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Featured Article

Random Dukes of Hazzard Merchandise


Growing up, and still today, I was a big fan of The Dukes of Hazzard television show.  As I got old enough, I would watch the new episodes on Friday nights, and beyond that, it was shown in syndication on my local station every afternoon after school, so I had plenty of opportunity to watch.

What I didn't realize until recently was just how much merchandise I had that came from the show.  In the forums a couple of days ago, I mentioned having a Dukes of Hazzard TV tray that I would eat dinner off of occasionally. That sparked several other memories in me of stuff that I had that tied into the show that I had completely forgotten about. So today, I just want to review some of that stuff and relate some of my memories of those things.


Dukes of Hazzard TV Tray


We'll just start with the first item that spawned the floor of memories, and talk about the TV tray for a moment.  As several of you may remember, my Dad traveled a lot when I was younger.  My brother was eight years older than me, and as soon as he was old enough too, he got a job working evenings and nights at the local grocery store.  This left just me and my mom at home at night for dinner.

She would usually make one of our favorite "just us" meals like tomato soup with cheese sandwiches, or Sloppy Joes, or some other simple dinner.  We rarely ate at the table since it was just the two of us, and instead we would eat dinner in the living room while watching TV.  

I would usually sit on the living room floor, with my Dukes of Hazzard TV tray set up in front of me holding my dinner while we watched Batman (1966) on the Family Channel, and whatever would follow on the original Nick at Night. 

Much like everything else on this list, I don't know what happened to that TV tray, but I still have vivid memories of it and those times alone with my Mom as we bonded over dinner and classic TV.



Dukes of Hazzard 1/64 Scale ERTL Cars


What red blooded American boy who was a fan of the show didn't have the Matchbox size replica cars?  I know I sure did.  Between my brother and I, we had a couple of the General Lee, four of the white Hazzard County police cars, Boss Hogg's car, Daisy's jeep, Uncle Jesse's truck, and the rare golden Chickasaw County Police Car.  

Of course the General Lee was the fastest in our Matchbox/Hotwheels collection, and not only could it out run those Hazzard County police cars, but also the Hotwheels City cop cars and anything else that tried to chase it down.  

Those cars were the perfect licensed product for that show, since one the biggest attractions were the car chases featured, as well as the incredible stunts those Duke boys would pull off in the General Lee.  The little cars made it so easy to replicate whatever you had just watched on the show, and provided countless hours of play time fun for my brother and me.



Dukes of Hazzard McDonald's Happy Meal Boxes


This is one of the stranger items on this list, but maybe one of the coolest as well.  I've not taken the time to research exactly when these were issued or anything, but at some point in the 80's, a deal was struck with McDonald's to feature the vehicles from the show as boxes for Happy Meals.

They were made of a thin, molded plastic, two piece construction....a bottom and top...that held your Happy Meal inside.  They came with a decal sheet that you would use to decorate it and make it look like the vehicle from the show.

Now why that may have been cool enough, let me tell you the real magic of these things.  The plastic would crinkle just like the fender of a real car in a wreck!  So I would spend hours playing with these things...having car chases and such, but sure enough, most chases ended with the vehicles crashing into each other and causing significant body damage.  But fear not, because you could open it up, push out the dents, and start all over again.

I'm not sure how long they lasted until they were too beat up to repair, but I know I pushed them to those limits before I would let my Mom throw them out.



Dukes of Hazzard Wrist Racers


I came across a picture of these the other night, and it was like a lightning bolt striking me.  My mind had lost all traces of the memory of having these things, but once I saw them, the memories came flooding back.

This was such a cool toy, as you had a small (smaller than Hotwheels) General Lee car or Police car that would wind up so you could let it go and it would take off.  You wound up the car and attached it to it's "wrist" base, and left it there until you were ready to set it off on it's journey.  On the front of the base, was a pull out ramp that made it possible to lower your arm to the floor, and have the ramp ON the floor so when you launched the car it didn't wreck once it left your wrist.  One push of a button released the wound up car and it would zoom across the floor!

This was such a genius idea, and it was made all the better by the fact that it was built like a watch so that you could wear it around everywhere you went, and be ready to launch it at any time.



Dukes of Hazzard Bowl, Plate, and Cup


I don't think this set came with the TV tray, but who knows.  I remember sitting around before school, and more mornings than not, my breakfast was served on these fine pieces of plastic.  And it was a hard plastic.

Each piece featured scenes from the show, and I would sit and stare at those pictures morning after morning.  



Dukes of Hazzard Etch-a-Sketch Scenes


Etch-a-Sketch was such a brilliant toy, and is still a big hit with kids today.  As much fun as it was trying to create a masterpiece work of art, you could ramp up the fun even more by adding a fun sheet over the Etch-a-Sketch itself.  These were things like mazes, race courses and other things that would test your knob turning ability.

There was a Dukes set that featured several games you could play on your Etch-a-Sketch, but my personal favorite was the maze.  There was a Hide and Seek style game, a Boss and Roscoe roadblock game, and a Cooter to the Rescue game.



