Friday, June 17, 2016

New Dukes Stuff - 06/17/206 - Locally Unearthed Treasures

I recently did a little prospecting around my own corner of Hazzard County and found a few gems. Let's take a look at the treasures I found around the Pittsburgh area lately.

First off I scored another DK General Lee BMX Bicycle.  When I started this blog years ago, I had no idea about the storied history of the DK General Lee.  Now I have two in my collection.  I got my first one for my birthday in 2012.  That was the Walmart version that was a re-release for a more budget friendly crowd.  It worked out great for me because I was able to save money on a new one and keep it factory fresh.  I knew I wanted to try to find an original at some point.  The first versions came in General Lee orange, but as the bike became more popular, DK released different versions of it.  This is an original 16 inch black DK General Lee.

I've written quite a few posts about the DK General Lee in the past.  You can check out a few here, here, and here.  The best part about the DK company borrowing the name General Lee to associate their bike with jumping is they honored our favorite car.  They respected the General Lee text and also plastered the bike with 01s.  The addition of the orange really looks great on this black bike.

My new black DK General Lee has definitely been loved hard by its former owner, but I see the scuffs as battle scars worn with pride.  The bars have the DK 01 logo on it.

The seat has a lone 01 on each side.

The fork has an 01 on each side as well and are probably the most beat up stickers.  I'm really happy that the condition of this bike is nice enough to still display.  It was loved hard, but well taken care of.

The stem has a DK logo on it and it is really nice.  I am asked often to sell my DK General Lee stickers that my friend Jesse, from DK, sent me as a gift.  Many people are restoring a DK General Lee and want to use my stickers on their bike.  I, of course, haven't sold them.  I'm glad my locally found DK General Lee is in good enough condition not to need a restoration.

I had to bust out my other DK General Lee for a photo shoot.  The orange one is a 20 inch bicycle.

They belong together.  Once I put some air in the front tire, these two bicycles will look great together in the collection.

Next up is a poster of Bo and Luke.  It has been folded since the Golden Era, but is still in decent shape.

The same image was used on this framed picture from National Picture and Frame.  It's my guess that the framed picture was a store display to sell the individual posters.

The poster is marked with the Western Graphics Corporation logo.  It also has their number and address.

Along side the logo is the subject of the poster.  Luke and Bo are Cat. No. 26.  No. 01 would have been better.

Next we have a shelf that I bought from my new friend Mike.  Mike is a local toy seller and I went to his house to pick up the shelf.  His garage sure was cool.  Though he only had two Dukes items, he had loads of other great 80s and 90s toys to check out.  It was really fun.  In 2013 I described the Dukes of Hazzard shelf as a holy grail item and I stand my that statement.  These bad boys are nearly impossible to find.

This one is a little rough and the bottom panel is very damaged.  The best part about these shelves is they are built to have things put on them, so covering the damage with other Dukes of Hazzard items wont't be difficult for me.  The top two panels are in quite good shape.

Condition wise, it is on par with the other one I bought a few years ago which has a dented leg, and this new one has the damaged bottom.  I could take them both apart and construct a one nice one, but I don't think that's necessary.  They will serve nicely as collectibles and shelves in the collection.

I'm very happy to have two of these to show off and store on.

I didn't go crazy and buy a bunch of copies of the Dukes of Hazzard DVD Box Set that was released last year.

I did go crazy and buy a bunch of empty boxes that once housed the Dukes of Hazzad DVD Box Set that was released last year.  A seller on ebay was selling empty boxes for a reasonable price.  I contacted him and it turned out he had a bunch more and would sell them at a much more reasonable price if I bought a bunch.  Also turns out he was from the Pittsburgh area so I could save on shipping.  A bunch ended up being all that he had and I now have way more empty DVD boxes than what's pictured.  I have no idea what I am going to do with them.  Maybe use them as building blocks or something.  Regardless, they are awesome Dukes of Hazzard boxes and I'm happy to have them.

If you're wondering why the dude had so many, like I was, he happened to buy cases of the sets right when they were released last year.  You may remember that they were released at the same time the show was taken off the air and prices were through the roof so he sold the individual seasons on their own and made quite a profit.  He said he got stuck with a lot of Season 5 DVDs which is pretty funny.  (Coy and Vance starred in Season 5)

Finally, I bought an additional Dukes record player from our new pal Mike when I bought the shelf. In 2012, I blogged about the record player being my white whale, an item that eluded me for some time.  Since then I've found the archery set, pencil cup, tennis shoes, bath mitt, rain coat, and of course the mythical swimming pool.  The record player is on the rarer side, but not at all as rare as some items in my collection.

Mike had it with all his other awesome toys, so I couldn't leave without it.  It really has great graphics on it.  My other one still has the box, but this one is in great shape.  A very nice addition to the collection.

Mike included a copy of "Here Come The Dukes of Hazzard" read along book.  You can hear the complete story on this post.

