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Johnny Thunder, also known by other names such as Sam Grant, Joe Freeman, and Sawyer, 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 as an actor. In addition to all of this, Johnny also appears in eleven video games released across multiple platforms, 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] Another updated Johnny minifigure appears in the 2024 City jungle subtheme, with his identity confirmed by model designer Rik Pauwels.[2]

Description[]

In his appearances in the Egypt, Jungle, and Dino Island subthemes and the Studios theme, Johnny wears black pants and a brick yellow 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 brick yellow and his hands are bright yellow. Johnny's face has a black mustache, sideburns, hair, and a smirk. He wears an earth orange Safari Hat resembling an Australian slouch hat folded up on one side. Some of Johnny's variants also have an earth orange backpack attached to the neck between the head and torso.

5900-Adventurer - Johnny Thunder

Johnny with a backpack, a scorpion, and several accessories

In the Orient Expedition theme, Johnny was redesigned and received three new variants for each of the areas he and his partners visited. On all three variants, Johnny Thunder's face is updated and now has white pupils in his eyes, a more subtle smile rather than a smirk, and a cleft chin. He retains the earth orange slouch hat.

  • 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 dark green and he has a blue or gray undershirt rather than his chest. His arms are still brick yellow and his hands still bright yellow.
  • For his trip to Mount Everest, Johnny wears the same pants as the Indian variant. His torso is very similar to the Indian variant's, but it is now earth orange, has a fur-lined collar, and the colours of some of the items on his shirt are changed.
  • In China, Johnny wore the same outfit as in the three original Adventurers subthemes, now combined with the updated face print.

Johnny's version from The LEGO Movie is based upon his original Adventurers version, but has pupils and back printing. His outfit is slightly more detailed, and his face has white pupils similar to his Orient Expedition variant. Due to earth orange being retired after 2003, his slouch hat is now reddish brown.

Johnny Thunder's Jungle Explorer variant from 71025 Minifigures Series 19 is also based upon his original Adventurers design, but with a much more significant update compared to The LEGO Movie. His torso is changed from brick yellow to sand yellow and retains the same overall design but with brand new printing featuring greater detail; the revolver on his belt is removed, and the neck scarf is much larger and covers up his chest. His legs are dual-molded with black pants and reddish brown boots, and his pants have printed pockets on the legs. The slouch hat has been replaced with a wide-brimmed fedora, which was apparently a necessary compromise due to the classic Safari Hat mold being unavailable in 2019.[1] Evocative of the backpacks that Johnny Thunder would sometimes wear, the Jungle Explorer has a Mini Container No. 1 that is a reddish brown backpack with an earth green bedroll. His face also has updated printing, retaining the same facial features as his classic variant with the addition of his Orient Expedition white pupils and cleft chin.

In City, Johnny Thunder resembles his Jungle Explorer variant. His torso is once again brick yellow and has new printing, most notably with the red neck scarf more closely resembling its original appearance. His legs are unprinted dark brown (incidentally resembling some of his non-physical variants described below), and his hat has been replaced again with a dark brown Fedora Hat. His face printing is almost identical to the Jungle Explorer but now has stubble.

Non-Physical Variants[]

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

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

In LEGOLAND, Johnny has white pupils with black pupils, a nose, hair on the back of his head, and a physical bandanna piece instead of a mere torso print.

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

In 5784 Soccer Mania, Johnny Thunder's shirt is missing the right breast pocket.

On the sign for the Lost Kingdom Adventure, Johnny Thunder has brown pants and a slightly different facial expression.

Among his video game appearances, Johnny's biggest appearance change is in LEGO Universe where he has a Reddish Brown Shoulder Bag; his hat is black; a Venture League badge on his arm; no sideburns; a more detailed belt; back printing; and pockets and soles on his legs.

The Adventure Themed Rooms at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort and LEGOLAND Deutschland Resort feature a minifigure identified as Johnny Thunder. However, this design is a significant departure from Johnny's usual appearance, instead resembling Jake Raines wearing a brown slouch hat.[3] While Johnny Thunder and Jake Raines share similar features, such as their smirk and sideburns, Jake lacks Johnny's distinctive mustache. This may have been a marketing choice to advertise the then-recent Pharaoh's Quest theme, although it is also worth noting that actors who play Johnny in live-action LEGOLAND shows (such as Secret of Scorpion Palace or Journey to the Lost Temple) also tend to not have mustaches.

Name[]

As with all other Adventurers Egypt characters, Johnny Thunder has used a variety of names in different regions. Compared to most of the cast, the name Johnny Thunder is generally the most consistent across different markets, publications, media, and years; for example, it is the only name used in North America in both 1998's Egypt line and 2003's Orient Expedition line. However, there is still some notable variability to fully document the character's naming history.[4]

In Denmark, the character was originally named Johnny Thunder, as seen in 1998-2000 Danish catalogs[5][6] and the Danish language version of LEGO Racers.[7][4] Johnny Thunder is the only character to retain his unchanged Danish name in localized North American media when the theme first released, such as LEGO Mania Magazine[8][9][10][11] and Shop At Home catalogs.[12][13] In international English media, this name was also used in the British-based Dorling Kindersley publications such as B500 The Ultimate LEGO Book, The Curse of the Mummy - An Interactive Puzzle Book, and The Lost Temple - An Interactive Puzzle Book, the Artworld UK-published LEGO Adventures! Magazine issues,[14][15] and LEGO.com.[16][17][18][19] It is also used in most languages for LEGO Racers, 2000 European catalogs,[20][21][22][23] Studios,[24][25] LEGO Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge, LEGO Racers 2, 5784 Soccer Mania, and nearly all media since Orient Expedition.[26][27][28][29]

