In the electronic age that we live in today, it’s fun to look back at various forms of entertainment. Toys certainly aren’t what they used to be and usually take the form of video games or some other electronic device. But back in the day, a few pieces of plastic slapped together was all that was needed to provide hours of fun.
In the case of Tonka, it wasn’t always plastic, though. The toy company that specialized in making miniature metal trucks was founded in 1946. Mound Metalcraft, as the company was originally named, was run by three partners, with the intent of selling gardening tools.
Tonka Started out with Gardening Tools
As a side project to their main business, the men began manufacturing metal toys. As it turned out, the toy sales skyrocketed and it soon became their primary business. They adopted the Dakota-Sioux word for “Great” as their company name and in 1955, Mound Metalcraft officially became Tonka Toys Incorporated.
The most recognizable and popular line of toys didn’t come until a decade later. The construction line featured various vehicles and construction equipment. The signature dump truck is what most people think of when they hear “Tonka truck.”
Click here for another vintage tonka trucks article from us. Over the past half century, these vintage toys have been keeping young kids entertained, even when the company made the switch from metal to plastic in the late ’80s. After all, a tough truck is still a tough truck, even if it’s been plasticized. Tonka also expanded early on to include girls in its market with a line of dolls and the original Pound Puppies.
Though the company was purchased by Hasbro in 1991, Tonka toys are still being made today, with a similar level of detail, much to the joy of many children. In fact, you can still find a good Tonka Truck for under $50. It’s a purchase that you only have to make once.