Buying items from ebay is great and all, but it's a lot of fun meeting someone face to face to purchase Dukes of Hazzard stuff.  It's just as much fun talking about Dukes as it is buying Dukes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

June 4, 2016: A Perfect Day in the Life of Larry Franks - Hulk Hogan and the General Lee

This blog is dedicated to the hobby of collecting Dukes of Hazzard Memorabilia.  (That's official because it comes straight from my business card.)  Sometimes I also throw in some Hulk Hogan themed posts.  I love the Dukes of Hazzard, and I love Hulk Hogan.  I have had some amazing Dukes of Hazzard experiences, and spent some quality time with the Hulkster himself.   This past Saturday, June 4, I got to combine my love for the Dukes and the Hulk into one awesome day.

A sports memorabilia and autograph store in Pittsburgh, Total Sports Enterprises, in the Robinson Mall, celebrated their grand re-opening and brought in the greatest wrestler of all time to help celebrate.   Hulk Hogan was coming back to the Steel City, and I had to be there.

When I first heard about the appearance, I jumped on the TSE website to get the details and I stumbled across a familiar face, well actually the lack of a familiar face.  As an advertisement for their professional pictures with Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart, TSE used my picture from NYCC as their ad.

I'm a little more fond of the one that doesn't cut me out and replace my smiling good looks with the words "This Could Be You."  THIS IS ME!  I soon spoke with TSE and got that all figured out.  It was fun to be a part of the promotion.

Robinson Mall is not far from North Fayette, PA, where your pal and mine Neal Clayton lives.  I've been meaning to visit with Neal for some time and Saturday it all worked out.

The event was held outside the TSE store between two escalators outside the Sears in the mall. There were a lot of people there and several different lines.  Fans had options such as photo ops with Hulk, with Hulk and Jimmy, and autographs of both or either.  TSE had plenty of employees working the event and it was very well organized.  I've been to quite a few large celebrity appearances, and they can get hectic.  This one was very smooth and I'm sure everyone went away happy.  Good job Total Sports Enterprises.

I was looking forward to meeting some fellow Hulkamaniacs.  I wasn't disappointed.  I spoke with many fellow fans and had some good conversations while there.  I follow a Hulk Hogan super fan, Ox Sawyer, on Twitter and noticed he was making the trip up from Kentucky for the event.  I knew I had to talk to Ox.  Ox is a very dedicated fan.  Through my love for the Dukes, I can appreciate his devotion to Hulkamania.  It was a lot of fun talking to him, and I look forward to seeing him again in the future and talking on Twitter.  Check out his Twitter account @OxSawyer.

I got a pro photo taken with the Hulkster at the event.  The black background wasn't the best choice given Hogan's attire.  I figured he would be in black and dressed accordingly.  Now I have a pro photo with Hulk and Hollywood!

Lean-in photos rarely come out great.  I'm glad I went with the pro photo as well.

I got my pro photo from New York Comic Con autographed.  It was such a perfect photo.  I really like Hulk's inscription.  I'm glad I have both the WWE book, and this picture signed by the Hulkster. It was a great event, and I'm really glad I could be a part of it.  Hopefully the next time I see Hulk Hogan, he will be back in a WWE ring, where he belongs!

After I left the mall, I headed over to Neal's house.  He had the General Lee ready and waiting for me.  I'm not sure if you'll believe this, but throughout all my Dukes adventures, I've never driven a General Lee.  Once Neal heard this, he said we need to change that.  He was having an overheating issue with his car, and worked tirelessly on it while I was hanging with the Hulkster.  He just got finished when I arrived.

I told Neal that this smile won't leave my face for a long time.  I think it's still there.

Neal was even kind enough to film the historic moment (historic in my world.)  Driving the General Lee felt natural, though I've never driven a car with so much power. Neal's General has a 440 in it.

I had to take some pictures during my time with the Gen'ral.

Nothing like a classic photo shoot with the General Lee.  Many thanks to Neal for taking the pictures.

I always liked this picture of Cooter leaning on the Gen'ral and wanted to try to replicate it.  I think a few of the above pictures did a good job on that.

Neal's General Lee is amazing.  He modeled it after Lee 1 and it is perfect.  I can't thank Neal enough for letting me pilot his General.  It was a day I will never forget, that's for sure.

Neal recently took advantage of Pennsylvania's new Antique/Historic Vehicle vanity license plate program.  For a historic vehicle plate you can chose up to 4 letters.  Neal chose wisely.  

Neal also showed me his stunning Dukes of Hazzard Pedal Motorcycle.  I've heard some stories about this Dukes item, but this is the first time I've seen it.  Neal promised to write a blog post for DukesCollector all about it, so I won't spoil that.  I can't wait for him to share the story on this bad boy.  

Admittedly, my Civic is nowhere near as cool as Neal's Gen'ral, but at least my license plate is as cool as his.  

On, Saturday, June 6, 2016, I hung out with Hulk Hogan and drove the General Lee.  It was one of the greatest days ever.  Man, I am a lucky guy.