Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Greenlight Collectibles Hazzard County Sheriff 1977 Plymouth Fury 1/18

Good news, Good News!  Rosco P. Coltrane has a new 1/18 scale patrol car to chase the 1/18 General Lee!  Greenlight Collectibles is a new name in Hazzard County, but they have an impressive line-up of Hollywood diecast replicas and they added Rosco's 1977 Plymouth Fury Hazzard County Sheriff Patrol Car to their lineup.  The Plymouth Fury and Dodge Monaco were very similar cars and were interchanged during the production of the Dukes of Hazzard. 

Greenlight Collectibles has an extensive list of Hollywood replicas that include titles such as The Walking Dead, the Fast and the Furious, A-Team, National Lampoon's Vacation, Supernatural, Smokey and the Bandit, The Terminator, Hunter, Starsky and Hutch, and Lost.  They've used this particular Plymouth Fury/Dodge Monaco casting in many different lines and I have to believe they created it with the intention of releasing the most popular version of the car, Rosco's police car.  If you want to be THE name in Hollywood replicas, you have to have THE license that's at the top of Hollywood cars, the Dukes of Hazzard.

This car is a part of Greenlight's Artisan Collection.  I don't have any experience with Greenlight as this is their first Hazzard car, but it seems like the Artisan Collection is the cream of their crop and includes many of their Hollywood cars.  Buckle up for safety, and let's take a look at Rosco's new car.

The first thing you might notice on the box is the lack of Dukes of Hazzard logos.  This car does not appear to be licensed by Warner Bros. and is not a piece of official Dukes of Hazzard merchandise.  I reached out to Greenlight before this car was released to discuss the car, but I never heard back.  I'm not sure if Greenlight released this car without Warner Bros. knowledge or approval or if they tried to get the license and were denied.  WB has been slowly releasing Dukes products lately so maybe they let Greenlight release this car to test the waters for future Dukes products.  I have no actual information as to the reasoning behind this car being unlicensed because I have not spoken to anyone at Greenlight.  If anyone at Greenlight would like to discuss this car, I'd love to talk.  

The front of the box features a picture of the product, the large cursive "Fury" and a country road scene.  Again, no Dukes of Hazzard logos or WB legal information.

The side of the box features the Fury design and another country road scene as well as a house that looks like it would fit more on the set of Gone with the Wind than in Hazzard County.

The top of the box is all green with the Artisan Collection logo.

The bottom of the box features Greenlight Collectible's legal information as well as legal information about Plymouth.  We are used to seeing legal information about Dukes and Warner Bros. here, but there is none.  It is mentioned that this is a limited edition.

Moving on the the actual car, this thing is a beauty.  We finally have a 1/18 representation of Rosco's patrol car that is accurate to what we see on the show.  I can see 1/18 scale Rosco P. Coltrane flying this car into a 1/18 scale pond trying to chase the 1/18 scale Duke Boys in 1/18 scale Hazzard County.

All the characteristics of Rosco's Patrol car are there; the Sheriff decals on the fenders and the badge decal on the doors. 

The hood and trunk do not open as they do on previous Rosoc cars from Ertl/Johnny Lightning/Auto World.

The front end is the most memorable feature of the car and Greenlight nailed it.  This is definitely Rosco's car.  This is what Bo and Luke saw all the time in their rear view mirror.  The front license plate is blank.  On the show there is a rebel flag, but we didn't really expect Greenlight to add that detail.

The back plate is also blank.  Greenlight didn't add the 83522 plate that Rosco's car wears or the 83502 seen on Enos and Cletus's car.

If Greenlight wanted to just make this a car police car that is inspired by the Dukes of Hazzard, they could not have included the Hazzard County decal below the badge on the doors.  That still would have made Dukes fans happy and maybe stayed off of WB's radar, but this is 100% a Dukes of Hazzard car with the decal's inclusion.

The steering wheel doesn't move the wheels like previous Rosco 1/18 cars.  There is a little detail to the instrument panel and petals.

A CB radio unit is present in the car.  That is a nice little touch.

I'm not totally thrilled with the light bar.  It looks mostly correct but is in no way as detailed as Auto World's light bar, which was their selling point.  The light bar has pegs on the bottom that are placed into holes on the roof.  It does not fit snug and falls out of place when the car is moved.  I feel like it could have been a little tighter in the holes and not fallen out so easily.  It might get damaged if you're not careful.

