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Johnny Thunder, also known as Sam Grant and Joe Freeman, is the main protagonist of the LEGO Adventurers theme. He is included in numerous sets as a minifigure in each of the theme's sub-themes, often alongside his friends Dr. Kilroy and Pippin Reed. He also appears in a couple Studios sets, played by an actor. In addition to all of this, Johnny also appears in seven video games, more than any other LEGO character.

He reappears in 2014 in The LEGO Movie, as well as one of the sets based on the same movie, 70815 Super Secret Police Dropship. Johnny Thunder also appears in 71025 Minifigures Series 19 as the Jungle Explorer, who was confirmed to be an updated version by graphics/minifigure designer Austin William Carlson.[1]

Description

In his appearances in the Egypt, Jungle, and Dino Island subthemes and the Studios theme, Johnny wears black pants and a tan button up shirt. The shirt has two pockets on the chest, a black belt with a revolver in it, and a red bandana around his neck. Above the bandanna, a little bit of his yellow chest is showing. His sleeves are also tan and his hands are yellow. Johnny's face has a black mustache, sideburns, hair, a cleft chin, and a smirk. He wears a brown campaign hat, similar to an Australian slouch hat but folded up on one side.

Johnny with a backpack, a scorpion, and several accessories

In the Orient Expedition theme, Johnny was redesigned and recieved three new variants for each of the areas he and his partners visited.

The India variant has tan pants with two pockets similar to the ones he had on his chest in his previous variation. His torso design is the same, except for the main part is now green and he has a blue or gray undershirt under rather than his chest. His arms are still tan and his hands still yellow. Johnny's face is very similar, but he now has pupils in his eyes and a more subtle smile rather than a smirk.

For his trip to Mount Everest, Johnny wears the same pants as the Indian variant, and still had the same hat. His torso is very similar to the Indian variant's, but it is now brown, has a fur lined collar, and the colours of some of the items on his shirt are changed. His face is the same as in India.

In China, Johnny wore the same costume as in the three original Adventurers subthemes, except he now uses the same face.

Johnny's version from The LEGO Movie is the same as his regular version, but has pupils and back printing. His outfit is more detailed, too.

Some of Johnny's variants also have a brown backpack attached to the neck between the head and torso.

Video game variants

In most video games he has appeared in, Johnny has his original appearance. However, there are still differences between games. They are generally modified versions of his first costume.

In LEGO Racers 2, Johnny has his standard appearance, but his legs are brown instead of black.

In LEGO Stunt Rally, Johnny wears Baron von Barron's torso and has minor facial differences.

In LEGOLAND, he has pupils, a nose, hair on the back of his head, and a seperate bandanna piece.

Johnny's biggest appearance change is in LEGO Universe where he also wears a satchel, his hat is black, he has a badge on his arm, no side burns, his belt is more detailed, and he has pockets and soles on his legs.

In The LEGO Movie Video Game he can be unlocked via a secret code, along with Young Vitruvius, Angry Kitty, a Robo SWAT pilot, and some pants. He is armed with a rifle.

Background

Johnny Thunder, an Australian adventurer and a passionate archeologist, travels with a archeologist/scientist named Dr. Kilroy and a photographer named Pippin Reed, who works for "World Magazine". Together they discover many treasures and outwit many varied villains. Thunder himself is a treasure hunter, and donates what he finds to a museum instead of keeping it for himself like Sam Sinister, his archenemy. When the theme was first introduced, a UK catalog described Sam Grant/Johnny Thunder as a "young ex Army Officer", but this piece of backstory was never expanded upon.[2]

Egypt

Johnny and co. in Egypt

In his first Adventure depicted in LEGO sets, Johnny Thunder and his friends, Dr. Kilroy, Pippin Reed, and Harry Cane, journeyed to Egypt to find the Re-Gou Ruby, which is protected by the undead Pharaoh Hotep, before his nemesis Baron Von Barron and Baron's partner, Slyboots.

