2017 Johnny Lightning Muscle Cars USA 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible

I found this beautiful Butternut Yellow version of the 2017 Johnny Lightning Muscle Cars USA 1968 Chevy Impala recently at Toys R Us. I already have the Grotto Blue variation. Of the two, I’m having a hard time deciding which I prefer. How about you? The other two color versions in this series that I have yet to find are Seafrost Green and Rally Red.

Johnny Lightning | JLMC003 | 2017 Muscle Cars USA R1, Version D | 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible | Butternut Yellow

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2017 Johnny Lightning 1969 Chevy Impala Project in Progress and Friends

I’ve always enjoyed the Johnny Lightning Project In Progress series because they remind me of some of the cars from my childhood. My Dad usually bought his cars new (or at least in good shape), but my older brothers were a different story. It was fairly common to see cars with missing trim, primered fenders, and mismatched wheels and tires parked in our driveway or in the street next to our yard.

In fact, the 1969 Impala I drove in high school might have been a good parts car for this 2017 Project in Progress 1969 Impala Convertible.

Johnny Lightning | JLSF005 | 2017 Street Freaks R3, Project in Progress Set A | 1969 Chevy Impala Convertible | Garnet Red, Glacier Blue and primer gray with white top and collector’s card

These next two date back to the mid-2000s RC2 era of Johnny Lightning. As you can see, JL has kept the look of the packaging from that time period.

Johnny Lightning | 2006 Street Freaks Project in Progress #14 | 1967 Chevy Nova | black with primer, collector’s card

Johnny Lightning | 2005 Street Freaks Project in Progress #10 | 1969 Chevy Nova SS | primer with black hood, collector’s card

Johnny Lightning Blacked Out 1968 Chevy Nova SS

Back in about 1991, I painted the grill and insides of the wheels on my ’73 Nova black. I thought it looked pretty cool at first, but it didn’t take long for the black paint to start flaking off of the chrome wheels. Here’s a photo taken while the paint was still fresh (and yes, those are zebra-striped seat covers on the front buckets.)

The point is, I’ve been a fan of the blacked-out look for some time, so I was happy when I found this Johnny Lightning Blacked Out 1968 Nova from the 2017 Street Freaks R3. This Set A variation wears gloss black paint and black wheels with chrome rings. The Nova in Blacked Out Set B – which I’m still on the lookout for –  is an even more attractive flat black with redline tires.

Johnny Lightning | JLSF005 | 2017 Street Freaks R3, Blacked Out Set A | 1968 Chevy Nova SS | Tuxedo black with collector’s card

I think this is the first JL third generation Nova that I’ve found since the 40 Years 1970 Nova came out in 2009. This is also the first JL 1968 Nova in my collection, although the casting appears to be identical to the 1969 and 1970.

Johnny Lightning 2016 Zingers! 1963 Chevy Nova Orange Rush

Sometimes patience pays off. Or, in this case, waiting so long to find something that you forget that it’s out there. I found the Ice Age version of the Johnny Lightning 2016 Zingers! 1963 Chevy Nova way back in November of 2016. Almost a year later, I was surprised to find this Orange Rush Nova at Toys R Us.

2016 Zingers | 1963 Chevy Nova Orange Rush | orange with white trim

A New Look For the New Year

I decided to start 2018 with a fresh, new look for this site. First, I designed myself a new logo. I tried to create a unique mark that taps into the spirit of those vintage toys that we all love.

Next, I updated to a new WordPress theme. I was long overdue to make my site work better on phones and tablets, and this theme should do the trick.

Finally, I’ve been working behind the scenes to make the site faster. When I first started this blog, I wanted to show large, sharp photos that were color-accurate. After awhile I realized that uploading full resolution photos right off my camera was overkill. So I started sizing my images to 1600×1200 – still large enough to view on a desktop, but a little quicker to load. Then, it was a matter of going back through all of the old posts and resizing those photos. I’m glad to say that process is complete.

So whether you’re on a laptop or a phone, have a look around, browse around through the archives and click on a few photos to see them full size. I hope you enjoy the new, improved site – and please comment to let me know what you think. Thanks.

2016 Johnny Lightning Muscle Cars USA 1967 Nova and 1968 Impala

Back in July, I showed a ’68 Impala from the Johnny Lightning 2017 Musclecars U.S.A. series. Just a few days later, I found these 2016 Musclecars U.S.A. models at Walmart. I find it interesting that in 2016 the series included a collector’s card and came sealed in a plastic clamshell, while the 2017 series uses a simpler blister card. Could this be a cost-cutting measure? Is our favorite on-again, off-again brand struggling once again?

I have to say, I’m just speculating. During the RC2 era, packaging seemed to vary depending on the series. And personally, I prefer the simpler blister cards to these plastic encasements – even though, as a collector, I should probably prefer them for the protection they offer.

Another interesting note is that these two packages have a red sticker over the top of the blue bug that says “Exclusively at Walmart”. Apparently, whatever exclusive deal JL had with Walmart has expired.

Regardless of the packaging, I really like the cars inside them. The paint on this ’67 Chevy Nova SS is similar to the green gold metallic of the ’73 Nova that was my first car.

JLMC002 | 2016 Musclecars USA R2, Version A | 1967 Chevy Nova SS | metallic green

I love the wheels on this 1968 Chevy Impala.

JLMC002 | 2016 Musclecars USA R2, Version A | 1968 Chevy Impala | red

2017 Johnny Lightning Musclecars USA 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible

The packaging for the 2017 Muscle Cars U.S.A. series from Johnny Lightning features vintage ad photos and color chips for the factory-matched paint. Cars in the series include two versions each of a 1970 Ford Torino GT, 1969 Dodge ChargerR/T, 1970 Chevy Camaro Z28, 1970 Olds Cutlass S W-31, 1969 AMC AMX and this sweet, Grotto blue 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible.

JLMC003 | 2017 Musclecars USA R1, Version B | 1968 Chevy Impala Convertible | Grotto Blue