Best Tonka Trucks

Updated April 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

29 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
42 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Tonka trucks

Last Updated April 2020

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. 

Durable and easy to clean, Tonka trucks are ideal toys for kids who like to play outside.

Key considerations

Age range

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.

Mechanical vs. interactive

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

Size

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. 

Types of Tonka vehicles

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. 

EXPERT TIP

If your kid is a Tonka truck mega-fan, take them to the Tonka Toys Museum in Westonka, Minnesota. It has well over 400 trucks and toys on display.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Tonka trucks can take up considerable space, so invest in a toy chest or plastic storage bin to keep them off the floor.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Movable parts

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.  

Detail

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. 

Collectibility

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. 

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.

FAQ

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. 

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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