Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dukes Christmas Presents & 2015, A DukesCollector Review

Christmas brought some more great Dukes of Hazzard items under my tree.  Actually only one of these items are for me, but they are still awesome.

The first item is something I bought my mother.  She is a master puzzle builder and loves a new challenge.  Back in June, I stumbled across a new puzzle by White Mountain Puzzles called "Games We Played."  I found another another version of the puzzle in a different box.  I thought my mom would enjoy putting it together.  I'm gonna ask her if I can add it to the collection after she is completes it.

My cousin got my mom a different puzzle for Christmas.  This one is also by White Mountain Puzzles entitled "Television History."  Someone at White Mountain loves them Dukes.

I don't think my cousin even noticed, but right there on the puzzle are Bo and Luke with the Gen'ral and Cousin Daisy in all her glory.  It was an unexpected Dukes item!  The puzzle is a collage of hundreds of TV icons.  I'm really glad the Dukes are so well represented.  The General Lee is right in between Captain Kangaroo and Captain Kirk, that's some some heavy military brass right there!  Hopefully this puzzles will find its way in the collection too.  Merry Christmas Mom!

Jeffrey (should I even link to his blog anymore cause he rarely updates it) always come through at Christmas.  This year he did not disappoint with this awesome art print of the General Lee.  This thing is a beauty!  Jeff got it through his connections in the comic book world.  It's great having a friend who is so deep into comic creation.

The background isn't just yellow.  There is a collage of old Dukes of Hazzard ads and posters.  The artist did his homework.

Several of these ads were featured in a blog I did in 2012.  Check it out.  I really like how the artist made the background.  This is an awesome present.  Thanks Jeff!

2015 had its ups and downs for Dukes of Hazzard fans.  Let's take a look back.

The Dukes of Hazzard movie was released ten years ago.  I wrote several blog posts looking back at my time on the set, at the Hollywood Premiere, and the items that were released.  

In April, we lost a member of the Dukes of Hazzard family.  James Best is with his Little Fat Buddy in the sky.  We sure do miss you Rosco.

There were some issues with the rebel flag that led to the Dukes of Hazzard being pulled from television.  Here's hoping we see it again on TV in 2016. 

Cooter's Place returned to where it all began in 2015.  Along with Nashville and Gatlinburg, Ben and Alma opened Cooter's In the Country in good 'ol Sperryville, home of the original Cooter's Place.  Needless to say, I spent a lot of time there this year.  We had a great grand opening, and Daisy, Dorothy Best, Cletus, Enos, and Luke have all visited already.  2016 is going to be a huge year for Cooter's in the Country.  We have a huge announcement planned!

We saw some great times released in 2015.  Though a custom piece, I had to include my wonderful Lego General Lee created by Cody at C3Brix.  It is such an awesome addition to the collection.  May saw two releases.  Auto World gave us the General Lee before it was orange with the 1/18 Happy Birthday General Lee diecast.  Shortly after, we got Series 2 of Figures Toy Company's Dukes of Hazzard figures.  Daisy, Uncle Jesse, Cooter, Enos, and Cletus, were all released in 8 inch and 12 inch figures.  A few months later we were surprised with a Series 3 of Dukes figures.  It consisted of special edition figures exclusive to Entertainment Earth that included Welcome Back Bo & Luke, Carnival of Thrills Bo, Abraham Lincoln Hogg, and two Daisys, Deputy Daisy Duke, and Bikini Daisy!  They are awesome.  All of the Dukes figures as well as other items can be purchased through the link on the top right of the blog that takes you to EE's website.  Clicking that link supports the blog.  Right in the middle of the flag controversy, we finally got the complete Dukes of Hazzard series in a DVD Box Set.  It was plain old bad timing.  But a great set.  The price for the box set has been up and down, but I'm very happy we finally got it.  I'm really hoping we get the glorious HD versions in Blu-ray someday soon.  Halloween saw the release of costumes portraying Boss Hogg, Rosco P. Coltrane, and Daisy Duke.  In December, our pal Tom Wopat released the Christmas album he did with John Schneider, on vinyl.  I held the first ever DukesCollector contest and gave away some autographed copies.  That was a lot of fun.

2015 had a few low points, but it had so many high ones.  I met so many more great follow fans of the Dukes of Hazzard and had countless wonderful Dukes experiences.  Here's to a great 2016 filled with orange cars, Dukes toys, cast members, and fellow fans!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tom Wopat at Cooter's In The Country

Did I mention that I love once again having Cooter's Place within driving distance?  It's incredible.  I made another day trip on Saturday to Sperryville and hung out with good ol' Luke Duke himself, Tom Wopat.

Cooter's In The Country is such a perfect destination.  I think I've been there a half a dozen times this year.  And it only opened in May!

There was a very nice crowd there to see Tom.  They weathered the bitter cold of December. Actually it felt more like summer time.  It was about 75 degrees and sunny.  I think I'll have a tan for Christmas.

