Top 12 Tonka Trucks That Prove They’re A Toy Box Staple

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Durable, classic Tonka trucks are the indoor/outdoor toy all kids will love. While they may not be the all metal design of years past, they’re more rust resistant, lighter and easier for young kids to play with, and significantly more affordable than all metal designs would be; plus they won’t scratch flooring when they’re played with inside. We’re nostalgic for the classic style Power Steel designs with their lifetime guarantee, but they also offer the Power Model line with added dynamic lights, sounds, and responsiveness to the moving parts and pieces, like beeping reverse warnings and hydraulic lift sounds.

What You Should Know

  • Classic Tonka dump truck design
  • Steel bed for hauling heavy loads
  • 90% 4 or 5 star reviews

A retro throwback, Tonka’s best known truck has to be their dump truck. Guaranteed for life, you’ll find these heavy duty kids toys in sandboxes, mud puddles, or hauling around other toys in the backyard. With a steel truck bed, you can really load up this little dump. If you can get your hand on a vintage version of this truck, reviewers say they’re still a little heavier with fewer plastic pieces, but this partial steel model is still worlds away from most of the ultra lightweight trucks on the market; it weighs over five pounds and has over a thousand positive reviews.

What You Should Know

  • Lights, sounds, and motorized power arm
  • Rear doors open and allow you to smash the trash
  • Made of plastic

Lift and smash trash with this light up garbage truck. Front lever controls operate the loader, and rear door access allows for realistic use, even in pretend play. For kids who can’t get enough trucks, Amazon offers a large model exclusive Matchbox garbage truck.

Reviewer Feedback: “My 3-year-old grandson loves this truck, and so far everything on it is working great. He’s been playing with it a lot for about two months now… The truck has a lot of plastic parts and is definitely not as sturdy as the original metal Tonka toys, but the old-style toys didn’t have all the lights and sound effects that this one has either, so it’s a trade-off.” 

What You Should Know

  • Steel scoop bucket
  • Hybrid plastic and steel construction
  • Reviewers note: treads don’t roll easily

This Tonka construction toy features a steel excavator bucket for heavy duty digging through packed dirt. It is partially made of plastic, like most of the current Tonka line, but the steel bucket ensures more durability through rough outdoor play.

What You Should Know

  • Movable bulldozer blade
  • Rubber tire treads
  • Blade won’t scratch indoor flooring

Kids love watching construction sites, and the appeal is understandable; there’s constant excitement and motion, loud noises, and major changes seem to happen overnight. If your little ones are deep in their own building projects, help them demo block towers, break ground, and clear their play spaces indoors or out with Tonka’s bulldozer toy.

What You Should Know

  • Classic tow truck design
  • Four position lift that really tows
  • Deep tread tires dig in for offroading

This two pound tow truck hauls smaller vehicles with ease, and the sturdy tires work well in dirt or sand, but won’t damage flooring if kids play with it inside instead. Reviewers note that it can’t easily tow many matchbox cars; most don’t have anywhere for the tow hook to attach.

What You Should Know

  • Lights and sounds powered by included AA batteries
  • Smaller, lighter, and less expensive than Tonka’s classic dump
  • All plastic design means kids should probably stick to hauling toys, not rocks

Powered by motion, updated version of Tonka’s classic dump truck toy features working headlights and engine revving sounds. Roll in reverse to hear a cautionary beep beep beep. Weighs just two pounds, so it’s significantly lighter than Tonka’s regular dump truck.

What You Should Know

  • Comes with required batteries
  • Cab doors open with room inside for kids to put a toy driver
  • Extendable ladder doubles in size

Realistic lights and sounds means any kid can play fireman with this fire truck. Made of durable plastic and best suited to indoor play, the lever operated extendable ladder can set up for rescues or drop down while on the go.

Reviewer Feedback: “Great for hours of imaginative play for years to come. It is also very sturdy as my one year old is not too gentle and it is withstanding his roughness. I almost didn’t buy it due to it’s price, but it was worth it, cheap toys break and don’t offer the many features this one does”

What You Should Know

  • Makes engine and reverse noises
  • Lights flash
  • Spin the mixer drum for hydraulic sound effects

All the sights and sounds of a construction sight come along for the ride with this Power Mover cement mixer. Comes with the required batteries and makes hydraulic sounds, as well as mixing noises when the drum is rotated.

What You Should Know

  • Covered by Tonka’s lifetime guarantee
  • Nearly 7lbs of heavy duty toy
  • Covered by Tonka’s lifetime guarantee

This huge backhoe pairs well with Tonka’s classic dump truck; they’re compatible in both size and weight, and are some of the highest rated Tonka trucks. Users note that the steel arm is quite stiff initially and has to be worn in slightly to be comfortable.

Reviewer Feedback: “My grandson loves this backhoe. He has it in the sandbox in the backyard. It stays outdoors because it is huge. It has been there a year, and it still looks like new and holds up well, and he still plays with it.”

What You Should Know

  • Rotating cab
  • Movable arm and bucket
  • Vehicle may tip when arm is fully extended

Watching cranes work at a construction site is a vivid childhood memory for many who grew up fascinated by vehicles. Let kids get the tough jobs done at home, even if their only architectural challenges at the moment involve sand castles.

Reviewer Feedback: “This is a great crane overall. I like its size and how beefy the wheels are. It’s easy enough to operate for my 2 1/2 year old son too. My only quibble is that it could use a counterweight to keep it from tipping over when in use, but my son is finding ways to deal with that issue.”

What You Should Know

  • For ages 3 and up
  • Mixing barrel rotates, but there’s no opening to actually put rocks or dirt inside
  • No lights or sound effects

Tough enough for outdoor play, but with wheels that won’t scuff or scratch flooring, this six pound concrete mixer toy is durable and well-reviewed. This classic Tonka truck comes with their lifetime guarantee and hybrid plastic and steel construction for rust resistance and durability. Unlike their Power series concrete mixer, this one is fueled by imagination only; no batteries required, and no light or sound effects.

Reviewer Feedback: “My son is slightly big for a two year old and this truck was almost his size! Super big but what little boy doesn’t love that. Also it was slightly hard to turn but it’s probably for older kids.. Only downside was the cement mixer is hard to mix and it doesn’t make any noises.” 

What You Should Know

  • 13″ by 7″ by 7.5″
  • Front attached towing cable
  • Weighs over two pounds

A practical vehicle for a little construction worker, this pickup truck lets kids play foreman for a day. Pick up the right dress up gear and kids will have hours of pretend play fun.


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