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Johnny Lightning

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Hobbies

Johnny Lightning
Collectibles Manufacturer

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Official Site: JohnnyLightning.com
Wikipedia: Johnny Lightning

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History
Merchandise
Manufacturer and die cast automotive collectibles from 1969-1971 and beginning again in 2003.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Johnny Lightning page on 24 September 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Johnny Lightning is a brand of model cars originally produced by Topper Toys, similar to the hugely successful Mattel Hot Wheels die cast racing cars. Their claim to fame at that time was that they were extremely fast compared to other brands of die-cast cars. Their most important technology was to mold in a small hook under the front axle so that they could be propelled by a lever-driven catapult, far faster than could be obtained by either gravity, or battery powered "supercharger" devices. Topper closed in 1971 and production of Johnny Lightning cars ceased for 23 years. In 2003 Thomas Lowe secured the trademark rights to the Johnny Lightning name for his Playing Mantis company. Playing Mantis produced toy cars under the Johnny Lightning brand name from 1994 to June 2004. At that time Playing Mantis (including the Johnny Lightning brand) was bought by RC2 Corp. which in turn was bought by the Japanese toy company TOMY in 2011. TOMY discontinued the Johnny Lightning line of diecast cars in 2013. The brand continued to maintain a following by a loyal group of collectors. In early 2016 Round 2 LLC, a toy company owned by Thomas Lowe (who also owned Playing Mantis), revived and reintroduced Johnny Lightning vehicles to the toy market for a second time.


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Die Cast - 155-00Reading Railroad Ford TruckMonopoly, small scale White 1940 Ford
Die Cast - 204-051971 Mercury Cyclone SpoilerMuscle Cars U.S.A., small scale, green
Die Cast - 221-001997 Dodge Ram VTSSmall scale, black w/white stripes
Die Cast - 221-001981 Z-CARSmall scale, green Datsun 280ZX
Die Cast - 238-01Monte CarloModern Muscle, small scale, dark red LS
Die Cast - 238-03Monte CarloModern Muscle, small scale, black SS
Die Cast - 292-011982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28Motor Trend, 1:64 scale, red
Die Cast - 301-01Bad NewsWacky Winners, 1:64 scale, Black w/white lettering, Production: 17,500
Die Cast x2 - 363-081955 Ford Crown VictoriaLimited Edition First Shot, small scale, lavender & white chrome/unpainted, production: 7,500,
Die Cast - 366-041968 Dodge ChargerAd Rods, 1:64 scale, dark green
Die Cast - 375-08'99 Honda CivicStreet Freaks: Import Heat, small scale, white hatchback
Die Cast - 392-03DotsTrue Grit, small scale, yellow Dots step van
Die Cast - 392-03Alvin and the ChipmunksTrue Grit, 1:64 scale, gold GMC Savana
Die Cast - 992-01'60s Studebaker ChampJL Collection, small scale, American flag design
Die Cast - 50151Arthur Morrow's 2001 Chevy Camaro SSMuscle Cars U.S.A., small scale, dark red
Die Cast - 501521963 CitroŽn DS CoupeClassic Gold Collection, small scale, light blue & blue
Die CastBobby Isaac #71Stock Car Legends, small scale, orange w/white #71 K&K Insurance Dodge Charger Daytona
Die Cast1969 Dodge Dart1:64 scale, white w/red stripe, International Model and Hobby Expo Limited Edition 1 of 2000


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