Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tonka Toys – Daryle Lambert's Antiques and Collectibles Blog - My kind of Truck.


Tonka Truck - Thanks to Do you remember.co.uk


Over the last three days, I have shared with you the early toy companies that I vaguely remember but there is one that I am very familiar with: Tonka Toys. My Dad purchased 10 shares of their stock for me when I was rather small and I just found them in my mother’s lock box. The stock’s value shot up there for some time but I don't know much about its value today. However, the toys that were produced by Tonka have done very well.

The best buy and sell of a Tonka Truck for me was about $500 but the cost was right, $10. At garage and house sales you will still find bargains in the Tonka lines. Here is a clue for you. While looking through the toys for sale, you will often find the Tonka trucks, but before you leave the house be sure to look in the garage and basement to see if by chance you can also come across the box. If you do find the box of a Tonka toy, the owners will usually just give it to you free. Always say “thanks” because they have just given you the pot of gold.

Not a Tonka story, but do you remember my story about the friend of mine that bought a book for $2.00, only to see another dealer pick up the dust cover for the book that was lying on the table? The end of the story was my friend paid the other dealer $1000 for the dust cover and sold them together for, if I remember right, $18000. You may not do that well by finding the Tonka box but be assured it would add hundreds to the toy’s value.

Here is a little history of the company and it seems their story is similar to the other companies I have written about. They started by manufacturing other products before they turned to toys.


.History of Tonka


1. In 1946, three men set out to create a metal implements and tools business on the shores of Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. They called their company Mound Metalcraft. Fortunately for little boys everywhere, they were more successful with toys than with gardening tools, their intended product. Having only a couple of tie racks as products, the men decided their garden tool business might need a secondary product and so they tried their hand at toy truck design based on the failed designs of the previous building owners.
Significance
2. The owners made some changes to the original designs created by the former owners and decided that the logo for the toy division of their new garden tools company would be the word "Tonka" placed on the metal toys. Tonka is a Dakota-Sioux Indian word meaning "great" or "large." The first year, the young company only created two designs of toy metal vehicles, a crane and a steam shovel. However, in that first year, the company managed to sell 37,000 metal toy cranes and steam shovels.
Function
3. The huge success of their first year led the partners to set aside the garden tools business and make metal toys their primary product. The partners focused on making the most durable and sturdy toy on the market for its value. The Tonka brand metal vehicles earned high praise and ever increasing sales. Their popularity skyrocketed. In the year following WWII, inventory sold out in just a few months. In November 1955, as sales continued to climb, the company changed its name to Tonka Toys Incorporated.
Types
4. The first Tonka dump truck was introduced in 1949. The most popular Tonka truck ever manufactured was the Mighty Dump Truck introduced in 1964. In 1965, Tonka began to manufacture the Mighty line of toys. From then to present, the Mighty line of vehicles continue to be popular. The significant changes, outside of a few decals, over the years have been the reduction in steel content and an increase in plastic parts. However, today's Mighty Tonka Dump Truck still carries a lifetime guarantee and assurance of durability.
Identification
5. In 1991, Hasbro bought Tonka Toys. Throughout the 1990s, several other vehicle-based products were added including mini cars, books and talking trucks. Tonka also produced several non-vehicle products such as some doll-like creations such as Star Fairies and Pound Puppies along with developing computer games such as Tonka Raceway. One little known expansion of the Tonka brand label occurred in 1964, when the company acquired a manufacturing company and began producing barbecue grills. These grills carry the brand name Tonka Firebowl


This history was written by Elizabeth Stover.


Tonka Trucks back in the 50's could be purchased for just a few bucks, but look what you would have to pay for them today. Let’s start with a private label Hardware Truck $600, 1956 Tonka Robin Hood Flour Box Van $1500, 1963 Tonka Ramp Hoist Truck w/b $1000, 1959 Hi-way set w/b $825, Fireman’s Pumper w/b $800, 1956 Gasoline Tanker $675 and last but not least the 1955 Carnation Milk Truck w/b $650. All of these prices came from eBay and I am sure they will appear in toy auctions where their prices will be many times what they achieved on eBay. To finish this blog I would like to list a website that you should visit: http://www.100megsfree3.com/lonestar/history.htm. I believe you will find it very interesting and informative.

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