Boss Hogg was the fourth character within the 8" Dukes of Hazzard Line and was initially released wearing his classic white suit and vest. The outfit was sleeveless with a felt-like white vest with two buttons sewn in. A white bow tie was also stitched by the neckline. He wore a white blazer and came with white shoes, which were the same shoes used for the 8" Penguin and Joker, but molded in white. Boss Hogg would not be complete without his soft rubber white cowboy hat. Boss Hogg only came on the type 2 pot-bellied body type also shared by the likes of Penguin, Mr. Mxyzptlk, and the Wizard from the Wizard of OZ (except with flesh colored hands).
Boss Hogg is a well done figure and nails the likeness of Boss Hogg played by Sorrell Booke. A testament to the accuracy of this figure is the lack of variations. There are only two minor variations for Boss Hogg. The first is the change from metal snaps to white plastic snaps for the outfit. The second variation has to do with the buttons. Boss Hogg's vest buttons can be blue or black. The size can also vary as shown to the left. The smaller blue buttons are commonly seen, but the large black buttons are much scarcer. Having a Boss Hogg with the rarer large snaps, will most likely have no impact on value to anyone other than Sorrell Booke. Aside from the buttons and snap variations, the Boss Hogg figure remained unchanged throughout production. Boss Hogg is very easy to find loose and carded. With many carded Boss Hoggs on shelves for long periods of time and eventually marked down as clearance, high-grade cards do not pop up often.
The majority of loose Boss Hoggs no longer have pristine white outfits, and even some carded Boss Hoggs can exhibit yellowed outfits while still sealed inside the blister. A loose Boss Hogg needs to be wearing a bright white outfit and blazer. Boss Hogg would never settle on wearing a yellowed or dirty outfit. Boss Hogg was packaged on blister cards with his hat in a plastic bag and placed by his feet (unless you are holding the card upside down, then the hat would be by his head). If a carded Boss Hogg has the hat on inside the bubble, or not sealed in a bag, those darn Dukes were at it again because something is not right.
Boss Hogg only comes packaged on a 1981 card and never on a 1980 card. Even though Boss Hogg was in the original 1981 Mego catalog when the line was first introduced, he was possibly introduced a bit later than Bo, Luke, and Daisy. It may be a surprise that Boss Hogg may not have been originally intended for the 8" line or possibly a last minute addition. While this can't be stated as an absolute fact, there are a few facts which support this theory.
WAS BOSS HOGG ORIGINALLY INTENDED FOR THE 8" LINE?
It can not be declared as fact, but it is possible that Boss Hogg
was not initially intended to be part of the Dukes of Hazzard 8"
line. For whatever the reason, many facts do support the theory
that Boss was a last minute addition to the 8" line. Read the
following facts below and you be the jury.
Fact #1: The 1981 Mego Catalog
The 1981 Mego Catalog picture is the first appearance of the 8" Dukes of Hazzard figures. Luke, Bo and Daisy all represented the production figures which initially hit toy shelves at retail in 1981. The head sculpts and outfits all match what was used for production, and then there is Boss Hogg.
The Boss Hogg figure pictured in
the 1981 catalog is nothing like the Boss Hogg initially
produced. The most disturbing thing about the Boss Hogg figure is
that he is on a Type 1 body. This is not specific to Boss Hogg,
but Type 1 bodies were phased out almost five years ago in 1976.
Why Boss Hogg appears on Type 1 body is unknown and very puzzling.
This does not specifically support that Boss Hogg was a last
minute addition, but only that Mego still had Type 1 bodies lying
around the company as late as 1981. The head sculpt does not match
what was eventually used in production and appears to be hand made
sample. Boss Hogg's outfit also appears to be a quick handmade prototype.
