Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum

Johan kits - that good or just out of production?


Recommended Posts

I've noticed on the bay Johan kits are a little pricey . My question is are they that good or just collectable since they aren't made anymore? I kinda get some of them because of the subject matter (i.e. older wagons). I have some of them unopened and don't want to open them if they're going to disappoint. Thanks, Mike.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on the kit. Some are promo style with a one piece chassis and a shallow interior ('63 Olds Starfire) to the '35 Mercedes 500K which is just about one of the nicest kits ever produced.

I would open your kits though and check for the tires harming the plastic like Austin mentioned.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably the most accurate on the bodies.

The interiors can leave a bit to be desired.

Chassis leave a lot to be desired.

But for the most part price is due to subject matter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wagons.... the only two I can think of are the 1960 Plymouth and 1959 Rambler wagons. Both of these were promotional models. The Plymouth was never sold as a kit back in it's day, only becoming a kit in the Johan Oldies series in I believe the 1980s. The interior is shallow and has no detail like a drive shaft hump. All one tub with seats and all as one piece. They did open the hood so it comes with an engine. The chassis is just a simple plate. The Rambler is similar and was available as an Excel promo all through the 1980s, which was a good thing since originals warped, but the later ones are good. The first time that was sold as a kit was when Okey Spalding bought Johan (or some of it's assets) in the 1990s. As they pieced that kit together, the interior was later date, I believe a 1961 or so interior. It's curbside with no engine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's also the '61 Oldsmobile F-85 wagon. Again, not offered as a kit when new, but first available in kit form (and in styrene, not acetate) in the USA Oldies series.

Most of Jo-Han's subject matter wasn't considered cool back in the day (Ramblers, Olds Toronados, big Chryslers) but a lot of us appreciate that stuff now! It's highly unlikely that we'll ever see new kits of many of the things Jo-Han did as promotional models, so if you want a big mid-Sixties Chrysler or Plymouth, or a two-seater AMX, your only alternative in most cases is the Jo-Han stuff. People are realizing that whatever is out there now is all we will ever see in the future. I don't think any of us realized or understood just how small Jo-Han was compared to AMT, MPC, Revell, or Monogram.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never had much trouble with "tire burn" in Jo-Han kits; certainly nothing on the level of MPC or (the worst) early Sixties Revell kits. Revell used to bag their tires back then; trouble is, they put the taillight lenses in the bag with them!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Subject matter & rarity.

Some of the old Johan annuals are very rare & desirable.

the mid to late 60s Plymouth Furys for example are very hard to come by, in any condition, as well as some of the Chrysler 300s.

Detail wise, they're pretty much on par with every other manufacturer from their era.

The Plymouth & Chrysler kits I mentioned have very nice bodies & fairly well done interiors. The engines aren't too bad & the chassis are just a one piece affair.

As I said, pretty much on par with all of the kits from the period.

Johan did do some very nicely detailed kits. The '63 Turbine car comes to mind.

If you don't want to open them, send them my way. I'll gladly build them, despite any "disappointment"! :D

Steve

Link to post
Share on other sites

Any opinions on the Petty 64 Belvedere?

It was excellent for its day but it shows its promo roots in the chassis department. You would probably be more pleased with the Lindberg Petty Plymouth which is a very good modern interpretation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on the kit. Some are promo style with a one piece chassis and a shallow interior ('63 Olds Starfire) to the '35 Mercedes 500K which is just about one of the nicest kits ever produced.

I would open your kits though and check for the tires harming the plastic like Austin mentioned.

Take a look at the 500K that's currently hot in "Under Glass". It's built about 98% box stock and you would have a hard time finding a better detailed kit today.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Lark kit seems bigger than 1/25th , some had green promo glass, some were molded in odd colors or had wrong interiors . I have alot of Johans or Jo-han and like them all, except the short shots.

Link to post
Share on other sites

DSC00112-vi.jpg

A pair of 1965 Rambler sedans needing some post work

old307s-vi.jpg

Note- the beige one is a kit, the salmon color one is a promo. The 1962 year still used acetate so be aware and check for warping.

MVC007S-vi.jpg

A 64 Rambler 4 door sedan

IMG_3941-vi.jpg

If you like Johans eccentric array of sedans and wagons, note that there are many designs that were only done in promo, never making it to be a kit. For converting to a model, it's cheaper to find damaged ones. Go to the promotional model section of eBay to find a lot of these. Johan is sometimes listed as Jo-Han and X-el which is what they originally called their promo products. Copy and paste this into the search line: (johan,jo-han,x-el) and it should find all of them for you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Lark kit seems bigger than 1/25th ,

Yea, the Larks were closer to 1/20 than 1/25. Johan was known for doing models to fit the promo size box. Some of the Cadillacs are too short and too narrow. It's best to ask here on the board if you have a question before buying any of them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My advice is if you see ANY Johan stuff for a "reasonable" price (that's subjective from person to person), GRAB IT!!

The Chryslers and other Mopar stuff especially can go for some crazy money as I've sold a few on eBay. What I have now I'm hanging on to probably forever, and will look to get more if I can find them! As far as accuracy, you can't get much better than the Johan bodies, but as someone mentioned, a few might be scaled a bit out of whack, but the body lines are IMO dead on accurate.

No, we'll never see the likes of a 1961 Chrysler New Yorker kitted again (that's one of the BIG $$$$ ones!), that's the reason prices can only go up steadily over time, until those of us that remember these cars as kids and young adults are no longer walking the earth. Those born in the '00's on up won't have any idea what a 1965 Chrysler 300 was or even care. ;)

Edited by MrObsessive
Link to post
Share on other sites

Subject matter + OOP + demand = costly.

Also add nostalgia. JoHan kits back in the 1960's were looked upon as 'boring' and often ended up at stores like Pic N Save for 99 cents.

That price was easy to talk Mom into where $2 wasn't. So there is a connection to our warm past along with some cool subject matter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Im pretty sure Jo-han even did some aircraft kits back in the day .

Yes...and pretty decent kits too!!!!

I was with a group that looked into getting those tools for production....but it never happened.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The full-detail Chrysler Turbine is definitely worth getting. There aren't many kits that even today have that level of detail. Opening doors,hood and trunk, full engine and suspension (with springs). Jo-Han really outdid themselves. It's not an easy kit, but it builds up nice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...