Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Cars From Pioneer Slot Cars! General Grant, Moonshine Run General Lee & Dealer Special Black General Lee

Oh man, do I love new Dukes of Hazzard items!  Lately we haven't had much new Dukes stuff but our friends at Pioneer Slot Cars are not taking their foot off the gas and they continue to release new Dukes cars for us to enjoy.  I received, not just one, but three new cars from Pioneer and they are unbelievable!  Let's take a look at the Dealer Special Promo Edition Black General Lee, the Moonshine Run General Lee, and the #65 General Grant!

We'll start off with this beauty, the Dealer Special Promo Edition Black General Lee.  This car is awesome.

Front and center you are greeted with the special decal on the box that lets the world know this is not a standard edition.  Pioneer Slot Cars dealers are sent incentives like this version of the Gen'ral if they sell or order enough cars.  The dealer can then reward loyal buyers or make an extra profit selling them.  It's a great program to ensure a large number of cars are ordered and bought.  This type of incentive program is very big in the comic book world and it works great with slot cars too.  As soon as this car was released, it started going for a pretty penny.  It immediately became a tough Dukes item to find.

The General looks great in black.  The black numbers against the black paint really have a unique appearance.  Pioneer chose a very cool design for their Dealer Special.  Bo and Luke are behind the wheel of the Black Gen'ral.

Daisy is also included with the car.  This time she is wearing a white top with purple Daisy Dukes. This is a different figure than the one included with the standard General Lee as this one has one hand up.  I am not opening these versions so if you want to see better pictures of the figures, take a look at the post about the standard version.

One difference from the standard version and this black version is the Vector wheels.  The inserts between the fins are not painted and the center piece is painted.  I have seen Vectors look like this and the newer re-releases do not come painted.  Pioneer chose this design and it stands out nicely against the mostly black car.  Nice job Pioneer.  

The box is a different design than the standard release.  The "Welcome to Hazzard County" sign behind the car is replaced by a wooded scene with Rosco in Hot Pursuit in the background.  The outer box has a closer shot of the passenger side of the Gen'ral where the original has a flying "orange clunker car."  The labels are the same.

The back and bottom of the boxes are the same and the inclusion of the "spare dixie bits" once again appears.  I love that line.  The bottom does have an identifier sticker that reads "Ref: P015 DS Black General Lee Dealer Special Promo."  That's the official name.

Next up is a new standard edition of the General Lee.  This is the Moonshine Run General Lee.  It is a variant, but it won't be as hard to find as the Black Dealer Special.  What makes this version different is the glorious mud splattered all over it.  Most models and diecasts replicate the General in perfect condition, but we all know that the image of the General we fell in love with is the muddy car jumping the pond.  This is a perfect likeness of the Gen'ral from the show.  This is how we remember him.  The Moonshine Run General Lee comes in the same box as the Black Dealer Special.  While there is no special edition sticker on the top right, we see that Rosco is in hot pursuit above the bootleg turning General Lee.  I really like that artwork.

Bo and Luke are gonna have a tough time getting the Gen'ral clean.  That mud got everywhere.  It's inside the Vector wheels, splattered on the 01s, It even got on the side view mirror.

Pioneer's artists did a great job and made the mud look authentic.  This is definitely what the General would look like if I took him out for a ride through the country.  If I brought Neal's General Lee back like this, I'm sure he'd have something to say about it.

This time Daisy is featured with a yellow top and classic blue Daisy Dukes.  She doesn't have any mud on her.

Bo and Luke may have gotten splashed a little.  They do always tend to  drive with the windows down.

Again, the back and bottom of the box are the same.  Waylon's theme song is on the back and Pioneer's info is on the bottom.  The official name for this car is "Ref: P017 General Lee Moonshine Run."

The final entry from Pioneer is a whooper.  This is the 1968 Hemi Charger General Grant!

Let's go straight to the back of the box for a little background on this car.  Pioneer has created their own nemesis for the General Lee and the Duke Boys and even included a backstory for him.  The back of the box tells the story of Yankee Doodle Danger and an imaginary eighth season premiere episode titled "The Four Star General."  In the synopsis, a gangster from the north is trying to pick up where probation forced the Duke family to leave off the moonshine business.  Elmore "Four Star" Froggett is introduced along with his car that looks a little too familiar for the Dukes.  It's a fun story and Pioneer really captured the essence of Dukes storytelling.  The synopsis ends with "Ain't this fun?"  We all hear Waylon Jennings in our head while we read this.  

