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JO-HAN Molds?


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#161 ToyLvr

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:16 AM

George:

See PM....

Mike

#162 Erik Smith

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:54 AM

I think this is a really interesting story, but from a business perspective, I don't think it's viable for anybody to piece together what was left behind and reissue the Jo-Han kits...unless they can find some of the old molds we haven't seen since the 60s.
There are a lot of Jo-Han kits on eBay and a lot of those sell in the $20 to $35 dollar range (just do a simple completed auctions search). If an out of production kit with the possibility of never being reissued can only bring in $30, what demand would it have as a readily available kit for $25?
The Rambler wagon and Cutlass both sell for around $35 and are not hard to find - so why go through the investment of sending another run through the plastic molding machine?

#163 Brett Barrow

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 03:56 PM

I think this is a really interesting story, but from a business perspective, I don't think it's viable for anybody to piece together what was left behind and reissue the Jo-Han kits...unless they can find some of the old molds we haven't seen since the 60s.
There are a lot of Jo-Han kits on eBay and a lot of those sell in the $20 to $35 dollar range (just do a simple completed auctions search). If an out of production kit with the possibility of never being reissued can only bring in $30, what demand would it have as a readily available kit for $25?
The Rambler wagon and Cutlass both sell for around $35 and are not hard to find - so why go through the investment of sending another run through the plastic molding machine?

Bingo!  I wish Revell would do this from time to time with their reissues as well.  Just about a month or two back I was going though our hobby shop's shelves looking for discontinued dust collectors, and marking them down 50%, I find a Revell Chevy SSR, mark it down, then what comes in with our RPP shipment the very next day? Three brand new fresh reissues of the SSR!!!  Yeah, we're going to have no problem moving those at regular price... <_<  And the half-price kit was still on the clearance shelf last time I looked...  



#164 Brett Barrow

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:40 PM

in reading the post by casey showing Johan letters, it looks the the writing was on the wall then. If something is out of stock it will be canceled from your order if substitution is not acceptable. That in it self tells me they KNEW they had nothing they could work with and that once remaining stock is depleted it's done and gone.

I wish I had picked up more of Johans stuff when it was collecting dust on shelves in the late 80's, early 90's. I remember a hobby shop having tons of it, literaly a whole shelf of Johan and I passed it all up. Some of it was older stock that never sold! So I continue to buy as I can when I can at inflated prices. Johan is dead. It's been dead for a long time and the hope and dreams of one man (Okey) went with it. Sadly no matter how much he tries he don't have the capitol to bring it back. If that much of Johan is missing then it would be far easier to start a new company than resurrect this dead beaten horse.

Paul

To that point which I highlighted in the quote, that's pretty standard in wholesale sales, it just means that if you order something they're out of, they will not hold the order to wait for it, and it will not be automatically back ordered and you'll have to re-order it on the next purchase order.  It means that they won't keep your purchase order open for an out of stock item, and then when it comes in, *blamo* guess what shows up at your door?  Oh yeah, those kits you ordered months ago that they were out of and now you've totally forgot about and now have to pay for. Instead, you just close that PO and put it on the next PO if you still want it. Some companies will keep a PO open and fill out of stock items later, or will hold an order until all items are in stock.  They're just explaining how they do things, as I said, some do it one way, some do it the other.  

 

And in case anybody wonders what "our terms are 2/10 EOM net 60 days" means in layman's terms, it means that you have 60 days after the invoice date to pay the bill, but if you pay within 10 days of the end of that month (or by the 10th of the next month if invoice date is later than the 25th) you'll get an extra 2% discount off the bill.  Anyhoo, just thought I'd throw that in there in case anyone was wondering... B)  

 

And does anyone remember what these promos retailed for back then, if trade cost was $21 that would put retail in the $50 range at least.  Were they really asking $50 for "new" old promos in the mid '90's???  I've never been much of a promo guy, I always thought they went for about what a kit went for, but I've never really been into them. 



#165 High octane

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:48 PM


Which is why I dont get why everyone wants or wished Jo-Han would return

Because they don't have any Jo-Han kits, or they want more?



#166 Casey

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:49 PM

And does anyone remember what these promos retailed for back then, if trade cost was $21 that would put retail in the $50 range at least.  Were they really asking $50 for "new" old promos in the mid '90's???  I've never been much of a promo guy, I always thought they went for about what a kit went for, but I've never really been into them. 

 

I want to say they were around $35-$40. The first time I ever set foot in Hobbytown Model Empire in West Allis, WI in '92 they had a few of them in a display case, including the '55 Pontiac 2-door and '56 Plymouth 4-door with that funky side trim, and I remember being surprised how expensive they were. That was Tamiya kit price territory back then.  :huh:



#167 Brett Barrow

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:01 PM

There's only a handful of complete and viable molds left.  There's a few more that would need restoration and/or new tooling to replace parts.  A lot of the molds are missing inserts (the story goes that employees took them as souvenirs when JoHan closed shop, they were small enough to carry out by hand, while the main molds are so heavy you need a forklift), or have gotten their inserts lost or mixed up.  There are supposedly a few molds that only need small parts like wheel backs to restore (parts that would have been on those inserts).  The 59 Dodge is reportedly one of the molds that is a viable candidate for restoration.  We know the 59 Rambler wagon, Chrysler Turbine, and 75 Olds are somewhat viable, since that's what the "new" IMC was planning to issue. 

