Tonka Preschool Trucks

  • Tonka Plastic Preschool Trucks
    Funiture friendly, rough & tough with added play value.
  • From concept through production. As the in-house designer I was responsible for all aspects of the product development. Tonka was well known for tough steel trucks, however, the steel trucks were considered outdoor toys. Tonka wanted to develop a line of trucks that would be "furniture friendly'. But as these trucks were targeted for younger children, ages 18 months to 4 years, it is often the parents and grand parents making the decision on the purchase.

    The trucks needed to convey the "Tonka Tough" image. It was also my desire to incorporate added play value into each vehicle, a busy activity, a complete toy, not just a vehicle.
  • A complete toy, not just a truck. A shovel pulls out from the front bumper and a shape sorter is fit into the chassis below the bed.
  • Early side view concept showing round, friendly forms.
  • Minivan concept.
  • Production pieces of the dump truck and fire truck. Each vehicle came with figures and accessories. The shape sorter in the chassis was retained from the early concept.
  • Production pieces of a garbage truck and school bus. The wheels, chassis and body of the garbage truck are leveraged from the dump truck to save tooling costs.
  • Prototype for an airplane. Tonka was purchased in a corporate buyout before the project went to production.
  • Concept sketch for an end loader. The vehicle still includes added features.