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I have noticed that their isn't anywhere near the activity or excitement about Johnny Lightning on the HT boards lately.
 

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Ever since Playing Mantis got bought out several years ago, I just lost interest in JL's due to the lack of quality in the diecasts. Even the packaging looked unappealing and bland compared to what PM did.
 

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A large majority of people here are the collectors from years back when JL was the best quality of all 1/64th scale die-cast. We still visit this site with an optimistic attitude even though the quality and management of JL has apparently lessened in recent years. Just my opinion.
 

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If they rolled out a 77 Pontiac Can Am and then did an M2 and do a version in the mandarin orange that was a prototype then my excitement would count for two or three folks!
 

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A large majority of people here are the collectors from years back when JL was the best quality of all 1/64th scale die-cast. We still visit this site with an optimistic attitude even though the quality and management of JL has apparently lessened in recent years. Just my opinion.
I think you are a little off.

Here's my take on it.

A large majority of people here are the collectors from years back when JL was the best quality of all 1/64th scale die-cast. We still visit the Johnny Lightning Forum to post in Off Topic Threads with old friends and reminisce of days of old with collectors who have since stopped buying new Johnny Lightning (well, except that crazy Pierre guy!)

But really,

The only reason that I even check the Johnny Lightning pegs anymore is to look for white lightnings. I know that 99.9% of the time I won't buy anything, but I still look, mostly to bring back memories of the good old days of JL and the excitement in finding a WL.


I know many look back on it and see RC2 as killing the brand, but I don't really see it that way. To me, the beginning of the end was when RC2 started with the plastic packaging. But even then the cars were ok, they just cost $1 more, and stock started sitting, and series were eliminated, and stock stopped showing up, and...

....and then we got plastic based cars for $2, and for $2, they were, eh, ok. Then they were $2.50, then they were $3.00, then they were $3.50.


But back to the original point. It's really hard to stay excited about something that, over the past 6 years has lost metal bases, detailing, rubber tires, and all of its quality, yet has still seen a price increase.

And that's why this forum is slow.
 

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I definitely got into them at he wrong time. The "new" Johnny Lightning (as opposed to the original Johnny Lightning from the 1970's) only came to my attention because one of the guys at my local hobby shop put me on to the Corvairs they had a few years ago. I started collecting at that time and now hve about 40 of them. I've definitely noticed the downslide even in that short span. They still come out with a few that catch my eye, like the '73 Chevy wagon I got just a few weeks ago. That hobby shop still has some of the older ones and I do pick up some more there from time to time, but they've just about run out of the ones I'm interested in. I got a '71 Plymouth GTX a couple of months ago that doesn't compare too well with the Hot Wheels '71 GTX that I already had, especialy considering that it cost me less than 1/3 the price.

Hot Wheels:



Johnny Lightning:



Aside from the wheel openings, the Hot Wheels car's proportions are better. The bright red finish is smoother than the boring black and white on the Lightning. Both of these cars are in for some detail painting some time in te future, with the Hot Wheels getting it's interior done in something better than chrome - That's a mistake that I don't recall Johnny Lightning making! Now the surprising thing to me is that Johnny Lightning already released this casting in amuch better version than either of these other two:



A metal chassis makes a huge difference in perceived quality!
 

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Here are two of my favorites of that casting.





You can see a slight difference in quality between those two and the white one.
 

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i cant buy what I cant find. and online cost way to much with already hi price cheapie quality car with hi price shipping means 10 dollars for the 1 car I like from on line guy. retail stores are better for this but like I say cant buy what i cant find.
distribution is what killed JL. always has.
clamshell now cost dollar? i hear many different price on this. 50c, pennys etc etc. so who is telling the truth.
soon to be 6 or 7 dollar cars. time to suck it up and pay more of what i cant find :lol: :devil:
 

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i cant buy what I cant find. and online cost way to much with already hi price cheapie quality car with hi price shipping means 10 dollars for the 1 car I like from on line guy. retail stores are better for this but like I say cant buy what i cant find.
distribution is what killed JL. always has.
clamshell now cost dollar? i hear many different price on this. 50c, pennys etc etc. so who is telling the truth.
soon to be 6 or 7 dollar cars. time to suck it up and pay more of what i cant find :lol: :devil:
Looking at threads on here from 2007, Regular cars jumped up to $4.44 and licensed were at $4.77
 

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The reason for less traffic on the JL board is simple. It correlates directly to what JL is putting out, which these days is not much. And not as note worthy compared to what they used to bring out. Though there is still some good stuff coming from them.

I'm with Jim, I got into them pretty late. In fact, I don't think I'd even heard of the brand until I saw them at KMart when I began collecting diecast in earnest in 2006. So most every single one of them is still brand new to me, especially the Playing Mantis JL's. I've been cruising Wyatt's JL site lately, and making a list of cars I'd like to get in due time. There really were some great ones years ago.

