The Johnny West figure was manufactured over a ten-year period, starting in 1965. The body (with hip and knee articulation) was molded from caramel-colored hard plastic, with softer, flesh-colored head and hands. The original Johnny West hands were more 'straight' in configuration, with later issues given more rounded hands to better hold his accessories.
Johnny's face came from the previous Stony Smith military figure.
The accessories totaled 24, some of which were a softer brown plastic, the rest a darker brown, sturdier plastic. These included a rifle, pistol, vest, chaps, cowboy hat, holster, canteen, coffee pot, skillet, and spurs. Many of these basic items were reused (in different colors) for future figures of the Best of the West line. (Marx never wasted a good mold.)
The basic Johnny West figure changed little over its lifetime; besides the streamlining of the hands, improved rivets were added to the upper torso for better reinforcement. A later 'quick-draw' version of the figure was sold in the early 70's, with a different right arm and a lever in its back for drawing its pistol. This version of the figure sported a blue-plastic body.
Foreign variations exist of the figure, including a green-bodied Canadian variant. Versions have been found with the soft accessories in red and blue.
The figure was sold in different box variations over the years.