Basic Fun! has entered an agreement in principle with Hasbro for the Tonka brand. The multi-year deal would expand the licensing relationship between the two companies, which already includes Pound Puppies, Lite-Brite, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toy, My Little Pony Classic, Koosh, and Weebles, among others.
Basic Fun!’s new line of Tonka trucks is expected to launch at retailers worldwide in fall 2020 and will feature the classic steel Tonka Trucks, diecast range, and traditional plastic lights and sounds products.
The company plans to launch a dynamic marketing campaign aimed at kids and gift givers focusing on getting kids out to play and having fun outdoors. The new vehicles and playsets will have innovative elements to appeal to kids, yet stay true to the nostalgic ‘Tonka Tough’ brand legacy generations of fans have come to trust and love for more than 70 years.
“Today’s kids are at risk of forgetting how to play with anything but a smart phone, which is why we are so thrilled to be taking on the iconic Tonka toy line that is all about going outside to play and encouraging kids to use their imaginations,” said Jay Foreman, CEO of Basic Fun! “Tonka has always been known for the biggest and best quality tough trucks and toy vehicles in the market, and we plan to make sure consumers know Tonka is the ‘go to’ brand in this category.”
“We are excited about bringing one of our jewels to a trusted partner like Basic Fun!,” said Casey Collins, general manager and senior vice-president, entertainment and licensing, Hasbro. “For years, the company has become an important collaborator of ours, effectively managing many of our classic vault brands. Tonka is perhaps the biggest of them all, and we know the program is in great hands with the Basic Fun! team and their vision to reimagine the brand for today’s kids.”
Tonka was created in 1946 by a gardening supply company in Mound, Minn. called Mound Metalcraft, which later become Tonka Toys Incorporated. The steel toy trucks became an iconic rite of passage gift for boys. At one time, Tonka was the world largest manufacturer of trucks! Over the years, the company was purchased by Hasbro and the company, along with its licensees, have manufactured the product line since 1991.