The "Fall Season of new Dukes diecasts" has begun. I just made that phrase up, but it's worthy of quotes. I got the new Johnny Lightning 1/18 Rosco Patrol Car.
The first thing you notice is the light bar. They got it right. The last time this car was released, the light bar was horrible. This time, it looks like it came from Hazzard County.
The light bar is very nice. Though the car is a 1974 Dodge Monaco that was seen it very early episodes, not the 1978 version that we are used to, the light bar being correct really makes this car look like it is a Rosco Patrol Car.
The decals are correct and really look nice.
This new release also has the Sheriff decals on the front and back of the car. The first release did not.
The second thing you notice about this release is the almost green tint to the windows. The last release had clear windows. Not really sure why they went that route.
With as many full size Hazzard Police Cars I've seen at Dukes events, the trunk almost looks like it is missing signatures. A tiny James Best and Rick Hurst would look perfect in there next to a huge Sonny Shroyer. Sonny always signs his name huge.
The interior has nice detail. It's very similar to the last release.
The wheels are very plain. The last release had a triangle design on them, but the new one is blank.
The box follows the same design as most of the newer Dukes of Hazzard products being released today. Notice the diecast is called "Rosco Patrol Car" where the last one was simply "Police Car."
Just like all the newest JL Dukes toys, the Tomy logo is on the bottom right of the box.
I like the change from "Police Car" to "Rosco Patrol Car." The first one was too generic.
They updated the picture on the box to reflect the new release with the new light bar.
The next few photos will compare the old release to this new one. The boxes are very similar, the only difference is the name of the car and the picture.
The light bar on the old one looked like nothing ever seen on the show.
Also notice the lack of Sheriff decals on the original.
The old one has this design on the tires.
Under the hood of the two releases is nearly identical.
That light bar was bad.
The old one mentioned that the car is a '74 Monaco. That is not referenced on the new box at all.
The back of the box is the same except for the picture of the car. They have been using this description of the show for quite some time now.
These are the three widely available larger scale Rosco cars. They have gotten more accurate as the time goes on. The Mego was way off, the older diecast was getting closer, and the new one is nearly there. If only it was the correct model year.
When comparing to the new Auto World Silver Screen Machines highly detailed 1/18 General Lee (my review here) the box is taller and wider.
There really is no comparison to the level of detail. The Rosco Patrol Car is on the same level as the standard 1/18 diecast General Lee. The Auto World is in its own league. It is a shame that the new Rosco car costs nearly the same as the General. Rumor was the Auto World was working on their own version of this car using the same castings, but the project was cancelled. I would have loved to see the detail they put into it. The Johnny Lightning is a good diecast release, but it is really just a re-release of the Joyride version that was put out a few years ago. They put a more correct light bar on and tinted the windows. But I am not complaining about anything--- new Dukes toys are always welcome. And I can't wait for the 00 Mustang and the 99 Cooter's Camaro. (The Mustang is still expected to be released on Halloween while the Camaro got pushed back to February now).
The flags on the front and back of the car have a special meaning, to me at least. This car was in production when the word came down that WB was not going to let any products have the flag on them. They weren't working on any new General Lees, but they were working on this. Me, and Cooter, and the rest of the Dukes world told Warner Bros. how we feel about that decision, and now the flag stays on Dukes products. This flag is special.
And just as expected, there is a White Lightning version of this car. It has white tires and gold rims. I don't have one (yet). This picture was sent to me from a friend. The rumor is that there are only 100 of these around. I contacted most of the stores around, and no one has one. I haven't seen any on ebay yet either. But the hunt continues. Hopefully it will be successful and I will add a White Lightning Rosco Patrol Car to the collection soon.
After some research it appears I'm not as familar with the Rosco cars from the first few episodes as I am with the ones seen in the majority of the series. The light bar looks similar, but there is a lot of missing detail. There should be amber colored sections on the back of each section, and the mount is shaped wrong. The Sheriff decals weren't placed in these areas on the early cars. And these early cars did have the triangle design that the last release had but that this one is missing. The rebel flag should also be in the center of the front bumper. I sure would have loved to see Auto World's take at this car. Seeing a Rosco car on the same level as the new AW General Lee would be awesome.