Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New Dukes of Hazzard Item: The Schuco Piccolo 1/90 General Lee

We got a new General Lee on the market!  I love getting new unexpected Dukes items.  This great little car comes from Germany's historic Schuco company in their much loved Piccolo line.  It is quite small measuring in at 1/90 scale and has excellent detail.  Let's take a look at the newest Dukes collectible out there.

The Piccolo line dates back to 1957 and is very popular in Europe with many fans here in the U.S. The trademark of the line is the solid body with it's unexpected weight.  Let me tell you, this little bugger is heavy.  I was really surprised when I took it out of the box by how heavy it is.  The wheels are the only separate pieces to the construction with the exception of the push bar.

All of the characteristics of the General Lee are well represented.  Schuco put the detail into the 01s, the General Lee text, and also the flag.  This is a very good representation of our favorite flying orange clunker car.

The wheels don't have any detail to them, but they fit in line with the wheels on other Piccolo cars.  

The 1/90 scale is new to Dukes of Hazzard cars.  It measures in at just over two and a half inches.  This is a popular scale in Europe and the Piccolo line has been following this scale since its inception in the '50s.

The push bar is nicely replicated on the Piccolo General Lee.  The painted on windshields and windows achieve the illusion that the Gen'ral is driving on a sunny day, like most days seemed to be in Hazzard.  We would just have to warn Bo and Luke that the windows are rolled up before they try to get in through them.

The bottom of the solid body has the Shuco Piccolo logo and also says Dodge Charger on it.  Looking through Shoco's current catalog, I don't see any other Chargers, but I'm guessing there will be a non-Generalized version released in the future.  If they put the work in to create a great Charger mold, you start out on top with the best Charger ever, the Gen'ral, then you continue to utilize it by making others in various colors.  It just makes sense.  Shuco has been releasing several different Herbie the Love Bug cars in the Piccolo line and other scales for many years.  Hopefully this isn't the only General Lee that Shuco graces us with.

The General comes in a standard Schuco Piccolo box that any other car in the line would also come in.  There are no mentions of the Dukes of Hazzard anywhere on the box.  The large display window shows you exactly what goodness is inside.

The back of the box has a warning about small parts in several different languages that takes up the most real estate.  There are two stickers on the back.  One sticker shows that this particular car is a limited edition limited to only one thousand pieces and the other sticker has the barcode information and the title "Piccolo Dodge Charger General Lee."  There is no mention of the Dukes or Warner Bros. anywhere on the box.

This car is the fourth Dukes of Hazzard car to come from Europe in the past several years.  Each car showed exquisite detail and craftsmanship.  The other cars are the Neo 1/43 Hazzard County Police Car, the Matrix 1/43 "JDH" 1970 Cadillac De Ville, and this year's Pioneer 1/32 General Lee slot car. Keep them coming my European friends!

You know I had to pull out a few other cars and do a few of my patented scale photos.  Here we have a Johnny Lightning 1/64 in the back and a Racing Champion 1/144 in the front.  The new Shuco Piccolo General fits right about exactly in the middle though it weighs about three times as much the other two cars combined.

Even though it is almost completely a solid piece, the Piccolo has about as much detail as the other two cars.  It is definitely a great addition to the collection.

The color is more reddish orange on par with most other replicas.  The 1/64 JL is standing out in this picture as being more plain orange.  Behind the 1/64 JL are the 1/25 Auto World Snap-It model kit and the 1/18 Light and Sound General Lee from Malibu International that came out in 2005 (I never did a blog post on that car...looks like it's time for one).

I didn't know this car was on the way.  Several fellow Dukes of Hazzard enthusiasts (crazy collectors like me) alerted me of its existence and I want to thank them for that.  I'm not sure if there are many dealers that sell this car in the U.S. and I had to get mine from dealers across the pond.  Given that it is limited to 1000, I wouldn't wait too long to pick one up as any limited edition tends to go up in value.  I picked up a few and already added one to my main display that doesn't see too many additions lately.  It's that nice.  I don't think Shuco usually releases variants or chase cars, so hopefully we won't be going crazy looking for different color versions.  Fingers crossed on that one. Hop online and find one of these bad boys. It's a great new Dukes of Hazzard item, and those are few and far between these days.

Friday, July 29, 2016

One Year From Today: Hazzard Homecoming 2017, Cooter's Last Stand!

"God willin' and the creek don't rise" one year from today we will all be in Sperryville to celebrate the Dukes of Hazzard with the entire cast, a ton of General Lee, countless fans, and of course, the wonderful Miss Alma!

