Johnny Lightning

Diecast model vehicles come in a variety of styles and types, ranging from models based on contemporary vehicles to cars that were designed to evoke the past. Diecast model cars are produced in specific set-scale ratios with different companies using different scales.

What are Johnny Lightning diecast models?

Johnny Lightning model cars were first produced in 1969 by Topper Toys. There were 47 original models that were released during 1969-1971. They had a scale ratio of 1:64. In 1971, Topper Toys closed and ceased production of the Johnny Lightning model vehicles.

Who makes Johnny Lightning model cars?

Topper Toys were the original manufacturers of the Johnny Lightning model cars from 1969 to 1971. Production was discontinued for 23 years until 1994, when Playing Mantis acquired the trademark rights for Johnny Lightning. Playing Mantis began releasing reproductions of the original cars produced by Topper Toys. In 2004, RC2 Corp. bought Playing Mantis and utilized a new designer, Eric Tscheme, and a current designer, Mac Ragan, to revitalize the models with new logos, new packaging, and updated Muscle and Classic Gold editions. Tomy purchased RC2 Corp in 2011 and discontinued the Johnny Lightning models in 2013. Round 2, LLC, a company owned by Thomas Lowe, the former owner of Playing Mantis, acquired the rights to Johnny Lightning and reintroduced the diecast model cars in 2016.

What are some of the Johnny Lightning models?These models have been released in several production runs over the years. The second iteration was based on the original models. Since then, there have been new releases and reissued releases.
  • Custom Turbine X-2000 - The Custom Turbine is part of the Topper series.
  • Custom Toronado - The Custom Toronado is one of the models in the Toppers series.
  • Custom Spoiler - The Spoilers are part of the Street Freak editions.
  • Custom Mako Shark The Mako is part of the Topper series.
  • Frantic Ferrari - The Frantic Ferrari is in the Topper series and features colors such as purple and gold.
  • Glasser - The Glasser is part of the Topper line.
  • Impala - The Impala is part of the White Lightning series.
  • Plymouth - The Plymouth is part of the White Lightning line.
  • Camaro - The Camaro is one of the White Lightning models.
How are the Johnny Lightning cars made?

The original model vehicles from Topper featured a molded hook under the front axle. This hook was propelled by a catapult via a lever, which produced a force faster than could be accomplished by the use of gravity or battery-powered devices. In 1970, the Jet Power cars were released. These models each have a plastic bladder that can be filled with compressed air. When the air is released, this action boosts the car's power.

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