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Discussion Starter #1
I just searched rc2 on google.....

I read that rc2 cancelled all 1/18 cars through ertl.

And seems to be cancelling several jl lines this year.

Also on this board rumors of the jl line being sold yet again.

Can someone please clarify what the heck is going on?

And are the 1/24 cars safe?

thanks from a 10+yr jl collector................:(:confused:
 

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Brother, under the controll of RC2 / Learning Curve, no toy car is safe! Stand by though, I think a JL Life changing announcment is upcoming.

RC2 has brought us some very nice refinments in overall casting quality, but they have done more to hurt the business / distrubution sides of the thier lines then could be belived. We'll just have to waite and see what the future brings.
 

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i don't think anyone has come out and said it but they have dropped a few hints. it appears tom lowe is going to buy back the johnny lightning line. tom was the previous owner of johnny lightning in the playing mantis days before in went into the hands of a company (RC2/LC) that doesn't know how to run it properly. this could only mean GOOD things for the collector and the JL line!!

i never had any complaints of the older product itself and don't have any complaints with most of the cars and series they are releasing today. my only complaint is that RC2/LC has no clue how to market or distribute these cars to see that ALL, heck even more than 25% of the product actually makes it into stores. look how much stuff ended up in discount stores for a very small fraction of the price over the years???? this is stuff that would have sold like hot cakes if it had ever made it to the peg at your local stores. instead RC2/LC would rather dump the product at discount stores giving it to them for probably less than 1/3 of the retail price. then you wonder why you are paying near $5 for a single car.:rolleyes:

the only bad thing that could come out of this is that you could see online dealers get less of the product and you might see more of it on the pegs at your local stores. i highly doubt it will come to this as it seems like there is plenty of product to satisfy both parties. the online dealers have been getting their share with no complaints but there also seems to be enough to go around for local stores as long as it makes it to the pegs. this is my assumption just going by the amount you see getting dumped at discount stores that never made it to the local pegs.

the only thing that needs to be considered is the price of fuel these days and in the future. will the collector be making trips to the local stores considering the price of gas as long as you can guarantee that it will be stocked with new product regularly OR would the collector rather order online and pay a few $ in shipping instead of driving to the store to get them?? white lightnings bring up another question. if they were to be stocked regularly at your local stores, you stand a greater chance at finding a white lightning as opposed to ordering them online. for the exception of a few stand up online dealers, it seems like there are many out there cherry picking the product to make extra money by selling them on ebay for top dollar. it would be nice to see those guys take a beating without it hurting the reputable online dealers in the process but i know that isn't possible.:(
 

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If Tom gets JL back, maybe he will move the WLs in-house -- something he has done with the iWheels 'white thunder' slot cars he has been producing. Cuts the Wal-Mart / TRU door warmers right out of the equation. Basically, you just pay a premium price and order from Tom's website rather than duking it out on e-pay or wasting gas trying to beat the local stock boys.

I don't concern myself with WLs at all, so it wouldn't bother me one bit, but I know there are people on here who are all about the WLs. Guess we'll see.

http://www.shopatron.com/index/642.0.25183.25193.0.0.0
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Intresting stuff!

Personally i was upset when RC2 bought jl from tom lowe. I thought they made cheap/crap castings. But then the first RC2 products hit and they were better than playing mantis products. So i thought ok this will be GREAT!

But then RC2 started dropping retailers like crazy. Hobby Lobby and Target. Then i was like what the......... Now days i barely see new jl products. Pretty much they only hit tru and wally world. Oh yeah and old stuff at biglots.

I hope tom buys them. That would be awesome!

But i hope they leave the wl's in the cases. This is whats fun about jl products. Is finding a wl. Its a real chase car. Not some over produced wannabe...

So if this is all true. I say...... Thank You to RC2 for the killer 1/24 line...

And hello to a new owner that hopefully will care about the jl line and taking it into the future........:woohoo::wave:
 

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If Tom gets JL back, maybe he will move the WLs in-house -- something he has done with the iWheels 'white thunder' slot cars he has been producing. Cuts the Wal-Mart / TRU door warmers right out of the equation. Basically, you just pay a premium price and order from Tom's website rather than duking it out on e-pay or wasting gas trying to beat the local stock boys.
That would be the worst thing to ever happen to johnny Lightning (even being sold to RC2 in the first place) I collect White lightnings for the thrill of it, I don't want to have to go on Tom's web site and have to order white lightnings for $30 each.