July 29th and 30th, 2017 in Sperryville, VA come spend some time with us at the 2017 Hazzard Homecoming: Cooter's Last Stand.  I'll have so many updates before then and you can also check out the Cooter's Place site and facebook and twitter as well as my twitter for updates.  All of our pals will be there like John, Tom, Catherine, Ben, Sonny, Rick, Alma, Gary, Cody, Neal, Heath, Brad, Dave, Melissia, Billy, Jimmy, Wendi, Jill, Matt, Jim, Chris, Bubba, J.R., Jonathon, Jerry, Gloria, Sleppy, Will, Sophia, Laura, Lisa, Robby, Debby, Michael, Richie, Ed, and Jeff and a whole bunch more.  Here are a few random pictures from the last two Hazzard Homecomings events in 2011 and 2012.  The location is absolutely perfect for the event that will include autographs, music, wrestling, food, fireworks, car show, and stunts.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Neal Clayton Takes Us To Carlisle Chrysler Nationals

I try to attend as many Dukes of Hazzard events as I can, but I can't make them all.  One event that I've never had the pleasure of attending, but I've always heard great things about, is the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, PA.  The event always has a strong Dukes presence and has a cast member almost every year.  This year was no exception.  My good pal and yours, Neal Clayton, is a regular to the event and was kind enough to write a blog post about his experience.  Take it away Neal.  

Larry asked me to write up a little blog entry about my experience at the all Chrysler Nationals this year in Carlisle.  Let me start by saying Carlisle is like Christmas morning for me.  Not only am I a huge Dukes of Hazzard fan, but I love all things Mopar especially 68-70 Dodge Chargers.

My dad bought a '69 Charger when he came home from Vietnam and still has the car with just over 50,000 original miles, numbers matching, and still has the paper tags that hung on the seats.  I grew up in the back seat going to little league games, school and everywhere else.  I have always thought the '69 Charger defines the phrase "muscle car."  To me, it is the ultimate. 

Carlisle was amazing once again.  I usually spend the whole first day digging through the swap meet looking for Charger parts to complete or improve my General Lee.  For those who don't know, I have a Lee 1 replica that I have tried to make as screen correct as possible with my own little touches.

I did end up finding the 8 track speaker covers that are in the dash of Lee 1, a very rare option that year and really hard to find.  I found out about these from my buddy Bubba who I met in Sperryville at Cooters

Bubba has the most amazingly detailed Lee 1 replica I've ever seen, he should be very proud.  He told me about the speakers and I had to have them to add to my car.  I actually ended up finding two sets so I was very excited due to their rarity. 

This year I had the pleasure of once again seeing Catherine Bach who is such a sweetheart and meeting for the first time, Rick Hurst better known as Cletus Hogg. 

Rick is such a great down to earth guy.  I told him it was an absolute pleasure meeting him and I appreciate all the things he has done to keep the Dukes alive.  

I needed Ricks autograph on my trunklid, so I took it off the car and wrapped it in a bed comforter to take to Carlisle.  It is safe back on my General thank goodness. 

My buddy Bill Cominsky had the honor of displaying his General Lee in Building T this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Charger.  Bill's Charger is amazing, he should be very proud.  In the middle of Bill's Charger build, he had all his parts stored in a shed while the body was at paint. The shed caught fire with all his parts which was a total loss.  That's how I met Bill.  I saw him in an 01 shirt at the swap meet carrying a vent window assembly so I asked if he was working on one. The rest is history.

Carlisle is always a blast seeing all the amazing cars built by Chrysler over the years.  I got to see some very interesting cars and modifications. 

Here is a power wheels painted like Daisy's Dixie, and Catherine sitting in a Dixie replica. What an amazing sight. 

There were about 10 General Lees this year in the show field including my buddy Jim's, a Lee 2 replica built with help of Bubba, and a '70 Charger which is always a pleasure to see. 

There were also a few patrol cars, one of which is owned by Bill Lambing, another awesome Dukes fan.  I spoke with another Lee owner, Jim Corrothers, who makes Dukes banners for inside the car that hang down to look like Bo, Luke and Daisy are sitting there. Very cool. 

Soon I'll be writing a blog about the Dukes cycle that I have. Larry mentioned this in a earlier post, the day he finally drove a General Lee, mine. What an honor for me. Thanks Larry!
Duke Boy for life, 
  Neal Clayton

Saturday, July 9, 2016

New Dukes Stuff - 7/9/2016 - Belt Buckles, Party Pack, Flash, and More

I've accumulated a slew of new Dukes items over the past few weeks and it's time to show them off.

This is a reproduction of the car lot at Warner Bros. during the production of the show.  I pick up Golden Era 1/64s whenever I see them for a decent price; the condition doesn't really matter to me.  I guess I've picked up a lot recently.  Most of the cars are rough, but still very recognizable.  There's even a Dixie Challenger in the mix.  I guess I feel these Dukes cars should never go unloved.  I love you little Dukes cars.

This is an oval-shaped pin that I picked up on etsy (I think.)  A fellow Dukes Collector tipped me off on the good price and I jumped on it.  I love when fellow collectors help me out.

This is a keychain that was released in conjunction with the movie in '05.  For some odd reason, it was only available in Australia.  I've had one since they came out, but I saw this one for a good price and had it shipped over a few oceans.  The signature Z marks the movie logo.

There is very tiny WB copyright info on the back.

My next item also comes from a land down under.  (Now the song is stuck in your head.)  It is a die-cut postcard advertising the Dukes of Hazzard airing on TV1 in Australia.  It uses the an image from the earliest photo shoots before the 01s were on the Gen'ral.

TV1 shows television's greatest hits, and the Dukes definitely belongs in that category.

The back of the card has a black and white image of Daisy on the roof.  It also has information about the network and an ad that says to send an e-card that will get there faster that the General Lee.  I like it.  Sadly the website no longer works so I'm not sure if the network is still around.  Hopefully it is, and it still shows the Dukes.  Can any Dukes fans from Australia fill me in? (I guess I could just Google it, but hearing from some Australian Dukes fans would be more fun.)  I like the stamp placement with the 01.

Next up is an item I never knew existed.  It's the Dukes of Hazzard Party Pack.  It consists of several party items including the small paper cups, plates, napkins, and tablecover.  I have all of these items individually, but never knew they were released in a pack together.

The pack was released by C. A. Reed who also released the individual pieces.  Before I knew this pack existed, I thought the rarest C. A. Reed party items were the Cake Topper edible decorations, and the party blowers.  Now I have the complete collection.  Awesome.

The back of the bag provides a nice view of the tablecloth.  I really like the classic artwork used on the party supplies.

The next item is pretty rare as well.  It is the smaller plush Flash stuffed animal.  It is in very good condition.

It is about four inches smaller than the more standard, but still quite rare, larger Flash.  It seems the coloring is a little lighter on the smaller one, but that just might my individual dogs.

The "Flash - The Dukes of Hazzard WB 1982" tags are in different locations on the two different stuffed Basset Hounds.  The little one has it on the side of the stomach and the bigger one has it near the tail.

I'm going to close this blog out with a few really awesome belt buckles.  First is a near match to Bo's most often used buckle.  His was round, but shared the same turquoise stone design.  I bought this one with the following buckle, and might not have gotten it if it wasn't with the other.  But I am happy I bought it as it has a distinctive look that is very Bo Duke.

This is the reason I bought the near Bo buckle.  This is a very near perfect Luke Duke bear claw belt buckle.  The one Luke wore had a hole in it where the belt passed through on the far left side, but when worn, it looked just like this.  I'm very happy to have finally found one that was similar enough to Luke's original to add to the collection.  You will remember that I discussed the signature bear claw buckle with Tom Wopat during my interview with him and John Schneider.  Don't remember?  Go on back and check out the video here.

The buckle was made by Native Craftsmen.  I was told the Wopat's own buckle was made by the same company.  I'm really happy to have this piece in my collection.  I'm going to wear it somewhere at least once.  

The last piece is another buckle that came from the production of the show.  This is the cast and crew belt buckle that I believe was given out during the first season.  It shares the same logo as the crew jacket I bought in December of 2015 that is from 1979.  I wrote a fun paragraph about the regal connotation of this design in the post about the white crew jacket.  Since I'm sending you to old posts, go check it out here.

The buckle is inscribed with the name Don.  There were several Dons on the show.  The first one that comes to mind is Don Pedro Colley who, of course, played Sheriff Big Ed Little.  He didn't join the the cast until season 3, in 1981 so I'm guessing this buckle didn't belong to him.  It could have belonged to Don Marando, a make-up artist, or Don Sanders or Don Rush, both of the sound department, or perhaps Don FauntleRoy of the camera crew, or maybe Donald Harris, a music editor.  It's a mystery I'd like to figure out one day.

The mystery could actually be solved because it is numbered on the back.  This is Cast and Crew Dukes Belt Buckle number 186 of 200.  Maybe there is some manifest somewhere in the WB archives that would tell me the origins of this buckle.  I would love to dive into the WB archives.  Oh, man I dream about rummaging WB's Dukes archives.  Maybe one day,

The belt buckle came to be a part of my collection by way of new friend of the blog Dan H.  He contacted me about the value of a few of these items and he mentioned the buckle and it ended up here.  He said he was a fan of the show since he was little.  His story is very similar to mine whereas his older brother loved the show during it's original run and got him into it, much like my sister Kate's love of the show got me hooked.  He is not sure how it found it's way to him.  Dan said he has pictures of him wearing it in the early to mid '80s, probably during the show's run.  He grew up in Colorado and had no connection to the production of the show.  He thinks perhaps his mother or one of his grandmothers, who were all big in garage and yard sales, picked it up for him from a sale.  Isn't it cool how those sort of things happen?  I'm happy to now consider Dan a friend and very happy that he bestowed upon me a special piece of his Dukes childhood.  I will take great care of it Dan.