Thursday, August 21, 2014

Autoworld Has A New Snap-It 1/25 Model Kit General Lee On The Way

Good Ol' Auto World and their Silver Screen Machines line ( under the MPC label) continues to show the General Lee the love with their soon to be released snap together model kit.  The official description reads:

The Dukes of Hazzard's infamous General Lee is being introduced in an all-new snap together kit! With parts molded in orange, tan, black, along with clear and chrome plated parts, modelers of any skill level can easily assemble a great looking replica with no paint or glue required! BRAND NEW TOOLING ensures a perfect fit!

  • Scale: 1/25
  • Skill Level: 1 (ages 8 and up)
  • Snap assembly, no glue or paint required
    • Easy snap assembly, no paint or glue required
    • Body molded in orange
    • Interior molded in tan
    • Chassis molded in black
    • Additional parts in clear and chrome
    • Full Color Decals

I like no paint required, I like new tooling, and I like bold all caps letters! This seems like a great new model that will fill the void for casual and new Dukes fans who want a good, inexpensive General Lee "toy."   I can't wait to see it.  It is supposed to be released in September.  I will keep the world posted.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Incredible Custom 1/64 Ertl Dukes of Hazzard Diecast Cars

A new friend of the blog, Bryan Davis, has come up with a collection of new custom 1/64 diecasts that really fills a void in the Dukes of Hazzard collectible world.  Usually, I'm not the biggest fan of customs, but these are something special.

In 1981, The Dukes of Hazzard was the biggest thing going.  We all know this.  There were countless items released dedicated the our favorite cousins and the best car ever created.  The basis of all those items, the toys that every Dukes fan had, were the 1/64, Hotwheels sized, diecast cars.  Everyone had a little General Lee, I had dozens.  They came packaged in these orange cards.  You could buy the General Lee, as well as Boss Hogg's Cadillac and...well, that's it.  If you wanted other cars from the show, you had to buy four packs or playsets.  You couldn't get any other cars by themselves.  It will go down as one of the great mysteries of the Dukes of Hazzard as to why, and we might never know the reason.  Good Ol' Bryan Davis has come to the rescue thirty-five years later and created some amazing customs to go right along with the first two single carded Ertl Dukes 1/64s.

Bryan is from McMinnville, TN and has been a fan of the Dukes all his life.  He started in the late '90s making NASCAR customs and recently started collecting Dukes.  He put his talent for customs toward Hazzard and the results are awesome.

What caught my eye first was the #NEW01 Viper from the Auto Trader commercial.  I had to have it as soon as I saw it.  The way Bryan made it, you really couldn't tell if it was a licensed product or not.  He then followed it up with an updated Dodge Charger police car for the Hazzard Sheriff's Department.

This Viper looks perfect.  Bryan used a new photograph of John and Tom from the set of the commercial and added Auto Trader's logo.  He added the #NEW01 to the package.  Not only do you get an awesome custom car, but the packaging is amazing.

The Hazzard Sheriff Dodge Charger is as nice as the Viper.  Bryan included the same picture of Bo and Luke.  These two cars look great together.  Auto Trader should actually sell these cars.  I've shown them to Auto Trader and they really liked what they saw.

In case you haven't seen the commercial recently (in the last few days) here is it again.

Bryan also made the back of the cards look beautiful.  The #NEW01 cars have a synopsis of the ad as well as another behind the scenes picture.  These cars a great.

In addition to creating cars from the new commercial, Bryan looked back and saw what was needed in the original Ertl line.  These cars should have been on the shelves of toy stores in 1981.  This is Cooter's Tow Truck in classic Ertl glory.  

He did an excellent job on the car and the packaging.  He added Ertl's logo as well as extending the item numbers used on the original releases.  He made his own decals for each car using his printer and water slide decal method.  Using my connections with a couple Dukes of Hazzard museums, one of these fine cars is now a part of Cooter's collection in Gatlinburg, TN.

