Die-cast: Johnny Lightning 50th Anniversary cars

The metallic green ’63 Corvette and its matching metal storage tin.

Anniversary release cars feature metal storage tins …

We knew that Johnny Lightning would be surprising us with some unique releases to mark it’s 50th Anniversary, and the latest releases offer a fun twist with snazzy metal storage tins.

Our review product is Release 2 with the tins, with version A and B cars. We like the special collector’s tins, which remind us of our younger years with Matchbox cars that came in their blue and yellow cardboard boxes. But these tins are much spiffier and more colorful, not to mention sturdy and have a sharp image of the car that’s to be stored inside printed on the tin.

And not everyone will have these as the storage tin releases are limited editions, just 2,168 being made of each version. That, plus the 50th Anniversary cache is what justifies their $69.99 price tag for the six-car collection. Many standard JL 6-packs run in the $42 range. So, this is a bit of a premium, but these will be fun to display in their blister packs or in their tins!

Both versions, A and B, of the three cars

Each release features three cars in two color variations and with varying collector facts on each car’s display card. So, the hard question will be whether to open the package and put the cars in their tins, or just keep them as is and display the whole card. Sorry, I can’t resist. I always have to open the blister pack!

For the record, in this release you’ll find 1963 Corvettes in metallic green and ermine white, 1964 VW Karmann Ghias in pop lilac (a purplish pink), and candy apple red, and a 1967 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 in garnet red poly and ebony black.

So, what do you get in each pack?

These fancy tins are a big deal. They each feature the Johnny Lightning 50 Years logo on the top, sides and ends, plus that image of the car in the pack, in the correct color no less. I really like that the Round2/Auto World/Johnny Lightning crew didn’t stop there. Inside, on the tin’s bottom where you’ll place the car for storage is the car’s logo and name, for instance Corvette Sting Ray for the custom metallic racing green model you see in the accompanying photos. The tins, which easily slide open and closed, also are numbered 1 through 3 so you can match up the various models, or at least keep track if you misplace one.

Oh, and then there’s the JL car in roughly 1/64 scale, and beautifully detailed, as you’d expect from Johnny Lightning. For instance, the Corvette you see here has an opening hood and engine beneath, plus rubber tires labeled BF Goodrich Radial T/A. Don’t always see that kind of detail in this scale.

Nicely styled hang card, plus metal storage tin that slides open and, of course, the car.

Windows are trimmed in silver paint, as are the door handles and the hood’s mesh-look inserts and bumpers front and rear. The rocker panels’ trim strip also is silver.

On the Vette’s nose, tail and front fenders are the ubiquitous crossed-flag Corvette logos and a script Corvette name on the tail. Headlights are cast closed, but there are red taillights and a readable license plate in back.

This release includes the green Vette, red Olds 442 and violet Karmann Ghia.

Inside, the interior is cast in tan plastic with bucket seats, including seatbelts, and the famous dual cockpit dash and a 4-spoke steering wheel.

Underneath, the car’s metal base plate shows the suspension, exhaust system and drivetrain too, much better than a typical small die-cast car’s plain flat bottom. JL also casts in its logo and adds a printed “date made,” which is sort of fun. I’m thinking that will be even more interesting 10-20 years down the road when you look at the car.

For us collectors limited on space, or whose collection has grown to the point where we appreciate smaller models, these JL anniversary releases are a classy way to keep expanding the collection, or filling gaps with finely detailed, yet inexpensive models. And who doesn’t like a cool storage box to keep the dust off?

This release includes the white Corvette, black Olds and metallic red Ghia.

Vital Stats: Johnny Lightning 50th Anniversary Release 2, A&B

Maker: Johnny Lightning/Auto World
Scale: 1/64
Stock No.: JLCT002
MSRP: $69.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com



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