Amazing sister asks Internet for old Tonka trucks for her disabled brother — then Tonka hears about it

December 5, 2017 12:16 pm Last Updated: December 7, 2017 7:16 pm

Receiving the same gift for Christmas 17 years in a row may sound unoriginal, but for 25-year-old Max from Maryland, it’s exactly what he wants.

For the past several years Max’s older sister Cassie Gretschel, 30, has gifted her brother a Tonka truck—but not just any kind of truck from Tonka. She gives him a Fire Rescue Hummer, which was made in 2000. Unfortunately the truck has since been discontinued, which means the only way Cassie or her family can purchase the truck for Max is through eBay.

With Christmas approaching this year and having no luck with finding a truck on eBay, Cassie shared her dilemma on reddit.

Max is both mentally and physically disabled, and he loves playing with things like Tonka trucks.


Cassie used to be able to find the discontinued trucks online, but after years of purchasing them on eBay, it seemed as if that channel had run dry.

“They used to be really easy to find, because we would just get orange ones, and then I made the mistake of finding a blue one on eBay, and now he only wants blue ones,” she told BuzzFeed News.

Max spends hours every day playing with his convoy of Tonka trucks.


She said that she’s even attempted to paint the trucks and has made resin cast copies of certain parts of the truck, but Max is able to tell the difference.

The family has attempted to give Max, who is legally blind, other Tonka trucks that are much easier to find, but this specific model is what Cassie calls the “holy grail for a visually impaired kid.”

The 25-year-old spends so much time playing with his trucks that some have had to be taken out of action and are used for spare parts.


When Cassie shared her story on reddit, she asked for people to put their old Tonka trucks on eBay—but what she got was hundreds of messages saying they’d look for a truck for her. Some even said they’d send along one of their own Tonka trucks.

Cassie was shocked, especially since she has alerts sent to her phone for whenever a Tonka Hummer is listed.

“I’m not sure how Reddit is so much better at finding this truck then I am!” she wrote on reddit.

Not only did strangers reach out to Cassie, but they also reached out to Tonka.

**UPDATE** Thank you all so much for your help! We have been able to contact the author and are making…

Posted by Tonka on Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Redditors shared Cassie’s story about her quest to find a specific truck for her brother with Tonka, and they were excited to help.

“As soon as we received the first email, no one at this office batted an eye, and we began searching for the toy immediately,” Jessica Gonzalez, a spokeswoman with manufacturer Funrise Toy, owner of Tonka, told BuzzFeed News.

Gonzalez said the task of finding the Hummer would be difficult since the toy was old, but she was confident after searching the company’s warehouses in both the United States and China they’d find something for Max.

“…we plan on sending her as many of those hummer trucks we can find, as well as some additional Tonka trucks,” she told BuzzFeed News. “Since he has special requests like, no rubber wheels, action levers, and a need for bright colors (he’s legally blind), we plan on making some custom adjustments to some other vehicles in hopes that he’ll like those as well.”

It appears that this Christmas Cassie won’t have to worry about scouring eBay.


The family, who has one red Hummer hidden in a closet for backup, won’t have to worry about disappointing Max this Christmas. Whether it’s a vehicle from a redditor or some amazing surprise trucks from Tonka, it looks like he’ll have at least one present to open on Christmas.

“It’s like an all-year mission, but we haven’t failed him yet!” Cassie said.