The owner of Pioneer Slot Cars asked me to read an early draft of the story about Elmore Froggett and the General Grant.  I made a few suggestions and I'm very pleased that they were included in the final product.  The General Grant as a nemesis to the General Lee as a concept has been around for a while.  Mostly it was just someone photoshoping an American flag on top of the General.  Pioneer has done what nobody else has and created an actual product of the General Grant.  This is big.  This car may go down as being as well known an adversary to the Gen'ral as the Double Zero.  Pioneer told me they have a few more ideas up their sleeve like the General Grant and that we haven't heard the last of ol' Elmore "Four Star" Froggett.  This IS fun!  Let's take a look at the details of the General Grant.

The box is similar to the General Lee boxes, but has different artwork.  Instead of "Screen Stars" it says "Street Muscle" (The General Grant never actually appeared on screen).  There is an image of the General Lee beating the General Grant in a race on the box.  

Other iterations of the General Grant had 10 instead of 01 or some had 76.  Pioneer chose 65 as a nod to the year the Civil War ended and kept with that theme.

The front end and tail lights give away the fact that Froggett is driving a '68 Charger.  His license plate goes along with the Civil War theme and reads GG1865.

The car has an American Flag on the roof that has 35 stars on it.  That's how many stars there were after West Virginia joined the Union (thanks Google).  The Pioneer logo is on the box, not the flag. The hood has Elmore Froggett's crest on it, two Civil War sabers and a G for Grant.  The rear quarter panels have four star logos on top.  The General Grant lettering is in the familiar General Lee text, but in red.

Elmore continues his theme by dressing the part of a Union general. He even has the beard.  I could see him stirring up trouble in Hazzard County.

The back of the box of the General Grant mentions that "Spare Yankee Bits are located under the box base."  I love the bits line.  

The bottom of the box is the same as the other Dukes cars and the official name is "Ref: P094 General Grant Crazy Blue."

Like the original Pioneer General Lee, the General Grant comes with a leather key chain, this time sporting the beautiful stars and stripes.

The key chain includes the address for  

These little additions from Pioneer make the package all that more special.  The key chains only come with early purchases, so get one fast if you want the add-in.

It's really fun to have a nemesis car to display along with the Pioneer General Lee.  Pioneer did a great job creating the General Grant, and put in the extra effort to give it a background story.  This is a special edition to the Dukes of Hazzard world.

The back of the boxes counteract each other nicely with the front of the General Lee highlighted and the back of the General Grant shown.  Pioneer put a lot of effort into bringing their addition of the Dukes of Hazzard legacy to light, and it shows.

The four cars look great displayed together.  I really love Pioneer's Dukes of Hazzard slot cars.  I wonder what they have planned next....

Actually I know what they have planned next.  This is a pre-production prototype of Rosco's patrol car that Pioneer is working on.  I'd say they nailed it.  It will also be a 1/32 scale slot car and fit in quite nicely with all those Chargers.  The General Grant is a nice addition, but Rosoc's Patrol car is the true nemesis of the General Lee.  The Patrol Car will come complete with Rosco P. Coltrane behind the wheel...

And ol' Velvet Ears herself, Flash riding shotgun.  No release date has been announced for this car and I will keep you posted when I hear anything.  Keep up the great work Pioneer!!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Christmas at Cooter's! Free Chirstmas Concert at Cooter's in Luray, VA!

Come on over to Luray, VA Cooter's in the Country this weekend for a free Christmas concert on Saturday December 10, from 1 to 3!  What better way to see the new store and spread some holiday cheer Hazzard County style.  Ben and Alma would love to see you there!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

New Dukes Stuff - 11/09/2016 - Another Crew Jacket, Boss Hogg Costume, Mint General Lee Dashboard

It's been a little busy around the Dukes Collector headquarters, which also happens to be my office, so I haven't been Dukes Collecting all that much.  But I have been making moves that will lead to some really cool results for the future of Dukes Collector.  Stay tuned.  It seems I hadn't bought anything Dukes in quite a while, and then in about the span of a week I kinda went a little crazy on ebay and I got a whole bunch of cool stuff.  Let's take a look.

While going through the thirty or so pages of ebay with Richie at Ben and Alma's house, I used buy-it-now to pounce on this item.  This is the Ben Cooper Boss Hogg Halloween costume on the cardboard hanger.  It was delivered on Halloween day.  That worked out perfectly.  I already have this costume in the two different Ben Cooper boxes.  Check out a Dukes Halloween costume filled post here.

The Boss Hogg golden era Halloween Costume is much better than the Bo costume.  Only Boss and Bo were released for some reason.  The mask looks like Boss, where as the Bo looked like He-Man.

Ben Cooper costumes really wanted other people to know who you were dressing up as.  They almost always included the character name front and center on the costume.  At least Boss Hogg also includes his signature white suit.  The Bo costume just has the flag and a picture of the General.  My favorite part of this costume is the blue bow tie that has Dukes of Hazzard written on it.  Boss always wore that, right?  I've been looking for this version of the Ben Cooper Boss Hogg costume and I'm happy I can finally add it to the collection.

