Category Archives: Johnny Lightning

Brand Comparison: Buick Riviera: Johnny Lightning v Hot Wheels

1971 Buick Riviera HW and 1972 Buick Riviera JL
1972 Buick Riviera (Johnny Lightning) and 1971 Buick Riviera (Hot Wheels)

I don’t see many Johnny Lightning models, but this Buick is a little gem with its two tone paintwork, realistic tyres and even an opening bonnet. The Hot Wheels model is longer and lower and less realistic. The Hot Wheels interior is a shiny silver, the Johnny Lightning model a more subdued olive green.

1972 Buick Riviera JL
opening hood

Hot Wheels are designed to be played with. They have a “fun factor” that isn’t so present in detailed replica models. The Hot Wheels model will be faster on the track but the Johnny Lightning model looks better on the shelf.

Both Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightning are American brands, the Hot Wheels model is made in Malaysia, the Johnny Lightning model is made in China. New, the Johnny Lightning model would be more expensive but I picked mine up secondhand for just 3 lari ($1.05).
My choice here would be the Johnny Lightning model.