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Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Fri 29 May 2020

#FlashbackFriday Tonka Memories

I recently came across this old TV advert on You Tube and it just brought a load of childhood memories flooding back, so figured I would share it on the blog.

#FlashbackFriday Tonka Memories

I’m sure as youngsters, many of us back in the late 60’s & early 70’s had examples of the various construction related items offered by Tonka. I know I pestered my mother for the dump truck, and of course once I had the truck, I needed something to load it with, not being particularly interested in wheeled loading shovels, I opted for a crawler track shovel complete with backhoe, one of my later additions was the harder to find motor grader. Tonka’s were generally tough as old boots and could take a lot of stick, and gave us many hours of fun too!

Somewhat surprisingly the business behind the Tonka brand started out as far back as 1946 when the Mound Metalcraft company began manufacturing of garden tools. It was 1955 when the owners of the business decided to rename the company as Tonka.​​​​​​


Incredibly the iconic Tonka dump truck which it became so famous for did not appear until 1964. It is believed that around 15 million of the trucks have been sold since its first launch!

In the aforementioned TV advertisement first aired in 1980, they launch a real Euclid dump truck over the edge of a quarry, while doing the same with the Tonka truck and its safe to say, as you might expect, the Euclid comes off a lot worse!

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