- Motto: ""Close your mouth and open your mind.""
- Weapon: Gatling Cannon
I went to Walmart recently and looked at the sad selection of Johnny Lightning diecast cars- a brand that was pretty popular in my early childhood but is slowly dying. I was shocked to see blue "TOMY" logos on half of the packages. I was puzzled so I found out that I missed the boat on the news that Takara Tomy (yes THE Takara Tomy) acquired RC2 Corporation, which produces Johnny Lightning and many other toys and collectibles now under its Learning Curve Brands division label. They have been declining in the past decade despite acquiring several toy brands. The modern RC2 is a result of several mergers and acquisitions, beginning with Racing Champions absorbing Ertl Toys (which had previously acquired AMT models), which then absorbed Playing Mantis (which produced Johnny Lightning cars and Polar Lights models). They have specialized in collectible toy lines such as the Thomas the Tank Engine Wooden Railway and die cast series, Racing Champions NASCAR, NHRA drag racing, and American muscle car/hot rod die cast cars, Ertl toys and die cast collectibles such as John Deere and Case/New Holland die cast farm equipment and American Muscle, Johnny Lightning die cast cars, and AMT (or AMT/Ertl), MPC, and Polar Lights model kits as well as other brands. Some of these brands have died or have been licensed to willing manufacturers (such as the model kit brands and Ertl Collectibles to Round 2 LLC). I have mixed emotions about this, because it is unsure whether any dead lines will come back and Tomy is considering axing the Thomas Wooden Railway line, maybe more. I hope instead this could rejuvenate brands from a once booming iconic toy company which I always knew to make high-quality products in its heyday.
Please note: If you think I may be joking, I probably am.