However, despite Johnny Thunder being the character's name in DK books and Artworld UK magazines, he was alternatively known as Sam Grant in the United Kingdom. This is consistently seen in Bricks 'n' Pieces magazines,[30][31] and in 1998-1999 UK catalogs that name sets such as 5900 Sam Grant and 5918 Sam Grant's Scorpion.[32][33] Bricks 'n' Pieces also advertises an Adventurers cartoon using this name.[34] By 2000, UK catalogs stopped using Sam Grant and started calling him Johnny Thunder.[20]

In Germany, the character was originally named Joe Freemann in LEGO World Club Magazine March/April 1998[35] as well as in the audio drama 5542644 Die Jagd nach dem Pharaonenschatz.[36] It is alternatively spelled Joe Freeman in a number of sources, including a print ad,[37] the German version of The Lost Temple,[38] the 2000 catalog,[39] and the German version of LEGO Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge.[40] A 1998 German catalog uses both spellings.[41][42] In Orient Expedition, the character is no longer called Joe Freemann in Germany and instead uses the international name Johnny Thunder,[43][44][45] and this continues in The LEGO Movie.[46] Oddly, the German version of The LEGO Movie Videogame spells his name as Jonny Thunder.[4]

A Swedish print ad[source?] names this character Hjälten (Hero in Swedish).

Johnny Thunder's name was translated as Johnny Trueno in some Spanish sources, such as the box art of 1094 Johnny Thunder[4] and in the Spanish version of The LEGO Movie Videogame.[47] However, instead of "Johnny Trueno", his name in the Spanish language version of LEGO Racers is Jonny Explorador (Jonny Explorer in Spanish); notably, this is the only language of LEGO Racers that changes Johnny's name.[48] It is spelled slightly differently as Johny Explorador (Johny Explorer) in the Spanish version of LEGO Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge.[49] In the international 2000 catalog, his name is instead written as Jhonny Thunder.[50]

In Russia, Johnny Thunder's name is directly translated as Джонни Гром (Dzhonni Grom) in Самоделки magazine[51] and The LEGO Movie Videogame.[4]

In Hungary, his name is Villám Tamás (Thomas Lightning in Hungarian).[52]

In Japan, his name is Jones, which is also translated into Japanese as ジョーンズ (Jōnzu).[53][54][55]

Johnny Thunder's name is translated as Johnny Trovão in Portuguese, such as the box art of 1094 Johnny Thunder.[4] This is alternatively spelled Johny Trovão in the international 2000 catalog,[50] or Jonny Trovão in The LEGO Movie Videogame.[56]

According to a fan website,[57] the character was known as J. Thundera in various sources.[source?]

In France and Canada, Johnny Thunder's name is translated as Johnny Tonnerre in Shop At Home,[58] the international 2000 catalog,[50] The LEGO Movie,[59] and LEGO Life Magazine.[60] However, when his name is spoken aloud in the French commercial for Dino Island, the narrator says the English "Thunder" instead.[61] The French version of The LEGO Movie Videogame spells this name as Jonny Tonnerre.[4]

Johnny Thunder is identified by name in the LEGOLAND Windsor Facebook post advertising the Adventure Themed Rooms[3] and the LEGOLAND California support page,[62] and a brick-built statue of the figure repeats Johnny's dialogue from Lost Kingdom Adventure.[63] However, the LEGOLAND Times newspaper articles generically refer to this variant as The World's Greatest Adventurer.[64][65] At least one article labels Jakes Raines with this title, further muddying the issue whether this character is truly meant to represent Johnny Thunder.[64]

Johnny Thunder's English name is directly translated in all languages of The LEGO Movie Videogame except for German and Dutch. In addition to the aforementioned names described in the above paragraphs, this includes Johnny Tuono in Italian, Janek Grzmot in Polish, and Torden-Johnny in Danish.[4] This is peculiar since earlier 1998-2003 media uses the English name in these three languages, with Denmark in particular being the origin of the name.[66][22][5]

Although he was previously referred to by name in the Grandma's profile, Johnny Thunder's appearance in 71025 Minifigures Series 19 lacks a proper name (as with most other collectible Minifigures) and is instead generically called Jungle Explorer. In LEGO Fortnite, he claims that he is called "Jungle Explorer" in his own world, but tells the player to call him Sawyer;[67] additional dialogue references his previous names Johnny Thunder, Sam Grant, and Joe Freemann[68] as instances of him changing his identity.[69]

LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed refers to Johnny Thunder by his full name in most instances, but it also abbreviates it as J. Thunder on the Event Campaigns menu.

Background[]

Johnny Thunder is an adventurer and a passionate archeologist hailing from Brisbane, Australia.[17] His birthday is April 15, and he was gifted a journal by Dr. Kilroy that he uses to write about his adventures.[16] Even in his childhood, Johnny was good at finding lost treasures.[8] When the theme was first introduced, UK catalogs and magazines described Sam Grant/Johnny Thunder as a young ex Army Officer,[70][30] a piece of backstory seemingly corroborated by his iconic slouch hat and his skill with firearms.[71] In The Curse of the Mummy - An Interactive Puzzle Book, Johnny Thunder is a professional photographer for World Magazine, working alongside the reporter Pippin Reed. They discover many treasures and outwit many varied villains. Thunder himself is a treasure hunter and donates what he finds to museums, instead of keeping it for himself like his archenemy Lord Sam Sinister.

