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Inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in March of 2001, The Tonka Corporation is a significant historical toy in America. It stands alongside Silly Putty, Lincoln Logs, the Hula Hoop, Mr. Potato Head, and many other iconic toys of the time.
Created in 1946, the Mound Metalcraft Co. of Mound, Minnesota began producing garden implements. The building they choose to manufacture their wares in was previously rented to the Streater Company who had patented several toys. The company showed little interest in the toy business, so they approached Mound Metalcraft, suggesting the toys might make a good sideline for their company during slow winter months.
After modifications to the design and a new logo, the company began selling pressed steel metal toys. Their popularity became so massive that in 1955, the company shifted to primarily selling toys and changed their name to Tonka Toys Incorporated. Today, Tonka still produces a large line of children's toys in various markets throughout the world.
A 1955 Tonka cross-country truck with original box sold at Girard Auctions in April 2010 for $2,200
Tonka has produced much more than pressed steel toy trucks. They also are famous for toys such as Pound Puppies, Gobots, Rock Lords, Steel Monsters, and Spiral Zone
The largest collection of Tonka toys is on permanent display at the Winifred Museum in Winifred, Montana where more than 3,000 pieces make up the unique collection