JO-HAN Molds?

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Posted · Report post

Hi everyone,
I am just curious,anybody know who has the molds from Jo-han.
If someone had the money to buy them,and clean them up, and remold most of the old kits,would there be any interest in them??
I wish I had the molds,and, just think there is enough of a market for them???
What does everyone think???
any info???

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Posted · Report post

There are a lot of stories floating around as to what exactly happened to all the JoHan tooling, the most common one is that all the tooling was "lost". Make of that what you will.

But you can bet that if it still existed, somebody somewhere would have brought JoHan back to life a long time ago.

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The lost molds of Jo-han are the things of myths and legend. Here's some of the facts:

A lot of Jo-han was bought by Okey Spaulding of Northern Kentucky from the bankrupt Seville Ent. He maintains a web site at johnamodels.com. He has a checkered reputation as a seller.

Some molds still exist. These include the AMX, SC Rambler, Sox and Martin Cuda, and the Mercury Comet Pro Stock and some early promo bodies. These were last released by Testor's. Jo-han has released a few promos in the recent past. These include: the Chrysler Turbine, Rambler Station Wagon, and the Rambler Unibody Promo.

Possible remnants of the Ford Maverick exist. When I personally inquired about it about eight years ago, I was told that the licensing was too expensive from Ford. Mold repairs may also be involved. The mid 60's Cadilliac Ambulance may also exist. Another possibility is the 1975 Oldsmobile.

Any other molds are likely incomplete, damaged or totally missing. I've been told by more than one source who supposedly had been to where the molds were stored, that they were poorly stored and a full inventory had not been made.

Legend is that many of the molds were stolen by employees who took molds in exchange for pay they felt owed by the original Jo-Han. Other legends are they were sold as scrap due to the high value of the die material.

What truly exists? Odds are the only way we will ever know is the passing of the molds from Mr. Spaulding to another company with the knowledge to evaluate the molds and restore those that can be restored. As it is, I doubt we'll ever see any more models with the Jo-han branding.

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Posted · Report post

Hi everyone,

I am just curious,anybody know who has the molds from Jo-han.

If someone had the money to buy them,and clean them up, and remold most of the old kits,would there be any interest in them??

I wish I had the molds,and, just think there is enough of a market for them???

What does everyone think???

any info???

What is left of them is owed by, I will have to look up again.

There isn't enough left without significant money and rebuilding. They need much more than just cleaned up. They were basically worn out when a most of the tooling was damaged and parts were lost.

You would have to start over from scratch.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for your replies.I would think that with the interest in Jo-Han from the modeling community,someone would find the molds and USE them.If I had them,I would love to market them and MAKE MONEY.

Thanks again

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Posted · Report post

>If I had them,I would love to market them and LOSE MONEY

there, i fixed that for you.

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I posted the following about JoHan on this site last November, & it still holds true.

From all I've heard & learned over the past several years, (some is fact, some rumor, & some is certainly conjecture), here's what all I've found out regarding Jo-Han from the time of Seville Enterprises leasing/acquiring it to Okey Spaulding buying what was left of it:

Seville Enterprises leased the tooling from John Hanle, founder of Jo-Han.

Hanle apparently misrepresented the condition of the tooling, what actually existed as to complete tooling, & Seville also found out that the Jo-Han molds only fit in Jo-Han's ancient molding machines, (a rumor at the time was that AMT had passed on the tooling for just that reason, & it's known that Revell/Monogram looked into it). This was a major blow to Seville's plans, as they wanted to use the Jo-Han molds to reduce down time in their own molding machines, (a bit of personal information here; I first heard that Hanle was looking at selling way back in 1979, several years before this actually happened. I was working for an injection molding company in Charlotte NC at that time, & mentioned this to the owner, he looked into the situation then, & passed on the deal for several reasons, & IIRC one of those was the problems with tooling fitting in his molding machines, & he had some pretty old machines himself.). From all the information that has been given over the past several years, a lot of the tooling had already "disappeared" when Hanle still owned it.

Seville sued Jo-Han/Hanle over the misrepresentation. This was a long & drawn out lawsuit eventually settled in Seville's favor, giving them sole ownership of Jo-Han, but it was rumored that the punitive damages amounted to $1.00, which didn't cover lawyer's fees for Seville. During all of this, even more tooling "disappeared", leaving many tools forever gone or missing so many vital parts that they couldn't be brought back.

