Whether or not your family boasts a rich heritage of handy men or world-class construction workers has little correlation with the fact that Tonka Trucks have been a well-respected name in boys toys today and as long as most people can remember. In fact, not all toys can freely boast of earning the accolade as an inductee into the National Toy Hall of Fame at A.C. Gilbert's prestigious Discovery Village in Salem, Oregon! But in the year 2000, Tonka Trucks were esteemed with that privileged toy title and have continued to build on their solid empire ever since.
Of this landmark event in Hasbro Incorporated's decorated toy manufacturing history, Vice President of Marketing Derek Stothard appropriately shared: "For more than 50 years, the TONKA brand has prided itself on offering children durable, fun trucks and vehicles, and it's an honor to become part of the National Toy Hall of Fame…we thank all of our fans who voted for TONKA and promise to continue delivering high-quality vehicles that provide hours of entertainment for kids, and value for parents and gift givers." Well put Mr. Stothard!
The history of Tonka brand toys has all the trademarks of a story that great movies are made of. Itwas way back in 1947 that the Mound Metalcraft Company first rolled the rugged Tonka brand toy trucks onto the scene. Literally meaning "great" in the native language of the Sioux, the Tonka brand of toy trucks hit the market with a vengeance, as Mound Metalcraft managed to pump out a total of 37,000 steam shovel and crane metal trucks in its first year of production.
Tonka's rise to the top of the toy heap constituted a short trip, as demand for the brand far exceeded production capability within its very first issue of shipping. Interestingly, Mound Metalcraft's original ambition was to invent and manufacture implements for gardens. However, in an ironic twist of destiny, the manufacturer changed direction towards the Tonka toy concept after their building's former occupants had tried and failed to market their own brand of metal toys.
It was the year 1949 when the very first generation of Tonka brand was solidified with the arrival of the Tonka toy dump truck on store shelves. Today, the Tonka toy brand boasts more than 30 different kinds of trucks, vehicles, playsets and virtually all other forms construction-related machinery.Tonka trucks were founded, invented and promoted on the principle that a child's toy should be durable and affordable, and provide a child with as much educational value and fun as possible.
After providing toy connoisseurs around the world with over a quarter billion trucks, a half-century later, Tonka trucks still remain one of the most rugged and well-respected toy brands on planet earth today. In fact, every single year the Tonka brand uses in excess of 5 million pounds of sheet metal and 120,000 pounds of yellow paint to manufacture its famed trucks and other construction vehicles and Hasbro's toy trucks continue to be built "Tonka tough"!