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Johnny Lightning & Racing Champions Mint 1:64 by Mac Ragan

My addiction to collecting 1:64 is still all consuming!

I cant believe that I am actually getting over my obsession with keeping models in their boxes / packaging!

Yes my friends – I have actually removed a few Hot Wheels from the confines of their cards! 

My interest in this scale has grown considerably in the last few weeks thanks to Instagram and from the Facebook posts of our Toy Detectives friend – Mac Ragan.

Take time to read Mac’s profile and I urge our band of readers to follow Mac on Facebook and Instagram.  Mac has also written several books on diecast cars – click the Amazon links below for more information.

Here are some of Mac latest installments from his Facebook page – I hope you enjoy it, learn from it and please, please, share and spread the word!

Happy collecting!


Mac Ragan: Profile

Mac Ragan is occupying three distinct roles in the world of die-cast cars: 1) employee, 2) author, and 3) collector.  He was brand manager of Johnny Lightning models for Playing Mantis and RC2 from 2003 to 2007.  During that time he supervised and personally designed hundreds of vehicles.  Ragan later moved to Greenlight Toys where he designed many popular castings.  His latest position in the industry was director of social media for Round 2’s die-cast brands:  Auto World, Johnny Lightning, and Racing Champions.  At Round 2, Ragan reunited with several former Playing Mantis employees to relaunch the Johnny Lightning brand, as well as Racing Champions Mint.  

Ragan also wrote several important books about toy cars.  He’s probably best known for Tomart’s Price Guide to Johnny Lightning Vehicles, which helped establish Johnny Lightning toys as a true collectible brand.  Ragan’s other books–all about 1:64th-scale die-cast cars–feature close-up photos and informative text.  These include Matchbox Cars: The First 50 YearsHot Wheels Cars, and Die-Cast Cars of the 1960s.

Ragan was inducted into the Diecast Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010. He remains active in the hobby via Instagram, Facebook, and personal appearances at die-cast conventions


Mac Ragan Collection


Racing Champions Mint 1957 Plymouth Fury, No. 223, Motor Trend [magazine] assortment, 1999.

The sleek stance of this RC Mint casting is so compelling that I can easily overlook the non-stock paint-color.

This shade of turquoise green is very close to Plymouth’s “Meadow Green,” surely found on thousands of almost identical Belvedere models from the same year. But in 1957, the real Fury only came in one color: “Sand Dune White.”

In addition to RC’s “custom” paint-color, this beautiful model features a two-tone black-and-white interior, gold-colored grille, chrome-plated die-cast chassis, and accurately-shaped conical hubcaps.



Mac Ragan Collection


Johnny Lightning 1964½ Ford Mustang Convertible, Casting No. 653, Cover Cars release 13 (Mustang Illustrated magazine), 2002.

Playing Mantis introduced its Mustang Convertible casting in the company’s first James Bond release (1998). But it was a sure bet that this popular American pony car would soon end up in other assortments.

It was also an Indy pace car, a Surf Rods vehicle, and included in a Rock Art release. But Playing Mantis used it in their “Cover Cars” assortments FIVE separate times. (Cover Cars were vehicles featured in magazines such as Super Chevy, Popular Hot Rodding, and High Performance Mopar.)

The most recent release was in 2007 (in ‘60s Sizzle). Now over 20 years old, I hope this classic Mustang casting appears again for a new generation of collectors.


Are you new to the world of 1:64? Are you already a collector? Let us know, send us your comments and photos of your collection!  Use the comments box below – We’d love to hear from you!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Matt Collins

    Mac Reagan’s book “Diecast cars of the 60’s” re-kindled my love for these little cars. I love the atlas Dinkys and many other 1/43 scale cars. The Impy super cars are another favorite of mine. My loving wife collects the Hotwheels Purple Passion and is always finding new liveries of this model. And yes I always love breaking cars out of the packaging, relishing the moment when a collectible becomes a toy!

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