Jungle

The Jungle subtheme depicted Johnny, Kilroy, Pippin, and Harry going to the Amazon River in South America to find the magical Sun Disk protected by the mysterious Achu. Johnny and his friends were pitted against Señor Palomar, a South American bandit, and his partner, Rudo Villano. Another character, Gabarro the sailor, helped both the Adventurers and Palomar.

Dino Island

Johnny with a baby Tyrannosaurus rex.

The journey to Dino Island was different than the previous adventures to Egypt and the Amazon. Harry did not travel to the island with Johnny, Pippin, and Kilroy, but was replaced by their new assistant, Mike. This journey saw the return of Baron, now using the name of Sam Sinister, who was now partnered with his relative, Alexia, and the poacher Mr. Cunningham. Rather than looking for treasures, the Adventurers would capture Dinosaurs to study them. Sam/Baron was attempting to take them back to the mainland and open a park.

Orient Expedition

After discovering part of a map in the home of Marco Polo, Johnny, Kilroy, and Pippin set out for India to search for the supposedly mythical Golden Dragon.

Johnny and company on elephants

In India, Johnny rescued Babloo from Sam/Baron, now using the name Lord Sam Sinister, and Maharaja Lallu. Grateful, Babloo helped bring the Adventurers to the Scorpion Palace with his elephant, Giri. At the Scorpion Palace, Lallu lost his title of Maharaja when Babloo reveled that he had found the Sun Stone (which Dr. Kilroy had taken from Tygurah earlier). Sam attempted to discover the treasure inside of the palace, but was forced to flee when he moved the claws of a giant scorpion decoration which triggered a boulder. Climbing on top of elephants, Johnny and his friends were able to reach the upper floor of the palace and retrieve the Golden Shield which had another piece of a map on it. While conversing about following the map and leaving for Mount Everest, the adventurers were overheard by Sam who had returned.

While hiking up Mount Everest, the Adventurers befriended Sherpa Sangye Dorje and used his hot air balloon, the Aero Nomad, to reach the summit. Johnny was able to come up with a plan when Sam attacked them in his bi-plane. After that, they traveled on foot to the Temple of Mount Everest and discovered the golden sword and another map piece, this time leading to China.

In China, the group's car was sabotaged by Sam and the group was captured by Dragon Fortress Guards. They were locked in the Great Wall until Pippin escaped and rescued Johnny and Kilroy. While looking for the Dragon Fortress where the Golden Dragon was kept, they met a girl named Jing Lee in the city of Xi'an.

Johnny confronting Jun-Chi

After giving her food for her sick father, Jing Lee agreed to show them to where the Dragon Fortress was. Hiding on a junk ship, they reached the fortress. Jing Lee showed the group a side entrance which turned out to be the home of Jun-Chi, a lion-dog. Jun-Chi chased the group until they were captured by Emperor Chang Wu and his guards who had made an alliance with Sam. Sam took the golden treasures (the shield, sword, and helmet which was discovered "off-screen"). The group escaped when the guards scattered after Jun-Chi reappeared. Sam used the confusion to find the Dragon Fortress Statue which leads the path to the Golden Dragon. Johnny caught up with Sam and tried to keep him from pulling a nearby lever, but Sam refused not to. The lever turned the statue to life and scared Sam away, dropping the treasures in the process. They replaced the statue's sword, shield, and helmet with the golden ones and pulled the lever again. This time, the sword and shield transformed into golden keys. The keys opened doors to the side with wheels. Pulling the wheels caused a secret door to open. Through the door was the Golden Dragon.

While trying to escape the fortress, the group was attacked by Chang Wu's catapults, but managed to make it away.

Other Adventures

Return to Egypt

Johnny, Pippin, and Dr. Kilroy returned to Egypt to investigate a tomb where strange noises had been coming from. They discovered a mummy which had awoken from the dead because an object was missing from its tomb. They discovered a secret chamber and Johnny retrieved the golden snake and returned it to the tomb, allowing the mummy to fall back to its sleep.

