If you are a recipient of the services and/or parts provided by the AEP Website and wish to provide feedback, or if you are a visitor to the site and just want to make any comments – please Email these to [email protected] and I will post them.
Feedback And Comments Received Thus Far
Date: 26 April 2010
I was on holiday this past week for my birthday and I received my gift on Saturday evening: Johnny Astro has landed! I so much appreciated your armored packaging as described and the content, of course!
Everything works perfectly, and I think that my son and I have many hours of playing in perspective…I want to thank you again for all that you made and your quality job. You can see below: the Johnny Astro next generation :-).
Thierry Jolis, France
Thierry – I’m happy that your son is enjoying the Johnny Astro in France. Go to the “Media” tab, and select “Videos and Flash Animations,” I put the short video of the test flight of your son’s toy on the website…take care – Bob.
Date: 02 December 2012
I am happy to recommend Bob Lansing for his excellent work in replicating classic toy parts. In addition to being a skilled craftsmen, he shares a love for old toys which shows in his attention to detail and careful concern regarding getting everything just right. He has been a big help to me in my project restoring Remco Seaview toy sets. I also appreciate his willingness to share his knowledge and experiences to help other hobbyists. I got great results from following his recommendations regarding replicating chrome plating plastic parts using special paint products and a multi-step process that he clearly lays out. You can find this and more on his astroexpressparts.com website. Bob has done hours of trial and error work and his gracious sharing of his findings makes it possible for others to benefit. I heartily endorse Bob and his top quality service!
Jon Tofte, Hobe Sound, FL
Date: 24 August 2012
Thanks again for the great work you did on my first set of divers. I have had pretty decent success selling my complete box-sets, and I have given you credit in the write-up for your efforts in replicating the divers. I really appreciate your willingness to work with me and the attention to detail that you showed. I feel that the divers have given increased credibility and value to what I am offering. Even if I am not making any money to speak of, at least I am finally moving some inventory. That certainly makes my wife happier :-)!
Jon Tofte, Hobe Sound, FL
Date: 15 April 2010
My friend, today I received the Johnny Astro parts that you sent me. In a few words, you are the best Seller I have found in my life, Thanks, please continue this way! An a final question, do you have or is it possible for you to find the Astronaut (Capsule)?
Thanks in advance and best regards,
Alejandro Gomez, Mexico
Alejandro – One of these days I will get around to making a replication for the astronaut, I will let you know when that happens – Bob.
Date: 01 December 2009
In response to your question “Did everything go OK with the arrival of the Johnny Astro I shipped to you?”
Yes. I had decided to save it for Christmas for my 8 year old son, who is very interested in toys that I had as a child. When I received your email about the second one, I thought I should try the first one out to make sure it was as good as I remembered. After setting it up late at night and playing for a short time, I couldn’t stand it and set it up in my son’s room so that he would see it in the morning. He was ecstatic. We have played with it together quite a few times since. It sure brings back memories.
My son has said that he wants to be an inventor. He told me that he would like to invent a hand held version so he could walk around with it. I told him that a handheld version was made long ago. He said “Rats! they always steal my good ideas, can we get one?”
Thanks for working with me on this.
Chris Lanigan, St. Petersburg, FL
Chris – have your son go to the “Media” tab, and select “Videos and Flash Animations,” there are several videos that show how things are made in the AEP Workshop – instructional viewing for any aspiring inventor…also, it is in my plans to make full replication (handheld version) Johnny Astro Explorer toys sometime in 2010 – your son will get the first one – Bob.
Date: 19 November 2009
Thank you so much for all your help. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. My brother is going to be blown away by his “new” Johnny Astro.
A funny story that he just related to me: when he was little, he figured that if batteries worked so well, then an electrical outlet would be even better. Somehow he spliced and re-attached the wires and then hooked them into an electrical outlet (oh no!), determined to invent a really souped up Johnny Astro. What he succeeded in doing was burning out the motor and blowing the circuits in our house. My parents never knew what happened at the time, and I’m just finding out about this now (although I never “told on him” as a child, I’m seriously considering doing it just this once :-). Thank God he didn’t burn the place down! And I am happy to report that he is still alive and well and will be delighted, I’m sure, to finally have his favorite toy replaced. But this time I’ll be certain to keep him far away from any electrical outlets. Oh those boys and their toys!
