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Replication Johnny Astro Shipped to Italy - Marco Antolovic's Johnny Astro

I've had the pleasure to travel to Italy several times over the past few years. Some of my friends in Italy became aware of Johnny Astro and the plastic replications produced by the AEP Workshop. Given that Johnny Astro is magic, the word would spread to others...

My friend Marco saw one of our AEP videos about Johnny Astro and was instantly fascinated by the toy. He came up to me one day and said: "Bob, I must have my own Johnny Astro, can you make one for me?" I immediately added Marco's name to my list of people who had requested Johnny Astro replications.

Since this would be the first time I made anything for someone in Italy, I wanted to do something different and special to commemorate this occasion. I thought of all the great culture in Italy, the inventions of da Vinci, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Roman Colosseum, the sculptures of Michelangelo...and pizza. While Italy may have two of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World (the Roman Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa), those of us who know about Johnny Astro consider it to be somewhat of a wonder itself in the annals of American toymaking. After considerable contemplation, I came up with an idea that I hope will make Marco's Johnny Astro special and worthy to be in Italy alongside of the other great wonders mentioned. I decided to do this: build the Johnny Astro replication using parts that match the colors of the Flag of Italy:

 

Flag of Italy Pics

Flag of Italy Images courtesy of 4 International Flags.

(You can "mouse over" any picture on this web page and watch that picture change into another picture.)

Before I could make Marco's Johnny Astro, I had to mold a new part - the Joystick Handle that attaches to the linkage assembly and maneuvers the propulsion unit. See the new molds and the completed Joystick/Linkage Assembly below:

JA Linkage PicsJA Linkage Pics

 

The AEP Workshop, over time, has made replication Johnny Astro parts in different colors. See the white throttle handle, white battery retainer and white protective cover assembly (with parts made in other colors) below. Also see the white propulsion unit parts with the red vortex cone:

Parts in WhiteParts in White

 

The control center base is an original part and of course that is red. The space dashboard is the only item that is green in the toy, but that completes the red, white and green color scheme of the Italian Flag. See below:

JA Parts PicsJA Parts Pics

 

After the parts were made by the AEP Workshop, the toy asembly phases were next:

JA AssemblyJA Assembly

 

Check out a few other assembly photos of the rear side of the toy and see the batteries, the battery compartment cover and the protective cover assembly on Marco's Johnny Astro:

JA InternalJA Internal

 

While the introduction of the new AEP Workshop Balloon Templates has been chronicled on our webpage focusing on the 2008 Hybrid Replications, Marco's Replication was actually the impetus for producing this part in a white color:

JA TemplateJA Template

 

So take a look at Marco's completed Johnny Astro, along with the launching station, landing carriages and balloons:

JA PicsJA Pics

 

I hope you have enjoyed checking out this short story about Marco's Johnny Astro. The toy was shipped to Marco in the middle of February, and based on what I know about the Italian mail system - he should get it "sometime in 2009." Enjoy the Johnny Astro Marco!! Take care,

 

-Bob