Most Valuable Tonka Toys of All Time
Kids have been playing with cars and trucks for a long time. In 1946, Mound Metalcraft began making colorful metal, and they were a hit. The company became Tonka Toys Incorporated in 1955, and the rest is history.
Today, many vintage Tonka toys are worth some serious dough. If you find any of these trucks laying in an old toy box, they might just fund a future shopping spree (or, in some cases, college). These are the most valuable Tonka toys of all time.
55. Vintage Tonka Green Gremlin
Bottom line: While Tonka was known for its trucks, it also made toy cars like this Green Gremlin. This particular model with an exposed, silver engine is one of the rarest, which explains how a 2.5-inch toy car sold for over $300.
It even had a split in the plastic on one side, which was a common defect that cropped up when Tonka started producing more toys with plastic in the 1970s instead of solid steel.
54. Vintage 1970s Tonka Winnebago
Bottom line: If gas prices weren't so high, we'd take this vintage Tonka Winnebago on a road trip in a heartbeat. It looks brand new and included the figurines with it. The large camper van measures nearly 2 feet in length, and the inside is highly detailed, featuring a miniature refrigerator and original Tonka decals.
As tempting as it would be to play with it, a collectible this old is better left on display than taken to the park.
53. Tonka No. 250 Utility Tractor
Bottom line: You'd be hard-pressed to find another Tonka tractor this old in such superb condition. The bright-orange paint is practically perfect, with just one small scratch that you'd have to hunt for to find.
It also included the original box, and its design is so nostalgic that it would probably be valuable all on its own.
52. 1960s Tonka Farms Stake Truck
Bottom line: This rare Tonka Farms truck was made around 1960. As you can see, it was kept in pristine condition, still shiny and with few scratches on the light-brown paint.
The white trailer has a few more scratches, but for the right collector, the scuffs just elevate its old-world charm.
50. Vintage 1950s Tonka State Highway Set (Tie)
Bottom line: Over the years, Tonka adapted its designs to fit with modern trends.
In the 1950s, the company released a series of neon-colored trucks, including this state highway truck in a shade of bright-lime green.
50. Vintage Tonka Toys Metal Pressed Steel Carnation Milk Truck Van (Tie)
Bottom line: A vintage Carnation milk truck like this is rare enough that it doesn't need to be perfect to be worth something. It sold on eBay as is — rust spots, scrapes dents and all.
It's also one of the smaller Tonka trucks listed, measuring only 12-inches long, yet it still sold for a few hundred bucks.
49. Vintage 1954 Tonka Green Giant Semi
Bottom line: Did you know the Jolly Green giant is nearly a century old? The mascot was designed by the Minnesota Valley Canning Company for General Mills in 1925. In 1954, Tonka made a toy version of the company's delivery truck.
This one was played with back in the day, but because it's made of steel, it has held up much better than a modern plastic toy would after almost 70 years.
48. 1956 Tonka Farms Truck
Bottom line: Tonka produced several lines of realistic-looking miniatures, and this one hails from the Tonka's farm line. The vintage steel Tonka truck was labeled No. 56 and was designed after a Ford pickup truck.
The gently-played-with vehicle was stored in a glass showcase for years before it sold on eBay for $375.
47. Vintage Tonka 1964 Army Loboy Dozer
Bottom line: This vintage Tonka set is a nice example of a quality restoration job. Each piece of the set, which included items made from 1964 to 1970, has been carefully repainted in a deep, forest-green shade.
While the set would be worth even more if it had its original paint, a good restoration job is the next best thing.
46. Vintage Tonka 'Minute Maid' Box Truck
Bottom line: Just looking at this vintage Tonka truck feels like taking a step back in time to grandma's house in the 1950s, selling lemonade out on the sidewalk on a hot summer day.
This Minute Maid Tonka box truck was clearly played with, but due the inclusion of all its original parts and its overall rarity, it still sold for $380.
45. Vintage 1950s Tonka Aerial Sand Loader
Bottom line: Not all vintage Tonka toys are trucks. This Aerial Sand Loader was tons of fun to play with at the playground. It was made of solid metal, and the paint is in impressively good condition for an item that's more than 70 years old.
The seller even joked, "I took great care of this toy, and it's in amazing shape for its age. But then again, so am I!"
44. Vintage 1960 Tonka Tanker Truck
Bottom line: Tonka Tanker No. 145 was a large, pressed steel Tonka Toy that was sold for several seasons in the 1960s.