Dukes of Hazzard Power Cycle


My cousin Tim and I lived next to each other, on top of a big hill.  We loved to spend out summer days cruising down that hill on our Big Wheels, and usually wore one out every year, meaning that we each needed a new on at Christmas time.

One Christmas, we both received Dukes of Hazzard Power Cycles.  Those things looked so cool, and we both swore that they went faster than any other we'd ever had.  With all the cool decals, the streamers on the handles, and the Confederate Flag flying off the back, those things were beautiful.

I'm not sure if they lasted through that first summer season or not (doubt it), but I'm sure when they finally broke down we were sad to see them go.  Our days of him being Bo and me being Luke are great memories though.



Dukes of Hazzard 3 3/4 Mego action figures


Being a huge fan of G.I. Joe and having a lot of those figures, coupled with my love of Dukes of Hazzard made owning these things a foregone conclusion.  I had both Bo and Luke, and the General Lee pictured above.  When a job was just a little too tough for the Joes to handle, they called in the special forces....the Duke cousins!

You may think it's preposterous, but I can distinctly remember a time that G.I. Joe was raiding the Cobra Terrordrome, but the tide of battle was against them.  Cobra was launching their deadly Firebat from the center of their base, but the day was saved when Bo & Luke in the General Lee jumped off a cliff and knocked the Firebat out of the air during it's launch to save the day!



Dukes of Hazzard Colorforms


Now this one I didn't own, but I had a few opportunities to play with it.  My grandmother used to babysit my older cousin Stevie a lot, and these colorforms belonged to him and he used to leave them at her house.  When we would visit on Sunday afternoons, I'd occupy myself by moving all the colorful pieces around on the background mat. 

But I could only do this when Stevie wasn't around.  Stevie was a control freak, and if he was there, you could only touch his toys, (or cereal, or books, or cookies) if he gave you explicit permission, and if you followed his rules regarding them to the letter.  Stevie was a butt hole.  I need to write an article about all the potential fun times that were ruined by his attitude.  



Dukes of Hazzard Cassette Tape


Man, when I got my first Walkman knockoff, this bad boy had a new home.  I kept it in that tape player forever and would just listen to this thing on loop.  I wore the cassette out in short order somehow, and my Dad ended up buying me another copy.

It had the iconic theme song on it, albeit sung by a choir and not Waylon, plus several other really good songs.  Now that I think about it, I need to pick up a digital copy of this.

Until just this past week, most of these items had escaped my memory.  But once I started talking about that old TV tray and started searching out pictures of it, so many memories came flooding back, and I'm glad they did.  I've enjoyed reliving and sharing these memories with you, and I hope you had a little fun reading it.




Mickey Yarber
For more retro goodness, visit my blog at www.themidnightpost.com (recent name change), and be sure to follow me on Twitter @yesterdayville
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SockofFleagulls Posted on Dec 08, 2016 at 06:37 PM

I recently visited Cooter's Place in Nashville for the first time and I was taken back at the sheer amount of Dukes merchandise that was released. My friend that was with me who is 10 times the fan I am was even amazed.

kidcoffee Posted on Mar 17, 2016 at 07:13 AM

Man this brings me back. I totally had those wrist racers too. Loved mine to death. As for the confederate flag I had no idea there was any stigma attached to it at all as a kid. Heck I used to think it made the regular flag seem boring.

Vaporman87 Posted on Mar 16, 2016 at 03:09 PM

You said it OldSchool. The show never represented any negative views toward anyone. That's why I think it was absurd to be yanking it off of television when people were up in arms over the Confederate Flag. People need to get over themselves.

OldSchool80s Posted on Mar 15, 2016 at 06:30 PM

I had those wrist racers (among many other things)! I loved The Dukes of Hazzard. I had no idea what the confederate flag stood for or any of that and the show really had absolutely nothing to do with that. I had the pleasure of an interview with the show's creator, Gy Waldron, a couple years back.

mickyarber Posted on Mar 15, 2016 at 02:25 AM

@hoju....I had several different sets of screens for the etch a sketch. Not just Dukes. Those things really ramped up the fun of etch a sketch.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Mar 14, 2016 at 10:33 PM

I was so glad to see the Etch-A-Sketch scenes make an appearance. Aside the General Lee Hot Wheels car, that was my sole piece of merchandise and I loved it.

mickyarber Posted on Mar 11, 2016 at 12:36 PM

I think part of the contract dispute when Bo and Luke left the show was partly due to their cut of merchandising. I think they're new contracts stipulated they got an increase in their cut.

Vaporman87 Posted on Mar 11, 2016 at 08:31 AM

I think the sheer amount of General Lee merchandise that was produced over the years definitely helps you get a better perspective on the marketing behemoth that was the Dukes. The show was huge. I wonder if any of the stars got a cut of the profits from the sale of all that licensed stuff?

massreality Posted on Mar 11, 2016 at 05:10 AM

That's some great stuff. I love The Dukes of Hazzard and have visited Cooters in both Nashville and in Gatlinburg. They got a lot of what you talked about on display along with a lot more. Its one of those shows you don't think about when it comes to merchandising, but they made a ton of stuff for it!

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