Johnny Thunder is the nephew of Dr. Kilroy, who taught him everything he knows,[8][11][30] including history, math, science, and poetry.[16] By extension, Johnny is also a nephew of Dr. Cyber[72] and a relative of Tim Timebuster.[73][74] At the end of 5542644 Die Jagd nach dem Pharaonenschatz, Joe Freemann becomes engaged to Linda Lovely; despite this, most other media depict Johnny Thunder and Pippin Reed as platonic friends rather than romantically involved. On the other hand, Johnny Thunder's wife is Ameila in Adventure Themed Rooms at LEGOLAND Parks.[3] The 2012 edition of The LEGO Book states that Josh Thunder from Dino is a descendant of Johnny Thunder.[75]

Within the Adventurers storyline, Johnny Thunder is consistently depicted as an idealistic, noble hero who always does what is right. He is brave and fearless, and the only thing holding him back is his fear of scorpions.[8][30] In other media, such as Studios, 5730 LEGO Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge, and 55000 LEGO Universe, Johnny has a somewhat haughty personality and an inflated ego due to his fame, perceiving himself as deserving everyone's admiration as he hands out autographs and trading cards of himself.

Egypt[]

Lens18035314 13077064241585 LEGO-Adventurers-Sph-1-

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 journey to Egypt to find the Re-Gou Ruby, which belongs to the mummy of Pharaoh Hotep. He seeks to protect the ruby from the villainous Baron von Barron and Slyboots. In most media, Johnny successfully retrieves the Re-Gou and brings it to a museum, although in The Red Ruby! he is content to leave it safely guarded by the undead Pharaoh Hotep.

In An Adventurous Holiday, Johnny finds the Re-Gou from the Pharaoh's Forbidden Ruins, the Shogun's special sword from the Flying Ninja Fortress, a Hydrolator Crystal from the Aquazone, and a Voltstone from the Arachnoid Star Base to gift to museums around the world.

Jungle[]

The Jungle subtheme depicted Johnny, Kilroy, Pippin, and Harry going to the Amazon jungle in South America to find the magical Sun Disc protected by the mysterious Achu. Johnny and his friends are pitted against Señor Palomar and Rudo Villano. Both parties compete with one another, but neither successfully lays claim to the Sun Disc in the end. In The Lost Temple - An Interactive Puzzle Book, Johnny and his friends are following the trail of Alex Botnik in search of the Curus miraculus flower.

Dino Island[]

5903 Johnny Thunder and Baby T

Johnny with a baby Tyrannosaurus rex.

Johnny Thunder first discovered Dino Island when he crashed his plane while pursuing Sam Sinister.[11] Johnny, Pippin, Kilroy, and Mike seek to peacefully study the dinosaurs while thwarting attempts by Sam Sinister, Alexia Sinister, and Mr. Cunningham to capture them for a dino theme park. Johnny is also targeted by Alexia, who wishes to seduce him to the villains' side.

In Time Cruisers, Johnny Thunder and Professor Titus are portrayed as time travelers who are studying dinosaurs during the prehistoric era. They rescue Tim Timebuster and Ingo from a T-Rex and a pteranodon, then study a baby T-Rex as it hatches from an egg.

Orient Expedition[]

7413-0000-XX-12-1

Johnny confronting Jun-Chi

After discovering the Horn of Africa, Johnny Thunder, Dr. Kilroy, and Pippin Reed find part of a map in the home of Marco Polo and set out for India in search of the Golden Dragon. In Johnny Thunder Meets Marco Polo!, Johnny imagines what it would be like to talk to the famous Marco Polo.

In India, Johnny rescues Babloo and Pampa from Lord Sam Sinister and Maharaja Lallu, earning Babloo's trust and help in finding the Scorpion Palace. Johnny cleverly tricks Lord Sinister into moving the claws of a giant scorpion idol, triggering a boulder to chase the villains away. Johnny climbs atop an elephant and finds the Golden Shield, along with the next piece of the map to Mount Everest.

With the help of Sherpa Sangye Dorje, the adventurers fly the Aero Nomad up Mount Everest, with Johnny steering the hot air balloon's to avoid Lord Sinister's bi-plane. They travel to the Temple of Mount Everest and discover the Golden Sword and another map piece leading to China.

In China, the adventurers are captured by Dragon Fortress Guards and briefly locked in the Great Wall until Johnny figures out how to help Pippin escape. With their half-track sabotaged by Lord Sinister, they explore the city of Xi'an on foot and team up with Jing Lee in search of the Dragon Fortress. Johnny gets the idea to hide aboard an Emperor's Ship, which brings them to the fortress. Jing Lee leads them into the Passage of Jun-Chi, where they encounter Jun-Chi. The adventurers are captured by Lord Sinister and Emperor Chang Wu, but escape when Jun-Chi attacks. Johnny deduces that giving the golden treasures to the Dragon Fortress Statue will grant them the golden keys, which unveil the Golden Dragon's secret chamber. Even after escaping the Dragon Fortress, Johnny remarks that bringing the Golden Dragon to a museum will continue their adventure.

Other Adventures[]

The Restless Mummy[]

Johnny, Pippin, and Dr. Kilroy return to Egypt to investigate strange noises from a tomb. They discover a mummy that had awoken from the dead because its Golden Snake is missing. Johnny explores a hidden snake den, using a net to catch snakes until he finds the Golden Snake and returns it to the tomb, allowing the mummy to fall back to its sleep.

The Lost Treasure of Ancient Greece[]

Johnny, Pippin, and Kilroy travel to Greece to find the Golden Bull, believed to be hidden in a labyrinth guarded by the Minotaur. Johnny wears a diving suit to retrieve the map revealing the maze's location. They explore the labyrinth, collecting keys and rope while avoiding the Minotaur and Sam Sinister, revealing a nearby island seen in a mural in the labyrinth. Johnny scales the cliff while avoiding falling rocks and aggressive birds, using the rope as a lifeline. After tying up Sam Sinister, Johnny enters the temple and challenges the Minotaur to a modified game of connect four. Johnny wins and is awarded with the Golden Bull.

