Rest in Peace Johnny Lightning...

iowastockcars Wednesday, 11/13/2013

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Saw this on another site.

After a beautiful 44 years history and several owners, Johnny Lightning life's comes to an end. It's last owner, Tomy Toys (owner of many brands including Tomica) said there are no plans to produce more cars on this brand, and they will only sell the remaining cars produced on the last months.

The brand was released in 1969 to compete on the hot market of 1:64 scale cars, where Hot Wheels and Matchbox were already playing. In 1994 the brand was sold to Playing Mantis, that refreshed their products and showed the world some great castings. In 2005 it was sold again to RC2 Corporation (previous Racing Champions) and it was changed hands again recently when Tomy bought it. This last period of its life changed their concept, and the cars become less interesting than before.

Collectors from all over the world will miss one of the most realistic brands in this scale, with such charismatic and beautifully made cars. Johnny Lightning introduced some great Hollywood cars replicas, and some cars that never appeared on other brands. Now we can only count on Auto World (from former Johnny Lightning owners), Greenlight and M2, with the same or close level of details in this scale.

What's happening behind the scene is that the costs to manufacture small cars had raised on the last years, and today it's almost impossible to produce cars with great quality and small prices. Labor costs raised on China and Asia, and transport and logistics costs are very high today. Sum the fact that children want other kind of toys today (tablets, cell phones, videogames), and adult collectors are pressed today with the global crisis that maybe it's far away from an ending. That same scenario shut down great brands recently, like Yat Ming and GMP.

The only hope now is that some good company buys Johnny Lightning, so the production can be back to life again. But as you can imagine, this will be very difficult to happen.


Discussion

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model40fan 11/13/13

REST IN PEACE JOHNNY !

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redlinederby 11/13/13
Site manager

Woah, didn't realize JL was on the ropes. Sucko. I was never a big Johnny collector but respected their models and detail...and we all know at least one of their cars is super fast, nearly unbeaten.

Competition is good for business but also bad...too bad such good quality comes at a high price.

Guess that means the JLs with start becoming "rare"...? I know they sold millions but I assume a dead brand becomes desirable after too long.

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redlinederby 11/13/13
Site manager

@Iowa - Do you have a link to the article you read about this? I'd like to reference it in some other posts. Thanks.

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KandORacing 11/13/13

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KandORacing 11/13/13

Mattel should buy Johnny Lightning so they can JL wheels on Hot Wheels castings, it would make a great combo!

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redlinederby 11/13/13
Site manager

I'd like the other way around! Put some FTEs on one of their sweet detailed castings...speed and spectacle all in one!

(Of course, I guess I can do that on my own, huh?)

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GspeedR 11/13/13

Wow...that's a pretty serious blow to our favorite pasttime. At least "the rivalry"(HW vs JL) will never die as long as the cars are still around, however finite they may be.

R.I.P. "JL"....what you've already made will always be treasured and 'what coulda been' will certainly be missed.

GspeedR

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model40fan 11/14/13

the JOHNNY LIGHTNING club says that the anouncement of the brand's demise is premature...

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iowastockcars 11/14/13

@Iowa - Do you have a link to the article you read about this? I'd like to reference it in some other posts. Thanks.

This is the only place I have seen it.

http://t-hunted.blogspot.com/2013/11/adeus-johnny-lightning.html

**Note, you will need to have it translated into English--which my browser does. This site seems to be on the top of things by showing sneaks of cars well before the manufactures release them and have gotten quite the following.

If you look in the comments, the person that wrote the article claims that it came from the largest supplier of JLs in the US (Milezone Toys and Giflts)--which I have never heard of.

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Milton-Fox 11/14/13

I havent seen JLs in our immediate area (North of DFW) for over a year and there are not any out right now...

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KandORacing 11/14/13

I'm hoping that the preson that wrote that article only heard an untrue rumor...

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Stroller 11/14/13

I own 3 JL cars. Nice items, but I own more than a 1000 HW. Go figure...........


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