I added several Johnny Lightning Zingers to my collection during the RC2-era. But I never thought much about where Zingers originated until I came across this ad in a 1970s comic book.
According to a 2005 article in Hot Rod, Zingers originated in 1971 when MPC created a line of plastic model kits which featured vehicles with huge blown engines and enormously oversized rear wheels. The article suggests Muscle Machines diecast cars were inspired by Zingers, and that may be true. But by 2005, I suspect RC2 bought the rights to the Zingers name from MPC, since Johnny Lightning was already releasing Zingers in their Street Freaks line. (RC2 – now Round 2 -fully revived the MPC brand in 2008 and purchased MPC’s tooling in 2012.)
When I saw that Johnny Lightning was bringing back the Zingers last year, I spent months searching for the 1963 Nova. Finally, on a Thanksgiving trip to Shreveport, I found one in a Target store. It might have been left behind by other collectors because of the creased blister card, but that didn’t stop me from claiming it. In addition to my beautiful blue “Ice Age,” there is also an orange version called “Orange Rush”.
The 2006 1959 Chevy Impala is the only RC2-era Zingers that I have still on the blister card.
The next three Zingers I have – three generations of Nova body styles – were all freed from their original packaging.
And finally, this Johnny Lightning Collector Club Exclusive from 2006 isn’t in Zingers packaging, but it sure looks like a Zinger to me.