Ford, Tonka Bring Out The Boy In Men Who Buy Dump Trucks

Long, long ago, when men were boys and the Internet was just a gleam in the eyes of some geeks in the government, lads made pretend they were garrulous truck drivers barreling around the sandbox with their collections of Tonka trucks. Ford is tapping into that spirit with a special edition, Tonka-branded F-750 dump truck that goes on display at the National Equipment Association Work Truck show in Indianapolis today.

“‘The people at Geneva (Motor Show this week) will wish they were here instead,’ quipped Ford's chief truck spokesman, Mike Levine,” writesUSA Today’s James R. Healey. “It's two iconic brands getting together to make a big toy for all ages.”



Motor Trend’s Truck Trend, which has a gallery of nine photos of the F-750 Tonka on display at the Work Truck Show, points out that it “is equipped with the diesel engine, meaning it makes the same kinds of sounds as we did when we played with our own Tonka dump trucks as kids.”

Truck Trend reporter Brett T. Evans writes he will be reporting live, on-site today, “where we’ll get to see the Tonka F-750 up close. Don’t be too jealous,” he tells us, “we’ll dish all the details on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, so stay tuned.

“But it's a promotional item,” Healey reports. “Ford's not building any more — even though some business owners might pay a small fortune to have one as a rolling ad for their hauling companies.”

The Tonka mock-up will, however, “tour the country at truck shows and toy shows to promote the F-750,” reports Brian Straight in Fleet Owner, reporting that the “truck is painted in the signature Tonka yellow with a custom blackout nostril grille and fully functional dump body from Truck Tech Engineers.”

“Remember, big trucks are big fun,” said John Ruppert, general manager-commercial vehicle sales & marketing, tells Straight.

And, we might add, the F-750, with a starting MSRP of $55,595, is less than a Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce on display at Geneva. It has an asking price of €327,190 before the value added tax, according toDigital Trends. And if you have to ask what that converts to in dollars, you can’t afford it.

Ford’s and Tonka’s history together stretches back more than 50 years, Paulo Acoba informs us on Tonka — which was founded in 1946 as Mound Metalcraft in Mound, Minn, by Lynn Everett Bake, Avery F. Crounse and Alvin F. Tesch, according to Wikipedia — “first began making dump trucks from steel in 1964. The toys quickly gained fame for being virtually indestructible and parents bought them up as quickly as Tonka was making them.”

“Tonka is one of those iconic all-American brands, known the world over by people young and old,” Joseph Molina, president of JMPR Public relations said yesterday in a release announcing that his Woodland Hills, Calif. firm has been named by Funrise, Inc., to handle media relations duties for its Tonka branded products under license from Hasbro.

The firm will “collaborate with Funrise’s internal marketing team on strategy, consumer-engagement programs, product launches, and special events,” reportsPR Week’s Lindsay Stein. JMPR will also connect promote Tonka Motorsports’ efforts with Lucas Oil and its sponsorship of race drivers Eric Barron, Myan Spaccarelli, and Taylor Atchison. And it will “work to elevate Tonka’s marketing partnerships with Ford and Toyota and spread the word about its philanthropic efforts.”

“It seems like everyone, including myself, has a Tonka story from their youth. Whether you're a child, or a child at heart, it's recognized as a special brand,” Molina said. “We're looking forward to elevating it beyond where it is now, introducing — and in some cases, re-introducing — Tonka to kids and parents across the country and around the world."

There’s nothing little nostalgia to promote today’s products, eh? What next, do you think? A spirited game of marbles to capture the sociability of Snapchat? A Duncan yo-yo contest to get Dunkin’ Donuts’ Spicy Omelets off the grill and into gullets?  Or how about Alexandro Michele, Gucci’s new creative director, rolling out his Spring 2016 line in life-size Colorforms?

1 comment about "Ford, Tonka Bring Out The Boy In Men Who Buy Dump Trucks".
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  1. Thom Forbes from T.H. Forbes Co., March 4, 2015 at 1:14 p.m.

    Correction: JMPR Public Relations, the new agency for Funrise, writes: “While we’d LOVE to take credit for the Ford F750, the JMPR team actually had nothing to do with the efforts there. That was an effort from the Ford side. ”

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