Monday, November 23, 2015

You Can Win Home For Christmas On Vinyl Signed By John Schneider and Tom Wopat

Christmas time is almost here and I'm giving away some gifts!

Last year, Tom Wopat and John Schneider released a Christmas album with all of our help on Kickstarter.  It became a huge success and created some memories that will last a lifetime.  This year, they are releasing the album on special edition vinyl!  What a great collector's item!  I've partnered with the Duke Boys and us Three Goold Ol' Boys are giving away autographed copies of  "Home For Christmas" on vinyl right here on the DukesCollector blog!

"Home For Christmas" is the first album that Tom and John have ever recorded together.  It combines Tom's swinging jazz sounds and John's Dukes inspired country with Christmas classics.  My favorite song is Johnny, It's Cold Outside.  It's got everything a Dukes fan could want.  I played the album a lot last Christmas, and I'll be doing the same for the next month.  You can buy the special edition vinyl copy, as well as a standard CD version from Tom Wopat's site. also has a link to buy a digital copy of the album.

Through the relationship I formed working with the Kickstarter project last year, I am able to give away a few signed copies of the vinyl album to you, the loyal DukesCollector readers.  It will be autographed by John Schneider and Tom Wopat and will be an incredible collector's piece.  To manage the giveaway, I'm using software called Rafflecopter.  The app is below.  It's very easy.  You sign in using your email address or Facebook.  I'm not a Facebook fan, so you don't have to have an account with them at all for my contest.  Once you sign on with your email, you have multiple ways to gain entries in the contest.  You can post comments on the blog and use Twitter to enter.   By completing all the tasks, you could gain as many as 7 entries into the drawing.  Using Rafflecopter helps build the DukesCollector brand as well as gives you several chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You might remember all the fun we had last year leading up to the album release.  The Kickstarter gave fans all sorts of different opportunities to interact with the Duke Boys.  I went to NYC for their concert and got to interview them about the album and the Dukes of Hazzard.  If you've never seen it, or haven't watched it since last year, here it is.

If you have an questions about the giveaway, please email me or contact me on Twitter.  A long time ago, I first opened a Twitter account just for contests.  It sat dormant for some time until I started using it to promote the blog.  Since then I've become pretty active on it.  If you don't have a twitter account, consider signing up to get more entries in the giveaway.  I do a good bit of Dukes talking on there and you might find that you like it.  Just yesterday I was talking with John Schneider about a potential movie role.  It's a fun way to interact with friends, make new ones, and once in a while, talk to celebrities.

To take a look back at John and Tom's two concerts in New York City promoting the release last December, check out the blog posts:

John Schneider and Tom Wopat's Kickstarter Concert at Joe's Pub in NYC 12/12/14

John Schneider and Tom Wopat at Barnes & Noble December 3, 2014

The contest runs this week, over black Friday and ends on cyber Monday.  Get those entries in!  I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, December 1.  Good Luck!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Breaker One, Breaker One! Cooter's Has the Auto World General Lee In Stock

Just in time for the Christmas shopping season, Cooter's Place has located what might be the last shipment of the brilliant Auto World highly detailed 1/18 General Lees out there.

We all know how great this replica is.  The best ever created.  Auto World went to great lengths to make it so.  They are getting hard to come by since AW's production run ended a few years ago.  This might be the last time we see the ol' Gen'ral in 1/18 for a while.  Get 'em from Cooter's while they are still available.

If you not as familiar with this wonderful diecast, you can check out my review here.  It's the most popular post on this entire blog.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fun With the Dukes of Hazzard Punch-Out Fun and the Ertl Playset

Remember way back in March of 2012 when I wrote about actually shrinking a package of Dukes of Hazzard Shirnky Dinks?  That was a lot of fun and I promised in that post that I would soon play with a Dukes Punch-Out Fun set.  Well, it took a while, but I'm finally fulfilling that promise.  Here is a punched-out set of Punch-Out Dukes of Hazzard fun.  And I built all of the Hazzard County buildings in an Ertl 1/64 Playset.

Full disclosure: I haven't lost my mind and decided to open my valuable Dukes toys.  When I was in Sperryville in April before the grand opening of Cooter's in the Country, I did some museum curating.  I got to set up the Dukes displays and play with Dukes toys for two days.  It was incredible. I shared a little bit of the experience with the world on a blog post, but the store hadn't opened yet so I didn't want to share too much.  

