If you live in the US, there is little chance you are not familiar with the discussion, or controversy, surrounding the Confederate Flag.
Following the horrific, racist shooting at a South Carolina church last week, national dialogue has revolved around whether or not it is appropriate for the Confederate Flag to not only fly at the South Carolina Capitol Building and elsewhere, but whether it is appropriate to be displayed in other forms, like on clothes or toys. Many companies have removed any likeness of the flag, including stores like Walmart and Target, which will no longer sell products with that image.
Now we have no desire to go political. We are not bringing this up to start a debate on the flag. Instead, we want to address something else entirely, that most surely relates to our hobby.
Since the debate started, demand has skyrocketed for diecast replicas of the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee, the ’69 Dodge Charger used in the popular 80’s TV show. The car famously had the Confederate flag painted on the roof, and all diecast replicas that I know of have the same. It is the same for the Hot Wheels Dixie Challenger, which was loosely based on the General Lee and sported the flag as well.
I guess this can be expected, but is it right? As far as I know, no replicas of the General Lee have been produced since Johnny Lightnings series from a few years ago. That means no diecast company has all of a sudden halted production, and no store has had to remove any product.
So why the run? They won’t be any rare than they already are. Is there really a demand? It is opportunistic buyers who hope to capitalize on the controversy at a later date, in the same way many did with Fast & Furious Skylines following Paul Walker’s death? Is it folks so passionate about the flag that they want a replica to show to their kids later? I have no idea.
It just seems odd. I was a fan of the show back in the day, but have never felt the need to collect any Dukes of Hazzard cars, and most certainly don’t now.
So what are your thoughts? Is it appropriate? No one ever said the collector world was logical, but this seems a little further out than normal.
I would love to hear your thoughts. If you do share, I ask that you respect others in your comments, and try and keep it on the hobby-related topic as opposed to the overall flag issue itself. We are just curious to see what people think.