The back of these packages is unique to the car and Bryan replicated Ertl's writing style perfectly.  

Next up is Uncle Jesse's Pickup.  Bryan used great character photos on each card.

This is the best Jesse's Truck I've seen in 1/64 form.

Bryan didn't just create one Hazzard County Sheriff car, he made one for each member of the department.

Bryan used a classic picture of Rosco P. Coltrane holding flash.  I just can't understand why Ertl never made this car back then.  Thank goodness Bryan finally did.

Enos' and Cletus' cars are just as nice.  There are tiny details like the printed license plates that my cell phone camera couldn't pick up.  These are the kind of additions you have to see for yourself to appreciate.

This Hazzard County Sheriff Car looks as good as the latest one from Johnny Lightning.

Bryan used the same blurb for all three police cars.  It fits them all perfectly.

A surprise addition to the collection is Cale Yarborough's Race Car.  We've seen this car in 1/144 scale, and  it really fits nicely with the 1/64s.  Bryan used a great picture of the Duke Boys and Cale from his first appearance on the show.

The dicast used to make Cale's car is appropriately an original Ertl General Lee painted white.

Bryan nailed the description of Cale's car just like the others.

To an outsider, it would be hard to tell that the Rosco car was made over three decades after the originals.

These cars look great together.

The cards for the #NEW01 cars are slightly smaller than the others to make them stand out.  Here is Hazzard County, then and now.

These great customs by Bryan Davis make a great collection.  Bryan has more cars in the works.  The most obvious next step is Daisy's Dixie Jeep.  We could also see her Plymouth soon.  Others he is working on are Hogg's Hellcat and Cooter's Garage Delivery Van.

But what is that you say DukesCollector reader?  You love these cars as much as I do and would love to add them to your own Dukes Collection?  Well that's easy enough.  Bryan is selling them on ebay.  Here is the link:  Bryan Davis' Dukes of Hazzard Custom 1/64 Cars.  I can't wait to get more.

Friday, August 1, 2014

John and Tom's Christmas Album Kickstarter is Fully Funded!

An update for anyone paying attention, the Kickstarter project that we've all been pushing has been fully funded!  John and Tom's Christmas album will be released and the concerts, rewards, and goodies will all be delivered.  The signed 1/18 General Lees were a huge success and they contributed $4,000 to the total.  All twenty were gone in about two days of being posted.  Two parties ponied up and pledged the $10,000 reward.  Some lucky souls will be having private concerts with the Duke Boys.  If anyone out there is reading, I'd love an invitation to one of those shindigs!  I will be attending the New York concert in early December.  I can't wait.

To help push the Kickstarter project and to discuss their awesome #New01 spot, Auto Trader hosted a live chat on Twitter with our favorite cousins.  It was a whirlwind hour that was a lot of fun with fans getting rare candid interaction with the Duke Boys.  I really enjoyed it and had quite a few of my questions answered by both John and Tom.

What was that John is loving?  Stay tuned to the next post.

As a fun bonus, Tom and John have asked the backers to help name the upcoming album in the comments section of the Kickstarter page.  My suggestion is obvious but not ambiguous; I suggested "Good Ol' Christmas."  I hope they use it!  Can't wait for Christmas time!

John Schneider and Tom Wopat are making a Christmas Album

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Limited and Numbered Signed 1/18 General Lees through Tom and John's Kickstarter

All right fellow fanatics.  John and Tom's Christmas album Kickstarter project is coming to a close.  There are only three days left.  They just added a new reward to the list and it's a doozy.  Similar to the Twitter Lee, they are signing and numbering 1/18 General Lees that will be exclusive to this project.  You can own one of these rare diecasts that are limited to only twenty pieces by pledging to the project.  All the information is at their Kickstarter page.

Who comes up with these wonderful ideas?  And doesn't that desk and wall look familiar?

