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The Price of Johnny's is Going Up

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  • The Price of Johnny's is Going Up

    I just went to Pre-order the new 2020 Street Freaks JL. To my shock, the cost has gone ​​​​​​up $1.00 per car! I order cases to keep a toe in the hobby. I still enjoy the thrill of opening sealed cases, getting an occasional WL and passing cars onto others at cost when I have the chance to help out. I have to order at least $100 to get free shipping. Even with that, cost would now be $8 per car. If I don't get a WL in my order, there's no way I'd even break even any longer, as people aren't going to pay $8 plus shipping per car. Thinking my case buying days are over

  • #2
    I am not sure most are going to be willing to pay $8 a car for a JL model in the store unless it is one they really want. My Wal Mart finally got some JL and most have sat on the pegs un touched. I do not have a problem paying a higher price for premium diecast but I am guessing there is going to be a breaking point for many.

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    • #3
      Wow, didn't realize they had gone up so much, though I hadn't really picked up JLs since back when their everyday price was like 3 for $5 at KB Toys, and then I'd get some of the later Forever 64 series at around $2.50 each at WMs and TRU....Guess times have changed....I don't blame you for cutting back at the new prices.
      Doug

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      • #4
        The free market will work this out. JLs are hanging in many WMs and many of them are from 2016.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Leroy Brown View Post
          The free market will work this out. JLs are hanging in many WMs and many of them are from 2016.
          While that indeed may be the case, it will certainly preclude me from continuing doing what I do for the fun of it!

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          • #6
            I remember working hard to collect the JL police cars....at retail (had to buy a couple online....). That's when they cost about $2 apiece at Walmart and elsewhere. Now I would have to consider if the police car was 'good enough' to pay $8 for it. I only buy the GL police cars I see at Hobby Lobby because I can get 40% off the HL markup...but the JL hanging there and at other stores are just not of interest to me. Some are nice, in my opinion, but unless they're in a emergency-service deco I won't 'pop' at more than GL's single-model price of $5.99 or whatever the MSRP is. If I buy online or at toy shows I can get them for around $4.50...but the online purchases often require additional for shipping. Cost is a factor in my collecting.

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            • #7
              What doesn't go up......oh yeah,,,,my paycheck.

              I just learned last week that Kodak's 35mm film and the chemicals for process have gone up 22%...........had to raise my development price.
              Scotty "Mustang Mad Man!"

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              • #8
                That sure stinks, and it's the reason I slowed way, way down and became extremely selective buying. I knew someday the all mighty dollar would creep into our beloved hobby and drive out of site. Just like anything else out there, supply and demand increases prices. WHY???
                Now days I rarely buy a diecast car at 6, 7, and 8 dollars each. I was also involved in building 1/24th plastic model kits. They averaged about 8-10 dollars each. Maybe another 5 dollars or so for paint and glue. Now they are 25 bucks and up, spray paint almost 5 bucks a can also. If you really wanted to build a nicely detailed model, you could easily have 50 to 75 dollars wrapped up in it.
                As a matter of fact last one I built approximately 5-6 years ago, I had $62.88 in it by the finish time. All the receipts are still in the box. No one want's to spend that kind of money now days. I can't believe the cost of hobby stuff today. The kit was 26.47, three spray paint 16.87, misc. jar paint, solvaset, paint brushes, clearcote 19.54... Total $62.88. Last one I built!!!




                I still have the addiction and love the thrill of running to the toy isle on grocery shopping trips, but 99 out of 100 times I walk away disgusted and disappointed due to the cost of our beloved little cars!!!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by joejames View Post
                  I just went to Pre-order the new 2020 Street Freaks JL. To my shock, the cost has gone ​​​​​​up $1.00 per car! I order cases to keep a toe in the hobby. I still enjoy the thrill of opening sealed cases, getting an occasional WL and passing cars onto others at cost when I have the chance to help out. I have to order at least $100 to get free shipping. Even with that, cost would now be $8 per car. If I don't get a WL in my order, there's no way I'd even break even any longer, as people aren't going to pay $8 plus shipping per car. Thinking my case buying days are over
                  Bummer. Ever since Johnny came back to market I've said Round 2 priced themselves out of better sales numbers. No need for me to re-hash all the arguments, but since day one of I've said $5.99 was too much for me to spend on re-colored older castings. I'm not going to be jumping at them for $6.99 or $7.99.

                  At some point we all have to draw a line and say the cost may be more than I have to spend. I drew that line at $5 (with very rare exceptions... maybe 4 or 5 so far).

                  If it's any consolation, 3000Toys.com is offering the new 2020 JL cases at a price point of $7 per car. Too rich for my blood, but better than $8 each. They charge for shipping, but it is a low flat rate, and they will hold in-stock items until future items you have on order arrive to save you shipping costs.

