SandMaster 440

SandMaster 440
SandMaster 440

The Story Behind the SandMaster 440

Jerry Nohl, the VP of Engineering at Superior Industries of Morris, MN, had the idea for this toy and was in the process of designing the SandMaster with hopes to build a small business to market and sell it. Jerry and an associate from Superior were on a business trip in March 2003 in Chicago. On the plane ride home, they were involved in an accident that claimed the lives of both the young engineers and the pilot. This was a great loss for the families, Superior associates, friends, and the community.

From a set of rough sketches, Neil Schmidgall (Founder of Superior Industries) built 10 of the original toys in his own shop. To keep Jerry’s dream alive, Neil established a manufacturing partnership and built 500 of these toys with the proceeds given to Jerry’s family.

Nearly 20 years later, in August of 2023, Billy and Justin Lomax (Owners of Dig Dig) contacted Neil Schmidgall and arranged a visit to Morris, MN. Neil graciously provided a sample toy and the original design notes. Billy worked with Grant King Racing to fabricate 7 working toys. 5 of these toys are in Dig Dig’s sandbox today. One toy was given back to Neil with a huge thank-you for his generosity. The 7th toy is kept as a prototype and is being used to refine and improve the design. As Dig Dig expands, we hope to fill many more sandboxes across the country with the SandMaster brand toy.

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