Did you have a steel toy truck when you were a little boy? I think every little boy today has at least one in the toy box, sand pit or out in the yard. A Steel Toy Truck is a must have toy for every boy, no matter what age they are, and as they grow the trucks can grow with them. We will explore two companies today that are the worlds best steel toy truck manufacturers.
Bruder Toys – Germany’s Best
Bruder Spielwaren, is a German toy manufacturer based in Fürth. Founded by Paul Bruder in 1926 as a manufacturer of toy components, the family-owned company is considered one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of 1:16 scale model toys.
The company was founded in 1926 by Paul Bruder, and initially made brass reeds for toy trumpets. Paul’s son Heinz Bruder joined the company in 1950, Paul Heinz Bruder (son of Heinz Bruder) then joined in 1987, assuming responsibility for product development and production, after which the company underwent a period of extensive expansion. The company exports 70% of its production to over 60 countries, with sales reaching €75 million in 2014, and is one of the few that still manufactures its toys in Germany.
Bruder has two main product lines – the Professional series, which is their primary line, and a Roadmax series of toys, with a simpler design for younger children. Their toys have been recommended by Spiel gut (de), a German government funded consumer advice committee.
The Professional series is centered around emergency services vehicles, forestry, construction, and agricultural machinery. All toys in this series are made to a 1:16 scale and feature vehicles and machinery from Caterpillar, Claas, Jeep, JCB, JLG, John Deere, Land Rover, Liebherr, Mack, MAN, Manitou, Mercedes-Benz and Scania.
My Little Tonka Truck
The first Tonka truck was a small dump truck. The cab was painted dark blue and the bucket was pure white. I was around 3 yrs old when I got this toy. You had to manually push it around the dirt, but I did not care, it was fun. I filled up the bucket with what ever I was playing with at the time, grass, mud, sand, or rocks and then “drive” it over to the place I wanted it dumped. I would have to dump the cargo by hand by lifting the bucket up from the front, but it was exciting having a truck that could dump its cargo. Would you believe I have that dump truck to this day and have fond memories of playing with friends or just by myself day in and day out for years. I have even seen all three of my boys play with it time and time again. It now has a little rust on it but you can still read the Tonka brand name on the bottom. Steel toys that truly last.
Tonka Toys – Steel Classics
Tonka is an American producer of toy trucks. Maisto International, which makes die-cast vehicles, acquired the rights to use the Tonka name in a line of 1:64 scale die-cast vehicles, featuring mostly trucks.
Mound Metalcraft was created in 1946 in Mound, Minnesota by Lynn Everett Baker (1898–1964), Avery F. Crounse, and Alvin F. Tesch. Their original intent was to manufacture garden implements. Their building’s former occupant, the Streater Company, had made and patented several toys. E.C. Streater was not interested in the toy business so they approached Mound Metalcraft. The three men at Mound Metalcraft thought they might make a good side line to their other products.
After some modifications to the design by Alvin Tesch, and the addition of a new logo created by Erling Eklof; it was based on a University of Minnesota drafting student’s sketch by Donald B. Olson, who later became the company Chief Industrial Engineer; with the Dakota Sioux word “Tanka” or Tonka, which means “great” or “big”. The company began selling metal toys which soon became the primary business. In November 1955, Mound Metalcraft changed its name to Tonka Toys Incorporated. The logo at this time was an oval, showing the Tonka Toys name in red above waves, presumably honoring nearby Lake Minnetonka. In 1964, Tonka acquired the Mell Manufacturing Company in Chicago, allowing it to produce barbecue grills, eventually under the Tonka Firebowl label.
My Big Tanka Truck
The second toy I had was also a dump truck, but it was much larger than the blue and white one, and I must have been 4 yrs old when I received it. This was a large Tonka truck this dump truck was an orange yellow color with rubber tires as well. The great and unique thing about this Tanka truck was that its bucket dumped automatically with a press of a small lever at the front of the bucket just outside the driver’s side. You could fill the bucket up, “drive” the truck around, and when you arrived at your desired spot you just had to push the lever down and “pop” the bucket came up at a 15 degree angle and all the cargo was dropped into place. I could haul a lot of stuff in that dump truck compared to the small one, so it was used for the bigger jobs that needed to get done.
Tonka – Built to Last
Founded in 1987, Funrise is an adventurous innovator and an industry leader in the manufacturing and distribution of the most popular children’s toys. Simply put…we create fun! Funrise is the manufacturer of leading power brands such as TONKA®, Gazillion Bubbles®, Luna Petunia™, Positively Perfect™, Sing-a-ma-Lings and Shelcore’s line of preschool toys, making their product offerings diverse and full of fun for kids of all ages!
Funrise is a wholly owned subsidiary of Matrix Holdings Limited. Funrise U.S. headquarters are located in Van Nuys, CA, with an office in Hong Kong, and additional showrooms in Minneapolis, Bentonville, United Kingdom and Australia.
Matrix was first established in 1979 manufacturing ornamental and musical items. Now Matrix is a well-established OEM manufacturer of die-cast and other toys with vertically integrated production processes including mold making, manufacturing, and design. Matrix has over 16 years of a successful business relationship with McDonald’s. In 2002, the Matrix Group incorporated Keyhinge Group, an OEM specialist manufacturer of die-cast and other toys. Currently, they are operating at four plants in Vietnam with a total production capacity of 600,000 units per day. Their team of over 16,000 staff and workers are dedicated to producing the highest quality products at the lowest price.
These trucks are built to last as they are made of sturdy steel and constructed well they have solid rubber tires that can take a beating and still come back for more. They will be enjoyed by every member of the family, even an occasional girl here at metaltoysforboys.com.
What’s your next Steel Toy Truck
As you can see there are many ways to have your own steel toy truck and have them for years. If you take care of them you will have them for a long period of time and you can hand them down to your children and their children. What is your next Steel Toy Truck purchase? Something small for someone little, or something large for someone a little older? You can’t go wrong with these great toys. Bruder Toys and Tanka Trucks are the best in the world and will last for generations.