 

As for what happened to all the tooling over the years, no one really knows.  Some say they were sold for scrap, some say they're being held in hock until some debts are paid, some say they rusted away due to outside storage, some say they were made from a secret material taken from the alien crash site at Roswell and that one day the aliens returned to take back what was rightfully theirs...   There's probably as many stories as there were actual kits...    

Wow, I just went back and read this thread from the beginning now that it's been merged into one big Jo-Han thread.  All those "some say" legends I brought up are all mentioned in earlier posts, including the Roswell theory!!! 



#168 Casey

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:02 PM

 

John Hanley's primary business wasn't model cars but plastic parts for the auto industry. The "Plastic Products" company at that address probably is his old company.  Legend was that in later years Johan wasn't a full time concern.  When ever production was needed, John would move employees from his main business over to the Johan building to crank out a run. That also explains the inconsistent and sometimes odd colors of the plastics used.

 

I also wonder if the plastic color of the model kits was tied to the promos there were producing, if both were being produced at the same time. It is pretty amazing to see just how many colors the same JO-HAN kit has been molded in...hmmm, that might make for an interesting topic.

 

Aside from the other kits we feel the tooling exists for, there's reasonable expectations that Okey also had molds for the '31 Caddy and '34 Mercedes, at least to make one version of each car. There were several versions of each car, (Phaeton, Cabrolet and Brougham limo on the Caddy and open and coupe on the Mercedes) but I remember on Okey's first sales list he showed a one of each car being tooled as Rat Rods.

 

Sure enough, "Luxo Rods"  :lol::

 

d3c14e4b-e8e8-49b6-8b6c-e8c1990abc41.jpg

 

 

Looks like some of the promos were over $50 each, but I'm not sure if this is from 2002 like the color tri-fold catalog is:

 

46b4e694-fc05-415d-9c16-8a5596b652bb.jpg

 

 

The below items are what's left?:

 

dcbda90b-f326-4eee-ba9d-6e7f947933ac.jpg



#169 Casey

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:24 PM

This must've been from not long after Okey acquired everything from Seville?:

 

ACCUCASTMODELS.jpg



#170 Brett Barrow

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 04:12 AM

Looks like some of the promos were over $50 each, but I'm not sure if this is from 2002 like the color tri-fold catalog is:

 

46b4e694-fc05-415d-9c16-8a5596b652bb.jpg

Was this sent to the trade, or to consumers?  The earlier sheets you posted were clearly for the trade, but it's unclear to me whether those prices are trade price or retail (since there's no mention of a trade discount off of a retail price, I assumed they're straight trade prices). 

 

I had just started in the business during the last resurrection of Jo-Han (I started in the summer of 2001), I remember some of the kits (SC/Ramber, Caddy Ambulance, and Chrysler Turbine are the ones that pop into my head - and those stinkin' sho-cases, tons and tons of those stinkin' sho-cases...) But I don't remember the prices.  



#171 Casey

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:43 AM

Was this sent to the trade, or to consumers?  The earlier sheets you posted were clearly for the trade, but it's unclear to me whether those prices are trade price or retail (since there's no mention of a trade discount off of a retail price, I assumed they're straight trade prices). 

 

I think the tri-fold catalog above was sent to the general public, as it was mixed with some catalogs in an eBay listing.



#172 Tom Geiger

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:49 AM

I believe that folder was retail to the general public since I remember having it too.  

 

That ad from Okey listing the promo kits was early on, and we believe that Excel had tons of parts ready to paint and assemble as promos in stock at the time of the sale.  We don't think that Okey had the molds for those, except for the Rambler wagon. It's also been rumored that Okey had the '59 Dodge tool. He had said at one point he was ready to have it pressed but lacked the capital to do so.

 

Those big cars would be candidates for the legendary employee thefts.  I understand that the tooling was done in expensive high quality steel called berillium and was valuable as scrap.  The body slugs would have been big and heavy, but small enough to conceal and get out of the factory.  So I doubt those tools exist today.


Edited by Tom Geiger, 28 March 2013 - 12:59 PM.


#173 michaelbaskett

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 06:13 AM

 

Problem is, I don't think he told anyone EXACTLY what he acquired from SeVille after that all got hashed out in court.

 

As Rob said, we will probably never know exactly what happened to everything JO-HAN created, but I think the IMC story at least gives some of us hope there's more to be found.

 

FWIW, there's a seller on eBay who's been listing printed JO-HAN box lids(??I'm not really sure what these are called in this pre-folded state. Proof sheets? Test prints?):

 

 

 

66plybox.jpg

 

64dodebox.jpg

 

JohanHornetBoxProof.jpg

Probably this person had worked at Johan, and simply took them home with him/her....