Linda, The Big Sister from Fairfield, CT
Date: 15 November 2009
I have received the second set of 4 “L” sides. Thank you again, so much, for everything!
May I add the following endorsement: Bob Lansing and his friend Elvezio, a producer of superb JE replacement stickers, are resources who are a hobbyist’s dream. Bob reconditioned my red JE cab, and not only did he get it to run again, he also made it look nearly brand-new. He replaced the driver’s seat after the original developed a “rear-end print” and “leg prints” from having the driver figure sit in it for many years, and he made the windshield look strikingly clear and made the red plastic look vibrant. And, how great it is to have unbroken exhaust stacks and side mirrors again!
Bob, I am so glad I found your Web site. It is a pleasure to do business with you.
Bob Bakus, Palatine, IL
Date: 10 June 2009
It was great chatting last night. I forgot to mention, today is Sol’s birthday and I usually like to post a Happy Birthday to him on your wonderful site.
Sol Friedman was born June 10, 1922. He would have been 87 today.
Happy Birthday Dad… I miss you! Love, Alan
Date: 06 June 2009
I checked out the “Sol Friedman Tribute” video you told me about. Sheesh! I was never that good (not that I can really remember anyway)! I wonder if Erin offers a training course???!!
OK, so are you an engineer or a chemist, or perhaps a chemical engineer? You’re quite talented! Have you thought about the possibility of this toy being mass produced again? Do you think it would sell at that level?
Mr. Friedman must have been quite a guy. He was very prolific with his inventing. Interesting about Laser Tag! And was that football game the one where the board gently vibrated and the players moved all over the place? I was discussing that game with my brother, who’s nine years older than me, during my trip down memory lane (which is now three days old, with no end in sight!!).
It is really amazing to think back on how those toys allowed kids to be creative and use their imaginations. Now it’s so much mindless video stuff.
P.S. Loved your tune selection!
Beth Villafranca, New Hope, PA
The AEP Workshop informed Beth about the video on our website that shows Erin – a neighborhood girl who has a Johnny Astro and flies it like a pro. As the caption in the video states – we didn’t edit the video footage at all – Erin’s flying prowess is so awesome – we wanted the entire flight to be seen … check out the video under the “Media” tab, and select “Videos and Flash Animations,” and select the “A Tribute to Sol Friedman Video” – Bob.
Date: 04 June 2009
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! I would love to be on your list! What an amazing thing you’ve done/are doing! You must be having a lot of fun with this!!
My Dad, who is turning 92 this August, is visiting with me right now and I was telling him about this “epiphany” I had yesterday with my favorite toys. He doesn’t remember a balloon flying around the room (but he does remember all his WWII exploits!). I’m sure it was my Mom who did the Xmas shopping and if she were here right now, I’d certainly tell her what a great toy she picked up for me. Reading the comments from other folks, it’s incredible what an impact this toy had on so many people! (I’m curious – am I the only “girl” you’ve heard from, who actually played with the toy herself?? I was such a tomboy!)
So, yes, do put me on your mailing list. I look forward to hearing back from you again!
Beth Villafranca, New Hope, PA
Date: 08 January 2009
My Dad loved the hybrid replication Johnny Astro you made. We spent some time working on mastering it while I was in Boston for the day after Christmas. That was great fun, and a great challenge. I have been meaning to ask him how he has been making progress. I will post you with any updates, but I will say he loved it and I heard him tell my aunt on the phone that “Jake gave me a Johnny Astro, the greatest toy ever made.” So I think that speaks well. I don’t know if the grand kids have tried it yet. Thanks so much.
Jake Frederick, Lawrence University, LA
Date: 08 January 2009
I wanted to let you know that the Johnny Astro was a big hit this Christmas. Everybody who came to our house was amazed by it. It came in second to the Wii as the most popular Christmas gift this year.
My 6 year old actually played with it more than my 10 year old. The adults who came over all had a try at it too. It was very retro for them, and something new for everybody else.
Thanks again for all your help in getting this project “off the ground”.
