Luke Duke was initially released wearing a long sleeve light blue denim shirt, denim blue jeans with a brown vinyl belt and rectangular gold belt buckle. He also came with black high top boots. The Luke Duke head sculpt is dead on and clearly resembles Tom Wopat who played Luke Duke on the television series.
Luke's long sleeve shirt contained a sewn in pocket located on his right breast and also contained one set of snaps in the front. Similar to Bo, Mego quickly modified Luke's shirt by eliminating the pocket and shortening his sleeves. It could have been a cost cutting measure, or giving the figure more flexibility by having the elbows open for unrestricted movement. The shirt was modified while the 1980 cards were still being used so Luke can be found wearing a short sleeve shirt packaged in 1980 and 1981 cards (see the main Dukes page for details on the 1980 card).
(Above) Luke with log sleeve and short sleeves on 1980 and 1981 cards
When Mego shortened the sleeves on Luke's shirt, they also changed the material and design. The long sleeve shirt was constructed from a thicker denim-like material. The short sleeve shirt was constructed from a softer more elastic light blue material. The pocket located on the right breast was also removed. The majority of Luke Duke figures contain this later style shirt. .
The long sleeve shirt was designed so that the left side of the shirt snapped over the right side. The left side contained a lapel that ran down the center of the shirt when snapped. This lapel was eliminated when the short sleeve shirt was designed. Now that the short sleeve shirt was a symmetrical design, technically either side could be snapped over the other. While the majority of short sleeve shirts have the left side snapped over the right, some were produced so that the right side snaps over the left. Here are examples of Luke Duke shirts on Vance with the left side snapped over the right and vice versa. The Luke Duke shirt with the right side snapped over the left is much more difficult to find, although this is only the result of someone sewing the snap to the other side to break the monotony on the production line.
Luke Duke's short sleeve shirts can also exhibit an unattractive discoloring. Quite a few of the short sleeve shirts can have a brownish discoloration to them. Whether it is a chemical reaction to the body resin or some chemical in the shirt itself, it is not pleasant to look at. Carded Lukes can be seen with discolored shirts still sealed inside original bubbles. Finding a vibrant blue shirt without discoloration will not require an extended search, but the discolored shirts are out there in numbers.
Luke's blue jeans were initially baggy (or relaxed fit), and constructed from a denim like material with metal snaps. This material was a bit darker and thicker than Bo's pants. The material of Luke's jeans changed the same time as the shirt was modified.
The pant material was switched to a darker blue polyester material. The modified jeans no longer contained that denim texture and were now a solid blue polyester type blue material. This material was thinner and most likely less expensive. The color of the polyester type pant material can vary upon close inspection. A more significant color variation does exist. Some Lukes will have very bright blue pants. This was probably not an intentional change, but most likely just variance among the material or availability. These pants are too bright and almost look like pajamas. These bright blue pants were produced in limited quantities when compared to the darker blue pants and are somewhat difficult to find. The initial blue denim pants are the rarest of three versions. Either color of the polyester pants can be found with the bright blue pants being more difficult to find.
Luke's pants were held up with a brown vinyl like belt sewn in at the ends by the snaps. A rectangular shaped belt buckle was threaded through the belt and was able to slide along the belt from end to end. All of the baggy denim pants contained this rectangular belt. The brown belts can be textured as pictured with the square belt buckle, and also smooth as pictured with the later belt buckle. When the pant material was switched to a polyester type material, the belt buckle also changed. The belt buckle for the polyester pants was square shaped with the top and bottom having an "arc" to it. One variation of this belt buckle does exist. Very few curved belt buckles have been confirmed to be silver rather than gold. It is possible that these silver belt buckles did not go through the gold dipping process. The silver belt buckles can be considered an error, but are very difficult to find and seldom pop up. To date, Luke Duke has only been confirmed with these three belt buckles, but with Quality Control not being Mego's strength during their desparate times, it would not be unheard of to find some figures that were assembled with Bo's belt buckle. Similar to the short sleeve shirt, the waistline of the pants was symmetrical so either the right side could be snapped over the other. Pants seemed to flip back and forth between right side over left, and vice versa. See the picture a little further down for examples of pants sewn either way.
The snaps used to secure the shirt and pants were initially metal snaps that can be shaped square or round. Shortly after the long sleeve shirt was modified, the metal snaps were replaced with white plastic snaps. Since short sleeve shirts and the polyester type pants can be found with metal snaps, it is safe to say that all long sleeve shirts and baggy jeans should only contain metal snaps. The short sleeve shirt and polyester type pants can contain either metal or plastic snaps.
Many more short sleeve shirts and pants with plastic snaps were produced compared to the short sleeve and polyester type pants with plastic snaps. The majority of collectors do not care or differentiate between the plastic and metal snaps. All versions can be found with persistence.
The thread used to secure the snaps to the shirt and pants can vary. Unlike the brown thread that was consistently used for Bo figures, the thread color for Luke snaps can vary widely. Initial Luke Duke outfits had the shirt snaps sewn with a light blue/gray thread and the pants with brown thread to match the belt.
The various snaps and color threads used for Luke's pants can create numerous combinations.
Once the shirt and pants were modified, it seems like they used whatever thread was closest. The thread used to secure the snap to the shirt was consistently light blue to match the shirt color, but the thread used to secure the snap to the pants varied significantly. White, light blue, blue, brown, and yellow are some of the colors that were used and pictured below. It can be theorized that white was for Bo's shirt, the light blue matched the short sleeve Luke shirt, the blue matched the later light blue pants, the brown matched the belt, and the yellow was the same thread used to sew the pockets on the pants. It would not be shocking to see pants that contained even more colors since it is such a minor variation and hardly detectable. Go look at your Luke pants now to see what color you have!!!
and Luke heads are notorious for turning gray or discoloring. A
large number of Bo and Luke heads have that ugly gray appearance
also commonly seen on other later 8" figures. Luke can have
a gray head inside a 1980 or 1981 cards. The entire head can be
gray or even just portions of the head can be gray. Towards the
very end, Mego solved the graying issue as tail end Dukes of Hazzard
figures and all 8" heads no longer discolored to become gray.
Finding a carded Bo or Luke without a gray head and on a high grade
card can be done, but it is not that easy. When one becomes available
for sale, the price usually is higher than normal.
All the Luke Duke variations can be found and will not cause you to skip a mortgage payment to purchase them. High grade cards with non gray heads will command higher prices, but never cross the $100 threshold.