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Dating tonka dump trucks

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Tonka truck identification, at least in the early years, is really pretty basic stuff. You will see that, at times, the changes from year to year can be fairly subtle.

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Beginning early in the 21st century, there seemed to have been an increased interest in what could arguably be referred to as Tonka's premier series, the Mighty Tonka.

Blame the increased interest on the internet, eBay in particular. Interest level and availability of various models is now gauged on a world wide scale, not limited to area toy shows. Models that were considered rare, today Along with the increased awareness of available models, was a decrease in prices paid by collectors and enthusiasts.

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The law of supply and demand works. Welcome to what is becoming the go to Mighty Tonka resource on the web. First there was the Tonka Regular series of trucks beginning in followed by the Mini Tonka series in The small and medium sized were pretty well covered. Charles Groschen, at the time Tonka's Vice President of Manufacturing, is given credit as the creative mind behind the development of the Mighty Tonka Dump that in turn was the stepping stone for an entire Mighty series. Mighty Tonka trucks are very collectible, especially the first generation Mightys, Keep in mind that Tonka has, over the years, manufactured millions of Mighty Tonka models.

However, there are some models that were only around for a couple of years or produced in limited quantities. Because of the lower manufactured quantities, certain models can command higher prices in the collector market. It was ased model and named Mighty Dump.

In fact, the new Mighty Dump was initially ased to Tonka's Regular series. The first Mighty rolled off the assembly line in March Inthe Mighty Dump, now modelwas one of three trucks ased to the newly created Mighty series being ed by model Mighty Clam and Mighty Mobile Crane.

As the series aged, new models were developed and added and older models were deleted. Inthe look of the original de changed when the SCUFF-GUARD front bumper, grille and headlight bezels were all formed in a single chunk of plastic replacing the individual components.

Not only did the Mighty series continue to grow in the mid 's to early 's, it seemed like most any toy manufactured by Tonka was a sure hit. The manufacturing and warehousing facilities in Mound expanded to meet the demand. But all was not as rosy as it may have appeared to most Tonka employees. In the early 's, Tonka needed to do something to remain competitive. That something was to reduce labor costs and to that end manufacturing and warehousing was moved from the midwest to the southwest.

Juarez, Mexico would take care of smaller series like the Mini Tonka. Inprior to shuttering the Mound manufacturing plant however, they began running the next generation Mighty Dump. It was slightly smaller and had a more updated, modern look.

Was the company going to be able to maintain their high quality, workmanship and in general, insure that the knowledge of toy truck manufacturing would not be lost?

Tonka El Paso could not miss a beat. They were in random order with their area of responsibility: Leif Sundlie - steel stamping; Frank Whittaker - inventory control; Virgil Pehle deceased - steel subassembly; Gary Quast - finished goods distribution; Ben Harder deceased - truck driver; Roy Larson deceased - truck driver; Verne Larson - plant manager; Ron Eikanis - plant maintenance; Miles Thayer - production control; Sally Swanson - raw materials buyer; Melinda Johnson - final assembly; George Hill deceased - plant maintenance; Art Rognass - injection and blow molding; Keith Baillif - injection and blow molding.

Once production lines in Mound stopped running, 6 additional Mound employees transferred to El Paso.

They were: Betsy Wetzel - bill of material maintenance; Dick Stefanic - final assembly; Jim Fisher - raw material planning; Tom Murphy - buyer steel ; Nancy Quast - material information system and Janette Rognass - material information system.

With key personnel in place, the hiring and training of the Tonka El Paso workforce began.

After initial start up jitters subsided, Mighty production soon maxed out. The demand for all of the new downsized Mightys was such that manufacturing could not keep up with demand.

Departments like injection molding, blow molding, paint and final assembly were working 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. The Mighty series did not get revised graphics for 6 years, in part because Tonka was selling everything they put in the distribution center.

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Why change a good thing? Tonka celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Mighty Dump in with a special "Silver" edition. Hasbro scored a big '2 fer' the price of one. Seems Tonka was having a hard time paying all the bills, including the Kenner Parker debt. Even into the 's, Mighty production was at times over 1 million Mighty Dumps alone a year but it wasn't enough to stave off the inevitable. On November 17,Hasbro announced that the Tonka El Paso facility was going to shut down and all production would move to Tijuana, Mexico and "other places".

In the first quarter ofall production,including the Mighty series, was moved out of the U. In latethe first "Made in China" Mightys began rolling of the assembly line. The Mighty Tonka trucks featured on this website were manufactured in the U. Mighty Tonka trucks were also assembled in Canada for distribution to the Canadian and European markets in the 's and 's. And as noted ly, in the late 's, China took over all Mighty Tonka productions. This website will feature the "Made in the U. A" variety. Mighty Tonka truck model s from to,,,,,,,,,,,,,, The premier website, established in and still going strong is www.

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All other trademarks found on this website are used exclusively for identification purposes only. Custom Search. A comprehensive reference book was authored by Mark A. Vaught and published in detailing the Mighty Tonka series. However, there is a less expensive alternative. I have been authorized by Mark Vaught to sell the book in CD form. The information on the CD is much, much more detailed than what you will find on this or any other website.