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JO-HAN Molds?

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On 10/25/2012 at 10:23 AM, Art Anderson said:

 

To begin with: JoHan, compared to the really big operation that AMT Corporation once was (in the 60's, AMT was producing 10's of millions of model car kits every year!) was really a quite small company. John Hanle, the founder and owner was, from all I have been told, very much a "one man band" much of the time--a highly talented modeler (Hanle was known for his hand carved collection of 1/72 scale WW-1 and WW-2 aircraft, which collection was displayed for several decades in the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio), who did work on a lot of the mastering for the model car kits bearing his name. I've also been told by a couple of model car personalities who actually worked for JoHan for a few years, that his injection-molding machines were rather primitive, dating from the early days of injection-molding during WW-II. While JoHan produced a lot of subjects that would be quite popular today, it's wise to remember that in the 1960's, kids were not enamored with model kits of AMC Ramblers, Rambler Americans, Cadillacs, full-sized Oldsmobiles, Studebaker Larks. Likewise, while HARD to believe today, Plymouths, Chryslers and DeSoto's were pretty low on the popularity scale with the kids who were the 1960's primary market for model car kits. This factor alone dictated that for the most part, JoHan kits were pretty low on most 12-16yr old model car builders' radar screens. Add to this that JoHan NEVER displayed at any of the Hobby Industry Association of America trade shows back then either (I was at every HIAA trade show from 1964 through 1986, and JoHan was always conspicuous by their absence. Again, more reason why JoHan never achieved the level of visibility, of marketability that the "biggies" such as AMT, Revell, Monogram and even Aurora enjoyed back then.

 

JoHan's injection molding presses, being as obsolete as they were by 1960's standards, also were much smaller machines than those in use at Revell, Monogram and AMT, which presses could handle injection molds that were approximately 24 X 48 X about 18 inches, all solid blocks of steel (with just a few "inserts" which were the tooling for wheels and of course the sliding cores for molding one-piece body shells). JoHan also apparently insisted on using a fairly valuable alloy for tooling inserts in their molds, beryllium copper (an alloy used a lot in Europe as well). While a fairly hazardous metal, beryllium is in the range of semi-precious metals, and as such, those inserts had a pretty high scrap value. In addition, so I've been told, Mr Hanle could be a rather difficult person to work for, which apparently lead to a lot of dissatisfaction and hard feelings among his employees (and allegedly many of his production workers didn't come from the best side of the tracks either). As the story goes, apparently a number of fairly small tooling inserts (those beryllium copper inserts had to be press fitted into steel mold frames or blocks, and could be changed out rather quickly) disappeared, more than likely in someone's lunchbox at the end of the shift, and found their way to any one of a number of scrap dealers in the area. This would seem to explain the missing tooling parts that have been mentioned many times whenever JoHan is discussed.

 

JoHan was not alone in the realm of missing tooling inserts. At a Mike's Miniature Motors Model Car Swap Meet in Waukesha WI in 1994, a customer appeared at my table (AAM), and invited me to take a look at some model car injection molding tooling, should I be interested. What he had were about a dozen sets of "wheel hobs", the inserts AMT used to mold the outer and inner halves of wheels (these were a light press-fit into the much larger steel mold frames that AMT traditionally used). I have no idea today just what wheels those were , but in any event, I excused myself and went back to my table, as there was no practical way of my using them for anything other than paperweights.

 

As an aside here, all too often modelers assume that a model company can just change out this part or that almost willy-nilly, but that's far from true! That can only happen IF the kit tooling was designed and built, from the get-go to have the potential for such changes in subsequent runs of product.

 

Art

There was a 5&10 down the road that had 1963 Johan kits until 1970. Nobody wanted them then

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On 3/1/2014 at 1:46 PM, lordairgtar said:

Those old JoHan pics look like they never introduced Mrs Floor to Mr. Mop.

"Mrs. Floor to Mr. Mop" LOL

That's just funny right there! 😂😆😄

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Despite what some feel...the 61-62 Johan kits were the high water mark in my opinion....Something about those yellow's & blue's......and the box art ! - till this day still can't get enough......  

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On 8/30/2018 at 12:29 PM, Casey said:

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You are making me cry right now. 

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On 10/25/2012 at 1:34 PM, Tom Geiger said:

I was told that Okey also had the '59 Dodge kit, and it was ready to go, only needing funding to produce. We never saw that one.

Now I'm wondering if it was acquired by IMC (Illinois Model Company), and/or if Moebius just showed a N.O.S. body and bumper in 2014?:

2014iHobby_Moebius%5B19%5D+copy.JPG

 

Maybe Steve Goldman knows more and can comment.