Ed Vance, Allison Park, PA
Date: 25 November 2008
Got it (the 2008 Hybrid Replication Johnny Astro) today! After a few tries I had made my first successful take off and landing. I really can’t thank you enough for helping to bring back a childhood memory of so many years past. I would also like to thank you for taking such great care in packing it. Everything arrived in perfect condition.
Thanks for the phone call today, it’s nice to know that we can get parts if we need them and I really appreciate your help and enthusiasm for this great toy. I’ve attached some photos of a flight that I just shared with my two girls. They absolutely loved it.
- Scott Goldbach
- CEO & Founder PageRocket.Com and WebGive.Org
- Toll Free Phone: 888.4PageRocket or 888.472.4376
- Toll Free Fax: 888.609.3569
Click here to check out some of Scott’s pictures on the Customer Photo Gallery page
Date: 20 November 2008
Thanks, I never get tired of reading what people have to say about Johnny Astro and how much they enjoy the toy and their memories!
You can post this if you’d like:
I would like to thank all of you who remember and love Johnny Astro and for sharing your stories. This was always an exciting time of year for our family… seeing dad’s inventions advertised on TV, in the newspaper, and gift catalogs, and the shelves in toy stores stocked full of his toys for Christmas and Hanukah. Of course, it was even more exciting seeing those shelves empty the day after Christmas! Dad (Sol) put his spirit and love into all his inventions and, after reading the testimonials, I think everyone who owns or has played with Johnny Astro experiences some of his magic.
Alan Friedman Click here to contact Alan
Date: 19 November 2008
I bought a Johnny Astro two years ago on Ebay and Will sent me a new motor, Nap sent me balloons, and I come to find out, the 2 or 3 landing carriages that were included were so warped / bent / flimsy that it was a feat of magic just to get the whole thing to stand up long enough on the launch pad to even start the flying process! It was so frustrating to try and get it to stand up straight on the launch pad that I re-sold it on embay to some guy in Australia for $160.00!!!!!! My wife did, however, get a kick out of watching me scream and swear while trying to get it to stand up long enough to play with the toy! When I went to the Johnny Astro website a few weeks ago, I almost FELL off my chair when they were finally offering new landing carriages!! Went right to Ebay, found it, bid it, won it and started the whole process all over again. My family think I’m nuts, but, they weren’t there 40 years ago on Christmas morning when I open it up and spent “literally” the next 11 days perfecting my craft! I remember my dad getting so MAD when he couldn’t do it!!! $9.95 in the 1966 Sears Christmas wishbook! Hard to believe that a mere 3 years later we walked on the moon, huh? Anyway, I never got a chance today to try it. After all the work to restore and polish the plastic, it was almost supper time. Perhaps sometime this weekend I’ll get a chance to fly and grab some pics. It’s almost like waiting for Santa again! Feel free to use anything from me on your site. Glad to help! Stand by, lift-off should be T-minus 3 days or so. Thanks…………
Rich Rykowski, Oxford, CT
Date: 19 November 2008
Hi Bob, Perfect! I haven’t touched it until right now. New motor is in, and the landing carriages are great! Definitely an improvement over the originals! There was one “old” one left in the box that was still unused, but they’re so flimsy I just tossed it out. Watched your video on making the undercarriages. Who made the steel molds for you? Got a nice Johnny Astro from a lady in Key West on ebay Still had 2 original balloons, the undercarriage, and “get this” the astronaut in his little capsule!!! Only problem is, the new style Scotch tape is so sticky, you’re almost certain to tear the balloon when removing the landing carriage. Wish they still had the ‘ole cellophane tape. It wasn’t as sticky. Anyway, I’m going to clean the resistor and tighten the wiper and all the linkages right now. Should be flying in about an hour. I’ll send some pics. Thanks again!
Rich Rykowski, Oxford, CT
The AEP Workshop provided Rich with a replacement Johnny Astro motor and a set of our replication Landing Carriages. To answer Rich’s question, the metallic mold plates are made by Norm Hamel of Hamel Machine Works in Kingston, NH – Bob.