The antenna also isn't my favorite part.  It is just a chrome rod that goes in a hole on the hood.  It doesn't fit snug and could easily be lost.

When placed in the car it leans to the side and looks crooked.  But we all know Rosco was a reckless driver and might have bent it when he was in hot pursuit!

I would definitely recommend this car to fellow Dukes Collectors.  It's the best representation of Rosco's car in 1/18 scale.  It may not have all the details of previous releases, but it is the most accurate.  Maybe even get two because wherever Rosco went, Enos wasn't far behind.

Let's compare it to the former title holder of "best 1/18 Rosco car" Auto World's Hazzard County 1975 Dodge Monaco Police Car.  If only looking at the box, I would have to go with AW's release because of the Dukes of Hazzard material shown.  The Greenlight car doesn't match the theme.

But when comparing the actual cars, the Greenlight wins.  The AW car has opening hood and trunk, steerable wheels, and a super detailed light bar, but it is not the model car we associate with Rosco and the Hazzard County Sheriff Department.  Greenlight's car looks like the car we know from the Dukes of Hazzard.  There is a new king in town.  Greenlight's Hazzard County 1977 Plymouth Fury is the new title holder of "best 1/18 Rosco car."  Long live the king.

Greenlight's car is a darker than AW's.  It's almost off-white compared to the super bright white of  the AW.  The front end of Greenlight's car definitely says Rosco P. Coltrane. 

The badge decal is also more detailed on the Greennlight car, on the bottom.  It is brighter and shows off more of the intricacies of the design.

Auto Word's coupe de gras is their light bar.  They made it incredibly detailed and the Greenlight car can't compete with that.

Not being as detailed as the Auto World car is reflected in the price of the Greenlight.  The Greenlight car retails for much less than the Auto World.

I wanted to include this fun picture.  I took off the Greenlight light bar and placed the AW car on top for the above picture comparing the badge decals.  This shot reminds me of the times Enos followed the General Lee off a jump and landed on Rosco's car and he just kept on following them Dukes Boys.  I love it, I love it! Kew Kew Kew!

Speaking of the General Lee.  I had to bring out the reigning king of all 1/18 Dukes of Hazzard diecasts, Auto World's Silver Screen Machine 1/18 General Lee.  Since Greenlight's Hazzard County 1977 Plymouth Fury was recently crowned as king of the 1/18 Rosco cars I had to have a royal summit between the two.

These two cars look perfect together.  They would look better with the General Lee flying over Rosco's car but I wasn't in the mood for action photography and I didn't really feel like launching the AW Gen'ral through the air.

Rosco's car hasn't been accurately represented throughout all the eras of Dukes Collecting.  When the show was on the air, Ertl released a Rosco car in 1/64 that was a Pontiac Bonneville.  That same car was rereleased in both the silver and modern eras.  In Johnny Lightning's huge Dukes of Hazzard 1/64 line, Rosco's car was an incorrect earlier model Monaco.  It wasn't until after the line ended that JL released a correct Dodge Monaco Rosco car, shown on the top left above.  The first accurate diecast Rosco car came in the 1997 Racing Champions 1/144 line, one of my favorite toy lines in all of the Dukes toys.  Another accurate Rosco car came from an unusual place, the Netherlands.  A company from the Netherlands, called Neo Scale Models,  produced an incredibly accurate 1/43 car in 2013.  The car, that has become quite rare is one of the best representations of Rosco's car, and is in no way licensed or authorized.  I got these three cars out to compare them to the new release from Greenlight.

You know I love these scale pictures.  1/18, 1/43, 1/64, and 1/144.  Rosco would be proud.

The Neo 1/43 is similar in color to the Greenlight.  The AW 1/64 is a little brighter and the 1/144 is super bright white.  Finally the second most prominent car in Hazzard,  Rosco P. Coltrane's patrol car, is accurately represented in the most popular scales.  

Greenlight Collectibles has plans to release this car in 1/43 scale in June and I have to believe a 1/64 model isn't far off.  I hope this car's popularity shows WB that we Dukes fans are hungry for more Dukes products.  It seems WB is dipping a toe into the Dukes of Hazzard waters, but I want them to dive in!  Open the Dukes of Hazzard floodgates and give us more!  I would love to see Greenlight's take on the most popular Hollywood car of all time, the General Lee!

