Basic Fun! has 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, My Little Pony Classic, Lincoln Logs, and a number of other Hasbro ‘vault’ brands.
Product development, distribution and marketing for the Tonka brands has until recently been overseen by Funrise, which extended its agreement with Hasbro last February. But that partnership will come to an end before autmn 2020, when Basic Fun expects to launch its first wave of Tonka products at retailers around the world.
Basic Fun’s range will feature the classic steel Tonka Trucks, die-cast range, and traditional plastic lights and sounds products.
The announcement follows news earlier this week that Hasbro has appointed Wicked Cool Toys to reboot its Micro Machines brand
“Today’s kids are at risk of forgetting how to play with anything but a smartphone, 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,” says 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.”
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 in the fresh air. The new vehicles and playsets are said to “innovative elements to appeal to kids” while remaining true to the brand’s nostalgic roots and ‘Tonka Tough’ brand legacy.
Casey Collins, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Entertainment and Licensing, Hasbro says: “We are excited about bringing one of our jewels to a trusted partner like Basic Fun. 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 called Mound Metalcraft, which later become Tonka Toys Incorporated and was at one point the world’s largest manufacturer of trucks. The company was bought by Hasbro in 1991.