Archived News

Here is the latest I've heard on some up coming NEW cars from the boys at Playing Mantis: 
Funny Car Legends: '68 Charger Flying Dutchman          '74 Mustang Chain Lightning 
                                   '70 Camaro USA-1                        '75 Monza Jungle Jim 
                                   '70 Cuda Stardust                           '74 Vega Green Elephant 

Show Stoppers II:     Hurst Hairy Olds 
                                   Bob Riggles Hurst Hemi Under Glass 
                                   Wild Bill Shrewsberry's L.A. Dart 
                                   Arnie "Farmer" Bestwick's Tameless Tiger 

Word is there will also be a Top Feul Legends with 60's front engine dragsters and 70's 
rear engine dragsters.  Keep your eyes out for more information.  Thanks Dan. 

Here is a sneak peak at some JL Prototypes for the upcoming Evel Knievel series. This picture was taken at a Johnny Lightning Tour Stop by one of  our spies. 
Go HERE to see many more SPY SHOTS!
Remember way back when we were talking about the upcoming 
TV and Movies cars? Well, here's a tentative list of what's coming! 
The Monkeemobile, The Partridge Family bus, Starsky & Hutch car, 
Barney Fife's police car, a Dragnet car, the Bluesmobile, and, get this, 
the Back to the Future DeLorean car!
Can you say exciting? How can they keep topping themselves over 
and over anyway!? I'll keep you posted!
The Johnny Lightning KIDZ section over at Playing Mantis now has this word find game. Give it a try if you get bored at work..
Just click on the box!
I hope you all got your Speed Rebels when they were out (there may be a few still on the shelves here and there). Yea, I know they were hard to find and I only saw them a few times since they were released and those were at local drug stores.  Well release 2 will be hitting the shelves soon with all new colors so be on the lookout.
As if we are not getting enough this summer, here comes Evel Knievel!  4 cool new diecast originals  and with them 2 will
be the first ever Motorcycles 
for Johnny Lightning. 
(pic from the evel knievel web site)
Okay,  fans, here's the info you've all been waiting for! The Stock Car Legends series is coming this August! These are cars from the days of  racing's past. These will all be in the authentic colors with no fantasy colors during any of the releases. Release B will be out in October and Release C will be out in December. These will be hot! You can try your luck in the stores or order them from FullGrid. 
Here's the lowdown on Release A coming up:
NASCAR Stock Car Legends - Release A
Year Driver Sponsor   Year Driver Sponsor
67 Mario Andretti Bunnell Motor Co.    69 David Pearson Holman & Moody
70 Pete Hamilton 7-Up   70 Bobby Isaac K&K Insurance
71 Donnie Allison Purolator   71 Pete Hamilton American Brake
73 Marty Robbins Marty Robbins Racing   78 Cale Yarborough 1st City Travelers
79 Darrell Waltrip Gatorade   84 Buddy Baker Valvoline
84 Cale Yarborough Hardees   84 Rusty Wallace Gatorade
Major Racing Dreams Update! The Racing Dreams, which were introduced with the Kiss cars, is back with a whole new theme! "The Greatest Race Cars That Never Were." These will be split between at least 2 different car styles, such as the the 70's funny cars, and the 90's funny cars, and will feature chrome chassis, and Real Wheels white lettered tires. 

Each series will be a "one time" thing, with no fantasy colors and no series numbering. Each release will have 10 cars and 10 different categories, so who knows how many possible combinations there will be! These will be limited to 20,000 per car. Again, you can try your luck in the stores or order them from FullGrid. 

Trix Cereal DragsterTrix Cereal Blister
Here's a list of them, look for them this month!
Jun 1998

Sep 1998

Nov 1998

Jan 1999
Car Style Current & Vintage 
Funny Cars
To Be 
To BeAnnounced
Games Nintendo 
Star Fox 64
Super Mario Bros
Donkey Kong
To Be Announced
Beverages Pepsi Mountain Dew Hawaiian 
Diet Pepsi
Eateries DQ 
Dilly Bar
Big Mac
Armed Forces Army Air Force Navy Marines
Cereal Trix Lucky 
Froot Loops Rice 
TV & Movies James Bond 
James Bond
James Bond 
Living Daylights
James Bond 
Spy Who Loved Me
TV & Movies Jurassic Park 
The Ride
Jurassic Park 
Jurassic Park 
Snacks Popsicle Planters Fudgesicle Planters
Mooneyes T.G.I. Fridays McDonald's 
Ronald McDonald
T.G.I. Fridays
Candy Hershey's PEZ Hershey's 

