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Tonka, celebrating its 75th birthday, asks families to make time for ‘playcations’


Tonka — the iconic American toy truck company — has turned 75 years old.

The toy company’s licensee Basic Fun!, which markets toys and consumer products, has partnered with Tonka’s licensor Hasbro, Inc., to celebrate the milestone birthday.

Both companies have put together a special birthday campaign called Tonka Playcation, according to Basic Fun!’s press release. 

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To participate in the campaign, Basic Fun! and Hasbro are asking owners of Tonka products to make time for play in 2022.

“We can’t think of a better way to celebrate 75 years of Tonka, five generations of fans and over 300 million trucks sold since 1947,” said Jess Richardson, vice president of global toys and games licensing at Hasbro, in a statement.

She continued, “This epic milestone is truly a reflection of our brand-building capabilities and keeping classic brands alive for generation after generation.” 

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Tonka’s celebrity spokesperson is Shaquille O’Neal — and he’s reportedly starting his “playcation” this month in New York City, according to the company press release.

In a promo video, O’Neal said a Tonka Playcation means participants will go without their phones and emails while they play with family and friends.

The 50-year-old basketball superstar will hand out Tonka Playcation Kits to families that pledge to spend time playing together

An exact date for the giveaway has yet to be revealed.

Seventy-five influencers have also been brought on to “launch a month-long virtual celebration of play” campaign that’s been named Tonka Together, the press release said.

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If a family is looking to expand its TONKA collection, Basic Fun! will release a new TONKA Mighty Monster RC Steel Dump Truck in October.

The toy is a fit for children ages five and up and will retail for $69.99, according to information provided.

Customers can expect the M Mighty Monster RC to have high torque tank steering with four-wheel drive, variable speed control, a cold-rolled steel body and lightweight foam tires.

TONKA brand spokesperson Shaquille O’Neal in TONKA Playcation promo

Shaquille O’Neal (far right) is Tonka’s brand spokesperson; he’s helping the company promote the brand’s 75th birthday with a monthlong ‘playcation’ campaign, which encourages families to play together. (Basic Fun!)

TONKA made its debut in 1947.

Its steel toy trucks were first manufactured by Mound Metalcraft Company of Mound, Minnesota, according to Encyclopedia.com.

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Hasbro Toys reportedly bought Tonka in 1996 and it remains the company’s licensor.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
HAS HASBRO INC. 79.24 +0.42 +0.53%

“We see big opportunities to scale our franchise brands, drive all new play platform innovation and transform our operations to improve our agility, focus and profitability,” said Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks, during the company’s second-quarter 2022 financial results conference call, which was held in July.

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He continued, “Games, digital, expanding the age ranges of our portfolio and harnessing direct connections with our consumers are all compelling growth opportunities for Hasbro.”



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