Should you let your children play with your Tonka toys?

by Daddy Mojo on January 3, 2011

This dad is a pack rat.  Like most kids growing up I had a couple Tonka toys to crash around in the back yard.  We had a sand box that the Tonka’s would build sand castles, carry logs (sticks) and do all sorts of things to simulate a boy’s active imagination.  I was especially lucky growing up because we had a creek behind the house.

I was lucky; my parents had to deal with a dirty, muddy, wet child tromping up the back hill towards the house where mom hopefully made a peanut butter and banana sandwich.   Recently my father paid my wife and me a visit and brought with him a couple boxes of old toys and valuables.*

It really was just a couple of boxes, but if you ask my wife it’s enough boxes to recreate the last scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.  In some of these boxes were my old Tonka toys from the 70s.  I only remember three Tonka toys that I had as a child, so if I truly trust my beer ravaged middle age mind, I currently have all of my Tonka toys.

This dad is a pack rat and a collector.  A collector is different than a pack rat.  The collector thinks that most things they collect will appreciate in value and be able to be resold in the future for enormous profit.  However, I’m a realistic collector and realize that these Tonka toys aren’t worth buckets of cash, but can be loads of fun to play with to a young boy.  If you’re interested in buying some new toys for your kids, you can use this Game Stop promotional code to help you save some cash.

But should I let my child play with them?  I don’t want to be the nostalgic dad on the corner who opens a vintage toy store…..ok, that’s a bit of a lie.  Am I pushing off my memories of these toys on my son or am I sharing classic toys from another era with him?

The Tonka Crane

This old guy suffered the worst through the years.  And by years I mean the number of years that I played with it.    Structurally, it’s in super shape, the crane is broken, but a little Gorilla Glue and it’ll be sound as a pound.

The Tonka Bulldozer

It’s got a little bit of rust on the top, but once I sand that down it’ll be safe and ready for the back yard.

The Tonka Jeep

This was always my favorite toy.  It rolled over the dirt effortlessly, had space for a Weeble or two and could put cargo in the back.  It’s also in the best condition of the three; there are no rust marks or scratches on the paint.   As a dad I may question the purple color, but as a kid it provided countless safe passages to Stretch Armstrong and G.I. Joe.

My money is on sharing the classic toys.   Will he play with them?  That is the big unknown.  When he’s older the bulldozer will be a hit, it’s a safe bet that he’ll love the jeep and the crane all depends on how well it can be repaired.  Of course, if these were still in the box or in mint condition Baby Mojo would have to get his own.

*Valuable only in the eyes of an 8 year old boy.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Classic Toys Wholesale January 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm

New Star Wars Exclusive! Tonka is a toy company most known for its signature toy trucks and construction equipment. Classic Toys Wholesale


Lee @ January 5, 2011 at 8:06 am

I *wish* I still had my old Tonka trucks somewhere. My three year old son is really into cars and trucks now, but the stuff we have is cheap plastic junk. I miss those metal tonkas, they were built like, well, trucks! I used to have a Tonka garbage truck and I tell my son stories about it, like it was some kind of mythical toy or something. I suppose it was to me.

I kinda doubt kids would play with our old trucks because they don’t run on batteries, transform, honk, fart, and all the other stuff toys do now.

Thanks for bringing back the memories.



Trey Burley January 5, 2011 at 10:46 pm

No worries Lee, love your site. What’s up with naming a place to eat a ‘gastro pub’? Do you know the details on that?


joseph January 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm

i like it


jeremy January 8, 2011 at 4:41 am



Tara Shortle April 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm

This was novel. I wish I could read every post, but i have to go back to work now… But I’ll return.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: