Tom Brown (

[The photo above is the building which once housed Crown Fasteners. It was here that Topper Johnny Lightnings were produced, assembled, and packaged between 1969-70. The photo to the left shows some discarded wheels in an area in back of the plant that was used for "dumping" many items when the plant closed it's doors in 1971. ]

When Henry Orenstein (the president of Topper Toys) was looking for a place to assemble their new line of toy cars in 1969, he found it in my backyard. Traveling 5 hours north from Topper's home base in Elizabeth, N.J., Henry and the boys agreed to sub-contract the production of their "fastest cars in the world" to Crown Fasteners, a mere 5 minutes from my home. Crown was a division of Coats & Clark Inc. and was located in Warren, Rhode Island. The local workers there were content in manufacturing items such as metal zippers which were a staple in their operation for many years. That all changed in 1969 when "Johnny" came to town.

My friend, Ray Falcoa and I have had the pleasure of speaking to many of the people who manufactured Johnnies and look forward to hearing from anyone who has a question or is in the market to buy or sell Topper Johnny Lightnings.

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