To celebrate the relaunch of the iconic Tonka brand of toy trucks and vehicles, Basic Fun! inked a deal with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) on behalf of Shaquille O’Neal for the former NBA superstar to serve as the official spokesperson for the brand. This weekend, Basic Fun! will officially debut its first line of Tonka products, created under license from Hasbro.
O’Neal will be the voice and face of the Tonka marketing campaign across TV, digital, and social media, in addition to other activations.
“Shaquille is a larger than life pop culture personality, and kids of all ages adore him – when he says, ‘get outside and play,’ they listen,” says Jay Foreman, CEO of Basic Fun! “For generations, Tonka trucks have been the benchmark of durable and rugged toys that let imaginations run wild. We are bringing together these two legendary icons with the common goal of getting kids off their screens and outside or on the floor to enjoy some fun, creative and active play.”
Tonka was created in 1946 by a gardening supply company in Mound, Minnesota, called Mound Metalcraft, which later became Tonka Toys Incorporated. Hasbro eventually purchased Tonka, and along with its licensees, has been producing new toys under the name since 1991.
“I’m so excited to partner with Basic Fun! on the new Tonka line,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “I’m on a mission alongside Tonka and Basic Fun! to motivate kids to ‘get out and play!’
The first wave of new Tonka products includes rough and tough toy vehicles of all sizes that stay true to the Tonka brand legacy for lifelong fans. Focus items include the Tonka Metal Movers — new two packs of collectible die-cast vehicles packed with a no-mess sand compound; and the return of iconic Tonka Mighty Dump, a sturdy steel construction vehicle built for hauling large loads.
At Toy Fair New York, O’Neal will join Basic Fun! and The Toy Association at the ceremonial ribbon-cutting that kicks off opening day, Saturday, February 22.
Click here to view the Toy Book’s full coverage of Toy Fair New York.