I spent the weekend hanging with Ben and Alma and playing with Dukes toys.  Wow.

I wanted to do a few displays that are different from the ones at the Nashville and Gatlinburg Cooters. Alma had a few extra Punch-Out Fun books so I talked her into letting me punch-out one.  For the next few hours, a couple of other workers were building shelves, hanging pictures, painting, and I was on the floor folding together a little Hazzard County.  I am so lucky!

The book has thick cardboard pages and everything is perforated.  There are instructions on each page.  Some of the interior pieces, like the base of the General Lee have little perforated holes that can be very tedious to puncture.  This isn't a project you can do quickly.

It seems to me that a lot of engineering went into the creation of the Dukes toy.  Each car has over ten pieces and the instructions are very intricate.

The General Lee and Rosco's Patrol Car are built similarly.  There is a lot of correct detail on both cars.  The Gen'ral has vector wheels and the CNH-320 plate.  I can't think of too many other Golden Era toys that include the CNH-320.  The completed cars really look like the actual cars.  This is probably the most correct Rosco's Patrol Car toy that was available during the Golden Era of Dukes. I guess the AMT model was pretty accurate.

There is one building in the book and it takes up a bunch of pages.  I thought it was really cool to build a paper replica of Cooter's Garage while I was in Cooter's Place.

The Cooter's Garage consists of the front of the building, with a working garage door, a soda cooler, and office.  It's made up of of only four pieces of paper, but stands very nicely.

It's incredibly accurate! It really surprises me how much detail was put into this set.

It's also a perfect scale when compared to the cars and figures.

Oh, you didn't know there were also figures in this set?  We'll get to those bad boys.

The Jeep model is the most detailed and difficult item to put together.  Unlike the police car and General, it has a detailed interior.  It has a tiny steering wheel, gear shift, and steering column.  They were kind of tough to get punched-out without damaging them.  But I managed.  The seats and roll bar along with the spare tire all add to the detail of Dixie.

Along with the cars, figures, and building, you also get props!  You get to build hay bales, a road closed sign, and a ramp.  There is so much going on in this book!

How cool is all this stuff?

This figures are all one piece that gets folded on the bottom so they stand.  The fold is even angled so the lean perfectly.  Daisy doesn't have a base and is meant to be folded to sit in her Jeep.  You even get a tiny Flash.  Bo, Luke, Cooter, Uncle Jesse, Daisy, Rosco, Flash, and Boss Hogg are included. My only complaint with this set is that it didn't include Enos (or Cletus depending on when it was released.)

Here is the entire completed set.  It takes a good bit of work, but when completed, you get a really cool display piece.  I bet young Dukes fans back in the early '80s had a blast playing with this set.

Daisy looks great behind the wheel of her beloved Dixie.  Uncle Jesse approves.

It is so cool that Flash is includes in the set.  The ramp makes jumping over Rosco a breeze.

I put the set inside a glass case at Cooter's in the Country.  It was a perfect fit.

You can see the set anytime you visit the newest Cooter's Place.  I've been back several times and each time I see people checking out the Punch-Out Fun set.  I've had even the most seasoned Dukes fans, *cough Billy Lambing* ask me what it was.  A lot of people have the book in their collection but wouldn't dare open it and put it together.  I have a few in my collection and when I'm ready to display more, you better believe I'm punching-out another set.  It was a lot of fun, and people love seeing such a unique and detailed item.

This is a picture of one of my 1/64 Ertl Playsets.  It is nearly mint and is a Corvette variant.  I'll never open it.

Alma, on the other hand, found one in her collection in this condition.  The cars were missing but everything else was there.  When I came across it, I said I had to build it.  She agreed.

The first thing I came across were the amazing instructions.  Though a little damaged, they are just so cool.  After I used it to construct the playset, I framed it.

Inside the set are several buildings, signs, and trees.  They are similar to the Punch-out Fun set, but more simplistic in their design.

The walls are individual pieces that have inserts that go into holes on the connecting pieces and get folded inside.  It was a little more difficult to get these little buildings to stay together than it was the cars and buildings in the other set.  I'll admit that I used a little tape.

The playset includes Cooter's Garage, but it has a more generic look.

The Hazzard County Court House is a fun little building.

Somehow I ended up with two court houses.

You get the Boar's Nest, Cooter's Garage, The Duke Farm, and the Court House (or two.)  I wish they resembled the actual buildings more like the Cooter's Garage in the Punch-Out Fun set.

