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.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Dukes Stuff - 7/10/2014 - Movie Lobby Cards, Party Blowers, More


I've picked up some really interesting and different items recently.  And supplemented some other parts of the collection.  Let's take a look.


I love unique foreign items.  That's exactly what these are.  These pictures are called lobby cards.  I guess they were given to French movie theaters to promote the movie.


They came in a cool envelope that I didn't expect.  To me, the envelope is as interesting as the photos. Sherif Fais-Moi Peur seems to translate to Sheriff of Hazzard.  But it literally translates to Sheriff do I fear.  Which is weird.  The French dubbed version of the show used the same title.  I wonder why the French title focuses on Rosco.
 

Each picture uses a familiar promotional image from the movie that we've seen in other ads and materials.








They each have the title Sherif Fais-Moi Peur Le Film on the bottom.


As well as Warner Bros' information and logo.


The opposite side also has Village Roadshow Pictures logo on it.  They distributed the movie along with WB.  I love promotional stuff.  These are a great addition to the movie section of the Dukes collection.


Sometimes I stumble on items on ebay that I can't pass up.  They are priced low and I bid early.  When no one outbids me, I feel like I'm getting a steal.  This is one such item.  It is the Ertl Golden Era diecast Daisy's Jeep.


It's not in the best shape.  The windshield is bent and the body is a beat up, but it still looks nice.  I have a few of these already.  The big mistake on this release is "Daisy" on the hood instead of "Dixie."  This mistake has been made several times on different releases of Daisy's Dixie Jeep.


Everyone's favorite local auctioneer, John Peters, is always on the lookout for Dukes stuff for me.  He found this lap tray recently.  It's beat and rusty, but has that great patina to it.  Just like the lunchbox he found for me some time ago.


One of the best parts of running this blog is that I not only get to tell people which Dukes items I have, but I also mention which items I don't currently have in my collection.  In my post about Dave DeWitt's delightful Dukes of Hazzard museum on wheels, I brought up the fact that the party blowers are the only item in the party supplies line that I don't have.  A blog reader noticed this and emailed me that he had them and offered them to me.  Awesome.  I now have the complete party supply collection.  Other items I am looking for are the kid's jeans, Daisy Duke girl's tennis shoes, Cooter's Garage popup bed tent, and the big wheel power cycles if anyone else is paying attention.


These party blowouts sure are cool.  They are made of super thin plastic and paper, so I'm sure none that were opened back then survived.  They are incredibly rare.


These were originally purchased from Child World for $1.98.  Child World was a competitor to Toys 'R Us and operated from 1970 to 1992.


The artwork used was the same on the hats, napkins, and other supplies.  These blowouts were made by C. A. Reed out of Williamsport, PA, the home of the Little League World Series.


The General Lee artwork on the actual blowout is also commonly used.  I bet these things didn't last until the end of the party.  They had to be thrown away pretty quickly.  I am very excited to finally have them in my collection.


For an item I just found out existed, I now have two copies of the Dukes of Hazzard video game for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.


When I first found it May, I bought the only one on ebay.  It was a beat up copy with the trademark Elite hologram torn off.  I recently picked up another that is in better condition.  It was also surprisingly inexpensive.


With the hype from the original reviews saying the Elite'e biggest accomplishment until this game was the hologram they added to their packaging, I was a little let down when I finally saw the hologram.  But I guess it is from 1985.  Really cool holograms didn't start showing up for a few more years on things like Marvel trading cards.  Those holograms were amazing.  This copy of the game came in a black case back.  I wonder if this is the original case.  


My final addition in this post is the third and final original belt buckle.  This one features a commonly used shot of Bo and Luke above the General's flag.  This image was used on many toy packages early on.


This one has a 1981 WB sticker on the back.  The sticker is different than the one on the back of the Daisy buckle that also has "The Dukes of Hazzard" on it.


I now have all three of these Golden Era belt buckles.


It is interesting that all three are slightly different.

It seems I've completed several mini collections with these items I've recently added to the collection.  I love when that happens.