Date: 02 October 2008
Welcome back. And thanks for asking, the coil came out perfect! I was surprised how well it went, I wound the wire then was able to loosen it enough to get just the right gaps between winds before inserting the clip onto the other end. You must have looked all over for these parts, they don’t have anything like them in the stores. I appreciate your help with this, the toy works very well now. I’ve noticed that ebay has had a few JA’s in the last week or two. I’d love to buy every one out there, but that’s not very practical. I hope the landing carriages come out like you want, I’d love to try them out! Thanks,
Dan Cihla, Snellville, GA
The AEP Workshop provided Dan with the materials needed to wind his own replacement speed controller coil for his Johnny Astro. Note that all of these parts originate from the AEP Workshop, and Dan followed our tutorial (see “Make Your Own Johnny Astro Speed Controller Coil”) to a successful conclusion. Congratulations Dan! – Bob.
Date: 07 September 2008
Like you I am Hooked!!!!!
I am building the entire collection myself right now. I still have my original Johnny Express that I got for Christmas and always wanted all of the different types. 45 years later I am doing just that!!!!
I will be ordering frequently as inventory comes in…
Dave Falk, Ossian, Indiana
Date: 03 September 2008
Hey my name is Vin and I am here with Norm at the shop watching him make the metallic landing carriage molds for you, these are so cool. Just to see the things that Norm can make is unbelievable. So he gave me your web site to check it out and it is real cool. I don’t remember these old toys and I wish I did so keep up the good work.
Vin Falls, New Hampshire
The “Norm” that Vin refers to is Norm Hamel of Kingston, NH. Norm is an expert Machinist who manufactures the metallic molds I use to make the reproduction Johnny Astro Landing Carriages. If you want to check out the casting process, see the video on our website. – Bob.
Date: 03 September 2008
Hi Bob –
I was wondering if you could sell me two rheostats for the two Johnny Astro sets that I recently purchased. Or maybe there is a substitution or a way to have them rewound? One of them has a dead spot and on the other the wire has separated. Also, is the price for the propulsion unit still $44 ? I’ve been able to solder the wires back to the motors that came with the toys, but I don’t know how long they will last. Some other motors I purchased from another source are not compatible with my cowling, so it would be worth it to purchase the whole unit.
I’ ve been using the new landing carriages that you sent me, I’m back in 1968 again, thanks to you! It’s awesome.
Dan Cihla, Snellville, GA
Date: 26 August 2008
About a year and a half ago I purchased the Johnny Astro Bottom Cowling from you (to replace the broken one that came with the used Johnny Astro I bought online) and I recently received your postcard announcing the new website.
I’m an aeronautical engineer and when I first read about air from a fan being able to control a balloon’s position I found it hard to believe, which is what motivated me to find a used toy. Much to my surprise and delight I found it to be true (sort of like the patent officer mentioned in one of the videos on your site). I spent some time last summer analyzing the fluid flow about a cylindrical shape and a balloon shape, and found that the moving air from a fan, with the fan angled away from the vertical, could support the weight of a balloon. I still find it amazing.
Larry Erickson, Pismo Beach, CA
Date: 05 July 2008
I thought I was the only one who remembered Johnny Astro! I remember the greatest Christmas of my life when I got one from Santa Claus. I think it was Christmas 1968, but it could have been 1967.
I was just describing one to my 6 year old son and his eyes were wide with excitement. He wants to ask Santa for one for Christmas.
I just found you via an Internet search. I was wondering if you have any more replicas available, and what the price is?
Thanks for your time, and your devotion to my favorite toy ever.
Reed Langdon, Hawaii
Reed – I will add your name and contact information to my listing of people who have requested replication Johnny Astros. The development work is ongoing for the new molds, my expectation is to be at a point of providing new replications sometime in the fall of 2008. This work is done on a non-profit basis and “break even” pricing will be in effect. The target pricing is $100 per replication at this time, hopefully I will achieve that. – Bob.
Date: 14 June 2008
Thanks for your post card announcing your new web site.
Being a few years older than you are, as a child I was introduced to a different ‘generation’ of toys than those presented at the AEP web site. However, that did not stop me from being absolutely fascinated and mesmerized at every aspect presented at the site.