There are rumors that Greenlight has plans to produce Uncle Jesse's Pickup as there is a similar truck in their The Walking Dead line.  Hey Greenlight, how about creating Cooter's Tow Truck, Daisy's Dixie Jeep and, of course, Boss Hogg's Caddy.  We could be on the precipice of an entire 1/18 scale Hazzard County.  Bring it on Greenlight!  We are hungry for more Dukes of Hazzard products!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

I Was A Guest On The Kibbe & Friends Podcast Talking Dukes Collecting

I was recently interviewed by Robert Kibbe for his Dukes of Hazzard themed podcast Kibbe and Friends.  We talked Dukes collectibles and I really enjoyed the chat.  We touched on a lot of topics including the Eras of Dukes Collecting, the 40 different 1/18s, the kiddie pool, and more.  This interview might serve as an introduction to some new readers here at the blog.  Welcome to my little corner of Hazzard County!  I like to talk Dukes.  It might also serve as some of my reader's introduction to the Dukes themed podcast.  Go check it out, Robert likes to talk Dukes.  Below are some pictures of a few of the items we discussed as well as links to more info. 

You can check out the Kibbe and Friends Podcast on Robert's site as well anywhere podcasts area available such as Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, and more.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hazzard County License Plates - CNH 320 - FCH 630 - Bo Duke And More!

Did you know that I love Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia?  Of course you did, but did you know that I have a special place in my heart for items that appear to be from the fictional Hazzard County?  Items like Boars Nest t-shirts and Cooter's Garage hats?  Things that would make good souvenirs from a trip through Hazzard, assuming your car makes it out in one piece.  These Hazzard County license plates fit right into that category of Dukes memorabilia, and most of them are available at each Cooter's Place location and on their website.  Let's take a look.

If you ever host Dukes of Hazzard trivia competitions, like I have been known to do, one of the old faithful questions has to be "what is the General Lee's license plate number?"  It's an easy one.  CNH 320 is as much a part of the the General Lee's uniform as the 01s and rebel flag.  There were a few variations of this plate used throughout the series.  There was one that just said Hazzard and later seasons used green instead of red.  This is the most widely known version and the version that is used on the products that include the plates like the 1/18 diecast models.  This plate is available at Cooter's Place.

On my most recent trip to Cooter's in Nashville, I saw this version on the shelf and had to get it.  Buying this new weathered CNH 320 plate probably inspired this blog post.  Michael and the crew at Cooter's come up with some cool designs and this is no exception.  Though we never saw the plate like this on the show, you could imagine seeing this plate hanging on the wall in the Boars Nest after Bo and Luke installed the green plate on the General.  I'm sure Boss Hogg required everyone to get new plates every couple of years just so he could squeeze as much money as possible from the citizens of Hazzard.

Obviously actual license plates have states on them, not just counties.  Though it became rather evident that Hazzard was in Georgia, it was never explicitly stated and early on Waylon said Hazzard was located where three southern states came together.  The states had a war and the loser got Hazzard.  Not being specific to any state meant the producers had to design their own plates.  My guess is that there is no reason behind CNH 320 and FCH 630.  There is no hidden meaning or backstory.  They just needed three letters and three numbers.  The Gen'ral got CNH 320 and Daisy's Roadrunner got FCH 630.  I loved the continuity where the plate followed Daisy from the Roadrunner to the Jeep.  FCH 630 makes another good trivia question.

The third Hazzard County plate that is rather memorable belongs on Boss Hogg's Cadillac.  Jefferson Davis Hogg had a vanity plate that read BOSS-1, and it fit his personality perfectly.  I'm not saying anything bad about vanity plates, it just takes a certain kind of person to have one.  Boss's choice of plate always reminded me of the presidential limousine known as Limo 1.  It's probably because Limo 1 was on an early episode called "Limo 1 Is Missing" where Cooter stole it.  Boss thought himself to be as important as the commander in chief, at least in Hazzard, so the plate fits him well.