Next up is a weird little General Lee rip-off 1/64.  It is an orange Charger with a 10 on the hood and red, whit,e and blue signage on it that was released in the early '80s.  That qualifies it as a Gen'ral rip-off and merits its place in my collection.  The doors also open.  The package is pretty decent for how cheap it was.

Toward the end of the Dukes of Hazzard run on CBS, John Schneider began to advertise for Mac tools.  I'm not sure how long the sponsorship lasted, but he was on some print ads mostly and showed up on a panel advertisement that was on the side of Mac Tools trucks that Neal Clayton unearthed recently.   The only other product in the campaign was this promotional mug.  I've been searching for one for quite a while.

The mug screams the '80s.  It has that thick plastic feel to it that hasn't been used since that revered decade.  It has two different pictures of more than usual wavy-haired John holding some tools and looking a little embarrassed.  The mug is in perfect condition and it seems to have never been used. This is one of those fringe Dukes items that I love getting my hands on.

Next up is yet another Dukes of Hazzard movie crew jacket!  Now I have three from the movie, and two from the show.  Man, that's a lot of Dukes Crew Jackets!

This one is made by Dickies as opposed to the others that were made by Carhartt and Columbia.  This one seems to be more rare, and may actually be one of a kind.  It was made for the props team on the movie.  It has the name Thoresen embroidered into it.   The jacket came from Kurt Thoresen who was the Assistant Prop Master on the set of the Dukes movie.  Kurt has worked in the props department on several movies such as the Waterboy, Spring Breakers, and the Infiltrator.  He has an impressive Hollywood listing on IMDB.  The jacket has the 01 on the front and the word props in General Lee text.  Whoever designed this jacket was definitely a Dukes fan.  

The other two movie jackets just have a standard logo on the arm.  The props one not only has the 01 on the front, but that back has a big "Team Hazzard" logo on the it.  This is the most stylish of the three different movie jackets I own, and I think it is my favorite as well.  Thank you very much Kurt for the opportunity to add this great piece to the collection.

I was surprised when I opened the package to see that Kurt added in a Dukes crew hat and a call sheet from the set!  The hat has the same logo as the other jackets and is awesome.

This call sheet is from February 3, 2005.  That is just over two weeks after I was on set for my scenes in the movie.

Looking over the paperwork, they filmed several marquee scenes over these couple of days.

It's funny that all these scenes were filmed on the same day.

 And all inside and outside of the same location, Mill's Farm.  That is really interesting.  I have a couple other call sheets from the movie, and some from the show, but none of them are together.  One of these days I'll get everything organized, I promise.  Thanks again, Kurt, for these surprise additions.  I hope I can get my hands on some of your other Dukes mementos.

The final item in this post is a doozy.  This is the Dukes of Hazzard Battery Powered General Lee Dashboard With Lighted Fuzz Detector.  And it is factory fresh, super mint, in perfect condition.

This museum quality item comes with a an equally impressive story.  New friend of the blog, Tara, emailed me about it and ended up selling it to me.  She said it was found in her grandparent's home with some other gifts.  Over Christmas of '81, her grandparents bought this and several other (non-Dukes) gifts for her cousin, wrapped them up, and hid them in the attic.  They sat there for thirty-five years until just recently when Tara discovered them.  She actually had to tear off the wrapping paper to see what was inside.  Those kinds of stories are collector's folklore!  I'm so glad she contacted me and it made it's way to Dukes Collector HQ.  What a gem!

The package has the same artwork on all four sides.  There is a nice picture of the Duke cousins and Boss Hogg above the Gen'ral and a drawing of the product.

This is a frequently used shot of Luke, Daisy, and Bo, with J.D. photoshopped in.  It's interesting that they used both photos and drawings.

The top flap has an additional picture.  It is a photo of a young Dukes fan playing with a drawing of the dashboard.  Interesting again how they mixed photos and artwork.  There is also artwork of the features of the dashboard such as the working light, the clicker CB mike, and the ignition key with start motor noise.

Tara's grandparents paid $9.99 for this wonderful toy at a store called Bradlees.  Google tells me Bradlees was a department store in the CT/NY/NJ area that was around from the late '50s until the late '90s.  I'm sure it was very similar to Fisher's Big Wheel and Hills that we had in our area.  All of those regional stores went away once Walmart went big time.  Thank you so much Tara for finding me online and making the dashboard a part of the collection.  I wish your cousin had put more Dukes items on his Christmas list.

I have a loose version of this toy in the collection.  It is a little beat up, and no longer has the windshield.  I got it from Pop Culture Connection in Greensburg, PA and showed the above photo on the blog once before, but I never wrote an in-depth post about it.  It was the early days of the blog. Now I know what I'm doing.  But I'm again trying something new... anyone know anything about wordpress publishing?