Friday, March 29, 2013

The complete Johnny Lightning Dukes of Hazzard line: Series 2

Let's continue our look at Johnny Lightning's Dukes line with Series 2.  Series 1 hit several obvious Hazzard County cars, but in Series 2, that line started to take shape and prove it was heading to corners of Hazzard that diecasts have never been before.  Series 2 has  more cars in it than any other series, rounding out at eight.  It also has more General Lees, with three different versions of our favorite car.  

The package design now has the correct show appropriate logo and red and orange color scheme that matches other Modern Era Dukes items.

The card inside the clam-shell is die-cut so you can see both sides of the car.  The package boasts that each car is limited to 10,000 pieces.

The General Lee is the first car of the series again, but not in his usual uniform.  This is the Black General Lee.  In the final season's premiere episode, "Happy Birthday General Lee," we learn the story of how the General became a member of the Duke family.  He was originally a black Charger that was owned by thieves.  They wrecked him and left him for dead.  Bo and Luke bought him because he was big enough to fit the engine they had built.  Cooter only had orange paint in the garage and the rest is history.  The Black General Lee had been a part of the Racing Champions 1/144 line as well as the 1/18 cars.  This is the first time it came in 1/64.  I like that it has different wheels like it did in the show.  Another slam dunk by JL.

The first car that really set the tone for the line as being something special was Hughie Hogg's VW beetle.  Hughie was Boss Hogg's nephew who wanted to be just like him, so much so that he dressed like him and drove around in a mini version of Boss's Caddy.  The car on the show had bull horns, but every other aspect of this diecast is correct.  There had never been a Dukes diecast that wasn't a standard series car before.  Funny thing about the line is that it never included Boss's Caddy, but it did have the "Mini-me" version.

Season 2 started with the episode "Days of Shine and Roses."  The gang were all at the Boars Nest watching old films of Boss Hogg, Uncle Jesse, and the Ridge Runners Association racing and running from revenuers when they were younger.  Uncle Jesse drove Black Tillie and Boss Hogg drove the Gray Ghost which were both '40s hot rods.  After the films ended, Boss said he was always better than Jesse and Jesse disagreed.  They decided to have another race.  Boss found a suitable replacement for the Gray Ghost with this '68 Camaro dubbed Gray Ghost Jr.  Another first for Dukes diecast.

The General Lee we know and love was the third car in Series 2.  The only major difference than Series 1 was the wheels.  In this instance, they took a step backwards, in my opinion.  The wheels are more similar to the Hollywood on Wheels General, and don't look at all like the correct vectors.  That will be corrected in future releases though.  

Daisy's Jeep returned in Series 2 as well.  This is a dirty version of the Jeep, but you can barely see the dirt.  The golden eagle on the hood is more gold and less yellow than it was in series 2.  This is the best version of the Jeep available in 1/64.

Police cars are as plentiful as General Lees in this line, like they were in Hazzard County.  Sheriff "Big" Ed Little of Chickasaw County was a lawman the Dukes actually worried about.  When Hazzard's trouble spilled across the county line, Sheriff Little would usually put an end to it.  He would arrest even Boss and Rosco if he had to.  The back of the 1/144 package advertised Sheriff Little's police car as being in that line, but the car was never produced.  This is the first time Dukes fans could own the green and white Chickasaw County patrol car.  As with Rosco's car, it was a different model year on the show, but it's close enough.

Johnny Lightning got creative with the first of three Zingers in the line.  Zingers are popular with JL collectors.  They are exaggerated hot rod versions of cars.  It is a fun take on the best muscle car in the world.

The final car in Series 2 was Enos's Patrol Car.  It is very similar to Rosco's but the light bar is reversed.  Maybe Enos knocked it off in hot pursuit, and tried to put it back on before Rosco could see.  That dipstick did everything backwards.  It also has chrome lines that Rosco's car doesn't have, and the wheels aren't painted in the center.

Each car came with magnets again.  These little additions make the line stand out in the world of diecast.

Look for Series 3 soon.

Just for the heck of it, here is the picture of the entire line again.


  1. Is there any variants of General Lee not done in toy form yet?

    1. Well they painted the General green in a coy and vance episode. But one of the later series WLs is green, so they covered that. There was an episode where they made the General a four wheeler. They never made a toy version of that.

    2. Well they painted the General green in a coy and vance episode. But one of the later series WLs is green, so they covered that. There was an episode where they made the General a four wheeler. They never made a toy version of that.