Hasbro's TONKA Brand and Toys for Tots 60th Anniversary 'Drive for Toys' Visits School in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward
National Toy Donation Program Stops in New Orleans, LA to Distribute Hasbro Toys to Students of Martin Luther King, Jr. School in the Recovering 9th Ward
PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 13, 2007--Hasbro, Inc.'s (NYSE: HAS) iconic TONKA brand and the renowned Marine Forces Reserve Toys for Tots program are celebrating mutual 60th anniversaries in 2007. To commemorate, Hasbro is giving three million dollars in toys and games to the Toy for Tots program and the two have joined forces on a national toy donation program. The TONKA & Toys for Tots 60th Anniversary Drive for Toys is traveling across the country to both give and collect toys for children in need this holiday season. On November 13th the program will visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. School in New Orleans where local Marines from Marine Forces Reserve Headquarters will be joined by Mayor C. Ray Nagin to distribute toys to the students in celebration of the coming holiday season.
"Since its kick off last month our 'Drive for Toys' program has spread so much joy. Working closely with local Toys for Tots units has enabled us to provide new toys to thousands of children as the holiday season approaches," said Lorrie Copeland, general manager Playskool, Hasbro. "For our next visit, we are pleased to join Mayor Nagin in support of his 'Merci Beaucoup' program thanking the people of New Orleans for their continued strength and commitment to returning to the city."
"Over the past sixty years, both TONKA and Toys for Tots have created happy memories for families across the country," said Bill Grein, vice president of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. "It's only fitting that to commemorate our joint 60th anniversaries we give back to those families and help to ensure that many children in need will receive a shiny new toy this holiday season."
Following its initial departure from the Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, the national 'Drive for Toys' is stopping in New Orleans before concluding in California this December. Hasbro is working with local Toys for Tots units across the country to distribute toys and games to local children in need. The event features a life-size, road ready replica of the classic yellow TONKA Dump Truck. At each stop, guests will enjoy an interactive play environment - including a thirty foot TONKA Truck slide - along with a visual retrospective on TONKA and Toys for Tots over the years. At select stops families visiting the tour are encouraged to donate an unused toy which will be collected in the bed of the jumbo TONKA Dump Truck and distributed by Toys for Tots during the holiday season.
To learn more about how to participate in the TONKA & Toys for Tots 60th Anniversary Tour, consumers can visit www.tonka.com.
The TONKA brand was founded on the premise that a toy should be durable and provide the child with as much play value as possible. Sixty years and 250 million trucks later, TONKA brand vehicles are still designed and manufactured to withstand the toughest play. Each year the TONKA brand uses more than 119,000 pounds of yellow paint and 5.1 million pounds of sheet metal to make its trucks and vehicles.
In 1947, the first TONKA brand toy trucks were designed and manufactured by the Mound Metalcraft Company. With a staff of just a half dozen people, Mound Metalcraft turned out a total of 37,000 metal trucks in two designs in its first year - a steam shovel and a crane.
TONKA brand trucks won immediate acceptance by post-World War II families and demand far out-stripped production, with the entire first year's inventory selling out in just a few months. In 1949, the first TONKA dump truck was introduced representing the first generation of the TONKA brand's family tree.
About Toys For Tots
Toys for Tots began in 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. The idea came from Bill's wife, Diane. In the fall of 1947, Diane handcrafted a Raggedy Ann doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to a needy child at Christmas. When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one. The 1947 pilot project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign. That year, units from Marine Forces Reserve (then called Marine Corps Reserve) across the nation conducted Toys for Tots campaigns in each community in which a Marine Reserve Center was located. Marines have conducted successful nationwide campaigns at Christmas each year since 1948.
Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.
CONTACT: Litzky Public Relations
Josslynne Welch, 201-222-9118
Catherine Hughes, 201-222-9118
SOURCE: Hasbro, Inc.