In other news, there seems to be an upcoming Cartoons series on the way, with them due in September. So far, we're expecting The Speed Buggy and The Flintstone's Sports Car, and from the Wacky Racers, the Mean Machine, and Penelope Pitstop's car, The Compact Pussy Cat. I'm not a cartoon watcher any more, but some of you folks will know them! 
Have you heard about the new Mustangs? 2 new cars: a 1970 Boss 302 in British Racing Green metalflake with gold graphics, and a 1968 Shelby in Royal Blue metallic with silver trim. Both cars will be in special packaging with a big Ford emblem on it. These are out now and are very limited with only 5,000 sets! I found them at a hobby store right here in my town! Or order them from FullGrid.
70 Boss 3021968 Shelby Mustang
The new 1970 #2 Al Unser Johnny Lightning Special Indy Magma is out and they have a few here in Auburn at the hobby store! They're also available from the "members only" section at Playing Mantis website! It looks great, and I predict they will go as fast as the Dragula cars did!
What? KISS stock cars? I bet the folks never imagined this! Some time in mid summer a new series if KISS cars will be out with brand new castings: A Monte Carlo, Pontiac, and a Thunderbird will start off this series. 

The KISS funny cars have been out for a while now, with the first release is long gone and the second release quick to follow. The only way to tell the second release apart from the first is by one of the KISS letters on the rear window of each car. They're going for $3.99 everywhere except Kaybee Toys, which seems to think they're worth $4.99. These cars are very cool looking, and are models of the Dragsters USA Round 2 castings. They are in equally-cool blister packs, with each one featuring one of 40 possible trading cards included. 

The NEW! Super Magmas are out now and have been spotted in Auburn at the hobby store! These Magmas are 1/24th scale, not 1/43rd scale like the Dragula cars. They feature all metal bodies and chassis with the usual Playing Mantis quality and detail. The new line features: 

Showstoppers Wheelstanders:
Little Red Wagon Chuck Wagon Dodge Rebellion Hemi Express
Vintage Funny Cars:
Jungle Jim Barry Setzer Mr Norm's Charger Gene Snow

The new Lost in Space series is cool! Going for 3.99 each in most stores, they feature 4 different models from the famous campy sci-fi series of the sixties: The "Chariot" (the track-wheeled vehicle they drove around in), Their "Space Pod", the famous Environmental Conrol Robot, "B-9" (warning Will Robinson...alien approaching!), and their spaceship, the "Jupiter 2." Each package also comes with an actual clip or "cell" like the speed racer series, but unlike the Speed Racer series, there are 50 different ones! They are very well detailed and I'm proud to park em with my cars! Get em! 
Lost in Space blisters
Truckin' America has arrived! This hot new series features 10 of hottest and best-selling trucks of all time: (by the way: Syclone is the proper spelling!) These trucks look great, and are actually slightly bigger than 1:64 scale, and sport a hot new wheel design! The next release is scheduled for some time this month. 
1978 Li'l Red Express1950 Ford F-11971 El Camino1960 Studebaker1959 El Camino
1978 Li'l Red Express 1950 Ford F-1 1971 El Camino 1960 Studebaker 1959 El Camino
55 Chevy Cameo1929 Ford Model A1991 GMC Syclone1940 Ford1996 Dodge Ram
55 Chevy Cameo 1929 Ford Model A 1991 GMC Syclone 1940 Ford 1996 Dodge Ram
There's a new Promo Edition Mustang sponsored my the Todd Aicher and the rest of the folks at the Greater Seattle Toy Show out. It's a 1970 Boss 302 in Coral red and orange, with a chrome base and flat black deck lid. These are very limited at only 3,000 units! Order them from FullGrid or see the entry on the bottom of my Promo Listing page for other details.
Mustang Classics have also arrived! The series features 10 of the hottest Mustangs of all time, including production, prototype, and racers. And like the Truckin' America series, they also are bigger than 1:64 scale, sport a new wheel design, and have the next release scheduled for this month. 
Mustang blistermustang 2
1963 Mustang II 1967 Shelby GT 1968 Mustang GT 1969 Mach I 1973 Mach I
1977 Cobra II 1988 Mustang 5.0 1994 Boss 1975 Cobra II Racer 1996 Saleen Racer
The 4th release of the Hot Rods series are out now. Based on real cars from issues of Hot Rod and Car Craft magazines, there are 10 cars in each series, limited at 20,000 each. Each package has a numbered collector disc in the package, similar to the Speed Racer packages. This release has wide whitewall tires and feature authentic graphics. This is the final limited release, with the only remaining release being the non-limited "collector's edition" due out in July. To find out the colors and numbers, click the two links near the top of the page!

