Hasbro's TONKA Brand Celebrates 60 Years of Boyhood

Hasbro's TONKA Brand Celebrates 60 Years of Boyhood

PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 8, 2007--In 2007 TONKA, the iconic brand that is built for boyhood, celebrates 60 years of dependable, imaginative play. Since its inception in 1947, TONKA has been the trusted name in rugged vehicle play and the #1 choice among parents, grandparents and children for high quality, authentic-looking, rough-and-tumble trucks. In the fall of its 60th year, the classic TONKA brand will introduce TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS, a new line of developmental infant/toddler products from PLAYSKOOL designed for the way little boys play.

"From the moment they are born, baby boys prefer to look at objects in motion rather than anything else," says Lawrence Cohen, PhD, author of Playful Parenting and advisor to the company's PLAYSKOOL brand. "And as soon as boys can use their hands, they are keen to make things happen. It's no wonder they love playing with cars and trucks. TONKA'S new preschool line recognizes that young boys at play need creative and active outlets for all of their boy energy."

"We're thrilled that pushing a TONKA toy across the yard or dumping a TONKA truck bed full of blocks onto the bedroom floor has been a rite of passage for young boys for sixty years," said Leigh Anne Cappello, vice president of marketing for Hasbro's preschool brands. "Our new infant/toddler line will introduce today's youngest boys to a dependable, durable line of products that will grow with them - from our TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS from PLAYSKOOL to our TONKA TOUGHEST MIGHTY, there's a TONKA vehicle for boys of every age."

Celebrating 60 Years of TONKA Play

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, a business then located in a small schoolhouse basement near Lake Minnetonka in Mound, Minnesota, that specialized in manufacturing garden tools. 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. Following is a brief timeline of where the iconic yellow truck has traveled over the years:

  • 1947: The very first TONKA truck was made.
  • 1964: The most popular truck, the TONKA MIGHTY DUMP, was introduced.
  • 1965 - 1972: A Mighty Age - the MIGHTY series grew to epic proportions over these years by adding the Mighty Clam, Crane, Shovel, Scraper, Car Carrier, Bulldozer, Wrecker, Hydraulic Dump, Roller, Bottom Dump, Mixer, Loadmaster and Grader.
  • 1973 - 1982: TONKA adds new vehicle categories to its MIGHTY offerings including the Rescue Vehicle, Car Carrier, Forklift, Earth Mover, Adventure Buggy and even the MIGHTY WINNEBAGO!
  • 1987: TONKA introduces its new preschool segment, allowing kids of all ages to play with this durable and dependable brand.
  • 1991: The TONKA brand joined the Hasbro family of toys and over the years expands into many areas of play including smaller steel, motorized and durable plastic outdoor trucks.
  • 1996: TONKA expands through partnerships outside of steel trucks through vehicles with lights and sounds, mini die-cast, books, toddler products and more!
  • 1997: TONKA celebrated its 50th anniversary with a national truck tour and expands into more areas of vehicle play including RC vehicles.
  • 1998: Hasbro brought personality and friendly characters to the TONKA line with CHUCK MY TALKIN' TRUCK, a TONKA truck with personality built in.
  • 2004: TONKA becomes bigger than ever with the introduction of the TOUGHEST MIGHTY DUMP TRUCK.
  • 2006: TONKA continues to grow its rugged and durable outdoor line of TOUGHEST MIGHTY trucks that are built strong and guaranteed for life!
  • 2007: The iconic brand celebrates 60 years of boyhood expertise with the introduction of a developmental preschool line of Tonka vehicles.

New for 2007 TONKA Products from PLAYSKOOL

Little boys will enjoy the dependable and realistic TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS SCOOT N SCOOP 3-IN-1 RIDE ON vehicle, a PLAYSKOOL toy that will 'grow' with them as the truck converts from push toy to walker to a ride-on vehicle. This developmental toy comes with a FUN REVVIN' WHEEL, which will make kids feel like they're in the driver's seat with its tooting horn, clicking directional signals and motor revving sounds! The removable wheel allows kids to take the fun of driving with them on the go. The TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS SCOOT N SCOOP 3-IN-1 RIDE ON truck comes complete with three colorful, shaped blocks that toddlers can sort or scoop up with the dump truck.

TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS SCOOT N SCOOP 3-IN-1 RIDE ON vehicle (ages 9 months to 3 years) will be available Fall 2007 for an approximate retail price of $39.99.

Put on your hard hat and get ready to roll with the TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS RUMBLIN' ROLLIN' CRANE toy! Toddlers will have fun walking and pushing the colorful crane as it 'magically' picks up the included shapes and lowers them into its cavity. The crane makes fun popping sounds as it travels across the floor. To build on the fun, connect the TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS RUMBLIN' ROLLIN' CRANE to the TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS SCOOT N SCOOP 3-IN-1 RIDE ON for big 'construction site' fun built just for toddlers. TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS RUMBLIN' ROLLIN' CRANE (ages 12 months and up) will be available Fall 2007 for an approximate retail price of $19.99.

Also available this fall in the TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS Preschool Truck Line from PLAYSKOOL are the TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS Dump Truck, the TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS Stake Truck and the TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS Loader. Each vehicle features fun rumbling sounds and a real working steering wheel. The TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS Dump Truck (ages 24 months and up, approximate retail $19.99) comes complete with chunky rocks for loading and dumping; the TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS Stake Truck (ages 24 months and up, approximate retail $12.99) includes stackable pipes for construction site fun; the TONKA WHEEL DRIVERS Loader (ages 24 months and up, approximate retail $12.99) comes complete with boulders, perfect for lifting and loading.

Toddlers will also delight in the fast-paced fun of the TONKA WHEEL PALS SPIN N GO RACEWAY from PLAYSKOOL. This colorful racetrack features fun sounds and a Winner's Circle to showcase the first place vehicle and two garages where cars can be stored. The action-packed playset comes complete with two TONKA WHEEL PALS vehicles.

TONKA WHEEL PALS SPIN N GO RACEWAY playset (ages 18 months and up) will be available Fall 2007 for an approximate retail price of $29.99. Also available in the TONKA WHEEL PALS line are TONKA WHEEL PALS MINI CAR CARRIER vehicle, TONKA WHEEL PALS DUAL START DRAGWAY playset and TONKA WHEEL PALS CUSHY CRUISERS assortment.

From classic trucks to innovative new products TONKA is built for boyhood! For more information on the TONKA product line and tips on parenting a boy, please visit www.tonka.com.

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/Daniel Benkwitt, 201-222-9118

SOURCE: Hasbro

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