Tonka: When toys were really toys

A look back at the playthings of yore
by Paulo Rafael Subido | Feb 12, 2014

Tonka: a Throwback Thursday on toy cars

I had a bit of a historical trip recently because I had unearthed almost 80% of the toys that my younger brother Enrico and I had played with when we were younger. However, these toys belonged to my older brother Raul. And they obviously survived a lot of abuse.

Who remembers the Tonka brand? A quick trip to the mall reveals that you can't find these kinds of toys easily anymore. It is no surprise that there is a pretty huge demand for older metal Tonkas among toy collectors, probably because a shift to plastic as the material of choice occurred in the '80s. Knowing that, these models were probably manufactured in the late '70s.

My brothers and I should consider ourselves lucky that our sisters held on to all of our toys and didn't give anything away. Some people might think that this is selfish, but I prefer to think that these toys would be better enjoyed if they stayed within the family. Who knows? When I have kids of my own, I'd like to hand these down to them. Older Tonkas have been proven to last, so my kids would have some cool toys to play with. Although I will have to repair the rusty bits first. Sounds like fun!

I will be digging up some more links to my childhood, so expect some random posts about real toys in between the usual Project Fintail updates. Do you have any toy stories to share? Hit me up!

Continue reading below ↓

Photos by Paulo Rafael Subido

 

Tonka: a Throwback Thursday on toy cars

Tonka: a Throwback Thursday on toy cars

This one looks to be a licensed product from Jeep. It's pretty banged up,
but you can still play with it. I remember riding down concrete slopes
with this thing. It is amazing how the plastic wheels held up.

 

Tonka: a Throwback Thursday on toy cars

Tonka: a Throwback Thursday on toy cars

This green dump truck weighs a ton! It has seen play in the mud and dirt.
It also has some very sharp edges. Believe me, this thing can double as a dangerous
weapon if need be. I doubt we will see toys built like this ever again.

 

Tonka: a Throwback Thursday on toy cars

Tonka: a Throwback Thursday on toy cars

Now, this right here is a licensed hauler. I love the authenticity of Tonkas.
This was probably my favorite hand-me-down toy, and I spent many hours loading
and unloading Matchboxes at the rear. Take a look at that glorious rust.
I bet the cab will survive a few more decades.

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