Greece

Johnny, Pippin, and Kilroy travel to Greece to a sacred artifact, known as the golden bull. They believe it to be hidden in a maze, guarded by the Minotaur. The adventurers discovered that the golden bull was not actually in the maze, but a clue was. They travelled to a nearby island seen in a mural in the labyrinth. Johnny scaled the cliff to discover a temple. Hidden behind the veil was the shadow of a bull like creature (presumably the Minotaur) who claimed to be "The guardian on the Golden Bull". The guardian challenged Johnny to a modified game of connect four. Johnny won, and was awarded with the golden bull.

Sam Sinister also returned in this story. He attempted to get the Golden Bull before Johnny, but was defeated.

The LEGO Movie

Johnny Thunder appears in The LEGO Movie as a master builder. He is among all of the Master Builders that meet in Cloud Cuckoo Land and is seen in the background with Superman and some knights when Vitruvius introduces Marsha. He is seen running away from the golf ball outside the dog.

In the Video Games

"Hey there, I have to warn you. Me and my car are ready to win any race, … but good luck anyway."
―Johnny Thunder in LEGO Racers

Johnny Thunder is the boss of the fourth circuit in LEGO Racers. He also appears in LEGOLAND, LEGO Racers 2, LEGO Universe, LEGO Stunt Rally, Soccer Mania, LEGO Island 2 and The LEGO Movie Video Game.

In LEGO Racers, Johnny Thunder is the boss of the fourth circuit. Players who finish first in this circuit win his car set.

In LEGO Racers 2, he and Pippin send the player out on the Dino Island mini-games. However, Johnny Thunder also appears as a recurring CPU racer in all races on Dino Island, Mars, and the Arctic, leading up to the boss races.

In LEGO Island 2, Johnny Thunder is one of the characters on Adventurers Island. Pepper Roni must bring him and his group to a pyramid in the desert, then fly their plane through the Amazon jungle, and finally rescue dinosaurs from Mr. Hates' cages.

In LEGO Stunt Rally, Johnny Thunder and other Adventurers characters appear in the opening cut-scene of the game, calling for the "loop-da-loop" obstacle.

In Soccer Mania, Johnny Thunder may be unlocked after his team (the Adventurers Explorers) is beaten on Dino Island, as the player goes in search of the pieces for the spaceship, to hunt down the Brickster.

In LEGOLAND, Johnny Thunder appears in one of the cut-scenes and in the opening video. At certain points in time, the professor goes back in time with his time machine. The final time that he does this, he appears in Egypt, and gets a copy of the pyramids and other Adventurers places as attractions for the park. In the opening video, a portrait of Johnny may be seen in the background as Professor Voltage unveils his time-machine.

In LEGO Universe, Johnny Thunder appears as an NPC character. His appearance is similar to the original one, but he wears a Venture League armband, re-designed black pants with pockets, a black hat that is a similar shape to his original, and a brown shoulder bag. He is found in Red Blocks amphitheatre, and challenges players to find treasure chests scattered around Nimbus Station. Upon collecting all the treasure chests, Johnny Thunder gives players approval from the Venture League faction, allowing them to join if they wish. After players choose their faction, Johnny Thunder gives missions to find treasure chests in other worlds, and rewards players for finding them.

In The LEGO Movie Video Game, Johnny Thunder appears as a playable character. He can be unlocked through entering a secret code, but he can be unlocked directly without entering a secret code in the handheld versions.