Apparently Seville was unable to do any injection molding due to tooling being missing, & what few JoHan kits that were released during their ownership of JoHan were pieced together from test shots, existing stock & the like. I'd hate to know what kind of mess the company was left in once Hanle got older, but I have read stories about him sleeping in his office either to try to thwart theft, or because he was reduced to that due to financial issues.

Seville looks for someone to buy what few remaining assets there are. Along comes Okey Spaulding from Kentucky, a good modeler. He gets the financing to purchase what's left. IIRC, Okey ran Accucast which was doing resin casting of interiors for old Jo-Han promos & the like, & thus that's how he was privy to the fact it was up for sale. Somehow after a physical inventory is done, more tooling "disappears" before it can be moved from Detroit to Kentucky.

Here's some information about just that copied word for word from the instruction sheet for the last issue of the 68 Plymouth police car:

"Welcome to the new Johan. When we purchased Jo-Han from the previous owner, we had some great plans for this kit-add a 6 cylinder engine, mold it in white, have clear glass & lenses, correct the deck lettering...etc. But, when the trucks arrived to move the tooling, this tool had "mysteriously" disappeared. While going through the arduous task of recovering the tool, we decided to do the best with what little we had. There were thousands of police car parts already molded, as well as thousands of the same old decals, green glass & incorrect instructions."

There's more regarding that kit being pieced together from existing parts, but you get the basic idea of the condition of Johan from that above. Now when this was done, reverse engineering already existed, so why didn't Okey look into doing that for the kit? I'm guessing the main reason was money. He's tried to run Johan as a 1 man operation for years now, contacting with Best Resin to make resin parts for missing or incorrect ones,that fell by the wayside even before the deaths of the owners of Best Resin. He also got some assistance from R&D Unique as well, but he's basically been trying to resurrect a long gone company by himself.

It's been said as fact & also rumored that people held a lot of Jo-Han tooling, (as well as historical artifacts such as company artwork & the like), due to past monies owed them by the previous owners, & that Okey knew it but didn't have the funds to acquire them himself, & much was sold off on ebay or traded hands in other ways. I've also heard from several sources that Okey was shopping the remains of Johan around a few years ago, in vain hopes of finding a buyer. He does a few sales at swapmeets, & never tells anyone what is going on, what tooling physically exists, & of that what is complete.

I'd hazard an educated guess based on all the info I've found over the years that roughly 90-95% of the tooling is either missing or so incomplete that unless reverse engineering can be done affordably, (& even then the tooling has to be adapted to fit the ancient molding machines in Okey's possession), that we are highly unlikely to see JoHan brought back in any sort of viable fashion.

There is no bringing JoHan back. The cost of repairing & replacing the damaged & missing tooling, converting what does exist to work in more modern machines, along with other factors makes it prohibitively expensive.

Give up on the pipe dream of JoHan. It's not worth trying to get going again.

:lol:

To add to this, when I was at Playing Mantis (Johnny Lightning and Polar Lights) a person fairly well known in this hobby, whom I won't name (and it was NOT Okey) was shopping several JoHan tools around, including the '70 Olds Cutlass 442. Our company passed on them, and it appears that the others did as well.

But, when model car kit mfrs struggle for every sale of even the most popular subjects, I doubt seriously that the majority of subjects JoHan produced back 40-50 years ago would generate their own upkeep. There was never a large market for model kits of Cadillacs or Ramblers back then, and likely most of those subjects wouldn't produce much excitement or revenue now.

eBay and other auction sites aren't really a reliable indicator--generally if a model kit grabs a big winning bid, it's usually because a handful of bidders got into a "war" over it, not necessarily that thousands of people were salivating over it.

Yet, one could make a small fortune producing those old JoHan kits again--provided they start with a large fortune.

Art

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Posted · Report post

Yet, one could make a small fortune producing those old JoHan kits again--provided they start with a large fortune.

Art

:):P

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Posted · Report post

>Yet, one could make a small fortune producing those old JoHan kits again--provided they start with a large fortune.

close but not correct. a more correct statement would be:

Yet, one could *end up with* a small fortune producing those old JoHan kits again--provided they start with a large fortune.

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Posted · Report post

All the tooling that Testors ran in the HSO series still exists, unfortunately Testors no longer is interested in doing any plastic kits. Lindberg purchased all the kit tooling that Testors had that was in usable condition but the deal did not include the old Johan tooling due to their poor condition. Last I heard is they're still sitting in storage basically in limbo. I doubt we'll ever see them again unless somebody like Dave Burket comes to their rescue.

-Steve

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Posted · Report post

I wouldn't doubt if a lot of the molding went to the scrapyard, the old factory was only a few blocks away from several.