Speaking of Speed Racer, have you noticed the color variation? It seems that the release 2 cars have 2 different colors of interiors! The Mach 5 cars with the attachments have opposite colored attachments and interiors. If the car has gray attachments, it has red interior, and if it has red attachments it has gray interior. Keep your eyes out, as they are still around here and there.
New, New, New: The New Classic Gold Collection! This is a collection of some of our favorite cars from the past, from all companies, and from all eras. Some are ordinary, some are rare, but all were favorites. These will be out this summer. Stay tuned for more information as I get it. 
1969 SC/Rambler 1973 Chevy Impala 1970 Cougar 1980's Buick T-Type 1966 Shelby
1969 Camaro RS 1970 Olds 1974 Olds 1956 Chevy 1933 Willys
The new Show Stoppers series is out now, featuring 4 of the USA's legendary drag racing wheelstanders! I got my full set of 4 from Fullgrid, but I've seen em here and there in stores too. These look great! The set features the Little Red Wagon, the Chuck Wagon, the Dodge Rebellion, and the Hemi Express. These are all made from a new Dodge A-100 casting, and will come with a stand to simulate a wheelie. These guys are primo!

Show Stoppers

The Pure Hell funny car, the second release from the new Dragsters USA Platinum series is out now. They are geared toward an adult audience with a limited production of only 10,000 pieces and have "Real Wheels" rubber tires. The corner of the blister card says, "adult collectible" on it, so because of this you won't find them in any major retail stores. You'll have to get these from the "mom & pop" hobby stores or order them from FullGrid.

The folks at Playing Mantis have decided to sell us a limited "White Lightning" funny car! They are nice looking cars, with one in metallic blue and the other in metallic blue-green. These are limited to 2000 each, and are only available to members until January 31st, at which time any remaining will be offered to the public. Hit their website and check 'em out!

New White Lightnings

Hey! Did you know there's Johnny Lightning stuff on QVC? Yeah, they've got some cool stuff, too! They're not real easy to find, though. I found it best to do a site search for "Johnny" when I got there. Check em out at

Did you know you could "visit" the talented man that does the artwork we've been seeing on the Holiday Dragsters? Check out his site, "Billustrations."

I still see the new Muscle Cars USA boxed set around here and there. The set is all Mopar, and it features has the 70 Superbird, 69 Hemi Roadrunner, 70 Challenger, 65 Dodge A-100 pickup, 96 Prowler, 68 Charger, 70 Super Bee, 58 Plymouth Fury, 71 Barracuda, and get this: A never before released 71 340 Cuda! The Cuda was released previously as a Hemi Cuda, but not with the "340" graphic! I think it's the most colorful assortment they've made yet! Don't miss out!

The Dragsters USA Round 2 release one, which are the new 90's-style cars, were released a few months ago, is the only release in fantasy colors. Round 2 release two, are all in their original colors, and have the hard plastic tires. Like the first release, they have their bodies in the "down" position. The third release features Real Wheels, and are packaged with their bodies in the "up" position! All three releases are out now.

Has anyone ever wondered why Dragsters USA Round 3 came out before Round 2? I was plenty confused about this one myself. The Dragsters USA Round 3 had some licensing issues to be worked out that took longer than anticipated, so they were actually released in this order: Round 1, Round 3, and Round 2. Confusing eh?

Speaking of Dragsters USA, Dragsters USA Round 3 Boxed set is still in the Northwest at Toys R Us stores. The cars are in their original colors: The Snowman, Wonder Wagon, Don Garlits and all the rest, with a never released Soapy Sales as the 11th car. Like most boxed sets, it's non-limited, but don't let that fool you. Although the set is "non-limited," the Soapy Sales car will only be produced in 1997, and they are only making 15,000 of those, so basically the set IS sort of "limited edition!"

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