I'm just saying.  See you at the New York concert!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bo and Luke Are Releasing A Christmas Album, Let's Help Them on Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a interesting phenomenon.  It allows creative folks to fund their projects while they are creating them, not after.  All you need is a great idea, and the money will follow.  Our best pal Jeff has been involved with several projects on Kickstarter inside the comic book industry.  One of the titles Jeff works on, FUBAR, is closely associated with Kickstarter because it was a huge success in KS's early days.

The way it works is the creator of the project lays out the details of what they want to do.  They set a monetary goal.  They set rewards and ask backers to fund it.  Backers can pledge any amount they want. Different rewards are given depending on the amount backed.  If the project is entirely backed, the creator gets the money, creates the project, and fulfills the rewards.  If they project doesn't reach the goal, no money is collected and it's over.  Kickstarter is all or nothing.  The website is backed by Amazon and very safe.  It's a great idea and opens doors for people who couldn't otherwise make their dreams come true.  In addition to comics, music, electronics, and video games are also popular on Kickstarter.  There have even been feature length movies funded on KS.

The key to a successful Kickstarter project is desirable rewards.  The reason FUBAR did so well is because of  their awesome rewards for backers.  Jeff McComsey, the other Jeff of FUBAR (and the creator), gave fans personalized zombie sketches, t-shirts, and books for his first project.  He set a goal of $3,000 and raised over $6,000.  It was a huge success.  The book that was funded caused such a stir that it went on to the New York Times Bestsellers List for graphic novels.  But ol' McComsey wasn't done there.  His second project blew everyone way.  Because the KS community knew he had awesome rewards and delivered quickly, his next project had a meager goal of $3,500 and raised $95,908.  You read that right, he raised nearly a hundred grand!  During the 35 days it was active, McComsey constantly updated his backers and continually added stretch goals.  If more money was raised, more rewards were added.  No one expected the outcome, but that's the power of Kickstarter.

Tom Wopat and John Schneider want to harness that power.  They are recording a Christmas album, their first record together.  They decided to go the Kiskstarter route.  Tom and John are hoping to raise $60,000 and have some really cool rewards for backers.  It has been going on for a few weeks now, and there are 10 days to go.  They are just over halfway there.  Let's support the Duke Boys and get them over their goal.

If you plan on downloading the album when it comes out, pay for it now through KS.  It will support the project and you get the download as soon as it's released.  For the price of the physical CD, ($25), you can pledge and get the disc as soon as it's ready.  The rewards go up from there.  They are offering incentives like autographs and an exclusive Christmas ornament.  For higher pledges you can get personalized recorded messages, phone calls from the Good Ol' Boys, and more.  My favorite rewards, and where my pledge is going, are the small concerts.  Tom and John are hosting intimate concerts in NYC and Louisiana.  These concerts will include dinner, cocktails, photo ops, and meet and greets.  That is right up my alley.  Another reward is to have your name printed inside the CD packaging under a "thank you" section.  Big spenders can even play a round of golf with John or take a tour on New York City with Tom.  The biggest reward would be a dream come true.  You can pay $10K and have Bo and Luke come to your house!  Imagine having the Duke Boys come check out the Dukes Collector Collection.  That would be awesome.  (Think it's possible for me to start my own Kickstarter project to raise that amount to pledge?  A Kickstarter for a Kickstarter?)  

If you read this blog regularly, you either really like me (there area few of you) or you love the Dukes like I do.  We should all pitch in and help our heroes with this goal.  Head on over to Kickstarter, sign up, and pledge.  We'll get an awesome Christmas album, and you could get some great rewards out of the deal too. I'll see you at the concert in December.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hallmark Keepsake 2014 Dukes of Hazzard Jumpin' General Lee Christmas Ornament

I just got back from the beach, and it's already time to talk about Christmas.  I've been dreaming about this product for years.  Hallmark has finally released an ornament dedicated to the most popular star car in the world.  This is the 2014 Hallmark Keepsake Dukes of Hazzard Jumpin' General Lee Christmas tree ornament.

Hallmark released several Batmobiles, Ecto-1, Back to the Future's Time Machine, and last year even released KITT.  I just knew the General was on the way.  The box is designed like other current Hallmark ornaments.

