Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011

Tonka Truck

In the late 1940s, the Mound Metalcraft Co., a small garden-implement business operating out of a Minnesota school basement, began making toy trucks. It started with steam shovels and cranes, and in just a year, it sold 37,000 units. Following this initial success, the group concentrated on making toys and changed the company name to Tonka (after Minnesota's Lake Minnetonka). Tonka released its first pickup truck in 1955, followed by a Jeep in 1962 and the Mighty Dump Truck in 1965 — the latter becoming the company's best-selling toy of the century. Thirty trucks have followed since Tonka's first one left its tracks in the sandbox, and the company, now owned by Hasbro, is still represented in playgrounds around the world.