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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Lionel Corporation was a toy manufacturer and marketer from 1900-1969. They are primarily known to everyone as a toy train maker. They did also produce miniature vehicles as accessories for their train cars and sets of course.

In May 1967, Lionel Corporation purchased the American Flyer name and tooling even though it was on the brink of financial failure itself. Within two years, Lionel was bankrupt and sold its train lines to General Mills.

In May 1970, under Fundimensions (?), Lionel made a group of semi trucks based on Marx models.

In 1984, General Mills sold Lionel to Kenner, another toy manufacturer. No diecast references are noted for this time periond.

One year later, in 1985, the company was sold to Richard Kughn, a Detroit toy train collector who made his fortune selling and developing real estate. During this time frame they also made a series of diecast semi trucks while they were owned by Fundimensions based on previous Marx models. And a series of 3" diecast vehicles called "Revolvers" in 1989. Each model became a different vehicle when they were turned over. It is believed that Mattel produced these castings for Fundimensions - as they also issued a similiar casting line later on. Neither was successful and only were made for a year or two each time.

Lionel also made a series of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series diecasts and a related track set.

In 1996, Kughn sold his majority interest to Wellspring Partners LLD, a Chicago-based national turnaround firm headed by Martin Davis. Kughn retained a small percentage, and rock star Neil Young, another toy train buff, also became a minor investor. Young's contributions include designing a sound system for trains (RailSounds) in 1992, as well as the Trainmaster Command Control (TMCC), a unique radio control system. The new company was known as Lionel, LLC.

As President of Lionel LLC since 2014; Howard Hitchcock had expanded Lionel's diecast line up beyond NASCAR to include NHRA models. In 2014, he was also inducted into the Diecast Hall Of Fame Class as a Diecast Entreprenuer.

Sourced references -

Lionel | hobbyDB
Howard Hitchcock | hobbyDB
Encyclopedia of Small-Scale Diecast Motor Vehicle Manufacturers - Sahakangas, Foster & Weber (2006)
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