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The History of Tonka Trucks

Shortly after World War II, three Minnesotans founded Mound Metalcraft with the intention of producing tools. In 1947, they acquired a competing company and inherited a toy steam shovel along with it. This inspired them to make toys. They designed a digger and a working “crane and clam” using pressed steel. After selling 37,000 units in the first year, they switched to making toys full time. They also changed the company name to Tonka, after the nearby Lake Minnetonka. Over the years, they kept up with real-life changes in construction and transportation equipment, earning themselves a reputation for durability and realism. Tonka introduced pick-ups in 1955, a Jeep in 1962, and the famous bright yellow Might Dump Truck in 1965, which became its best-selling toy — and still is! Hasbro acquired Tonka in 1991 and there are now more than 30 trucks in the famous line of toys. And indeed, Tonka trucks remain a beloved toy line among children today.

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