Johnny Lightnings were produced
1969-71 by the Topper Company.
An original Topper Johnny Lightning
Topper was liquidated in 1971, the
Brand was then almost forgotten until 1993 when Tom Lowe, the founder of the
Playing Mantis Company, acquired the Brand Name and copyrights.
Playing Mantis created reproductions
of 8 of the original Toppers which were then mass produced in China. These were launched as "The
Challengers 1994" in January 1994.
This was followed by another 10 reproductions in "The Challengers
1995" the following year which included the Custom Thunderbird.