Always prepared, Ben and Alma had a tent set up in case it got cold.  

The tent kept the beating sun off of those at the front of the line instead.

Tom had a great time meeting fans and talking Dukes.  

Could this be the greatest Christmas tree of all time?  I love everything on it and under it.  That's a Hazzard Christmas right there.

The crew at Cooter's moved a few shelves around.  Every time I go there, I'm just so proud that I got to set this stuff up.

They added a penny press machine that has Sperryville on it.  Come to think of it, I forgot to get some pennies.  Oh darn, now I have to go back.

A fellow fan had this great looking pedal car.  He had everyone's signature except Tom's.  Now he has them all.  Very cool piece.

Michael set up a merchandise table outside near the line.  People were buying Dukes stuff like crazy.

This is a cool early model year of a newer Charger.  I like the custom fenders that make it look more like a General Lee era Charger.

Ben signed the car before posing for a picture.

Ben was also signing autographs throughout the day.

This General Lee is one of the remaining 17 that were screen used.  It is a piece of history.

The owner is keeping it in original condition to preserve its legacy.

It doesn't get more authentic than this flag and these 01s.  It's always special to see one of these screen used cars.

Couldn't think of a better plate for this car.  Even took the extra step of making it 01 and just 1 of 17.

I think I'll make it a tradition to hang out with Tom in December of each year.  Last year I interviewed him and John, and  this year we hung out at Cooter's.  I wonder what next year will bring!

Oh yeah... There's something big in the works at Cooter's Place.  More info to come!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Two Very Unique Items - Amazing Street Art & Another Crew Jacket

These two new additions to the collection are extraordinary.

Have I been buying some jackets lately, or what?  The newest, and probably final, crew jacket to join the ranks is made of a much lighter material.  The front says Craft Service.  Craft services are very important on a television or movie set.  They make the food!  In my experiences on set, the food is always key.  I've heard that good food makes a happy set.  I sure ate like a king on the set of the Dukes movie.  When Jeff works on the set of the several Pittsburgh based movies and TV shows, he always has a lot to say about craft services.  Food is very important.  It seems this jacket was given out to those skilled culinary purveyors during the first season of the Dukes of Hazzard.  

The back has a design that I've only seen a few times.  It's not your average General Lee with rebel flag background.  It sure is colorful and bright.  The jacket is in perfect condition.  There is not a tear or stain on it.  Like my Crew Police Jacket, I don't think this one was ever worn.

It's dated 1979.  So, it's from the first season.  It could even be from the Georgia episodes.

The design really seems to capture the regal connotation of the title.  Imagine a world before Dukes.  (It's quite difficult for me to do that.)  The first time people heard the title they probably pictured Knights, maidens, and even archers.  Our knights wore plaid and out maiden wore short shorts, but we did have archers!  With Dukes in the title it could have been more Game of Thrones than Hazzard County charm.  Thankfully most of our horses were under the hood of the Gen'ral.  Someone at the design department didn't get the memo.  Whoever was in charge of this logo still added the noble splendor on top of the (incredibly cheesy) artwork of the General and the stars and bars.  It doesn't exactly fit in, but it does make for a cool collectible.  There is also a hat floating around that shares the design.  I'll have to find one of those.

Angeltown is responsible for the jacket.  Google isn't helping me find much info on them.

I scored two TV show crew jackets within a few months of each other.  They look great together.

That is one amazing line of Dukes of Hazzard outerwear.  My two movie crew jackets and my two TV show crew jackets.  They look great!

The next addition is stunning.  It's an original piece of art on canvas by the elusive street artist JPS.  It is truly beautiful.  

I found JPS on twitter.  Check out his profile.  The above picture shows you how awesome he is.  We all recognize that shirt.  He is based in the U.K. and his work can be seen all over.  

As soon as I saw his work titled General Lee Vandalism, I feel in love.  I followed him and contacted him right away.  

His work includes many pop culture favorites.  This Goonies Chunk of Wall is so cool.

The use of shadows really adds to the depth of his work.

You know I am a sucker for Castle Grayskull.  I love the way JPS uses the environment to be a part of overall presentation.

A lot of his pieces have great titles that make the artwork even more fun.

It really looks like you could pick this tank up.

This is one of my favorites.  What a perfect place for the T-800 Cybernetic Organism.  Imagine exploring this location at night and coming across Arnie!

This Michael Jackson Smooth Criminal is just so cool!

I would love to come across this kind of artwork in my area.  There aren't many skilled street artists like JPS out there, that's for sure.  

He recently created a new Dukes piece that is also awesome.  Maybe I'll add that to the collection down the road.  

I couldn't be happier about my JPS General Lee Vandalism piece.  I love the contrast of the orange General against the purple background.  The detail on the car is perfect.  This is definitely a special addition to the collection.  I'm really glad to have met the awesome artist JPS and I can't wait to see more of his work!