The "Fall Season of new Dukes diecasts" continues. I told you it was a thing. I just received the new Johnny Lightning 00 Mustang in 1/18 scale.
Right off the bat we have to discuss the name. Johnny Lightning has labeled this car "Cooter's Ford Mustang" which is in no way correct. I'll start with a little history of the Double Zero.
The car was only seen in the 1997 TV movie "The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!" The shot above is from the movie when the bad guys were swapping the stock version for one with a souped up engine to try to beat the General Lee by cheating. The confusion about the car comes from the fact that in the reunion movie, it is referred to as the "the only car to beat the General Lee in an overland car race." It is assumed this happened during the series. It didn't. Many people confuse 00 for Lucifer which was seen in episode 7 of the series entitled "Luke's Love Story." Lucifer was also a '68 Mustang, but it was black and red and bore the number 13. Double Zero was not in the series.
The 00 has been a favorite "bad guy" diecast for the toy companies for quite a few years. The General Lee raced against a bunch of cars throughout the series, but there was never a "nemesis" car that ever came back. The only bad guy vehicle to ever make more than one appearance was The Mean Green Machine and it doesn't really matter because a) it was only seen on Coy and Vance episodes, b) it was a tank, and c) it was stupid. Huey Hogg's VW Beetle was seen on more than one occasion, but it was never a threat to the General and was a parody of Boss Hogg's Caddy. Once the reunion movie was released, Double Zero took up the mantle as the General Lee's villian. Several versions of the toy were released and it was seen in the video games. But it was never driven by Cooter. Now that that rant is over, let's get back to the review of the new release.
The car is a well done replica. It is basically the same as the first 1/18 released in 2001, only a year after the first General Lee was released in 1/18. This new one has a different hood and windshield wipers, which the first one did not.
The box follows the same design as all of the recently released Dukes items. The blurb is the same as on most diecasts.
There is an added QR code that takes you to Ford's website. Interesting.
It is nicely detailed on par with the new Rosco Patrol Car, but nowhere near the new Auto World General Lee.
Comparing it to the last release from eleven years ago, it is pretty much the same. The numbers and flames are in the same place, and seem to be the same artwork.
You can see the added wipers and black hood scoop on the new one. The car in the reunion movie did not have a hood scoop.
The old car also had "Hazzard" under the 00 on the plates.
Under the hood looks identical.
The old box used the rebel flag theme seen on the Dukes diecasts of the time.
The old one came with a 1/64 version of the Mustang as well.
Back to the name issue. RC/Ertl/Joyride/JL/Tomy has released this car at least six times already. It was released as "1968 Mustang" as well as part of the Hazzard County Hot Pursuit Set, and as the "Double Zero Mustang." All these names are quite generic and they don't address the car as belonging to a cast member.
There have been three different 1/64 castings. I was ready to come out guns blazing and call Johnny Lightning all kinds of derogatory names because they got the name wrong. Lazy and not willing to do research came to mind. But then I did some research of my own. The newest diecasts re-released by Tomy under the Johnny Lightning label all came out before under RC/Ertl.
The Hazzard County Car Set with the Mustang refers to it as Cooter's. I pulled out the original version of this same set (same package design and all) and found this:
The RC2 set (left) that came out in 2006 identifies the Mustang as Cooter's as well. This came out before the Johnny Lightning version which called it Double Zero. So JL was just going along with what was already on file. We as fans should have noticed this long ago and brought it to their attention. I never really paid attention because I just saw it as a re-release of the Hot Pursuit Set in the rebel flag packaging. But that set never named the cars.
I realize I am in the minority of the target audience for this car. Most people buying it aren't buying two (one to keep sealed) and don't already have around ten different versions of it. Most people are buying this car because it looks cool, they remember it racing against the General, and to place beside their General. Being called "Cooter's Ford Mustang" probably isn't going to be a deciding factor for anyone to buy the car or not. Little details like this can drive us diehards nuts, but it shouldn't take away from the good things about these new toys. Nearly 34 years after the show premiered, we are still getting new Dukes of Hazzard products. That makes me very happy.
What dosen't make me too happy is the fact that there is a White Lightning out there and I don't have it yet. I got outbid on both the Rosco Patrol Car WL and the 00 WL. I don't want to pay big bucks for them. But I might have to.
2012 has been very big for Dukes of Hazzard 1/18 cars. The Auto World General Lee, the Johnny Lightning Rosco Patrol Car, and now the Johnny Lightning 00 Mustang have all been released. The 99 Cooter Camaro has been pushed back to Feburay and there are rumors of something yellow coming out next summer. Great time to be a Dukes fan.