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By Don Thompson
Johnny Hero was a 13 inch figure made by Rosko Industries for Sears in 1965 as
an alternative to GI Joe. He disappeared a few years after as apparently
an alternative was not required. He was repackaged briefly (probably to dump unsold stock) as an
Johnny came with a red number 16 shirt, gold shorts, socks and white tennis shoes. His body
was a heavy foam with plastic hands and head. He had a metal prong in his hand that
helped him hold a baseball or football.
Once you bought your basic Johnny you could then buy accessory sets from
your favorite baseball and football teams. It is not unusual to find
later sets with mixed accessories. You may find a Vikings helmet with
Redskins pants and an Eagles jersy.
One of the problems with this line was getting the helmets and clothes
off on and off of the figures. The foam rubber would tear easily and
the helmet was nearly impossible to get on without cracking it or
scraping Johnny's ears. This means that loose figures in nice shape are
That short production run also means that these boys are hard to find.
Just a few years ago, you could find Johnny Hero MIB for under $50 and equipment
sets for under $10. Now boxed figures regularly sell for $75-$125 and
equipment sets for $25+.
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