Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rush's Complete Dukes of Hazzard Project

Your pal and mine, Rush Pedder recently shared some Dukes of Hazzard thoughts with me.  I thought they were so good, they deserve to be shared with the world.  Luckily, I have the means for sharing Dukes thoughts.  Take it away Rush:


Oddly enough after selling my Dukes of Hazzard collection I got interested again in the show. Not that my love of the show ever left, but it had been several years since I watched an episode (besides my annual Christmas eve tradition of watching "The Great Santa Claus Chase" episode). I was inspired to watch everything in chronological order, this way I would force myself to watch even the not so great episodes. Below are my comments:

my order of viewing
1. every television episode of the show
2. all the TV DVD extras (minus commentary)
3. Reunion! movie
4. Hazzard in Hollywood movie
5. Dukes of Hazzard 2005 movie (starring Larry Franks)
6. DOH the Beginning movie
7. Moonrunners
8. TV DVD commentaries

- after suffering through the Coy and Vance shows, THE stars of the show was not Boss, Rosco, Daisy of the General...its Bo Schneider and Luke Wopat. period. you can remove any other characters/actors except for them

- Sorrell Booke and James Best never got the credit they deserved for their comedy - hidden jem of the show

- the 2005 movie is terrible - if that version of the Dukes was on TV in 1979 the show wouldn't have made it past Covington

- 2006 movie is even worse...finding the General at the bottom of a lake? this movie was a missed opportunity

- Moonrunners is fun only because of the sprinkle of Dukes references - Bo was the family mule lol

- The chrome strip - I know I know, I ramble on too much about it. but it was too obvious after awhile not to notice. even John Schneider references it on a commentary. the strip is there as early as the first episode and is inconsistent until season 3 where it stays for good. episodes in the first 2 seasons shows both versions in the same show. now seriously, I ask you, if the chrome strip was on 75% of the episodes, why was it not featured on 30 years of die casts except for the Danbury Mint? Now the chrome strip was not on the reunion movies or theatrical versions. BRING BACK THE CHROME STRIP!! lol. I think it looks better.

- Where did they get the trunk interior design for the Auto World General that was released a few months back? every time the trunk was open on the show I was looking out for that design and never saw it.

- Speaking of the AutoWorld GL, the 01 numbers are too thin. it more closely resembles the Reunion! letters. I know the General was inconsistent over the years on the show but the majority (and best looking) had fatter 01's.

- I also read the David Hofstede book along the way - excellent reference but I wish someone would write a more expanded volume

- I didnt watch The Dukes cartoon series because I saw that my bootlegged copy is worse quality than I thought - Ill have to get the official one from Amazon soon

- I think the real success of the Dukes was lost in all of the post show movies except for Reunion!. Think of all the reasons why the show was amazing and most of those are missing from the movies, including Moonrunners. you know the reasons: action, drama, sex, fun, family, comedy, unique concept (criminals are heroes).

- I am ever so thankful for the DVD format - most of my previous Dukes watching experiences were done via worn out VHS taped from TNN. so it was nice watching all the shows in broadcast order, complete non syndicated epsoides in much improved quality. I remember some episodes on my VHS collecion were flawed (missing parts of the middle when TNN had a broadcast flaw, chopped off beginnings etc) plus a few episodes I didnt record and were missing

- After watching all the bad movies then watching the TV show again for the commentaries I was shocked how much better the TV show is. it was like watching a local dive bar band then going to see Springsteen

- I was again amazed how excellent the TV series really is - its nice to confirm that the show is still amazing after all these years and holds up very well. what a fun project to complete!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Jeff is writing The Tick and Larry is on JoBlo.com!!!

What an awesome day for the creators of Franks and Beans!

Fellow Franks and Beans cohort, creator of Teddy and the Yeti, and all around great guy, Jeff McClelland, finally got to announce his huge news.  He is writing the upcoming Free Comic Book Day issue of The Tick! Jeff has been published several times before, in his own creations and in other books, but this is the first big time character he has written for.  The issue will be out in May and did I mention it will be free?

Maybe now we know why Jeff was inside the Tick booth at SDCC looking so excited.  This is a huge opportunity for Jeff and I couldn't be happier for him.  He deserves it.  

I found a fun surprise this morning. I read the movie website JoBlo everyday. In my opinion it's the best source for all the inside info from Hollywood. I logged on today to find an article about me. No, I wasn't chosen to reprise my role as "Hazzard Country Citizen 1" in a Dukes reboot (yet) and Franks and Beans hasn't been optioned for a feature (again, yet) but my collection was featured on JoBlo's Show Us Your Shit column. They ask readers to submit their collections relating to movies. Obviously mine mostly pertains to TV but I got just about everything Dukes movie released too. It is awesome to be featured. JoBlo has a huge following and this will help spread the DukesCollector brand to tons of new visitors. If you're reading this post because you were lead here from JoBlo, welcome and enjoy your visit, and I hope you come back. Thanks JoBlo, keep being an awesome movie site!

If anyone is new to the party, Franks and Beans is the online comedy sketch show me and Jeff put together. It is comedy worth fighting for. Check out the homepage and our YouTube channel.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Dukes Stuff - 12/11/2012

This weekend was the Steel City Con in Monroeville, PA.  I didn't hit the jackpot as far as Dukes items, but I did pick up a few cool things.

