Thursday, August 31, 2017

New Dukes Stuff - Rare Items - Boxed Inflatable General Lee, 1/16 Steel & Yo-yos

I love my blog, did I ever mention that?  This blog has made collecting Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia so much more fun.  It has opened doors for me to make a bigger splash in our hobby, given me an opportunity to make so many friends, and has made it easier for me to add so many great pieces to the collection.  All of the items in this post are harder to find toys and I was able to snag nearly all of them outside of the normal avenues (ebay).  Why don't I share some pictures of each as well as a few stories about them and how them came my way?  Sounds like a good idea.

First up is an item I've been chasing for years.  In the early '80s, Ertl was the name in the Dukes of Hazzard toy game.  The 1/64, hot wheel size, diecast car was in every kid's toy box and the larger 1/25 diecast basically put larger diecasts cars on the map.  They were game changers.  Ertl had one more General Lee in their repertoire and it was a little different.  Over a decade before 1/18 was the collector's choice for detailed car models, Ertl dipped a toe into the very large scale replica waters with the 1/16 scale steel General Lee.

Though it didn't have the detail of the 1/25, the 1/16 steel car brought a different kind of metal car to the table.  It didn't have tiny pieces that could be easily broken.  This car came with a plastic ramp and was built to jump!

The box is a little different than other Ertl offerings.  The packaging on the smaller cars was primarily orange with yellow.  The box for the 1/16 steel is mostly brown.  The film reel images are on this box just as they are on the other Ertl cars.

The Dukes of Hazzard logo used a different font than most Dukes items.  There is one image of the Gen'ral in the air shared on all sides of the box.  This toy is meant to take the air.  My favorite cast photo appears on the back of the box.

The bottom of the box is pretty plain with Ertl's information on it.

"The fun of collecting is sharing with others" is the introduction to the Ertl Replica Collector's Club. There is a membership application on the bottom of the box.  Those words are very strong and I totally agree with them.  Sharing my collection with others has made collecting so much more fun.

As a kid, I had an Ertl catalog that featured this car (I need to get that catalog blog idea!)  I loved seeing this logo on the car because, to me, it was the Pittsburgh Steelers logo.  Five year old Larry was sure the General Lee, and the Dukes, were Steelers fans just like me and my dad.  Online research tells me the the logo used on the box is called the Steelmark and signifies that the product was created using steel that was created in America in association with the American Iron and Steel Institute.  The logo was created in 1960 by AISI and was incorporated in the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise in 1962.  Very interesting stuff.  You can't tell me the Dukes aren't Steelers fans, I won't hear it.  

The car has many correct Genera Lee details such as the door and hood scoops and the decals.  The wheels are incorrect, but they still look pretty good.  The hood and trunk open and there is sort of a sharp edge to the steel car, different than the diecast versions.  As far as little details like a push bar or an accurate interior, those aren't there.  This car was built to be played with hard and skipped those features.  The plastic ramp is sturdy, as advertised.  The car comes screwed to the ramp with the ramp attached to the box.  

I have several loose versions of this car.  Most are rather played with but look great.  I never did have a ramp though.  I have been trying to add a boxed version to the collection for some time, but it never happened.  Recently a fellow collector contacted me through the blog and offered to sell me this boxed steel car and the following item.  We worked out a deal that made us both happy.  The condition of this boxed steel car is very nice.  Many that have sold on ebay recently haven't been in the same league with this bad boy so I'm very happy we made this deal.  I love my blog.

The next item is a doozy.  This is the Sit 'N' Play Inflatable General Lee Car mint in its original box. Wow!  I wrote a blog about my opened (and punctured) inflatable Gen'ral back in 2014.  I mentioned that I didn't have one in the box and even a picture of the box was hard to find online.  Now I have one in nearly perfect condition!

The American version of the inflatable General Lee is made by Arco. This is the Canadian version made by Grand Toys.  They licensed several Dukes toys from different manufacturers such as Acro and Knickerbocker to be sold to our friends in the north.  This version has the French translation on one side.  I would have to imagine the Canadian version is more rare than the American version which is already crazy rare still in the box.

The sides of the box have both languages on different panels.  Voiture gonflable means inflatable car.  I guess "Sit'N'Play" didn't have an exact translation.

The delighted young Oshkosh B'Gosh wearing Dukes fan on the package is sure enjoying his time on the car.  I can't be certain if that is a boy or girl on the package.  It actually looks a lot like my older sister when she was that age.  She had the same haircut.  Legend says that Katie loved the Dukes  of Hazzard when she was young and introduced her younger brother to the show.  There would be no DukesCollector if Katie hadn't shared the love for her once favorite show all those years ago.  Thanks Kate!  Also thanks to this young toy package model for looking like Kate.

The final few items on this post are also things I've been chasing for quite some time.  This is the entire set of Dukes of Hazzard Yo-yos by Duncan.  The name Duncan is synonymous with yo-yos (and also Donuts, but that's spelled differently).  Duncan popularized yo-yos in America and is still the leader in the yo-yo game today.  Naturally they would have jumped on board with the biggest franchise going in the early '80's.

The standard General Lee yo-yo has been in my collection for a long time.  While recently organizing the collection, I found out that I didn't have the other two, Daisy's Jeep and Rosco's Car.  For some reason I thought I had both, but they were nowhere to be found.  I then paid closer attention to the General Lee yo-yo I had and noticed there were different ones.  Great!  I took me quite some time to get them all.  I'm glad to say that there are five different Dukes of Hazzard Yo-yos and I have each one.  They are all "wheel yo-yos" which were a popular version of Duncan's famous toy.  The wheel yo-yo was popular before Dukes versions were introduced.  The only Dukes markings on the yo-yo are the words written on it.  The packaging for the General version features the car and the Duke Boys.

The different versions have different style wheels.  Though none of them have the General Lee's vector wheels, two have alloy style wheels that are very similar.  This one has five spokes while the most common one has eight.  All of the packaging is the same.

The third General Lee variation has no spokes and is similar to a police special type of wheel.

The packages on all three are the same.  You would have to be looking for a difference to notice the three variants.

The back of all five yo-yos are the same.  There is a a mail-away for extra string and illustrations for a few tricks.  There is a mini trick book included with the yo-yo.

Once I figured out that Daisy and Rosco were not in the collection, I had to find them.  It took me a surprisingly long time.  I found Diasy's CJ Jeep yo-yo on ebay a few months ago.  It is a little beat up, but better than nothing.  The picture of Daisy's jeep adds a rebel flag to the car and has the incorrect "Daisy" on the hood instead of Dixie, a forgivable error on Duncan's part.

The back of the package is the same as the Gen'ral.

Officially known as the Sheriff's Car Wheel Yo-yo, Rosco's addition from Duncan eluded me for too long.  Luckily, a new friend emailed me through the blog that he had just picked one up at a thrift store and was looking to sell it.  I love it when that happens.  An item I had been looking for found me!  The car on the package looks nothing like the Rosco's Patrol car we know and love.  The car shown is a two-door model with an eagle on the door and Hazzard County on the hood.  Who designed this package at Duncan?  That error in unforgivable!  Though a version of the General Lee yo-yo resembles a police special wheel, the actual Hazzard Police yo-yo has the same rims as the standard General Lee.  As far as I know, there are no variations of the Rosco and Daisy yo-yo.


Again, the back is the same.

I'm glad I found all three versions of the Dukes yo-yos, and then found out there were two more versions.  Dukes of Hazzard was so popular, they stuck the license on any toy available.  And I love tracking each and every one of them down.  I love even more when those items find their way to me without me looking! Thanks again!


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