So standard cars in Hazzard have three letters and three numbers.  There are also vanity plates available.  Then you have the government plates.  And the government in Hazzard is run by Boss Hogg.  83522 was the plate on every car Rosco P. Coltrane flipped, drove into the pond, smashed, or cut in half.  Boss probably found a way to charge the citizens for all the plates that needed to be replaced each time Rosco destroyed a car.  The little details like making sure the correct plate was on the correct car is appreciated by us fans, especially now that we can watch the show in glorious HD on Amazon Prime and really pick up those details.  Great job WB!

Hazzard County patrol cars usually came in twos.  Basically the only difference between Rosco's car and the one driven by Enos or Cletus, or briefly Enos and Cletus in season 5, was the license plate.  83502 only had one different digit than Rosco's.  It seems the deputies wrecked more often than Rosco so I'm sure Boss was making money off the production of these plates.

Now we're are getting into lesser known territory.  I could stump most everyone at a Dukes trivia event if I asked what Uncle Jesse's license plate read.  Sure, Will Rogers, Milton Dacus Jr, or JR Garrett might know the answer, but most fans might not come up with CL 7634.  Trucks in Hazzard had a different format, two letters and four numbers.  CL 7634 just doesn't roll off the tongue like CNH 320.  You didn't see Uncle Jesse's plate as often, but eagle eyed fans can spot it.

The final original Hazzard County license plate belongs to the person who probably installed all the above plates, Cooter Davenport.  Like Jesse's plate his is two letters and four numbers, FU 0265.  During the original run most people probably didn't see FU and think anything vulgar, or maybe they did.  But, also like Jesse's plate, it was rarely seen.  If the final Dukes Jeopardy question was "The license plate on Cooter's Hazzard County Tow Truck reads this," my guess is the three contestants would be hoping their wager was small enough to keep them in the lead.  "What is FU 0265" probably wouldn't be on the answer screen.  All eight of the above plates are available at Cooter's Place both at the three stores and online.

And now I'm envisioning how I can make Dukes of Hazzard Jeopardy a thing.

Moving on to some of the more obscure Hazzard County plates.  My favorite part about the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard movie, besides me being in it, was how original they kept the General Lee.  They only made minor changes like the General Lee text, the passenger side mirror, and the white letters on the tires.  Another tiny detail change was the updated license plate.  And I love that they kept it CNH 320!  In the movie it was more evident that Hazzard was in Georgia.  The Gen'ral didn't wear a Hazzard specific plate this time, but an actual Georgia plate.  Georgia ...on my mind and the peach are present along with the classic combo of three letters and three numbers.  I picked this replica up back in 2005 online.  You could probably find one if you looked hard enough.

Over 15 years ago, Bo Duke himself, John Schneider made four General Lees and sold three of them to fans.  They were perfect replicas except one little detail.  They each said Bo's General Lee above the door.  The fourth one was his personal car for years until it went to ebay and was bid up to a ridiculous number and didn't sell.  It was later sold to a fan on Barrett Jackson.  One of the other three recently sold on Mechum Auto Auctions.  I have a fondness for Bo's General Lees.   John offers this version of the classic CNH 320 plate on his online store.  I had to add one to my collection.  Everything matches the classic plate except the text on top.  I sure would like to have one of the Bo's General Lees one day.

Speaking of Bo Duke.  The story on this plate is that John Schneider drove a Porsche in Hollywood during production of the Dukes and he had a vanity plate that read BO DUKE.  I just love that.  John loved being Bo and wanted the world to know.  I bought a replica of the plate from John about eleven years ago.

It takes a certain kind of person to have a vanity plate.  I am that kind of person.  John loves being Bo Duke and so do I.  My family has called me Bo Duke my whole life.  I have had this plate on my car for about eleven years.  This is actually a newer version that the state sent me to replace the one currently on my car.  I haven't made the switch yet but will be adding my original to the collection when this one goes on my car.  I love having this plate.  People notice it all the time and I often times catch them taking pictures of it.  Sure, it's not on a General Lee, or a Porsche like John's, but people see it and it reminds them of the Dukes and that's what I'm all about.  If you ever see this BO DUKE plate in Pennsylvania, or at a Dukes event, I'm not too far away, come find me and talk Dukes!

And finally I had to include an 01 front plate.  Cooter's Place has all kinds of different designs for front plates.  In Pennsylvania, we are lucky that we are not required to have plates on the front of our cars.  We have the option to leave it empty or put anything we want on there.  Why not throw an orange 01 plate on the front?!