Tonka Toys Trucks | First Gear Diecast

Since the first steam shovel and crane & clam rolled off the assembly line, Tonka trucks have been made of automotive grade steel. Novice Tonka enthusiasts and the general public at large, constantly refer to Tonka trucks as diecast. They are so wrong. It took until the late 1990's for the general public to get it right, sort of.

Under a licensing agreement with Hasbro, Eastwood Automobilia, headquartered in Pottstown, PA was the exclusive retailer and First Gear, Inc. located in Peosta, IA was authorized to manufacture 4 different models of 1:34 scale, diecast trucks carrying Tonka colors and graphics. First Gear assigned Stock Number 19-2346 to the 1960 Mack B Model Suburban Pumper, 19-2347 to the Mack R Model Cement Mixer, 19-2348 to the 1952 GMC Cabover Wrecker and 19-2349 to the 1958 GMC Stake Truck.

First Gear Tonka Surburban Pumper
First Gear 1960 Mack B Model Suburban Pumper
Image courtesy Big Ed's Truck Stop
First Gear Tonka Wrecker
First Gear 1952 GMC Cabover Wrecker
Image courtesy Big Ed's Truck Stop

Production quantities from First Gear varied for each model. 1500 units of #19-2346, 1960 Mack B Model Suburban Pumper; 846 units of #19-2347 Mack R Model Cement Mixer; 648 units of #19-2348, 1952 GMC Cabover Wrecker and 720 units of #19-2349, 1958 GMC Stake Truck were all manufactured in 1999 and shipped to Eastwood Automobilia. Eastwood sold the 4 trucks individually or as a set of 4. To insure being able to purchase a set of 4, the consumer had to preorder the 4 models and plunk down $160 plus any applicable sales tax plus shipping. Consumers purchasing the set of 4 were given priority. Translated that means that sets of 4 were shipped first and if anything was left over, individual orders were shipped. Purchasing the set of 4 at the same time also saved the consumer several dollars compared to purchasing each model separately over time.

First Gear Tonka Farm Stake
First Gear 1958 GMC 1 Ton Stake Truck
Image courtesy Big Ed's Truck Stop
First Gear Tonka Cement Mixer
First Gear Mack R Model Cement Mixer
Image courtesy Big Ed's Truck Stop

Back to Odds and Ends