Tonka historian Lloyd Laumann noted that 1968 was the most profitable year to date for Tonka Toys. The Mound manufacturing plant alone was producing 150,000 toys per day during peak production periods. Eleven million individual units were manufactured in 1967. Twenty million units were manufactured in 1968.
1968 Tonka Turbine models carrying over from 1967 were the #2620 Cement Mixer, #2690 Sanitary Service, #2840 Car Carrier, #2910 Bottom Dump, #2926 Pumper and the #2998 Aerial Ladder. Deleted in 1968 were model #2175 Construction Set and #2180 Road Builders Set. Added to the 1968 line up was model #3109 Construction Set.
CHANGES FROM LAST YEAR: The design of the wheel cover used on the entire Regular series to which the Gas Turbine belongs, changed. Beginning in 1968, a rib was added to each spoke.
CHANGES FROM LAST YEAR: The load on the #2840 Car Carrier changed from one red Mustang, one white Mustang and one blue Ranchero in 1967 to two red Mustangs and one blue Ranchero in 1968.
So why did the model (stock) numbers change from three digits to four on Regular series models in 1968? Tonka historian Lloyd Laumann notes " Introduction of the Tiny-Tonka line forced Tonka to alter stock numbers for the Mini, Regular and Mighty lines. Beginning in 1968, all Tiny-Tonka toys had a three digit stock number. Mini-Tonka toys had a four digit stock number. The Mini-Tonka toys added either a one or a one & a zero preceding the old stock number. All Regular line models had a four digit stock number beginning with the number two. All Mighty-Tonka models had a four digit stock number beginning with the number three." Examples would be: Tiny-Tonka model #655 Bottom Dump, Mini-Tonka model #68 Wrecker in 1967 was assigned model #1068 in 1968, Regular Tonka model #620 Cement Mixer in 1967 became model #2620 in 1968 and model #2900 Mighty Dump in 1967 became model #3900 in 1968.
And yes, there were exceptions to the newly assigned stock numbering system, even in 1968. Regular series model #3109 Construction Set is a good example. Shouldn't the model number begin with the number two? Another example is model #4000 Construction Set, assigned to the Mighty Tonka series. Shouldn't the model number begin with the number three?