Minifig Handbooks[]

The Johnny Thunder Book on the Minifig Handbooks page is Johnny Thunder's own journal. He records his adventurers with Dr. Kilroy and Pippin Reed as they search for the Ancient Stone of Time in Brazil and the Russian Czars' stolen diamonds in Alaska. Both treasures are stolen by Sam Sinister, but the adventurers get them back deliver them to the museum. Afterward, Johnny relaxes at home in Australia and reflects upon his friends Kilroy and Pippin. His vacation ends when Kilroy arrives with news of King Arthur's missing mirror and they set out on another adventure.[16]

Other Online Games[]

In 2002, the LEGO.com Johnny Thunder webpage hosted a variety of Flash minigames featuring Johnny Thunder traveling around the globe. His destinations include the Colorado River,[76][77] the Australian Outback,[78][77] Alaska,[79] Dino Island,[80] and Brazil.[81] None of these games have been archived, although (with the exception of Dino Island) they all correspond to Johnny Thunder's journal entries in the Minifig Handbooks.

Although Johnny Thunder does not physically appear in Tales on the LEGO Express: The Heist, he discovered the Gale's Eye diamond in Antarctica.

LEGOLAND Parks[]

At LEGO City Harbour in LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, Johnny Thunder stars in a number of stunt shows including Escape from Dragon Tower, Secret of Scorpion Palace, and Revenge of the Aztec Queen. Secret of Scorpion Palace features Johnny rescuing Pippin Reed and Princess Sapphire from Lord Sam Sinister and the Sultan. Revenge of the Aztec Queen features Johnny saving Tayja and Tic-Tic from the Aztec Queen, ultimately breaking her magic staff to defeat her.

At LEGOLAND California Resort, Johnny Thunder stars in Journey to the Lost Temple. When Lord Sinister steals Cleopatra's time machine from the National Adventurer Museum, Johnny and Pippin travel back in time to ancient Egypt, where they meet Cleopatra and Moriah in a quest to rebuild the time machine and return home.

At the Puppet Theatre in LEGOLAND Deutschland Resort, Johnny Thunder stars in Johnny Thunder: The Search for the Jungle Diamond and Johnny Thunder and the Pharaoh's Crown. The Search for the Jungle Diamond features Johnny helping Babloo and Saidu find a magical diamond while avoiding Tygurah's traps.

Lost Kingdom Adventure and Laser Raiders feature Johnny Thunder recruiting park guests to rescue Pippin Reed and thwart Lord Sam Sinister's attempt to steal the temple's treasure.

Johnny Thunder and Ameila are the mascots for the Adventure Themed Rooms at LEGOLAND Parks. Artwork on the rooms' walls show Johnny and Ameila exploring ancient temples and evading Señor Palomar.

Other Themes[]

Studios[]

Johnny Thunder appears in Studios as an actor. His scenes include escaping from the Temple of Gloom in Dino Cop and the Raptor Rumble in Jurassic Park III. His filmography in the Hooray for Hollywood comic includes Journey to the Upper Right Hand Corner of the Earth, Dino Head of Doom, Tomb of the Bunny Beast, Return of the Revenge of Dino Island, and Bricks from Space, although he is frustrated by the Dino Head getting top billing instead of him.

The online game Backlot is set during the filming of a new picture starring Johnny Thunder. In Level 1, Johnny loses his hat, binoculars, and prop pistol, and the player must find these items and return them to him. As thanks, he gives the player his autograph and a job at LEGO Studios. In Level 3, Johnny can be found on Stage 1 but is too busy to talk to the player.

Sports[]

In The Adventures of the LEGO Maniac: The Championship Challenge, Johnny Thunder and the LEGO Maniac join the Soccer All-Stars team to compete against the All-Villain team in the LEGO Championship Challenge.

Johnny Thunder has a cameo on the backdrop of 3548 Slam Dunk Trainer and 3550 Jump and Shoot, sitting in the front row of the audience in the basketball stadium. This backdrop reuses artwork from the Studios Spider-Man sets.

In Dashing Through The Snow!, Johnny Thunder and Dr. Kilroy are hiking up the Snowboard Boarder Cross Race due to confusing it for Mount Everest. Johnny snowboards down the mountain alongside the Yeti.

Minifigures[]

Johnny Thunder dug for treasure alongside the Grandma at some point during her long and adventurous life.

Johnny Thunder himself appears in Series 19 as the Jungle Explorer. He sees a chameleon under his magnifying glass and mistakes it for a live dinosaur.[82] Having already discovered dinosaurs and yeti in his previous adventures, he now searches for the rare brickmeleon. The Jungle Explorer and Birdwatcher talk about their globetrotting trips when they meet in South America.[83]

In Fantastical Football, the Jungle Explorer has above-average stats: 4/5 speed, 3/5 skill, 4/5 creativity, 3/5 fun, and 4/5 teamwork.

Ninjago[]

Johnny Thunder has a cameo in the Ninjago City Docks, where a poster shows that Johnny runs a touring service called Thunder Adventure Tours. Johnny Thunder's card from the Orient Expedition board game also appears as a stickered tile in Ninjago City.

The LEGO Movie[]

Johnny Thunder appears in The LEGO Movie as a Master Builder. He is first seen among the Master Builders escaping the Super Secret Police during Wyldstyle's exposition: he sneaks around a Bricksburg billboard but is detected by a searchlight, and then he follows Cleopatra and the Green Ninja through the tunnel they are building; his hat falls off, and he quickly grabs it before the other builders seal the tunnel. Later, he is among all of the Master Builders that meet in Cloud Cuckoo Land and is seen in the background with Superman and several King's Knights when Vitruvius introduces Marsha. Shortly afterward, he is seen running away from the Titleist golf ball outside the dog during the Super Secret Police attack on Cloud Cuckoo Land; he appears again in the dog when Emmet insists that the tracking device is not his fault.

