Lights flash and engine revs when vehicle moves forward; beeps when it moves backward. Using the scoop activates hydraulic sounds. Inspires hours of play.
Though it's a lot of fun for kids, it's definitely noisy for parents.
Made with steel and tough plastic for durability, this is a timeless truck that can go inside and out. Bed is sizable enough for loading up with all sorts of stuff.
Some disappointment that despite being described as “classic,” it’s not all steel.
Designed to go outside in mud, gravel or sandpits, where it withstands rough treatment and the elements. Kids love the caterpillar tread action.
The tires can slip off, although are easily reattached.
Aficionado parents will appreciate that it has all the details of the real thing.
Best taken outside, since the wheels don’t spin on wood or solid floors.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Tonka trucks are classic toys whose rough-and-tumble design and moving parts are nothing short of fun. In fact, you might even catch yourself playing with them, too.
Tonka trucks, in all their yellow-and-black glory, have big personalities to boot. They’re capable of hauling big loads, moving stubborn materials, and even towing other vehicles. Since they feature a number of moving parts, kids love taking them into the backyard for open-ended play. Best of all, the vehicles are built to last, so they can stand up to rough handling and hauling for years.
Let your kids enjoy big wheels and larger-than-life detail with a new Tonka truck. Not sure which one they’ll like best? Check out our favorites and keep reading our buying guide so you can keep on truckin’ in the right direction.
There are Tonka trucks for kids of all ages, even as young as a year. These are designed for safe play, with large, durable pieces that aren’t choking hazards. Tonka trucks for kids age three and above generally have more involved designs and more complex moving parts.
The majority of Tonka trucks are mechanical. This means that kids need to manually spin concrete mixers, roll wheels, or unload dump trucks. There are, however, some interactive trucks with flashing lights and sounds. For the most part, these Tonka trucks come with their first set of batteries.
Tonka trucks have quite the size range, from die-cast trucks that fit in the palm of your hand to trucks large enough for toddlers to ride. The most common size for Tonka truck toys is about 16 inches long and 10 inches wide, or about the size of a large shoebox.
Construction: The most popular Tonka trucks are construction vehicles. These include backhoes, bulldozers, dump trucks, trenchers, and concrete mixers, just to name a few. Some construction vehicles even come with their own accessories for hauling or moving.
4x4: Another popular type of Tonka truck is the 4x4. These pickup trucks have off-roading and hauling at the center of their design. They typically have flatbeds that open and occasionally include hooks and cables for hauling via winch.
Commercial and work: Tonka trucks are also available as commercial and work vehicles of other industries. There are agricultural trucks, such as graders and mowers. More recently, Tonka added first responder vehicles to its line, including fire trucks and police chasers.
Planes and helicopters: Some lesser known Tonka toys include planes and helicopters. Many of these are available as die-cast toys, though there are some with a broad range of interactive features. These Tonka toys are somewhat harder to find and can be more expensive than other toys.
Tonka trucks look like real vehicles and even have parts that move like the real thing. These mechanisms are designed for easy operation by tiny hands. Tonka trucks are also designed with safety in mind: the movable parts typically won’t cause injury or pinch little fingers.
Tonka trucks take design inspiration from major components of construction vehicles. You’ll see grills, wheels and rims, and even exhaust pipes on many trucks. While they won’t have the high-level of detail found on premium collectibles like Maisto or Hot Wheels vehicles, Tonka trucks still have realistic and proportional features.
Tonka trucks of the past are highly collectible, especially those predominantly made of steel and still in the original packaging. Modern Tonka trucks are collectible in their own right, but they’re made slightly differently. With that said, Tonka trucks are still hot-selling toys, so it’s not unusual for popular models to sell out.
Q. Are Tonka trucks still made of steel?
A. Tonka trucks still have many steel components, and they also have high-grade plastic parts. The combination keeps the trucks incredibly durable while still being affordable.
Q. Do girls play with Tonka trucks, too?
A. Of course! Tonka trucks are perfect toys for open-ended play for all kids. Girls and boys alike are fascinated by the movable parts and often play with them alongside other toys in their collection.
Q. Are all Tonka trucks yellow and black?
A. The majority of Tonka trucks are available in these signature colors, however many of the vehicles feature other colors. Sanitation and fire trucks, for example, have predominantly green, blue, red, or yellow detail.