Even though some of the lettering was chipped, and the red paint shows wear in spots, this tanker is rare enough to still be worth hundreds of dollars.
41. Vintage Tonka 1962 Pink Jeep Surrey (Tie)
Bottom line: It's not often that a feminine-looking vintage Tonka toy pops up, so this Jeep Surrey is quite a find. It's bright, bubblegum pink and in perfect condition.
It was also on the cover of the Tonka catalog and would look amazing on display alongside a vintage Barbie.
41. Vintage Tonka 1955 Wrecker Tow Truck (Tie)
Bottom line: Great for a display piece, this bright red-and-white Tonka toy hails from the year 1955.
The pressed steel toy has some minor wear from the child who played with it long ago, but the scuffed paint gives it a timeless, antique look that many collectors appreciate.
41. Vintage Tonka Bulk Storage Fuel Tanks (Tie)
Bottom line: Not all valuable, vintage Tonka toys are trucks. Tonka made tons of lifelike equipment that were miniature models of the real thing, including these bulk storage fuel tanks. Often, eBay listings only offer one, but this seller had a matching set to share.
Each 11-inch tank was in good condition with working valves and the original labels. One platform was rustier than the other, but for an item half a century old, that's hardly shocking.
40. Original Buddy L. Ford Dump Truck
Bottom line: This 1960s Buddy L. Ford tandem axle hydraulic dump truck is a great example of an unrestored, vintage Tonka truck. It was clearly played with, with scuffs and scratches from decades long past.
To some, that's a deterrent. To other collectors, its wear adds charm and tells a story. Despite having a crack in the windshield, the truck was sold in working order, including a fully functional hydraulic system.
39. Vintage Tonka Toy Fisherman Pickup Truck
Bottom line: This pressed steel Tonka Fisherman pickup truck was a refurbishment project by a seasoned reseller and restoration expert.
The truck was fully repainted with a pearlescent blue hood and a white roof. The rest of the truck was left untouched, and it still has the original headlights and tires.
38. Vintage Tonka Mighty Scraper
Bottom line: This vintage Tonka mighty scraper was made in 1968. Toys like this were made to play rough with, digging in dirty sandboxes and mud piles, so it's a wonder this one was kept in mint condition.
It was only taken out of the box for photos, so its $405 selling price was quite a find.
37. Vintage Tonka Tanker No. 145
Bottom line: Vintage toy collectors would be hard-pressed to find a Tonka fire engine that looks better than this one.
Its original, bright red paint is just as glossy as the day it hit the shelves in 1960, and the truck doesn't have a single crack or scratch on it.
35. Tonka Jeep Wrecker Tow Truck (Tie)
Bottom line: The seller didn't share much information about this Tonka Jeep Wrecker Tow Truck, but isn't she a beauty?
Model number 2435 was made of pressed steel and came with a plow, and judging by the pictures, this one was in mint condition. It also came with the original box, which always boosts its value.
35. Vintage 1956 Tonka Metro Van (Tie)
Bottom line: Original, mint condition Tonka trucks are the most valuable, but high-quality restorations are worth a pretty penny, too.
This 1956 Dodge Holsum bread van was too worn to sell in its original state, so it was sandblasted down to the metal, then primed, sanded, and painted orange.
It was also fixed up with new handles headlights, axles, hub caps, bumpers and tires.
33. Tonka Vintage Military Grader (Tie)
Bottom line: Produced between 1963 and 1966, the Tonka GR 2-2431 Military Green Grader is a favorite among collectors. They were first sold as part of a four-piece boxed set with a grader, dozer, truck and jeep.
Now, it's hard to find a complete set up for sale. Even so, this grader was a priceless find, with just some minor scuffs and scratches on the 17-inch long vehicle.
33. Vintage Tonka No. 5 Pumper Truck (Tie)
Bottom line: Estate sales are a fantastic place to scoop up hidden gems like this vintage Tonka No. 5 fire truck. The shiny red paint looks almost brand-new, and the rubber and plastic fittings are all intact.
It's almost miraculous that a truck made in the 1950s has held up so well.
32. Tonka Toys 'Flavor-Kist' Private Label Box Truck
Bottom line: Tonka produced several private-label, branded trucks that were especially popular because of how recognizable they were. This 1950s Flavor-Kist truck was made on a 1:16th scale.
It has plenty of wear and tear, but for the seasoned collector, it makes an ideal restoration piece.
