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When you mention the words Tonka Toys to almost anyone, the image of big yellow metal trucks falling from cliffs and quietly rusting away in the back yard comes to just about all of us, but there was far more to Tonka toys over the years but still to this day the big yellow truck is synonymous to Tonka.
As yet I don’t have many and what I do have is a small random collection of Tonka made steel toys and as always as I acquire more this article will be updated.
My first offering is a classic Tonka loader from the late 1950′s, early sixties, this is an earlier version because of the metal wheel type, these early one’s were never yellow and were plated pressed steel, they quickly rusted with living outside.
Later they were changed to plastic wheels and a later version had a cab added.
This was numbered 1087 by Tonka and an interesting fact is the steering wheel was rubber which is no doubt why it has lasted so long, at just under 10 inches long this is classed as a big loader, all of the earlier Tonka toys was made in the USA.
Another common Tonka vehicle is the tractor and trailer, seen also with various colour schemes including John Deere green and yellow.
The next one is as common as the loader and also from the 1960′s and this is the Tonka Dune Buggy.
Much smaller than the normal Tonka trucks and again as the loader is fitted with a rubber steering wheel, later versions had a plastic canopy fitted, the only number I can find associated with this toy is 55340, so may well be the Tonka number.
The next one was made by the Tonka Corparation, Mexico and came in more colour variations than you can shake a stick at, although mainly a plastic body the cab is pressed steel.
Dated around 1978 and called Pick-up truck, I have not yet found the Tonka number.
My last entry today is from Tonka in Japan and again issued in the seventies, this is one of the futuristic set of vehicles made for Tonka.
This is one of three from a series called the Scorchers and I must admit I love it, but then I like all futuristic models, this one was called the Rover truck and numbered WTO-760 and sits at six and a half inches long.
For more on these toys and others see the website link below, this shows the others in this series.
Related articles; Tonka Pepsi bottle truck