything the toy giant had to offer to the Dukes world.  Let's dive in to the Knickerbocker's stunt, jump, speed, bust, race sets.


Knickerbocker Toy Company, Inc. started in 1850 in New York City making blocks and educational toys.  They started manufacturing teddy bears and stuffed animals in the early decades of the twentieth cenutry and set the standard for the affordable teddy bear in this country.  The company moved to Middlesex, NJ in the mid- '60 and around that time they began producing licensed toys with the introduction of Smokey the Bear and made many popular products in the '70s including stuffed animals and plush toys for Raggedy Anne, Disney and Sesame Street.  They made plush Superheros for Marvel and DC and had action figures based on Annie, and the 80's Lord of the Rings figure line. They also made E.T. toys.  In 1978 they were purchased by Warner Bros. so naturally they were the perfect fit to produce Dukes toys.    


There are several large Dukes playsets produced by Knickerbocker.  The biggest is the Speed Jumper.  I've written about the Speed Jumper before and even recorded some video of it in action.  It consists of a two-piece jump ramp and a landing ramp for the two-speed General Lee.  Also included are walls, flags, and traffic cones.


Like many toys of the '80s there were lots of stickers that needed to be attached.  I have sets that had the stickers attached by Dukes fans in the past, and a set that is in close to mint condition.  I have a set with black plastic ramps as well as a few with yellow.


The Stunt Jumper also came in a mail-away package with a giant sticker on the box.  It comes with everything the standard version does, just without the pretty box.



I really like the artwork used.  It is the same image of Bo, Luke, and Daisy used on the wrist racer package and store display.  


One of the most memorable and popular Dukes items ever created is the Barnbusters set.  I wrote about this set early on on DukesCollector. Our good pal "Uncle Jesse" created a very nice website dedicated to just this set.  His site has a wealth of information about the set.  Check it out here.  The set consists of a barn for the Gen'ral to bust through as well as a ramp and wall.  Also included are barrels and hay bails for the General Lee to push around.  There are several areas on the set that make the General Lee do different things such as jumps and wheelies.


The General Lee goes into the barn on four wheels and thanks to pegs on the wheels and rails inside comes busting out doing a wheelie.  Very realistic to the show.  I recorded video of the barnbustin' Gen'ral for an older post as well.


The final large boxed set is the Stuntbuster.  The Stuntbuster Action Stunt Set is very similar to the Barnbuster but a little smaller.  It doesn't include the ramp and wall for the General Lee to run into.  It just has the barn and a detachable runway.  It also comes with barrels, hay bails, and a fence.  Both sets share the same artwork on the box.  The artwork is more realistic than the Speed Jumper art. Even though the artwork features a shot of the General Lee that looks like a real Charger, Knickerbocker added a spoiler to the car so it matched the product.  Nice touch Knockerbocker.  I blogged about a pajama set that uses the same artwork but doesn't have the spoiler in this post.  I wonder which product was designed first.


I went into more detail on this set in a previous post as well.


The General Lee is the star of the Knickerbocker boxed playsets.  Each came with a version of the Gen'ral with a spoiler on the back.  If you didn't want the set, or wanted extra cars, you could buy Knickerbocker's General Lee Stunt Buster.  Knickerbocker had many different names for their Dukes set, Speed Jumper, Barnbuster, and Stuntbuster.  I'm surprised the individually carded General Lee shares the same name with a playset.  I noticed the playset seems to not have a space between "Stunt" and "Buster" so the distinction is the Stuntbuster is the full boxed playset and the Stunt Buster is the individual car.  The Stunt Buster also comes with a crash wall.


The back of the package has some nice graphics and advertises the Finger Racers, but we'll get to those soon.


There seems to be two different versions of the Stunt Buster.  The one I have in the best condition has a small sticker under the first of the three images of the car in action that says "new 2 speed car."  The one on the left doesn't have that sticker.  Also the one on the left has the decals already attached. Maybe it came out first and doesn't have the two speed feature.  I have no plans on opening them to find out.


I just picked up the Stunt Buster car on a package error card.  Someone in Middlesex, NJ let this bad boy get into the wild.  The card is upside down.  Or maybe the car is.  It's all about perspective.


The package is the same and has the 2 speed sticker.  It was even sold at Kay Bee Toys, at a discounted price.  I love oddities like this.


Here are three versions of the single Knickerbocker Stunt Buster General Lee.


I have the same car in an Italian package that comes with the same ramp and different stickers.  It doesn't mention Dukes but that didn't stop me from adding it to the collection.  There are also foreign versions of the larger playsets, but I haven't tracked down any of those yet.  Knickerbocker licensed the use of the set to Harbert Sports to be packaged as the Autorodeo set.  You can read more about this set in this post about foreign Dukes items.


All of the sets above share a similar General Lee plastic car.  That was not the only design from Knickerbocker.  The Wrist Racers and Finger Racers are also beloved additions to many Dukes of Hazzard collections.


One of the most popular Dukes toys out there, and one that many casual fans remember from their childhood is the Dukes of Hazzard Wrist Racer Stunt Car.  Many people remember the car without the wrist strap and ramp.  I've had several people tell me they thought this car came in a Dukes of Hazzard Happy Meal, but it didn't.  I showcased all the Dukes McDonald's products in a recent post.


The Wrist Racers included both the General Lee and the Police Cruiser.  The Gen'ral does wheelies and the Police Cruiser does spin-outs.  They seem to do the same things when I wind them up and let them go.


I have standard and multi-language versions of both of these cars.  The ones pictured on the left are labeled to be released by Knickerbocker and Ganz Bros. and feature English and French.  They were released in Canada.  


On top of just being wind-up toys, the Wrist Racer includes a strap with a bubble and a ramp.  You put the car in the bubble, wind it up, pull the ramp, and hit the button on the back.  The bubble pops up and the car flies out.


The playsets only include a General Lee but the smaller toys have Rosco's car in the mix.


Many people remember having just the cars without the wrist strap.  I have several cars and only a few straps.  They are great, inexpensive additions to any collection.  I've added a bunch to my collection over the years.


I was lucky enough to add this store display advertising the Wrist Racers to the collection last year.  It features our Duke Cousins and Rosco playing with the toys.  I really love the artwork of the characters.


Recently I purchased this General Lee Wrist Racer that might be a mail-away version.  It might also just be a complete Wrist Racer in a box with a Barnbuster sticker on it.


The reason I believe it is a mail-away is that it comes with instructions that did not come on the carded version.


They are the same instructions that are printed on the back of the card, but on paper.  I'm calling it a mail-away version and sticking with it.  These are the powers afforded to me by having a Dukes of Hazzard toy blog.  The mail-away Speed Jumper set is quite rare.  I've never seen another mail-away Wrist Racer so it seems to be even more rare.  I just proclaimed that an item exists and attached rarity to it.  I love having this blog.


The final entry in the Knickerbocker Dukes of Hazzard line are the Finger Racer Crash Cars.


Like the Wrist Racers, the Finger Racers include the Gen'ral and Rosco's car.  They are smaller and are spring loaded as opposed to wind-up.  

 

The Finger Racers have a little launcher that fits on your finger and a button that launches them. When they hit a wall, the top of the cars fly off.


The three Knickerbocker General Lees each have distinct features and each resemble a real Charger only a little.  I just realized the Stunt Buster car I used in this picture has the flag decal attached sideways.


I sure have a bunch of Knickerbocker Dukes of Hazzard toys.  I love getting everything together like this and showing it off as a collection.  Now to post all of these cars to my new DukesCollector.com database.  Ain't this fun?