#174 Casey

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:07 AM

Probably this person had worked at Johan, and simply took them home with him/her....

 

Could be. There was another person selling the original box art prints last year, and the seller was located in Romeo, MI, so it may have been the case. I wonder what got cleaned out of the building before it was razed a few years ago.  :(



#175 Guest_Johnny_*

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:55 AM

With today's technology you would wonder how hard it would be to reverse engineer these kits to make new molds?

We know the Chinese are pretty good at it so why can't someone over here do it! :lol:



#176 1930fordpickup

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:07 AM

Casey I talked to a toy vender at the Detroit Auto Rama . He told me (for what it is worth ) that he cleaned out the Jo-Han building when they closed . He had a bunch of kit parts and a few kits. He said he had many kits years back but has sold them off. He has delt with Okey for parts to complete some of his stuff. I got a Pinto Drag car still in the baggie. Just no Tires. He also repeated the mold parts theft, but said they went out the back door. It is just another urban legend to me. 

As far someone carrying mold parts out the front I think that is a bit far fetched . Art has said that these molds were made from berillium copper , this stuff is heavy . We use it at work . You would have to hid something the size of a body plug that is about 10 pounds. that would be tricky.



#177 Bob Ellis

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:57 PM

I just read all the posts about this topic with regard to Johan Models. My comments are based on what I remember and what I just read that seemed to make sense.

 

I believe Johan Models was not the main business of John Hanle. He was in the tool and die / machine shop type business that supported the Detroit auto environment. World War II also kept these guys very busy and wealthy. I know of a few companies that manufactured models to keep the employees busy when the regular business was slow.

 

I spent some time visiting companies in the Detroit area from 1983-1987. While it may have been nice in the '40s and '50s, by the '80s it was run down and dangerous. I remember saying to someone we were going to visit a company and the response was "be careful" and they had names for those sections. Looking at the buildings, you could tell it was once a happening place. What I saw was Burger Kings with armed guards and lots of barbed wire around buildings.

 

In the Fall of 1974, I requested a order form from X-el Products that showed available Johan models. Listed were lots of '60s flat box kits as well as promos. I bought for example a 1968 Plymouth Fury flat box kit and 1970 GTX promo for the amazing price of $2.00. Everything was $2.00. I was in college at the time so the sky wasn't the limit. I bought what I could.

 

I found out recently that X-el and Seville Enterprises was incorporated on 22 November 1974. What a coincidence. The owner was Frank Mandeville Jr. Everything started to unravel in the late '90s for that company. Anybody can research this on the internet.

 

While some may believe that Johan's troubles started in the '90s, I believe it began about 1972. Beginning in 1973, the only new model was the '73 Eldorado kit and promo. This was at best just warming up an old tool for another year. Johan had ran out of gas. It was dead but not broke yet. The quality in these kits were not always good either. Many times I opened '72 El Dorado kits to find broken parts.

 

To me, it is possible that X-el / Seville added some life to a dead company. I am guessing that John Hanle was about 60-70 years old at the time and was tired. Along comes a guy by the name of Frank Mandeville who decides to re-run a lot of old tools and promos. About 1974 or 1975 the first batch of USA Oldies are available. In the Fall of 1975, the first 4 promos are available at $8 each and in different color combos; 1955 Pontiac, 1956 Pontiac, 1956 Desoto and 1956 Plymouth. Not exactly the most exciting cars, but a nice start for vintage collection.

 

Some more cars come out such as the '72 Torino and Rambler Scrambler in the next couple of years. Everything was sort of bits and pieces. Not everything matched like tail lights in a '69 Rambler that don't fit. But it was better than nothing.

 

The '80s bought out some of the best promos re-issues. The '58 Caddy and '58 Olds 98 were terrific as was the '59 Caddy. They cost $16 in 1986 but that was a deal.

 

The '90s was a downward spiral for Johan. Down the tubes, slow and sure. If the tools were still there, and in good condition, I am not sure anything could save the company especially re-running old kits. Gone were the days when the car companies help subsidize new model car kits. Promos in the summer, kits in the fall essentially stopped in 1972 and entirely for Johan in 1979 with the last Deville. And if the subsidies still were, technology and demographics would have killed Johan. Young people would rather play electronic games and computers than build models.

 

Finally, making more Johan kits is fighting with your ghost. There is still a lot of there at prices not that high. The '65 to '67 kits are rare, that's true. I suspect those tools have been missing a very long time. They were probably gone before the USA Oldies arrived. But then again, who knows. 



#178 Eshaver

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 01:39 AM

Amazing .......................................



#179 ZTony8

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 03:27 AM

I'm wondering why no company has reverse engineered some of the 60s Jo-Han kits to produce them now.Legal complications?Lack of interest?Cost?Something else?



#180 niteowl7710

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:14 AM

Well the bodies might be usable for dimensions maybe, but if you were cutting new steel you might as well replace the way shallow interior, promo chassis, metal axles through the engine block. At that point it'd be easier to start from scratch.

Certainly there would be interest in some of the subjects JoHan did, but I'm not sure trying to trying to recreate JoHan is the way to go about that.