Classic Jonny Quest
Classic Jonny Quest - Lee Bowling's Classic Jonny Quest Contest Entry
© 2009,

Lee writes:

My sons and I belong to a collectors club for vintage and new Marx Toys 'Johnny West' western toys (one sixth scale action figures and accesories). There is a convention and action figure customizing contest each year at the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Wheeling, West Virginia.

For the convention in June 2009, I chose to try and make some Marx figures look like the characters from the classic Jonny Quest cartoon. The rules are simple and begin with "All figure bodies (including horses) used in any category have to be original Marx, CXR or reissued Marx bodies." came up on the very first Google attempt for Jonny Quest and your site is GREAT. I included a special thank you on the diarama.

I did not know if you wanted to include pics of the entry or not, but am emailing to say thanks and to give you some pictures of the effort as a fan submission on your site if you are interested.

Of course we're interested, Lee! We're very visually oriented around here.
Here are links to the images Lee sent:

Lee continues:

Here is a link to pictures from the contest results site on Stewart's Attic. [This is the link that shows Lee's award from the contest - LPB]

The title was simply: Jonny Quest
The description for the contest was:
The whole 1960s Quest gang from the best adventure cartoon ever created.

Dr. Quest & Race use vintage Marx toys 'Mike Hazard' bodies with sculpted changes to a CircleXRanch head and a vintage Mike Hazard head. Jonny and Hadji combine parts from vintage Marx Jamie, and Janice West bodies. Jonny has sculpted changes to a Jamie head and Hadji has sculpted changes to a Janice head. Bandit was sculpted from scratch. The mummy was assembled from a variety of other parts and a modified Marx Geronimo head.

Other information on how I built it:
The tomb was built mainly from a sheet of 2" foam insulation. I built everything on a hollow base which was about 2.5" thick. This gave me room to include a CD player and 5 mini sound recorder/players.

I allowed room in an opening in the back wall to include a favorite image from Doug Wildey to pay homage.

On the CD player, I included music and sound clips from the original show. I tried to include the music that would typically be part of a complete episode. There was the 'incoming message' sound, the announcer saying Jonny Quest was coming up, then the fantastic opening theme, other music, and finally a commercial from a sponsor.

The 5 sound player/recorders were purchased from and are similar to the devices found in greeting cards. Each one will allow you to record up to 10 seconds of sound and then play that back. In order to give the best volume, which I could not control, I needed the players standing on edge facing out. In order to push the button located inside the hollow base, I added 5 'buttons' created with door stops from the hardware store. The stops are made to have a pad at both ends and be mounted to hinges. I mounted them to the under side of the top of the base and the spring within the sound player was enough to send the button back once you had pushed for the sound.

I recorded the following clips, which I thought fit the scene, from original JQ episodes:
  • Race: "Come on you ugly mug." from 'The Dragons of Ashida'
  • Dr. Quest: "I'll try to stop it with fire." from 'The Sea Haunt'
  • Hadji: "I do not believe it Jonny." from 'The Dragons of Ashida'
  • Jonny: "Bandit, Bandit come back here." from 'The Sea Haunt'
  • Bandit: 'creepy music followed by barking' from 'The Sea Haunt'

While searching the web for images of Egypt, I found a couple of educational sites which had their own hieroglyphic languages. I used those to put some writing on the walls of the tomb that would be fun for the Marx toy show. I included the translation key in the set with a message inviting the visitors to translate the messages.

The hieroglyphic messages included:
  • "Marx Toys are Best" (the Marx Toy Company at is one of the sponsors for the contest)
  • "Jonny Quest is Cool" (an obvious truth)
  • "Good Deals at Stewarts" ( was another sponsor and Scott Stewart does alot for the rest of us at the show)
  • "Johnny Con 2009" (This is the name of the Convention)
The decorative statues on either side of the doorway through which the mummy is walking were made from plaster casts of a variety of figure parts including the heads of Jane & Johnny West -- popular characters with the vintage Marx toys and subject of our collectors club at Circle X Ranch.

It was a lot of fun to build and it was well received. I told the collectors club that I knew I had passed the 10 year old kid test when one of my sons continually brought his friend from down the street into the shop while I was working on the display and the two of them would just stand and stare with big grins on their faces -- lots of fun!

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