Greetings from Oak Brook! | TOMY

Greetings from Oak Brook!

by Pete Henseler


Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019



Greetings from Oak Brook!

Bill Walters was kind enough to hand over his #26 blog edition to me. 

My name is Pete Henseler and I am President of TOMY.  I’ve been involved with the Ertl brand for over 22 years.  Over these many years, I have become quite a fan of the hobby and of you, the Farm Toy collectors.  At the heart of it all is a wonderful and vibrant community of passionate people and collectors. 

Even after 2 decades of being around the development and production of the Ertl collectibles, I am still amazed today at the magic of recreating the big machines into smaller die cast replicas.  I’m equally impressed thru all these years at the time, effort and precision our team in Dyersville puts into the development of every Ertl Toy we produce.  This is why I have asked Bill to give me the opportunity to take over his blog to ask for a big favor from our wonderful customers. 

Why am I blogging for Bill?

Ertl will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020.  From the company’s humble beginnings in the basement of Fred Ertl, Sr. house to today where Ertl collectibles are sold in 5 different continents around the world, the one consistent trait that has never wavered is our Ertl product teams’ commitment and passion to building the best scale farm toy models.

It’s our team’s commitment to precision, authenticity and desire to provide the best collectible models possible that is our heartbeat.

While it takes a big team to bring Ertl products to market, there is one individual I want to spotlight today for a special reason, and he is the owner of this blog, Bill Walters.  I am publically asking for your help in getting Bill’s name in nomination for a spot in the National Farm Toy Hall of Fame, during Ertl’s 75th anniversary.  I can think of nothing more fitting to recognize Bill, but we need your help.

Bill Walters:

Many of you know Bill from this blog and perhaps visiting our offices in Dyersville during the Farm Toy Shows.  Bill is one genuine guy who is just teasing you when he tells you he knows a little bit about tractors and Farm toys. Bill is one of the most knowledgeable experts in our hobby.  He has forgotten more about the hobby than I will ever know.  Bill started with Ertl back in 1993 as a Customer Service Representative.  It didn’t take long for the company to realize they had two things on their hands in Bill; 1. A man with a booming voice and 2. A man who was obsessed with Farm vehicles and farm collectibles toys.  It didn’t take long for the company to move Bill into a Marketing role on the Farm Toy business.  In fact his first product he brought to market was the Case 1170 tractor which ended up being the Toy Farmer show tractor for 1996.  Bill assumed leadership of the Ertl Ag Farm toy business in 2000 and the rest is history.  For the last 19 years Bill has worked on leading OEM brands from John Deere, Case IH, New Holland and AGCO.  In addition he has brought to market collectibles from Versatile, Miller Sprayers, Hagie Sprayers, H&S, Bell, Peterbilt, Freightliner, J&M, and Bobcat to name a few.  I don’t have enough room in this blog to talk about the impact Bill has had in making this hobby not only accessible in the US, but also promoting it in Europe, South America and other markets abroad.  We have calculated that Bill has been instrumental in bringing to market over 1500+ collectibles.  Wow is all I can say. 

I count myself lucky to work with Bill and his team.  Our hobby and industry, would not be what it is without his imprint he has made over the past 25 years.

As such, as we begin to plan to celebrate our 75th year at Ertl, I wanted to petition the readers of Bill’s blog to help in a move focused on having Bill nominated into the Farm Toy Hall of Fame next year.  What I am asking if each of the readers of Bill’s blog help support our drive for nomination.  We will have a section on our facebook website where you can electronically sign your support for Bill’s nomination.  The address is www.facebook.com/ertlfarm

Lastly, I want to thank you, the readers of Bill’s Blog for all your support you give the hobby, our company and the brands with which we partner.  While we are lucky to have the fun of making all of these wonderful collectibles and toys, there would be no hobby without all of you.  Thanks for all your past and continued support. It is appreciated by our entire team.

Being it’s Bill’s blog and you really want to hear about product, I wanted to update you on two new collectibes that will be available later this summer:

#1.  1:64th Co-op Implements Bearcat II: (Stock # 16395) We recently produced a Co-op Implements Bearcat II in 1:16th scale, now we’re doing the same tractor but in 1:64th scale.  We’re only producing 5,000 units of this unit.  It will be available in the middle of July.  This unit features duals.

#2.  1:32nd Ford TW-35 Tractor: (Stock # 13945) The TW-35 tractor was produced from 1983-1989 and featured a Ford 401 cubic inch engine that was turbocharged and intercooled.  It was offered in both 2WD and MFWD versions.  Our replica is the MFWD with front weights and 3-point hitch.  If you’re a Ford fan, this one is for you.

Luckily, Bill only gave me one opportunity to take over his blog, so rest assured this is my one guest appearance.  Bill will return for Blog #27 next month.  Now let’s get Bill into the Farm Toy Hall of Fame. 

Until Bill’s next time

Thank you for all your support and interest in Tomy and our Ertl branded products.

 -- Pete