Edited by Casey

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On 10/27/2012 at 7:08 AM, von Zipper said:

A couple of years ago I talked to my old boss from the alarm company and he told me he had that account back when it was called "Ideal Models" and he remembers John Hanley very well.

Why not bring Ideal Models into this, too? *edit*, Chris was way ahead of me. ^^^ 

ideal.jpg

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Actually, wasn't it Moebius that showed the 59 Dodge & Chrysler Turbine EZ Kit 

stating they were looking in to running those??

Sure wish they Would!!!The 74 Cutlass & 59 Rambler wagon were also being looked at for re-issue

 

I believe those are the LAST 4 Jo-Han kit tools left intact right??

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23 hours ago, Edsel-Dan said:

Actually, wasn't it Moebius that showed the 59 Dodge & Chrysler Turbine EZ Kit stating they were looking in to running those??

Yes, which I tried to convey:

On 9/3/2018 at 6:06 PM, Casey said:

Now I'm wondering if it was acquired by IMC (Illinois Model Company), and/or if Moebius just showed a N.O.S. body and bumper in 2014?:

2014iHobby_Moebius%5B19%5D+copy.JPG

 

IMC had someone run plastic through the snap Turbine Car molds, so they must've had some tangible involvement with the former JO-HAN molds. Moebius was next to be involved, but publicly displaying a body shell and different colored bumpers does not provide enough info to make the leap to "we have this mold and it's ready to produce full kits."

23 hours ago, Edsel-Dan said:

I believe those are the LAST 4 Jo-Han kit tools left intact right??

No, there are more than four:

  1. '75 Oldsmobile Cutlass
  2. Chrysler Turbine Car- EZ Builder/snap version
  3. '59 Rambler Wagon
  4. '71 Plymouth 'Cuda Pro Stock
  5. '71 Mercury Comet Pro Stock
  6. '70 Olds Cutlass
  7. '70 AMC AMX
  8. '69 AMC SC/Rambler

The first three are those which IMC almost brought to market, while the last four were the Testors Hobby Shop Only (HSO) releases which Steve Goldman mentioned still exist, but didn't mention who owns those molds.

Edited by Casey

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Tesytor's offered the SC/Rambler in the HSO series too

But I am Not sure witch of those still exist

That is why I only listed the 4  originally announced by the NEW IMC as still existing tools.

 

It would be nice if the others you list ARE still viable/available, but.........

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On 3/23/2013 at 11:02 PM, Casey said:

 

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On 9/4/2018 at 1:53 PM, Casey said:

No, there are more than four:

  1. '75 Oldsmobile Cutlass
  2. Chrysler Turbine Car- EZ Builder/snap version
  3. '59 Rambler Wagon
  4. '71 Plymouth 'Cuda Pro Stock
  5. '71 Mercury Comet Pro Stock
  6. '70 Olds Cutlass
  7. '70 AMC AMX
  8. '69 AMC SC/Rambler

Per the original flyer that Okie put out for the "New Johan",  it's reasonable to think that the molds for the classics...  1935 Mercedes and 1931 Lincolns still exist.  It was rumored back after the Rambler Wagon came out under Okie, that the next release would be the '59 Dodge and that he had everything ready to go but needed funding to do so.  And there's the '59 Dodge in the Moebius photo so add that one to the list of tools that may exist.

Also, within the past few years  Dave Burket, Model King talked about doing a release of the 59 Rambler wagon under his logo.  He has been working with Moebius so it's fair to assume that they have control of those molds.

Back after Okie released the Rambler and maybe the Turbine Car,  he sent a rambling email out to a lot of folks in the hobby that he was in danger of losing the molds, that they were being held for ransom by some evil force and he needed to raise (was it $50k) immediately to redeem them.  I believe that translates to the company he employed for the kit run didn't get paid, and was holding the molds on a workmans lien.  We had heard that someone was shopping them around,  the IMC name came up,  and now they seem to be in Moebius possession.

He also did a release of the Plymouth police car.  Some folks say he was assembling those kits from the parts hoard he had purchased.  BUT, remember they had a "unique" green tinted glass that was never seen before.  So it is reasonable to think he had that mold too?  Or at least he had to run the glass shot?

Right after that there was a rumor that he had the Sho-case molds, and he had used the same molding plant to do a run of those.  And when they arrived they were all done in the same green tint plastic,  thus useless.  I don't know if that was true or just lore.  But notice that he was offering the Sho-cases in his original flyer, so did he have that mold too?

Has anyone sat down with Okie and asked for his accounting?  I'd love to have the real story for history's sake.

Edited by Tom Geiger

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