But I see it like this. The good stuff isn't always going to come from the same place, but it will come from some place. Every brand seems to have it's golden age, and where one leaves off, another picks up. It seems like the only constant is Hot Wheels, but even they have their highs and lows.
 

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i still buy a few johnny lightnings but only what i like like the '85 citation x-11 but theres not much from the f64 series that i'll buy like in the currtent release out of all of release22 i got bout 9 the other 2 didn't appeal to me.
 

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Don't know why but I perceived the loss of a metal base with the loss of a higher quality diecast product... Just me I guess. I like the heaviness to a metal car.
 

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All this discussion I've been reading over the past few months about the diecast base compared to the plastic base finally made me curious. So I took a picture to compare. First is a metalbase with a 1984 copyright, next is a metal base with a 1996 copyright and finally, a plastic base from the latest release from JL.





There being a difference in weight is a given, although that latest release from JL is no lightweight. Other than that, what do you think?
 

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All this discussion I've been reading over the past few months about the diecast base compared to the plastic base finally made me curious. So I took a picture to compare. First is a metalbase with a 1984 copyright, next is a metal base with a 1996 copyright and finally, a plastic base from the latest release from JL.





There being a difference in weight is a given, although that latest release from JL is no lightweight. Other than that, what do you think?
That top base is still one of the older bases from way early PM days. That base was also updated in the later PM days.
 

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You may be right, it does look more like 1994 this time. Looked more like 84 the first time I looked at it.

Sorry, it's small and I'm getting to the age where my eyes don't work as well as they used to. Ha! That's not true - I'm AT that age! I'm where I'm trying to figure out whether MY base is now metal or plastic.
 

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That top base is still one of the older bases from way early PM days. That base was also updated in the later PM days.
That top base was designed for use on the Rocket 500 track sets. That notch in the front was made to accept the hook from the launchers. Later bases were highly detailed, and many were painted as well.
 

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All this discussion I've been reading over the past few months about the diecast base compared to the plastic base finally made me curious. So I took a picture to compare. First is a metalbase with a 1984 copyright, next is a metal base with a 1996 copyright and finally, a plastic base from the latest release from JL.



There being a difference in weight is a given, although that latest release from JL is no lightweight. Other than that, what do you think?
You can't really compare the pre-1998 cars to cars after that general date. I started collecting JL the moment they appeared on the pegs in the early/mid '90s. The cars from those first few years are laughable now, but were the best that could be bought at the time. JL got better and better with every casting and by 1998ish, they were really hitting perfection. That lasted until 5 years ago or so. Our expectations are so high now, that the slight decrease in quality in recent years is a turnoff for us.

Add the fact that there is now first-rate competition from GL, M2 and premium HW, add the higher JL pricing and JL has really no chance. I was hoping Tomy would be able to shake up the boat, but that has not happened yet.

So...if you want to compare new JLs to JLs from the glory years, you really need to look at castings from 1998ish-2007ish.
 

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You can't really compare the pre-1998 cars to cars after that general date. I started collecting JL the moment they appeared on the pegs in the early/mid '90s. The cars from those first few years are laughable now, but were the best that could be bought at the time.
I agree as I remember seeing the early 1990's JL castings back then. They were a bit on the crude side but had nice subject matter and good graphics - especially on the drag cars. As we all know they improved over time. Just wish JL "grew up" a bit scale-wise as most seem to be smaller than comparable Hot Wheels, Matchbox, M2, etc. castings.
 

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I don't get excited about forever 64. The wheels are crap. The JL is a more detailed collectable but the HW is a more solid piece, plastic base or not, for less than 1/3 the price. I still check the pegs for whites, like someone else said but I don't buy any regular F64 stuff because I am disappointed every time I open it. If Tomy wants to compete in the $6-7 range we will have to see what they come up with, but it will have to compare to M2 and GL in quality AND price to be successful. F64 is not even worth discussing for me. Smart folks are willing to spend their money on quality, too bad, with the current absense of 2.0 and crummy distribution when it WAS available their money is now going to the other brands. I'm not sure what the future holds for metal base/high end cars, but I'm tired of holding any hope that things will improve. I guess at this point I will expect failure and be happy with anything above or beyond that.
One thing for certain, JL can ill afford to put all of their distribution into the TRU basket and depend on them for their sole retail distribution. It doesn't work for GL either because their availability is suspect at best as of late. TRU is getting to the point of being extremely poor in terms of available product in the store, it's worse than ever and some of the blame lies with them.
All of this factors into low interest and doubt for the future of the brand which equals low interest and relative activity here in regards to the brand.
 
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