The blazer in the 1981 catalog contained coat-tails and had pockets
drawn in with black marker. The production blazer did not have coat-tails
or pockets. You can see how the back bottom edge of the blazer and
how the coat-tails are attached as separate pieces. The bow tie
and vest were also drawn rather than the sewn in buttons and bow
tie eventually used in production. Since only the Boss Hogg figure
differs from the figure used in production, it is possible that
once the last minute decision to include Boss Hogg as part of the
8" line was made, Mego scrambled to put something together
to photograph for the catalog. If all four figures were developed
simultaneously, the Boss Hogg figure would have represented the
production figures like the others. This alone does not prove the
point, but keep reading.
Fact # 2: The figure item numbers
The item numbers for the 8" Dukes of Hazzard figures are as
Boss Hogg: 09050/4
Boss Hogg's item number is last in the sequence. If his item number was before any of the figures, it would disprove the theory that he was a last minute addition. Not only is Boss Hogg's item number the last, it differs slightly in appearance on the card when compared to the others. The Bo, Luke and Daisy item numbers are identical except for the numbers themselves. The Boss Hogg item number is not as bold. It can be theorized that the Bo, Luke, and Daisy card artwork was created simultaneously and therefore have the exact appearance. It is possible that once the last minute decision to include Boss Hogg was made, his card artwork was created separately, but the item number appeared slightly different. Convinced yet? The card artwork also provides some insight, which is detailed in fact #3.
Fact #3: The card artwork
In addition to the item numbers,
the card artwork has strong evidence to support that Boss Hogg was
a last minute addition or possibly not originally intended to be
part of the 8" line. The Dukes of Hazzard image reflected on
the card is very telling. Bo's, Luke's, and Daisy's head are all
the same size in the illustration. It can be interpreted that the
largest illustrations were of figures intended for the line. Of
the six characters, in the illustration, Boss Hogg is actually the
smallest. Based on the image sizes, it would appear that Uncle Jesse
would have been a figure before Boss Hogg.
To date, no Boss Hoggs have been confirmed on a 1980 card, only on 1981 cards. The Boss Hogg card is unique when compared to the other 1980 and 1981 cards. The text for the 1980 and 1981 cards are shown side by side with the Boss Hogg card. The text on the Boss Hogg card does match the 1981 cards with the exception of the Warner Brothers name not being all caps. It again supports that the Boss Hogg card was designed separately from the others and probably after the 1980 card, but before the 1981 card.
The most compelling evidence is in the text below the illustration.
The text "Collect Bo, Luke, and Daisy to create your own adventures."
is the same on the 1980 and 1981 cards for every character (even
Boss Hogg's). It is very possible that Boss Hogg was not part of
the 8" line when the 1980 card artwork was designed and not
added to this statement. Even when the cards were revised to add
the copyright and trademark symbols for the 1981 card, revising
this statement was most likely overlooked and didn't change.
( Editors Note: It should also be mentioned that at the time, Mego seemed to be moving towards producing 8" figures with no villain, both Chips and the Greatest American Hero were sets of three good guys with no baddies to speak of)
While it could never be declared a fact that Boss Hogg was not initially intended to be part of the 8" Dukes of Hazzard line, the evidence stated above makes a very strong case. It was a good decision because what adventures can you have if there is no villain?
It is also interesting that no Boss Hogg figures have ever surfaced with gray heads. This might be pure coincidence and luck that the particular resin that discolors just was not used for molding Boss Hogg heads. This could be interpreted some way to also support that Boss Hogg was introduced later. Since Luke and Bo on 1980 cards can both have gray heads, and Boss Hogg only comes on a 1981 card, maybe Boss Hogg was introduced after the discoloring resin was used and exhausted. This may be a stretch, but the evidence above is much more sound than this. Let's just say it was luck that no Boss Hogg heads ever turned gray.
Boss Hogg, introduced later or at the same time as the other 8" figures, is still very easy to find loose or carded. Damaged or worn cards are out there in great numbers to open and finally get that mint loose Boss Hogg. Be careful though, because behind some of those yellowed bubbles might be a discolored outfit and not the pristine white outfit you expected. Carded Boss Hoggs are again easy to find, but high-grade cards are getting scarcer. Scarce or not, Boss Hogg will always remain well under the $100 threshold. The Mego Musuem would love to revise this last statement so keep buying.