You also get a few trees, a tiny bridge, and a place mat that has a highway and a dirt road.  This is a fun set and the 1/64 cars fit nicely on it.  It is a highly sought after collectible piece that, again, a lot of people have, but will never open .  I'm glad I got a chance to play with one.  We kept the box and all the extra material.  I even put the used Punch-Out Fun book in the playset box.  I couldn't bring myself to throw that stuff away.  

The completed playset is on display in the child's bedroom area of Cooter's in the Country.  I placed most of it  where it is in the faux bedroom.  Man, I have a fun life.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween 2015 - The New Joker (Jared Leto Version)

When it comes to Halloween, you gotta play up your strengths.  When I had long blond hair, costumes like He-Man and Hulk Hogan were no-brainers.  This year I was thinking, who has braces, or metal in their teeth, and the new Joker hit me.  While I've got the braces, might as well take advantage of them.  My 2015 Halloween costume is the new Jared Leto version of the Joker from next year's Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

My day started out drawing Sharpie tattoos all over me.  

I think I pulled off the look.  This ain't Jack Nicholson's Joker.

The new Joker is quite different than anything we've seen before.  I did the Heath Ledger Joker Nurse from The Dark Knight the year that movie came out in 2008.  The new one is a very different costume.

It was very fun being such a creepy character.

Chad went as Stone Cold Steve Austin.  He really nailed the look.

We sure love Halloween.

While walking around the South Side of Pittsburgh, I spotted this lady and recognized the costume right away.

She was dressed up like the movie Daisy Duke.  The Jessica Simpson version.  She was very happy that I knew who she was supposed to be.  Little did she know that she was dealing with a Dukes fanatic dressed like a Batman villain.

At the different bars I went to, I spotted some great costumes.  Here is a Gotham Rouge's gallery consisting of Catwoman, Red Hood, and Two-Face.

This guy put a lot of effort into his Harvey Dent costume.  I had a nice conversation with him about the new DC movies.

This guy did a very nice Punisher.

I thought this Wilson costume was very unique and interesting.  Then I saw about three more of them over the weekend.  Must have been on pinterest or something.

The first night I didn't see any detailed Batman costumes.  There were a few like this couple, but no great Dark Knights.

The second night I went out, on Halloween Saturday, the bar I went to held a Batman themed Halloween event.  I had no idea.

There were a lot of Jokers, but they were all Heath Ledger versions.  I was the only Jared Leto there. There were a few Harley Quinns but this was the only Suicide Squad version.

Here is a Harley Quinn from the Arkham series of video games.  Man, are those great games.

The Joker she came with was another Ledger version.  I'm a stickler for details, so I would have tried to match her with an Arkham Joker.  I stood out in a crowd of Jokers.

This a very well done Nightwing from Batman.  There sure were a lot of Batman theme costumes at this bar.  I was in the right place.

They weren't all Batman costumes though.  This guy sure was freaky.

This is a great group costume.  They were a Corona six-pack.  They all stayed true to the theme and drank Coronas all night.

This was a very nice Chewbacca costume.  Leia looked great too.

I finally found Batman.  What a costume.  This guy sure has a lot invested into this outfit.  I've seen him before at comiccons in the area.  He found the perfect Halloween party to attend.

He was accompanied by a nearly as impressive (but not quite) Batgirl.  They were definitely the hit of the evening.  When the contest rolled around, the finalists were the Corona bottles, Chewie, a Snoopy, a group from the the movie Dodgeball, the awesome Batman, and yours truly.  There were at least twenty Jokers there, but only one was called up on stage.  HA HA HA HA!  It was a good group of finalists and I was a little surprised I made it up.  But not too surprised.  I did feel like Chad and his Stone Cold costume should have made it.

In the end, just like in the comics and movies, Batman won.  I couldn't compete with his movie quality costume.  He was a fun guy and deserved the win.  As a finalist, I took home a smaller prize. I'll take it.  Another award winning costume.  

While I was on stage, I threw playing cards out into the crowd.  On Friday night, I played solitaire with them in the bar,  It made for a good picture.  A lot of people took some snapshots of me playing.  

Halloween isn't all about costume contests at bars.  Here are my favorite trick or treaters.  These Morphsuits are really cool. 

This is some high quality photobombing.  If you can't tell, I'm really excited to see Jared Leto's take on the Joker in the new DC movies next year.  2015 was another great Halloween.