The detail, creativity, expression, and tribute to Sol Friedman expressed by the Johnny Astro videos are just stunning. I was touched by your respect and recognition of this man and the legacy he has left in the hearts of I am sure many ‘grown up’ children and by your effort to keep it alive. The Johnny Astro toy itself is so simple and yet so alluring to children (and adults, like us!). Your passion for detail in making the Johnny Astro as well as other toy parts is notable.
Your sons have done a superb job in creating the web site, editing the videos, and using your content guidance!
Date: 11 June 2008
Excellent Bob, thanks for what you do. I was reading the article about the wife searching for the Johnny Astro for her husband and relived the passion and yearning for this toy I had almost 2 years ago when I finally found one. I think I’ll go home today and blow up a balloon.
Don Wells, TX
Date: 09 June 2008
Wow !!! I have seen just about everything in your website and it is great! You did a great job with your reproduction parts and your son did a great job with the website, I’m really happy for you. It is good to know that there are people like you who have an interest in preserving the old toys. Today it is tough to find anybody who likes to help us with restorations or building old things that are in our memories – but you are doing just that. Thanks for advertising me and the Johnny Express Stickers on your Website. Have a great summer my friend and have some fun with your kids. Enjoy your new project.
– Elvezio (Capt.Catalin), Antique Jukebox Restoration
Date: 09 June 2008
Alan just sent me the link for your new AEP website and I love it. The tribute to our Dad, was fantastic; you are a man of many talents.
It is sobering to think about the fabulous legacy that Dad left, not just JA, but so many classic toys. His Monday Night Football was the true forerunner of today’s Madden series and other video football games that use computers to match offense and defense. Any interest in reviving that one?
Thanks for your work and constant updates. You and Nap have helped keep Dad’s work alive, and both Alan and I love what you both have done!
Hope you are having a good summer so far, and that your families are all well.
– Miles Friedman
Date: 04 June 2008
Bob – Nice web-site Bob !! I got a lot of enjoyment reading about the Johnny Astro. Pretty interesting toy to say the least !! AMAZING how the fan air holds onto the balloon. This toy was definitely before its time. Thanks for sending.
I was looking at your JE parts and did not see the yellow plank or upright that holds the plank on the front top side of the water tanker. That and the decals is what is keeping my JE from being 100% restored. You had given me a guys email address in Canada for the decals but I have since lost it. Don, KS
Don – Click on the “Parts” tab of the AEP website and select “Johnny Express Stickers” from the drop down menu, this will tell you how to order the Johnny Express Stickers – Bob.
Date: 03 June 2008
Bob – Just happen to run into your site surfin’ the net. I grew up across the street form Sol and Rose and Miles and Alan Friedman….Ran into a post by Alan on one of the other toy sites and e-mailed him just now… Mr. Friedman was a wonderful guy and our families became close. I remember his workshop and as his newspaper boy for years, remember his fun and warm personality and character… BE well. – Jonny Katof, Florida
Date: 03 June 2008
Congratulations on your new website. I see you are also linked with Nap Pepin who supplied me with some parts for my Johnny Astro.
If you remember me, you sold me the battery cover. Or (laughing), maybe it was the other way around – he sold me the cover and you sold me the carriages.
Whatever, I wish both of you good luck. Also, if you recall, I got stuck with the toy after buying it for a friend and when he opened it the parts were broken and/or missing. He would not take it back, and now I have it, still in the packing box, in my house.
My friend is coming over in a few weeks and I think we will open it and show it to my kids.
Thanks again for your help. May still sell it on ebay, but if you know someone who wants one, let me know.
Date: 02 June 2008
God bless you and your family! I still have tears in my eyes from watching the tribute and reading your story and reviewing the site. Proud as I always have been of my dad’s inventions, I guess I took them for granted since I grew up with them and saw them in the planning stages. What amazes me even more is your devotion to Johnny Astro and keeping dad’s legacy alive. You are a rare and special person and I wish you could have met Sol for I’m sure you would have been great friends. I think the two of you together would have made a perfect partnership in producing even more great toys!
I wanted to leave this message on the website but I couldn’t get the Guest Book to open.
Thanks again Bob!
May I say “with love”…