JohanBefore-vi.jpg

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I heard that back in the day , a lot of molds were recycled or sold in order to pay bills and keep new tools coming. Back then, the molds of cars that were nearly brand new were very expendable, unlike today to have a mold of an old car is rare and would never be recycled or thrown out. I heard Okey has other tools also, but no funding to have them restored. Johan was and is such a popular subject because of the crisp detailing in the bodies and the off the wall models made....where else can you get a '62 Chrysler 300? '60 Desoto Adventurer?....yeah some in resin today, but not the same quality. Though it would be cool to see a ton of JOHAN stuff on the shelves again, based on the facts and stories I doubt there is much I would want to buy. Right now Okey is offering just a handful of a handful that I would want and have already purchased. It is nice to see him at shows so you can buy tail lights, glass and other small parts plus them old cheater slicks! I wish it was back up to par, but I have accepted it's not and will just continue to look for those cars I like and have to pay the price unless I get lucky. (stuff I have heard came from people who knew the original owners) If I repeated anything already said, I didn't mean to. :D

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Posted · Report post

man, if you guys could just see the 'hood that johan was in. i went there not long before they closed. the street looked like bagdad, burned cars in the road, trees growin through the pavement. just another day in motown.....

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The question of the tooling will probably keep popping up all the time over the next 20 years, kind of an urban legend.

By the way, whatever happened to the building? Torn down? Burned down?

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Very intresting to get leads from "insiders" of the hobby, Gives us a much clearer view over the "shady" existence of JoHan.

Since the mid 90's, so many "rumours" have been floating around.

......Is the Johan Bldg on Moran St. still standing?...........remember the bldg was located in a rough Detroit neighberhood!

.............Should I build my '60 Desoto kit :lol:

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Very intresting to get leads from "insiders" of the hobby, Gives us a much clearer view over the "shady" existence of JoHan.

Since the mid 90's, so many "rumours" have been floating around.

......Is the Johan Bldg on Moran St. still standing?...........remember the bldg was located in a rough Detroit neighberhood!

.............Should I build my '60 Desoto kit ;)

no, send it to me so I can build another!

100_7660vi-vi.jpg

100_8059-vi.jpg

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Rob I can see it now:

In 2029, a wizened old man is talking about car models with a group of somewhat younger friends. The talk covers the once great companies like AMT, Revell, Tamiya, & the old man looks at them, & says, "You young whippersnappers ever heard of a company call JoHan? Why they were the greatest modeling company there wuz! I heard their tooling was so good cause it was made from platinum & a substance only found in outer space! That material came straight from Area 51 in Roswell!! But we lost JoHan because the guv'mint wanted that there alien material back......., & stole all the tooling, burned the company down to the ground, & the owner, well, he just kinda vanished. Every once in a while, somebody digs up a model they made, & people go crazy when they see it!" :lol::lol::huh:

;)

There you go, spilling secrets, telling truths, getting people killed...

It's all on you now buddy. There are people that now have to go deep undercover because of you. Change their names, relocate, have facial reconstructive surgery, learn wierd accents, just to keep on living. I hope your happy now...

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WWWWWWWeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooo The Truth IS Out There" OOOeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooooooooo ;):huh::lol:

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Whoever has them- I'll gladly take 'em off your hands! I've always wanted to have my own model company... maybe I could make a case for a "little three" bailout to secure the funds! ;)

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... maybe I could make a case for a "little three" bailout to secure the funds! ;)

As long as you're ok with the government telling you what models to produce... :huh:

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As long as you're ok with the government telling you what models to produce... ;)

Tell me again, why do we have to make every model a hybrid?

And what do you mean, we can't make muscle cars, hot rods and big trucks?

Oh, and this soy-based plastic-like stuff we have to make the models from sucks. It melts at room temperature...

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The question of the tooling will probably keep popping up all the time over the next 20 years, kind of an urban legend.

By the way, whatever happened to the building? Torn down? Burned down?

Razed, and surprisingly quickly for Detroit.

Johanafter-vi.jpg

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Posted · Report post

What ? hard to find and expensive ??

Heck, , I got these for 45 bucks for the lot last weekend and the Olds and Fury are still sealed. ,, You guys must be mistaken. :(

Good deal.. I think I've paid more or less that much each for those over the last decade..

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Looks like I have to dig out my pics from my visit to Jo-Han in '92. Got a full tour of the place! Even took some pics of the molds....

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Hans, THAT would REALLY be cool! Could we PLEASE see them rascals? I for one would like to see what ONCE was. :D

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