30. Vintage Tonka Toys No. 380 Troop Carrier (Tie)
Bottom line: Tonka Toys made the No. 380 Troop Carrier in 1964. Like most early Tonka trucks, it was made of pressed steel that held up remarkably well over the years.
The version sold on eBay was never played with, but it did have some tarnishing and discoloration due to its age.
Still, with the original box, it was worth almost $500.
30. Tonka Marshall Field Semi Truck, Trailer, Pressed Steel (Tie)
Bottom line: Unlike today's toy trucks, vintage Tonka trucks were made of steel. This one was made in 1952 with metallic navy blue paint and the Marshall Field logo on the side.
If $465 sounds like a lot, that's nothing compared to the Tonka trucks in better condition. This one has scratches and paint chips, and some parts have been replaced over the years.
Still, the private label made this 22-inch Tonka toy a toughie to find, so it went for a few hundred dollars despite the mediocre condition.
29. DeSalle Tonka G Fox Hartford CT Vintage Toy Truck
Bottom line: Privately branded Tonka trucks tend to be more valuable than standard models. This DeSalle Tonka toy is only 15 inches long, but only 300 of them were made. Despite the vintage design, it was made in 1997 in the style of the older 1960s Tonka trucks.
While it was displayed on a shelf for a decade, it was never played with and sold in mint condition. The fact that it comes with a signed certificate of authenticity and the bottom of the truck was signed by Don DeSalle himself only adds to its value.
28. Vintage Mighty Tonka Euclid Green Dump Truck
Bottom line: The age of vintage Tonka toys can be estimated by the style of the truck. This 1971 model used brighter, neon paint and more modern wheels than some of the earlier Tonka designs.
It has a few signs of play wear, but the 34-inch truck was still in unusually good condition for a truck that's over 50 years old.
27. Vintage Tonka Marine Service Truck Trailer
Bottom line: Tonka toys were meant to be miniature versions of real vehicles, and this one didn't miss the mark. The blue, pressed steel Tonka Marine Service semi had it all — a boat trailer, four Tonka boats with seats and two extra outboard motors.
The set measures 27 inches in length, and it likely would have been worth even more if it weren't for a crack in the windshield and paint loss on the body of the truck.
26. Mighty Tonka Clam Train
Bottom line: Tonka didn't just make trucks. They made all kinds of vehicles back in the 1960s, including this clam crane toy.
While the toy was played with in 1966 and has scratches and rust here and there, it works just fine, clam digger and all.
Of the early Tonka toys, the clam train is one of the more challenging to find.
25. Vintage Tonka Toys Sanitary Service Truck
Bottom line: If we were kids, a trash truck wouldn't be our first choice for a toy. Vintage toy collectors, on the other hand, seem to have a different opinion. This old sanitary service truck has a working hydraulic scoop and was sold with two matching dumpsters.
Even with a few chips here and there and missing Tonka decals, the sanitary service truck is valuable. That's mostly because it was only sold for a year, so there are only a handful out there to scoop up.
24. Vintage Tonka Truck Mighty Car Carrier 3990
Bottom line: We couldn't find out much about this vintage Tonka truck car carrier, but it sure looks cool.
It was offered on eBay with a set of small cars and the original box, and it appears to be in pristine condition.
Judging by the design, it was likely made in the 1960s.
23. Vintage Yellow Tonka Arcade Game Shovel Toy
Bottom line: They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we're inclined to agree. This vintage Tonka arcade game shovel looks like junk. It's visibly worn with paint loss and rust all over, but miraculously, the toy still works.
We'd never have guessed that something so rusty would sell for $500, but it's rare enough that it's worth restoring for a serious collector.
22. Tonka Toy Gasoline Oil Tanker Trunk No 33
Bottom line: Even toy trucks need gas, and how is the gas going to get to the gas station without a gasoline tanker? Tonka really thought of everything.
This bright red gasoline tanker truck was made in the 1960s. It has visible patches of missing paint, but to an antique collector, the chips only add to the toy's charm.
21. Tonka Hot Pickup 2360
Bottom line: Can you guess when this fun Tonka truck was made? The red, orange and yellow stripes on the side are a hint. The rugged pickup truck was made in 1978.
Unlike the previous Tonka toys listed, this one was never played with. Finding a toy this old in near-perfect condition is almost unheard of.
It's not as rare as the Tonka models from the 1950s, but it's still worth a ton.