The 70815 Super Secret Police Dropship set indicates that he was arrested off-screen by the Super Secret Police during the attack on Cloud Cuckoo Land. The set's CGI product animation shows the arrest taking place, but then deviates from the film's plot by showing Emmet rescuing Johnny while Batman and the Green Ninja fight off the Robo SWAT team.

The scenes of Johnny grabbing his hat and running from the golf ball are both homages to Raiders of the Lost Ark, referencing the similarities between Johnny Thunder and Indiana Jones.

On The LEGO Movie poster, Johnny is seen on top of a building on the right.

Johnny Thunder is present in the audience of The Emmet Awards, standing next to the Pirate Lady and Zookeeper.

Scooby-Doo[]

Johnny Thunder appears in the Scooby-Doo set Mummy Museum Mystery on a photograph. The photo is dated 1922 and shows Johnny holding a gem while a bi-plane flies overhead.

City[]

Johnny Thunder is one of the Jungle Explorers in the 2024 jungle subtheme of City. He joins the expedition in photographing and researching red pandas and tigers.

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

In LEGO Racers, Johnny Thunder is the boss of Circuit 4. Players who finish first in this circuit win his car set. Aside from his major role as the boss, he also makes a cameo in Circuit 2 and Circuit 5 on the Amazon Adventure Alley level flying around in the Expedition Balloon, along with Dr. Kilroy.

In LEGO Stunt Rally, Johnny Thunder appears in the opening cutscene of the game. He radios another character (resembling Slyboots wearing Baron von Barron's outfit), calling for the "loop-de-loop" obstacle to be put into place.

In 5706 LEGOLAND, Johnny Thunder appears in one of the cutscenes and in the opening video. During the opening video, a portrait of Johnny can be seen in the background as Professor Voltage unveils his time machine. During Voltage's time travel to an Inca temple,[84] Johnny Thunder is chased by Islanders. Voltage accidentally triggers a rolling boulder trap; Johnny is initially oblivious to this and proudly thinks that the Islanders are afraid of him, but then he runs away after the boulder bounces overhead. When the Adventurers Plane Ride attraction is unlocked, its description mentions that Johnny Thunder himself came up with the ride's concept.

In the PC and PlayStation versions of LEGO Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge, Johnny Thunder is the first character Pepper Roni meets on Adventurers' Island. Pepper must bring Johnny and Pippin to the Pyramid Area while defending their gem supply from snakes. Johnny and Pippin fly Dr. Kilroy through the jungle while Pepper follows in a bi-plane, and then they remain at the Dino-Park landing strip for the remainder of the story. In the Game Boy Color version, Johnny has a much smaller role and just hands Pepper his own trading card. In the Game Boy Advance version, Johnny is present on LEGO Island but finds it lacking in adventure, so he invites Pepper to come with him to Adventurers' Island.

In the PC and PlayStation 2 versions of LEGO Racers 2, Johnny Thunder and Pippin Read send the player out on the Dino Island bonus games to collect fuel barrels so they can monitor the dinosaurs with their vehicles. 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. He also appears on Sandy Bay during arcade mode and bonus games. In the Game Boy Advance version, Johnny only appears as a CPU racer on Dino Island, Mars, and Arctic since the Dino Island bonus game is hosted by Slyboots instead.

In 5784 Soccer Mania, Johnny Thunder is a member of the Adventurer Explorers soccer team, who have one of the pieces of the spaceship needed to hunt down the Brickster. The player's team faces off against the Adventurers Explorers at Rescue Center HQ; after beating them, Johnny Thunder is unlocked and may be added to the player's team.

In 55000 LEGO Universe, Johnny Thunder appears as an NPC character as one of the few physical minifigures to appear in the game. 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 Videogame, Johnny Thunder appears as a playable character. He is only playable in the PC and console versions if the player enters one of two possible cheat codes in the floating set box near the police station in Bricksburg: the codes can be found in 70815 Super Secret Police Dropship and are 6LK3FRL6 or HVL4TQT4, and also unlock the Super Secret Pants.[85] but he can be unlocked directly without entering a secret code in the handheld versions. He is armed with a rifle, is able to perform Master Builds, and is one of the few characters capable of starting a fire. Johnny Thunder is also playable in the game's sequel, The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame.

In LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed, Johnny Thunder makes a non-playable appearance as the host of J. Thunder's Brixpedition. This weekly challenge requires players to complete missions with special conditions, while weaker heroes can partake in excavation to unlock bonuses. Johnny gives players a tutorial on Brixpedition when they first select the campaign. His minifig stands idly on the excavation side of the scene, looking towards the sphinx with his binoculars.

In LEGO Fortnite, Sawyer is a recruitable NPC villager who can be assigned tasks by the player.[67] In his dialogue, he mentions that any mail addressed to Johnny Thunder, Sam Grant, or Joe Freemann is for him, since he has lived many lives and occasionally changed his identity.[68][69] He also recalls having a poor mentor who only taught him how to pick the perfect hat,[86] and hiring a literal ghost writer to finish his autobiography, The Man With the Awesome Hat.[69]

LEGO Description[]

LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from LEGO Mania Magazine January/February 1998. Please do not modify it.

Ever since he was a kid, Johnny has been good at finding lost treasures. Now he's searching for forbidden ruins, and magic rubies. It's up to Johnny to save these rare artifacts from treasure hunters like Baron von Barron. Johnny loves to track treasure. He just doesn't like scorpions, especially after some scorpions used his backpack as a nest - while he was wearing it!


LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from Shop-At-Home January 1998. Please do not modify it.

MEET JOHNNY THUNDER
Johnny spends his days searching for forbidden ruins, magic rubies, and the sphinx's surprise. It's up to him to save these rare artifacts from treasure snatchers like Baron von Barron.


LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from Bricks 'n' Pieces March/April 1998. Please do not modify it.