First off is this nice General ripoff Dixie Special from Road Champs.  It's the same one that our pal, Reis the Dork Lord, gave me San Diego Comic Con.  It's funny that it does not say Yatming anywhere on the package.  It does have Free Wheeling Action!

This little beauty came from ebay.  It's the Dukes of Hazzard Super Stunt Wheelies General Lee Stunt Buster  with Crash Wall.  Say that five time fast.  It is the same General that comes with the Barn Buster and Speed Jumper, with a few minor differences.  The package is in pretty bad shape, but this is quite a rare item, so the condition isn't my biggest concern.  I didn't have it, so I'll take it.

The back of the package shows some of the other Dukes offerings from Knickerbocker, the Finger Racer Crash Cars.  It appears the books needed to stand the ramp up are not included.

With the packaged General, I got five looses and mostly beat up Generals.  And one from the Steel City Con.  All of these Generals are pretty rough, but they were cheap, so bring 'em on.

All but one of these cars were either Barn Buster or Stunt Buster General Lees and only one came from a Speed Jumper set.  The way to tell is the little switch on the back left of the front center car.  It triggered the car to speed up and make the jump.

One of the above cars, who knows which one now, came with the Barn Buster set from the Steel City Con. It is in pretty nice shape and, again, was cheap, so I grabbed it.

I found this puzzle from another vendor at the show.  The box is in great shape.

And finally I picked up these American Muscle Body Shop sets by Ertl.  I have both of them already, but its nice to have extras.  And they are near mint.  My other Rosco Cruiser is autographed by James Best.  I got it signed the first time I met him in Sperryville.  Notice it spells Rosco's name wrong.  When I handed it to James, it was the first time he saw the set as it was just recently released.  He was very upset they misspelled his character's name.  The General Lee in the series is a different diecast than previously released and has several small details that lends itself to building.  These two cars are just the standard releases taken apart.  They charged more for the car and the buyer had to put it together.  Pretty good marketing technique.  But hey, you get a tiny screwdriver!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Game Vault in Uniontown, PA

The Game Vault
667  Pittsburgh Road Uniontown, PA

While doing some research for a blog post, I heard rumors about a vintage video game store close to home. A few web searches later I found out about the Game Vault in nearby Uniontown, PA.  I visited for the first time yesterday, and it won't be the last.  The Game Vault is an amazing place.  Wall to wall video games from the beginning until today.  Coleco to Wii U.  Dig Dug to Nathan Drake, they have it all.  And then I went downstairs.  Comics, consoles, toys, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game.  I can't wait to go back.  

Much like our Pal Jeremy at Pop Culture Connection, the owner of the Game Vault, Jerry, seems to be a master of all things video games.  Definitely my kind of guy.  I was only there briefly, but we talked about how great it was to play classic arcade games at Wheels of Eight.  Anyone from my generation that lived in Fayette County can relate and remember the old skating rink on 51.  If you are ever in the area, you owe it to yourself to check out the Game Vault.  Heck, come to the area just to check it out, you won't regret it.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dukes of Hazzard Curvehuggers Electric Racing Slot Car Set by Auto World

Got another new item that was just released.  The Dukes of Hazzard Curvehuggers Electric Racing Slot Car Set.  This one comes from our pals over at Auto World.  They had a banner Dukes of Hazzard year in 2012.  This is the third slot car set by AW.  It's the smallest of the three with 14 feet of track.

The box design features brand new artwork of the General Lee being chased by Rosco.  The artists did an excellent job.  The scene is out of focus giving it a motion blur kind of feel.  I really like seeing new products with new artwork.

This set is called the Curvehuggers.  It features a crash intersection and a new jump and landing track section.  I really want to know if the jump works, but I would rather not open it completely.

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you, the box features the return of the infamous "bald" General Lee.

Fortunately the box did not come sealed so I could peak inside.  The General that comes with the set is not bald and has the flag where it should be.  This set must have been in production during the "Great Rebel Flag Debacle of 2012" (it's a thing, really) and the creators must have removed the flag before they heard that Cooter, me, and the rest of the Dukes fan world demanded the General go untouched.  That was such a great win for us.

The General Lee and Rosco Patrol Car feature nice detail.  I can tell even through the bubble wrap.

Here is everything in the box.  The set comes with a large cardboard backdrop that has a nice Hazzard County vibe.  I know that if I ever took all these pieces out and put the set together, I would never get them back in the box so nicely.

That back of the box shows different layouts you can configure the set in.

The top of the box has a convenient carrying handle and a list of the contents.  This list is also on the other three sides of the box.

Each of the three slot car sets from Auto World have a different design to the box and feature different artwork.  Variety is a good thing.  The first set (bottom right) came out in 2006 and featured 28 feet of track.  The box stayed close in design to most of the Dukes items that have been released from 2006 to now.  The second set (left) came with a whopping 38 feet of track.  The box artwork of the General racing Rosco is still used as the background to Auto World's website.  The older two sets feature track pieces where the cars can either crash head on or side swipe each other, but this new set is the first to feature a jump.  Man, I really want to know how good that works.  A future blog post?  Perhaps.