Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The complete Johnny Lightning Dukes of Hazzard line: Series 5

Rolling with the Johnny Lightning Dukes line brings us to Series 5.  This series came out in 2008. We get fun versions of the two main cars from the show and one monster version.

The package is similar to the previous series.

The packages have a die-cut opening on the back so you can read the details about each car on the card that is included.  These cards are the "add-in" for this series.  They are the most informative add-ins in the entire line, but oddly enough I can't find the ones that came with my open cars, so I took pictures of each still in the package.  

The General in Series 3 is the perfect 1/64 General.  They got the push bar, the decals, and the wheels all correct.  No more need to improve.  In Series 4 they changed it slightly to make a movie version.  Here in Series 5, they made an episode specific version, and they picked a great episode.

"The Ghost of the General Lee" is my favorite episode.  In it, a couple of hustlers steal the General Lee while Bo and Luke are skinny dipping.  Rosco and Enos chase the car thinking it is the Duke boys.  The hustlers drive the General into a pond and sneak away unharmed, but Rosco and Enos dont't see them.  When they dive in looking for the boys, they only find their clothes.  ('80s TV logic tells us that clothes in the water means the wearers died, of course.  Similar plot points used throughout the world of television lead us viewers to believe quicksand was terrifying and inescapable.)  Hazzard thinks the boys have died. There are very emotional scenes between Jesse, Rosco, Daisy, and Cooter.  Boss Hogg takes the situation as an opportunity to rip off an insurance agency by claiming the boys stole a priceless watch.  Once the "good guys" figure out Bo and Luke are just fine, only naked, they concoct a scheme to scare the truth out of Boss by haunting him with the Ghost of the General Lee.  They make him glow, open and close the hood and trunk, and have Luke's voice come from the car.  They even drive through Hazzard square while hiding below the dash.  They get through town this way, but Rosco, driving normally, crashes several times.  The plan works and Boss spills the beans over the CB to Rosco.  My favorite line from the episode is between Boss and Rosco.  Rosco calls the car "The Ghost of the General Lee" and Boss says it can't be a ghost cause cars can't die.  Rosco asks why cars can't die because batteries can.  The boys clear their good name and the hustlers are even caught.  All is right again in Hazzard County.

As you can tell from my lengthy description, I love this episode and have seen it more times than any other.  I remember watching it as a kid.  It's one of the few episodes I remembered lines from when I was about 5.  The car in this series has a different color orange and really captures the glowing feel the car had in the episode.  

The picture used on the add-in card is not from the episode, but a stock photo of the General photoshopped to look like it's glowing.

The back of the card gave a description of the episode as well.  It's not as good as mine, but it gets the job done.

'Ol Crazy Cooter already had a car in the line, his Camaro in Series 1, but we saw him driving a tow truck more than anything else.  He drove several throughout the show.  The red, white, and blue one might be the most memorable and he also drove a yellow one, but we saw this brown one quite a few times.  The Hazzard County Garage logo is very nice.  

The add-in card features a picture of Cooter that isn't used too often as well as a screen shot of the brown tow truck.  

Cooter did turn a mean wrench.

There are as many police cars in this line as there are General Lees.  Beside Hazzard cars, most are neighboring counties'. This is a creative way to add another police car to the mix, and another car that is episode specific is Rosco's Camo Cruiser.  I don't think it was ever actually called that before this toy came out.  The add-in card mentions the episode.  

I guess JL couldn't get a good enough screen shot from the episode.  They just used a picture of the toy.  Great picture of Rosco.  I'm sure he's saying "Alright you Dukes, I got ya this time."

As in Series 4 we get another car from the Carnival of Thrills.  This is a Ford Torino that can be seen driving on two wheels in the two part episode.  

Bo had a Carnival of Thrills jumpsuit, but it was white and matched the design and logo on the cars.  This isn't it.  

These descriptions are nice, but you have to mention the fight between Bo and Luke when you talk about the Carnival of Thrills.

The second General Lee in the series is dirty.  We got a dirty General Lee in Series 1, but this is the improved General Lee covered in mud.  This is a great car.  

The final car in the series is a beast.  This is the General Lee monster truck.  As in Series 2 and 4, Johnny Lightning took inspiration from other popular diecasts and gave them the Dukes of Hazzard spin.  "Everyone loves a monster truck, everyone loves the Dukes, this is genius!"  This thing is a monster.  

Obviously there is no screen shot of this bad boy because JL created it.  The picture used looks like Bo and Luke approve of the monster truck. 

Hey! JL called it a "bad boy" too.  We must think alike.

This truck is huge compared to standard 1/64s.  The General on a box from Series 4 isn't even as tall as the monster truck.  This is a cool, unique addition to the collection.  

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