Ex-Army officer Sam is determined to find the missing ruby and save it from the greedy grasp of the Bad Guys. He's extremely brave in the face of danger - but he's scared of scorpions.


LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from LEGO Mania Magazine November-December 1998. Please do not modify it.

Ever since he was a kid, Johnny has been good at finding lost treasure. Now he's searching for forbidden ruins, magic rubies, and many other wonders. It's up to Johnny to save these rare artifacts from treasure hunters like Baron von Barron. This holiday, Johnny was so busy finding presents for everyone else he forgot to make his own list. The other Adventurers chipped in and got him a new pickax.


LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from LEGO Mania Magazine January-February 1999. Please do not modify it.

Johnny and the Adventurers race to save rare art treasures from crooked art collectors. Johnny looks forward to his jungle journey. "After battling bad, bad guys, stinging scorpions, and moldy mummies in the desert, hanging around in the jungle will be fun."


LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from LEGO.com. Please do not modify it. (See an archive of the product’s page)

Johnny Thunder

Favorite track: Desert Adventure Dragway
Favorite movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Height: 4.5cm
Weight: 1.2 grams
Quote: "I'm the Thunder from Down-under!"

An Australian adventurer with an affinity for finding lost treasures and hidden ruins, Johnny Thunder's arch-enemy is the evil Baron von Barron. While Johnny's first love is archaeology, he's a skilled driver and car builder. He does have one weakness: He just doesn't like scorpions, especially after some scorpions used his backpack as a nest - while he was wearing it!


LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from LEGO Mania Magazine September-October 2000. Please do not modify it.

Johnny has battled the sinister forces of Sam Sinister all over the world. They raced to dig the mummy’s treasure in the desert and to find lost gold in the jungle. Saving dinosaurs from Sam Sinister may be his toughest adventure yet!


LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from LEGO Magazine March-April 2003. Please do not modify it.

Brave and resourceful adventurer from the Land Down Under (Australia)!


LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from LEGO.com. Please do not modify it. (See an archive of the product’s page)

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.


LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from The LEGO Movie: The Essential Guide. Please do not modify it.

Johnny Thunder

Building style:
An expert in building for survival in the wilderness.

Additional file notes:
No hiding place is too dangerous or remote for this adventurer.


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

The Jungle Explorer was convinced he found a live dinosaur. Turns out he was only looking at a chameleon with his magnifying glass...


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

The legendary Jungle Explorer has adventured to places few Minifigures have seen. He has spotted dinosaurs and yeti, but will he find the brickmeleon, the rarest and most colour-changing lizard in the world?

MINI FACTS
LIKES Voyaging far from home
DISLIKES Rolling up his sleeping bag
OCCASIONALLY FOUND At the cinema, watching one of the films based on his adventures

GLOBETROTTERS
Jungle Explorer spotted a rare sighting in South America: Birdwatcher! They chatted about their trips.


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

This intrepid adventurer is equipped with everything he could ever need in the jungle. His wide-brimmed hat will keep away the sun's rays and jungle critters. His brand-new backpack holds his bedroll. And his working magnifying glass lets him peer at a new species of chameleon - first found by his side in the Minifigures line!

RETRO RESEMBLENCE[sic]
The Jungle Explorer is an homage to Johnny Thunder, who starred in LEGO® Adventurers sets from 1998.


LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from Fantastical Football. Please do not modify it. (visit this item’s product page)

Jungle Explorer searches the pitch for his next opponent. With his magnifying glass he can spot foul play from a mile away. Fearless and fast, he always takes the plunge for his team.


Gallery of Variants[]

Tn adv010 jpg
Adv041
Adv024
Adv037
Adv051
All over my new keyboard
Col348
Cty1765
AdventurersBackpackIndiaMount EverestChinaThe LEGO MovieMinifiguresCity

Non-Physical Variants[]

Appearances[]

Adventurers[]

Egypt[]

Jungle[]

Dino Island[]

Orient Expedition[]

Sports[]

Studios[]

Jurassic Park III[]

Spider-Man[]

The LEGO Movie[]

Scooby Doo[]

The LEGO Ninjago Movie[]

Minifigures[]

City[]

Audio Drama Appearances[]

Book Appearances[]

Comic Appearances[]

  • Johnny Thunder and the Lost Ruby
  • An Adventurous Holiday
  • The Adventures of the LEGO Maniac: Johnny Thunder's Jungle Adventure
  • Search for the Sun Disc!
  • The Red Ruby!
  • The Adventures of the LEGO Maniac: The Championship Challenge
  • The Adventures of the LEGO Maniac: Double Trouble on Dino Island
  • Time Cruisers
  • Тайна Острова Вулкан
  • Dino Danger
  • Убивимелъный полём
  • Обед Для Динозавра
  • Adventures in LEGO World: Hooray For Hollywood
  • Episode One: Search for the Scorpion!
  • Johnny Thunder Meets Marco Polo!
  • Episode Two: Peril at the Scorpion Palace!
  • Episode Three: Mystery on Mount Everest
  • Episode Four: Into the Dragon Fortress
  • Episode Five: The Guardian of Kublai Khan!
  • Dashing Through The Snow!

LEGOLAND Appearances[]

Magazine Story Appearances[]

  • Zeppelin Adventure

Mini-Movie Appearances[]

Movie Appearances[]

Online Game Appearances[]

Video Game Appearances[]

Behind the Scenes[]

Johnny Thunder is commonly regarded as being based upon Indiana Jones, with both characters being fedora-wearing archaeologist adventurers. This is further evidenced by his Japanese name Jones and the multiple homages and references to Indiana Jones starring Johnny (such as Johnny escaping giant rolling balls in Jewel Quest and The LEGO Movie, and one of Johnny's quotes in LEGO Universe). However, while the Adventurers theme concept was discussed as early as the 1980s, LEGO did not release the theme at the time to avoid the risk of consumers thinking they were copying the Indiana Jones films. When the theme was reconsidered in the 1990s, Johnny's Australian background and hat were intended as a key difference between himself and Indiana Jones.[71] On a related note, Johnny's outfit and UK name Sam Grant may have been evocative of Alan Grant.