What do most of the doorwamers do? Get the chase cars and sell them for a profit, IMHO if Tom were to keep the WLs "in-house" and sell them for over $5.00 it would be no differant than what door warmers / scalpers do.
 

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Given the above comments I think (suspect) that Mr. Lowe saw what RC2/LC was doing to his "baby" and got frustrated. keep in mind that JL was born (or rather, reborn) by he; and must hate the corporate "crap" resulting in product cuts. JL is for the car enthusiast, not for some corporation to play "Russian Roulette" and drop what the collectors are wanting! I hope Mr. Lowe DOES buy it back! Under his watch, you could call JL and get a knowledgeable rep who told you when such-and-such was due; under LC the people act like they're doing you a favor just by speaking to you! Go figure!

*Don't CRUSH 'em....RESTORE 'em!*

-Rick
 

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It's obvious that RC2 doesn't know how to get the cars on the shelves. Wal Mart has a very good stock replenishing system and several of the stores have had nothing new for months. Even TRU has empty pegs. I don't think the future looks too bright for JL. The cost of producing these cars is going to go up and less people will buy them.
 

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Given the above comments I think (suspect) that Mr. Lowe saw what RC2/LC was doing to his "baby" and got frustrated. keep in mind that JL was born (or rather, reborn) by he; and must hate the corporate "crap" resulting in product cuts. JL is for the car enthusiast, not for some corporation to play "Russian Roulette" and drop what the collectors are wanting! I hope Mr. Lowe DOES buy it back! Under his watch, you could call JL and get a knowledgeable rep who told you when such-and-such was due; under LC the people act like they're doing you a favor just by speaking to you! Go figure!

*Don't CRUSH 'em....RESTORE 'em!*

-Rick
you bring up some interesting thoughts. i believe that might be part of the case myself. on another note, i wonder if he knew what he was doing all along. selling the JL line for top dollar to a company i think he knew would screw it up, only to buy it back a few years down the road for a fraction of the amount he sold it for. i believe another part of it is that he wants to take on the challenge of bringing this line back to life. i don't think it is the product itself but the way they are being distributed.
 

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i don't think it is the product itself but the way they are being distributed.
Exactly. It seems that he sold it, and is now buying it back in better shape product-wise at a fraction of the price. Whether intentional or not, seems like good business to me. He just needs to know how to fix this distribution problem.

If he's the buyer, anyway.
 

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RC2 (formerly RACING CHAMPIONS) for the most part did one thing right at one time... NASCAR. Since Uncle Freddy (NASCAR diecast collectors know who is) of Action-Performance was one of the founders of RC, in the early years they made many, many driver/car combos and also-rans, which included the then Busch Series and Craftsman Trucks and the Cup series of course.

Toward the end of RC's NASCAR line they too, like the JL line did a horsecrap job with series, selection, distribution, etc. What's funny is without the competition of RC toward companies like Action-Performance (Uncle Fred's baby), the also-ran NASCAR teams have no diecasts at all made like the days RC was around.
 

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I think the lack of new product is less of a disribution problem and more of an issue of the retailers wanting to clear all existing and old stock off the pegs and refusing to order new stock until this is done. This creates a major problem because many of the castings are not desirable and so they hang forever. So Jl should maybe eliminate all castings that are not selling as well as switch over to ALL real wheels and rubber tires!
 

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Around here its either TOYSRUs or basically nowhere to buy JLs...upstate NY.
Walmarts rarely get JLs in and nothing elsewhere,including BIGLOTS..Frustrating!! THats why I rarely come here to discuss JLs,,just observe you that do find something..anything.....:freak:
 

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Driving home my point....
This is what happens when the Corporate "suits" swallow up the "Mom-&-Pop" retailers. You talk, but who listens?
 

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RC2 (formerly RACING CHAMPIONS) for the most part did one thing right at one time... NASCAR. Since Uncle Freddy (NASCAR die-cast collectors know who is) of Action-Performance was one of the founders of RC, in the early years they made many, many driver/car combos and also-rans, which included the then Busch Series and Craftsman Trucks and the Cup series of course.

Toward the end of RC's NASCAR line they too, like the JL line did a horsecrap job with series, selection, distribution, etc. What's funny is without the competition of RC toward companies like Action-Performance (Uncle Fred's baby), the also-ran NASCAR teams have no diecasts at all made like the days RC was around.