Notes

  • Aside from his major role as the boss in the fourth circuit of LEGO Racers he also makes a cameo in the second and fifth circuits on the Amazon Adventure Alley level flying around in the Expedition Balloon, along with Dr. Kilroy.
  • In the Ask Max section of the LEGO club site, Max states that Johnny Thunder is on vacation but he still gets a few postcards from him. "Are there plans for any more Johnny Thunder sets in the future? No, Johnny is still on vacation, though I get a postcard from him now and then. But if you like his kind of adventure, you might want to check out the new Pharaoh’s Quest sets!" Later, however, Johnny was re-released in The LEGO Movie theme and later in 71025 Minifigures Series 19.
  • He appears in the Scooby-Doo set Mummy Museum Mystery on a photograph.
  • He is one of a few real Minifigures to appear in LEGO Universe.
  • The adventurer gear in LEGO Universe is based off of him.
  • There was a Studios online game called "Backlot" about helping out with Johnny Thunder's movie.
  • The 2012 edition of The LEGO Book states that Josh Thunder from Dino is a descendant of Johnny Thunder.
  • A redesigned version of Johnny can be seen in the Lost Kingdom Adventure in LEGOLAND Parks.
  • His appearance from The LEGO Movie has an altered face, with pupils and back printing on his torso.
  • He is only playable in The LEGO Movie Video Game if the player enters one of two possible cheat codes in the floating set box near the police station in Bricksburg. The codes are 6LK3FRL6 or HVL4TQT4 and also unlock the Super Secret Pants. The codes can be found in 70815 Super Secret Police Dropship.
  • He is seen on The LEGO Movie poster on top of a building on the right.
  • He appears to be mostly based on Indiana Jones.
  • He has a cameo in the Ninjago City Docks as an old man now running a touring service called Thunder Adventure Tours.
  • According to LEGO senior model designer Justin Ramsden, Johnny Thunder is modeled after LEGO designer Niels Milan Pedersen, who created sets such as 21320 Dinosaur Fossils.[3] Niels Milan had also worked on the Adventurers theme as the designer of 5938 Oasis Ambush,[4] Jun-Chi, and the Golden Dragon in 7419 Dragon Fortress.[5]
  • Mike Rayhawk, long time artist and conceptual designer for LEGO, once worked on what started as a theme involving Johnny Thunder, which he described as "a pitch for them to go to the arctic and discover mammoths and sabertoothed tigers stuck in the ice, which became a city theme instead" - the 2018 City Arctic sets.[6]
  • His name in the Spanish language version of LEGO Racers is Jonny Explorador. In all other versions his English name is retained.

Appearances

Adventurers

Egypt

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
1094 Box.jpg1094Adventurer - Johnny Thunder12Johnny Thunder 1999
1182-Adventurers Raft.jpg1182Adventurers Raft18Johnny Thunder 1999
3020-1.1177643666.thumb2.jpg3020Jones' Raft18Johnny Thunder 1998
3055 Box.jpg3055Adventurers Car21Johnny Thunder 1998
3722 Box.jpg3722Treasure Tomb164Johnny Thunder, Baron Von Barron, Pharaoh Skeleton$19.991998
5900 Box.jpg5900Johnny Thunder13Johnny Thunder$2.501998
5918 Box.jpg5918Scorpion Tracker34Johnny Thunder$4.001998
5919-1.jpg5919Treasure Tomb160Baron Von Baron, Johnny Thunder, Pharaoh Skeleton$19.991998
5938 Box.jpg5938Oasis Ambush76Johnny Thunder, Slyboots, Pharaoh Skeleton$7.991998
5958 Box.jpg5958Mummy's Tomb253Johnny Thunder , Dr. Lightning , Slyboots , Pharaoh Hotep$29.991998
5978 Box.jpg5978Sphinx Secret Surprise342Baron Von Barron , Dr. Kilroy , Johnny Thunder , Pharaoh Hotep , Pippin Reed , Slyboots , Pharaoh Skeleton$54.991998
5988 Box.jpg5988Pharaoh's Forbidden Ruins710Johnny Thunder , Dr. Lightning , Pippin Reed , Pharaoh Hotep , Baron Von Barron , Slyboots , Pharaoh Skeleton , Skeleton (2) , Harry Cane$79.991998
Product Collection
Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
Adventurers combined Lego.jpg9377Adventurers combined set855Johnny Thunder (2) , Dr. Kilroy , Pharaoh Hotep , Skeleton (3) , Slyboots (2) , Pharaoh Skeleton , Baron Von Barron (2) , Pippin Reed , Harry Cane$89.251998