According to LEGO senior model designer Justin Ramsden, Johnny Thunder is modeled after LEGO designer Niels Milan Pedersen,[87] who is also an archaeologist known for wearing a distinctive fedora. Niels claims credit for designing Johnny Thunder minifigure; he also drew concept artwork for the Adventurers theme[71] and designing sets and creatures such as 5938 Oasis Ambush,[88] the elephant, Yeti,[71] Jun-Chi, and the Golden Dragon.[89] The fedora-wearing LEGO sapiens skeleton in 21320 Dinosaur Fossils, which was also designed by Niels, is another homage to Niels' appearance.[87]

1996 concept artwork by Niels shows Johnny Thunder and the adventurers exploring viking shipwrecks in the arctic, meeting aliens in space, and searching for the Loch Ness Monster.[71] 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.[90]

The preliminary design document for an unproduced LEGO Adventurers video game includes a character named Douglas "Digger" McBuilder who is described as a hero and somewhat of a cowboy, seemingly matching Johnny Thunder's profile.[91]

LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from LEGO Adventurers Inhouse Preliminary Design. Please do not modify it. (visit this item’s product page)

DOUGLAS "DIGGER" McBUILDER (the Hero). A bit of a cowboy, a bit of a boy scout, Digger lives by a code of ethics and values. He always thinks if it's the right thing before he does anything. If he had a middle name it would probably be "Good Play". His intentions are rather honorable but his timing is often inappropriate.
Digger sounds kind of like Dudley Dooright (To be continued)


Johnny Thunder was initially planned to appear in LEGO Chess under his Sam Grant name, but ultimately got scrapped from the game for unknown reasons.[92] His gameplay role would have featured him in the role of a knight, while his story role would have featured him trying to recover the ReGou gem.

A document describing the storyline of the Dino Island includes a character profile that goes into greater detail than what is described in official publications. It mentions his profession as a World Magazine photographer, which has only been mentioned elsewhere in The Curse of the Mummy - An Interactive Puzzle Book. It describes him having multiple outfits for different adventures, although this would only come true in Orient Expedition.[93]

LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from Dino Island Brief Description. Please do not modify it. (visit this item’s product page)

Johnny Thunder
There is nothing he wants more than defying all kinds of dangers of the world in his search for new adventures. Johnny is therefore a man of action: determined, resourceful and is exceptional technically gifted. Johnny Thunder can solve any problem, but he is also good at grabbing them. Most of all because he doesn't comprise but always express his opinion frankly and doesn't tolerate dirty tricks from other people. He hates lies and unreliable friends. Johnny is incorruptible and loyal to his two friends: Dr. Kilroy and Miss Read. He is very different from his two friends, more wild and straightforward. Johnny Thunder is the motive power. He is the one who takes fast decisions - sometimes a bit too fast which leads him on a collision course with Dr. Kilroy and not to forget Miss Read.

Johnny Thunder has the typical background of an adventurer: From gold digger in Alaska to mountaineer in the Himalayas. At present, he works as photographer for the anthropological magazine “World Magazine" as this job gives him the opportunity to explore new adventures around the world. Johnny Thunder also looks like an adventurer. The almost closed eyes, the long whiskers and his moustache make him look tough. But you certainly notice his smiling lips telling that he is powerful and sincere (He is our rough favourite uncle of our childhood). Johnny Thunder has different equipment and outfits suitable for every mission, but one thing is for sure... he never leaves without his beloved Panama hat.


The LEGO Island 2 Design Document Revision Number 1.01 describes Johnny Thunder's role in the game. Most notably, it describes his role in the cut "Tribe Dance" sequence and therefore why he does not assist Pepper Roni in freeing the dinosaurs from Mr. Hates.[94]

LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from LEGO Island 2 Design Document Revision Number 1.01. Please do not modify it. (visit this item’s product page)

Johnny Thunder (Heli-pad, Mummies Tomb, Bi-plane, Landing Strip, Tribe Village) - Johnny is found on Adventure Island and helps Pepper through the Desert, the Jungle, and the Dino-Park.
The first of the Adventurers to welcome Pepper to the Island, Johnny agrees to help and drives the Scorpion to the Mummies Tomb, whilst Pepper defends the rear with the secret entrance on the way to the Oasis, before arriving at the Bi-plane. Once Pepper arrives, Johnny leads, as Pepper follows through the Jungle!
Once landed at the Dino-Park, Johnny joins Pepper in the Tribal Celebrations, which requires ‘head soothing’ treatment in the morning! Johnny is eager to continue the Adventure with Pepper, but doesn't like the sound of a bumpy volcano ride and decides to stay and rest.
By the time Pepper has returned - after defeating Mr Hates and rescuing the dinosaurs, Johnny feels much better and waves a happy final goodbye!


In the January 12, 2001 LEGO Media Adventurers Island Character Document for LEGO Island 3 (which would later become 14556 Island Xtreme Stunts), Johnny Thunder is listed as one of the characters in the Valley. His description and history are both derived directly from the Dino Island document.[95] However, he does not appear in any capacity in Island Xtreme Stunts.