The back has a nice paragraph about the Dukes and the General.  It is refreshing to see a different line of copy than the same old paragraph we get on nearly every JL and AW release.  It is also noted that this piece is crafted by Hallmark artist Steve Goslin.  This is a nice feature.  We're barely ever told who is directly responsible to creating pieces like this.  Great job Steve, welcome to Hazzard County.

The other sides of the box are Christmas themed and the top has 2014 on it.  There are very dedicated Hallmark ornament collectors out there.  I'm happy that our hobbies have intersected.

The bottom of the box has WB's shield and logo as well as Dodge's copyright info.

The ornament itself is very nice.  The other cars released by Hallmark as ornaments aren't in action poses.  It seems to me the Hallmark was ordered by WB to creatively hide a major part of the General Lee.   They used a barn-bustin' scene to incorporate the show logo and hide the flag.  They achieved the WB directive nicely.

Because the car is meant to hang from the branches of your Christmas tree, it wasn't designed to stand on all fours.  When placed on a flat surface, the "barn door" prohibits the back wheels from touching the ground.

The Dukes logo looks nice against the faux wood.  From this angle it looks like we have a "bald General Lee" situation.

But upon further review, the flag is there, it's just hard to see because it is not properly lined in white.  Nice to see a little of it.

The license plate says 2014.  That is a creative way to date the ornament.  Very nice touch by artist Steve Goslin.

The car is very attractive, and with a tiny but of help, it displays very nice on a flat surface.

There is a lot of detail in the car.

The back of the door does not have anything on it.  The General Lee text is a little big as it goes the length of the roof, but if it were kept to scale, it would be entirely covered up by the barn door.  Steve Goslin made the right choice in enlarging it.

The bottom of the car has the year, WB, Chrysler, and Hallmark on it.

The size of the car falls roughly between a standard 1/64 diecast and the Rough Rider General Lee.  Luckily I have the loose Rough Rider General Lee around because I recently bought it.  Funny how that works out.

The ornament is slightly longer than the 1/64.  It's hard to tell exactly the difference because of the angles.

When the ornament is not propped up, you can see the difference better.  

The Rough Rider is just a tad longer.

From above you can see the size difference better.

I would say the car is roughly 1/52.  That's a number I totally just made up.

The car is very detailed.  The best detail has to be the vector wheels.  This is the best rendition of the Gen'ral's wheels on nearly any model car.  I would put these wheel replicas up against the Auto World 1/18 and 1/43 models.  They look great.  Why can't there be a just slightly smaller version of this wheel on a 1/64?

The push bar on the car also looks very good.  Steve Goslin did his homework.  I love seeing a new product that is not based on any other previously released item.

The 01 isn't perfect.  It looks very good, but the angles are a little off.

My only criticism is the shape of the Charger body.  It looks a little compressed.  But only if you look at directly at the profile of the car.  From all other angles, it looks great.

Last year Hallmark released KITT in Keepsake Ornament form.  You knew I was going to compare the two.

The biggest difference between them is the General Lee's lack of lights and sound.  KITT's scanner lights up and he talks.  The General has no electronics.  It could be due to KITT relying on technology to become a supercar where the Gen'ral uses raw horse power.  Or not.  Waylon's iconic theme song, the Dixie horn, or even a yee-haw would have been a welcome addition to the Dukes ornament, but I'm not complaining.

KITT isn't turbo boosting.  He isn't performing an action shot like the General is.

Knight Industries Two Thousand is slightly larger.  They look to be about the same size, but in reality a Charger is larger than a Trans Am so the General should be slightly bigger if they were the same scale.

The General Lee rests nicely when propped up on KITT.  It almost looks like the KITT ornament was designed to be the base for the General Lee Ornament.  This is exactly how everyone should display the two ornaments.

The General Lee will always be a better car than KITT, and Hallmark knows it.  These two car ornaments look great showing it as well.