I will not fault the fellows at the "craft" level and the work they have done for us collectors as far as the toy car themselfs go. The quality and detail of the castings have progressed very well in the last few years. So the work of Tom Z, Mac and so many others has been wonderful.

But is their a collector anywhere that truly though RC2 (now Learning Curve) could be successfull with the JL purchase? I have NEVER hid my dislike of this company and I can't find a single toy car line they have helped. Insteed, they have killed everything they have ever touched!

By this I am referring to the business practice / distribution issues of the company. Not the cars per sei. They have the ability and resources to produce some wonderful die-cast replicas, but just seem to have no business sense to do anything with them!

Just my .2 cents worth.

Ward
 

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Around here its either TOYSRUs or basically nowhere to buy JLs...upstate NY.
Walmarts rarely get JLs in and nothing elsewhere,including BIGLOTS..Frustrating!! THats why I rarely come here to discuss JLs,,just observe you that do find something..anything.....:freak:
Around here (Vermont) it is basically nowhere to find anything diecast related. Only three wal marts, two k-marts, zero targets, one toys r us, two kb toys and that is it.
 

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The larger companies are more inefficient is some aspects. Smaller companies can be a bit more nimble and adapt faster to changing markets. It's like trying to turn a sharp corner with a small sports car vs an 18 wheel tanker.
 

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I will not fault the fellows at the "craft" level and the work they have done for us collectors as far as the toy car themselfs go. The quality and detail of the castings have progressed very well in the last few years. So the work of Tom Z, Mac and so many others has been wonderful.

But is their a collector anywhere that truly though RC2 (now Learning Curve) could be successfull with the JL purchase? I have NEVER hid my dislike of this company and I can't find a single toy car line they have helped. Insteed, they have killed everything they have ever touched!

By this I am referring to the business practice / distribution issues of the company. Not the cars per sei. They have the ability and resources to produce some wonderful die-cast replicas, but just seem to have no business sense to do anything with them!

Just my .2 cents worth.

Ward
I never much cared for Racing Champions product and I was upset when they got their hands on ERTL, but I was near crushed when they got Playing Mantis. PM had so many unique items, not just cars, that I didn't think a big company would bother to continue producing them. Hmmmm....
I also remember my hobby shop guy, George, telling me he thought it would be bad for his side as well. He said he always had trouble with RC product and distribution, and sure enough, he could hardly get anything in from RC2. When RC2 sold the slot car line, he started getting those in again.
I'm not smart enough to know the reasons behind all of this, but it does seem like all of the bad things we thought might happen, did happen.
 

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Well, according to an employee posting on another JL based site, JL is NOT FOR SALE. That all the listed series were cancelled for the retail stores to have a chance to catch up on their stock.

Here is the exact quote..."There are no plans to sell the brand to anyone. The reason for the program cancellations was do to the fact we actually have more product out. The retailers cannot take every program either and if we do not meet the minimum production runs we cannot move forward with them."

I for one an not sure I follow the logic, as I have only seen new cars hanging in a store location three times in the past six months! And I have been in HUNDREDS! What exactly are they catching up to? But in all fairness to RC2 / LC I wanted to add this official statment to our discussion here on the boards.

As I said before, the guys who run JL (Tom Z, formerly Mac R and all the in house folks) have done wonderful things with one of my favorite brands. My problem has not and will not be with the guys at JL at all, for me it's 100% distribution issues. The cars are great when you can get them!

I say "formerly Favorite" because until the distribution stumbles over the last year and a half, they WERE my favorite brand. The availability issues just gave me reason to look elsewhere, and sure enough I found things I liked!

I just wanted to post this quote as it is the very first direct quote I have heard from an RC2 / LC employee. I like having the public debate here on the boards, as I like to see everyone’s take on the overall health of JL. But really I wonder if in today’s economy, the overall health of die-cast in general is more the issue. After all when was the last time you saw a child on the toy car isle? It's all adults looking for chase cars! Where are the growth oppertunities for the hobby?

Russ at Milezone's (whom I respect very much) says that RC2 was the best thing that ever happened to the JL line while I still maintain that RC2 (though having done many good things with the line by hiring Tom Z, Mac R and others) has hurt the success of the brand overall through distribution issues. Time will tell.....
 
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