Jungle

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
5956-1-1.jpg5956Expedition Balloon170Johnny Thunder,

Dr. Lightning, Harry Cane,

Rudo Villano
$19.99July 1, 1999
5976.jpeg5976River Expedition313Achu, Dr. Kilroy, Gabarro, Johnny Thunder, Rudo Villano, Señor Palomar, Skeleton$50.001999
5986-1.jpg5986Amazon Ancient Ruins453Johnny Thunder, Pippin Reed, Professor Kilroy, Achu, Gabarro, Señor Palomar, Skeleton (2×)$80.001999

Dino Island

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
1278 Box.jpg1278Jones and Baby Tyranno20Johnny Thunder 2000
5903 Box.jpg5903Johnny Thunder and Baby Dino23Johnny Thunder$2.002000
5911 Johnny Thunder's Plane.jpg5911Johnny Thunder's Plane18Johnny Thunder$3.002000
5934-1.jpg5934Track Master88Johnny Thunder , Dr. Kilroy$15.002000
Dino.jpg5975T-Rex Transport322Lord Sam Sinister , Alexia Sinister , Johnny Thunder , Mike , Dr. Kilroy$49.992000
5987 Box.jpg5987Dino Research Compound617Mike , Mr. Cunningham , Sam Sinister , Johnny Thunder , Pippin Reed , Dr. Kilroy$80.002000
Product Collection
Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
Kabdino-1.jpgKabdinoDino Island 4-Pack80Dr. Kilroy, Johnny Thunder, Mike, Mr. Cunningham 2000


Orient Expedition

India
Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
Jungo1.jpg7410Jungle River65Johnny Thunder$7.992003
7418-1.jpg7418Scorpion Palace358Johnny Thunder , Lord Sinister , Maharaja Lallu , Scorpion Palace Guard , Dr. Lightning$49.992003
7422-1.jpg7422Red Eagle29Johnny Thunder$3.992003
Mt. Everest
Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
3380 Johnny Thunder.jpg3380Johnny Thunder2Johnny Thunder 2003
7415 Aero Nomad.jpg7415Aero Nomad112Johnny Thunder , Dr. Kilroy$19.992003
Legosherpa.jpg7417Temple of Mount Everest288Ngan Pa, Sam Sinister, Sherpa Sangye Dorje, Johnny Thunder$29.992003
China
Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
7413-1.jpg7413Passage of Jun-Chi94Johnny Thunder , Jun-Chi 2003
7419-1.jpg7419Dragon Fortress732Johnny Thunder , Dr. Kilroy , Pippin Reed , Jing Lee , Lord Sinister , Chang Wu , Dragon Fortress Guard (2) , Dragon Fortress Statue$89.992003
7420.jpg7420Thunder Blazer68Johnny Thunder$7.992003


Studios

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
1355 Box.jpg1355Temple of Gloom56Johnny Thunder, Cameraman$6.992001

Jurassic Park III

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
1370 Raptor Rumble.jpg1370Raptor Rumble Studio154Cameraman, Johnny Thunder, Pippin Reed$19.992001


The LEGO Movie

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
70815.jpg70815Super Secret Police Dropship854Batman, Emmet, Johnny Thunder, Green Ninja, Robo SWAT (4x)$79.99June 2014


Minifigures

Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
71025-0.jpg71025Minifigures Series 19N/A$3.99 / €3.992019


Video Game Appearances

Movie

LEGO.com Bio

LEGO.com-icon-yellow.png This is a description taken from LEGO.com. Please do not modify it.

Johnny is a full time adventurer and explorer from the Land Down Under (Australia!). He is brave, instinctive, determined and very creative. He always finds a way to solve problems and help people in need.


Gallery of Variants

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DesertBackpackChinaThe LEGO MovieMinifiguresIndiaMount Everest

Gallery

The LEGO Movie

References




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