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Tonka Trucks

Originally known as the Mound Metalcraft Co., Tonka Trucks began production in Mound, Minnesota making sturdy pressed-steel trucks just after WWII. Mound Metalcraft purchased a building and several dies from the Streater Co., a company that patented several toys but never put them into production. With the dies from Streater’s toy-making venture, Mount Metalcraft Co. was prepared to enter the toy manufacturing business.

Though formed in 1946 by Lynn Baker, Alvin Tesch, and Avery Crounse, in November 1955, the company changed and incorporated their name to Tonka Toys. The word tonka is derived from the Dakota Sioux word for “tanka” meaning great or big.

Tonka saw a huge expansion in 1947 and 1948 with the popularity of their toy steam shovel and crane with clam bucket. This toy catapulted the company to the forefront of the pressed-steel toy industry. By 1955, the company had introduced dump trucks, wreckers, semi trucks, and box vans.

Quick Facts

  • Tonka’s pre-1955 box vans are sought by collectors today due to their private and commercial advertising labels. Several of these rare-labeled trucks have values in the thousands of dollars today
  • Tonka’s initial toys were not their own invention. They bought the original patents of dies and toys left behind by The Streater Co. after taking over their building
  • The steam shovel and crane with clam bucket were not Tonka inventions, but part of the patent models they purchased. Tonka later reinvented the two toys

Recommended Items at Auction

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Tonka Toys Livestock Truck
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Toys Livestock Truck
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$3258 Bids
Tonka Pickup Truck
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Pickup Truck
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$1506 Bids
Tonka Farms Pickup Truck & Trailer
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Farms Pickup Truck & Trailer
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$1506 Bids
Tonka Truck Camper
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Truck Camper
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$1505 Bids
(2) Tonka Pickup Trucks
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
(2) Tonka Pickup Trucks
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$1254 Bids
PRESSED STEEL TONKA FIRE DEPARTMENT TOY TRUCK
Mar 18, 6:00 PM CDT
PRESSED STEEL TONKA FIRE DEPARTMENT TOY TRUCK
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$504 Bids
Tonka Truck with Log Trailer
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Truck with Log Trailer
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$1254 Bids
Tonka Farms Stake Bed Truck & Trailer
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Farms Stake Bed Truck & Trailer
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$1254 Bids
Tonka Pickup Truck
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Pickup Truck
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$804 Bids
Tonka Steel Dump Truck 2004
Feb 25, 7:00 PM EST
Tonka Steel Dump Truck 2004
by Lettieri Auction & Appraisal
Est: $40- $65
$53 Bids
Tonka Stake Bed Truck
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Stake Bed Truck
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$1003 Bids
Tonka Semi with Large King Trailer
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Semi with Large King Trailer
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$503 Bids
Group Lot of Vintage Toys
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Group Lot of Vintage Toys
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $50- $100
$303 Bids
Tonka Toys Stake Bed Farm Truck
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Toys Stake Bed Farm Truck
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$1253 Bids
Tonka 1925 Farm Set
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka 1925 Farm Set
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$502 Bids
Tonka Toys Truck with Trailer
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Toys Truck with Trailer
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$252 Bids
EARLY 1950'S TONKA TRUCK AND TRAILER
Feb 27, 6:00 PM PST
EARLY 1950'S TONKA TRUCK AND TRAILER
by O'Gallerie
Est: $150- $200
$1002 Bids
Tonka No.120 Cement Mixer
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka No.120 Cement Mixer
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$252 Bids
FOUR VINTAGE PRESSED STEEL TONKA TOY TRUCKS
Feb 27, 6:00 PM PST
FOUR VINTAGE PRESSED STEEL TONKA TOY TRUCKS
by O'Gallerie
Est: $200- $300
$1402 Bids
Tonka Ramp Hoist Pickup Truck
Mar 20, 4:00 PM EDT
Tonka Ramp Hoist Pickup Truck
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $100- $500
$1252 Bids
Tonka Stake Bed Truck
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Stake Bed Truck
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$252 Bids
Tonka Hydraulic Dump Truck
Feb 28, 4:00 PM EST
Tonka Hydraulic Dump Truck
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $50- $200
$252 Bids
TONKA #430 HORSE VAN w/ BOX
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
TONKA #430 HORSE VAN w/ BOX
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1002 Bids
TONKA 1953 PRESSED STEEL UTILITY STAKE TRUCK
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
TONKA 1953 PRESSED STEEL UTILITY STAKE TRUCK
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1002 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Tonka Trucks


Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions

Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC

Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC

O'Gallerie

O'Gallerie

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Bodnar's Auction Sales