LEGO.com-icon-yellow This is a description taken from LEGO Island 3 Adventurers Island Character Document. Please do not modify it. (visit this item’s product page)

Name: Johnny Thunder
Job: Adventurer
Age: 40
Location: Valley
Description: There is nothing he wants more than defying all kinds of dangers of the world in his search for new adventures. Johnny is therefore a man of action: determined, resourceful and is exceptional technically gifted. Johnny Thunder can solve any problem, but he is also good at grabbing them. Most of all because he doesn’t comprise but always express his opinion frankly and doesn’t tolerate dirty tricks from other people. He hates lies and unreliable friends. Johnny is incorruptible and loyal to his two friends: Dr. Kilroy and Miss Read. He is very different from his two friends, more wild and straightforward. Johnny Thunder is the motive power. He is the one who takes fast decisions — sometimes a bit too fast which leads him on a collision course with Dr. Kilroy and not to forget Miss Read.
History: Johnny Thunder has the typical background of an adventurer: From gold digger in Alaska to mountaineer in the Himalayas. At present, he works as photographer for the anthropological magazine "World Magazine" as this job gives him the opportunity to explore new adventures around the world. Johnny Thunder also looks like an adventurer. The almost closed eyes, the long whiskers and his moustache make him look tough. But you certainly notice his smiling lips telling that he is powerful and sincere (He is our rough favourite uncle of our childhood). Johnny Thunder has different equipment and outfits suitable for every mission, but one thing is for sure... he never leaves without his beloved Panama hat.
Quests: Pepper meets with Johnny on the runway as he has just flown in. If Pepper is on the quest of the missing Idol (See Achu The Keeper) then Johnny will locate Mr Hates hideout where it is being held.


During the closed beta of 55000 LEGO Universe, Johnny Thunder was originally given a complete redesign, with a dark grey jacket with torn-off sleeves over a bare chest, green pants, the Venture League emblem tattooed on his left arm, an energy whip, sunglasses, and a brown horseshoe mustache. Although this design had concept artwork and a CGI render indicating that it was intended to be in the final release, it was ultimately scrapped in May 2010 and replaced with his finalized design, which bears a much closer resemblance to his original minifigure. The only surviving remnants of the redesign are the dark grey hat and the shoulder bag. His beta textures remained in the game's files with the name "Torsos NPC Jakethunder I5", suggesting that they may have been intended to be repurposed for a new character named Jake Thunder. After LEGO Universe was announced to close, designer Keith Richards uploaded an unused loading screen artwork of Johnny on vacation to his website.

In a 2014 interview with The LEGO Movie animation director Chris McKay, Johnny Thunder was named as one of the characters that he would have liked to give a larger role in a hypothetical sequel.[96] However, Johnny Thunder does not appear in any capacity in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.

Notes[]

Gallery[]

The LEGO Movie[]

References[]

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  2. LEGO Sets designed by Rik Pauwels | Brickset
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  5. 5.0 5.1 LEGO Katalog 1998 Catalog (16:9 4K)
  6. 2000 Denmark catalog - Page 62
  7. LEGO Time Cruisers Comics - Page 4 - LEGO Media Content - Rock Raiders United
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 LEGO Mania Magazine January/February 1998 - Page 2
  9. LEGO Mania Magazine November/December 1998 - Page 2
  10. LEGO Mania Magazine January-February 1999 - Page 2
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 LEGO Mania Magazine September-October 2000 - Page 2
  12. Shop At Home January 1998 - Page 8
  13. Shop At Home January 1999 - Page 2
  14. File:LAM6-4.jpg
  15. LEGO Adventures! Magazine Issue 3 June 1999 - Pages 2 and 4
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Johnny Thunder Book
  17. 17.0 17.1 The Restless Mummy
  18. The Lost Treasure of Ancient Greece
  19. Desktop Minifigures
  20. 20.0 20.1 UK 2000 catalog - Page 57
  21. Poland Winter 2000 catalog - Page 36
  22. 22.0 22.1 Poland Summer 2000 catalog - Page 56
  23. Denmark 2000 catalog - Page 62
  24. 1355 Temple of Gloom product description
  25. Backlot
  26. Journey to the Lost Temple
  27. Lost Kingdom Adventure and Laser Raiders
  28. The LEGO Book
  29. Standing Small - Page 36, Page 38
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Bricks 'n' Pieces March/April 1998 - Pages 2-3
  31. Bricks 'n' Pieces January 1999 - Page 12
  32. File:1998 Medium UK Cat Adventurers.jpg
  33. 1999 UK catalog, page 10
  34. Bricks 'n' Pieces March/April 1998 - Page 15
  35. LEGO World Club Magazine March/April 1998 - Page 4
  36. Susanne Schindler-Günther ‎– Die Jagd Nach Dem Pharaonenschatz (1998, Cassette) | Discogs
  37. NEU Joe Freeman Das Abenteuer kann beginnen!
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  39. https://www.stonewars.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Catalog_DinoIsland_2000.jpg
  40. Playthrough: Lego Island 2 (German) 08 - Adventures' Insel
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  42. https://www.stonewars.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Catalog_DE_2.jpg
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  51. Самоделки 6/2001 - Page 4
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  55. 1278 Jones and Baby Tyranno
  56. The Lego Movie | CONTEÚDO SECRETO - Jonny Trovão e Calças Supersecretas | RazuchiTV | Desde o Atari
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  58. Shop At Home Winter 1999 - Pages 8-9
  59. Le super vaisseau de la police secrète | LEGO Shop
  60. LEGO Life Le Magazine Juill. - Oct. 2022 - Page 18
  61. Adventurers Commercial - Dino Island (French)
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  63. Johnny Thunder LEGOLAND Florida
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  69. 69.0 69.1 69.2 Dreybert on Twitter: "? I've decided to do a follow up. Here are some of the responses you can get when talking to Johnny Thunder (or Sawyer as the game calls him) in Lego Fortnite. I'm 99% certain these responses are the ones unique to him."
  70. 1998 large UK catalog
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  74. TIM TIMEBUSTER Koncept
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