                  I don't expect to ever go back to the good ol' days of buying loads of brand new JLs in "2 for $2.97" packaging at Toys R Us, but I won't pay $7 or $8 for a JL that is inferior to less expensive Auto World and Greenlight castings.

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                  • #10
                    I don't expect to ever go back to the good ol' days of buying loads of brand new JLs in "2 for $2.97" packaging at Toys R Us, but I won't pay $7 or $8 for a JL that is inferior to less expensive Auto World and Greenlight castings.
                    That's where I'm at. Guys can bark all they want about plastic bases, but that was a good part when RC held the brand and kept the price between $2 and $3 for the small card anniversary / forever series, and I bought all I could find at that price. Then Tomy got them and bumped the price, and I started getting picky. I realize AW has to earn a profit, and I don't know what arrangement they have with Tomy to use the castings, but I think I've bought 2, maybe 3 new JLs at full retail since the recent comeback - 2 of those were Zingers. The ones I found in Ollies at $4 I bought, and just before Christmas they went on sale from that price and I bought some more. But I can't justify paying more for JLs, as much as I love the brand, when AWs are better quality and less money. I wish I could find GLs, and Hobby Lobby is just not convenient...I think I go in there maybe once or twice a year if I go out of my way. (They are closed on Sunday, I respect that, but that is the day off my wife and I have for running around and shopping) The last GL I bought retail was in Pep Boys tire store.

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                    • #11
                      maybe this will be short lived like when hot wheels razed the price of mainlines up to 1.25,some retailers are already starting to mark down some upcoming sets. btw that why I never got autoworlds Chevy trucks.
                      Last edited by dirtfan88; 01-19-2020, 07:45 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jt3 View Post
                        I realize AW has to earn a profit, and I don't know what arrangement they have with Tomy to use the castings, but I think I've bought 2, maybe 3 new JLs at full retail since the recent comeback
                        Interesting comment Wes. I just assumed from the reporting at the time that Round 2 bought the Johnny Lightning castings back from Tomica outright. Are you thinking the extra dollar that people are being charged over Auto World models could possibly be part of some additional licensing fee kickback to Tomica for the castings?

                        Originally posted by jt3 View Post
                        I wish I could find GLs, and Hobby Lobby is just not convenient...I think I go in there maybe once or twice a year if I go out of my way. (They are closed on Sunday, I respect that, but that is the day off my wife and I have for running around and shopping) The last GL I bought retail was in Pep Boys tire store.
                        Hobby Lobby is not an option for me. Selection is limited and I don't like to play their pricing/coupon games. The time-wasting days of driving all over to hopefully find what I want are long over for me, anyway. If I have to go to a store for something anyway, I'll check for die cast, otherwise, no special trips.

                        To me, Greenlight is now an online-only brand, and I'm 100% fine with that. I pre-order exactly what I want from a trusted source, and it shows up eventually (when all the items in my order arrive at the online retailer) and I know I will have what I want. The price is better, too.

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                        • #13
                          From what I read, the JL castings are on "loan". Besides that, production runs are small and WM's merchandising system doesn't help. Stores that never had the 2016 releases now have them hanging. I buy what I like online and the price is the price. Has the official wholesale price increased or just the dealer price?

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                          • #14
                            Tomy and Round 2 have a contractual agreement on the castings used by Round 2 for the JL and RC relaunched lines. Round 2 does not own the molds/castings from my understanding. I've bought a few of the newer JLs but obviously not many unless they are IH pickups or the Scouts. In the year 2020 if I'm buying premium diecast that's new I expect it to be true 1/64 with correct rims/tires, great details and something that is life like. When I first started in the hobby al metal JLs were hovering below the $3 retail price. While I agree what we've seen that the details are quite good from the Round 2 issued JLs I really feel like the time/$ invested could have been better spent on the AW line. The $6 price point for JLs that are sitting next to $5 AWs in true 1/64 just makes me scratch my head and wonder. What led us to this point is a series of bad to poor decisions on the part of parent companies of JL over the past 10 years. Really feel the JL and RC lines should have just stayed dormant. We've had remnants of ERTL, RC and JL castings all sold in in the JL name group. Odd. Odd. Odd.
                            Crafty's Diecast & Farm Toy Show
                            March 29, 2020
                            Paris, IL VFW - 9AM-2:30PM
                            $2 Admission for 13/Over

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                            • #15
                              Not to get into the political end of things, but I wonder how much the trade war/tariffs with China are affecting the diecasting stream? It's something Mattel might be able to keep buried, but maybe cause the smaller companies to bump prices? Since I don't really follow these global economic things, it's all just a crazy thought on my part.
                              Michael "Toyotageek"
                              Japanese Minicar Garage https://japaneseminicargarage.weebly.com/

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