20. Tonka Lumber Truck
Bottom line: Ever seen one of those trucks piled high with logs? It's by far the most terrifying truck to drive behind, but Tonka couldn't resist making a toy version.
The metallic bronze truck has a few chips in the paint, but no significant dents or damage.
19. Vintage Tonka Aerial Ladder No. 5
Bottom line: If we had to pick a collectible Tonka toy that looks the most fun to play with, it would be this one.
The vintage 1955 fire truck was only sold for a year, and it has more features than you'd ever imagine. It has a bubble light on the roof, a siren mounted on the right front fender, two working ladders and four fire extinguishers.
The most unique element of the Tonka aerial ladder truck is that it was made while Mound Metalcraft was in the process of rebranding to Tonka Toys. On the edge of the trailer, it still has M.F.D. (Mound Fire Department) printed along the side.
18. Tonka Red Interchanger Truck
Bottom line: Tonka truck No. 875-5 first appeared in Tonka's 1955 catalog. It was sold alongside the builders supply set, which came with a load of lumber and chains to secure them.
While this particular listing didn't include these accessories, the truck alone sold for a whopping $600. Plus shipping.
17. Tonka No. 5 Sportsman Truck
Bottom line: Now here's a perfect example of what a mint condition vintage Tonka truck looks like. The Tonka No. 5 Sportsman Truck was made in the 1960s, but judging by the picture, you'd never know that it's as old as your parents.
Not a dent or ding is to be found on the truck, boat or box. A collector's dream.
16. Vintage Tonka Camper Truck No. 530
Bottom line: A trademark of vintage toys, the Tonka Camper Truck No. 530 featured a pastel, sky blue finish with a white top and tiny, functional windows.
The piece had a few scratches at the time of sale, but thanks to its original state and the inclusion of its original box, it was still quite valuable.
15. Vintage Tonka Farms Stake Truck
Bottom line: The Tonka Farms line of toys had several vehicles made for a farm scene, including tractors, pickup trucks, and this one, which was meant to transport livestock.
The paint is worn in places, but that's to be expected for an item as old as it is. Cracks or dents would reduce its value, but the aging paint just makes it look like more of an antique.
14. Tonka Structo Sears Roebuck Trailer Truck
Bottom line: Tonka really went the extra mile for authenticity. After all, kids love to play with mini versions of what they see out in the real world.
In the 1970s, Sears Roebuck was huge. Tonka made a branded Sears truck with a connected trailer, and it was a major hit.
If you have one up in the attic, consider yourself lucky. Not many were made, so it's worth hundreds.
13. Tonka Toys Light Green Pickup Truck
Bottom line: Vintage toys come with varying degrees of wear and tear, but you're not likely to find one in better condition than this light green Tonka pickup truck. Produced in the 1960s, the truck is immaculately clean, gently played with and in near mint condition.
The only way you'd find one in better shape is to get ahold of one that's new in its original, unopened box.
12. Tonka Star-Kist Tuna Delivery Truck
Bottom line: What a beauty. Like the Sears Roebuck Tonka truck, this is another great example of a branded Tonka toy that held its value through the decades.
Made of pressed steel in 1955, it's surprisingly heavy, weighing in at nearly four pounds. It's also a fantastic reminder to treat your toys with care, because this one sold for 800 bucks.
It was, admittedly, restored by a professional, but it's nearly impossible to tell.
11. Vintage Red Tonka Ramp Hoist
Bottom line: This vintage, bright red tonka ramp truck was far from perfect when it was sold on eBay. It had rust patches under the Tonka truck door decals, missing patches of paint, and wear and tear consistent with play on the bed of the truck.
While its $900 selling price might come as a surprise what with all the marks, to the right collector, it tells a story. A played-with toy is much more special than one that spent its entire life on a shelf.
10. Vintage Smith Miller Custom Oliver Tractor
Bottom line: Beep, beep. This vintage Tonka truck is as old as a Tonka truck can get. It was originally produced in the 1940s out of cast aluminum, but it was later refurbished and combined with parts from a Tonka truck made in the '60s.
Mash-ups like this might sound less appealing than a true, vintage Tonka, but the restoration was so well done that it's hard to see the difference.
With the trailer attached, the entire setup measures an impressive 27 inches. As a bonus, the eBay listing included a 1/16 scale Oliver Super 77 diesel tractor.
9. Vintage Tonka Ramp Hoist Truck Restore/Painted Mint Green
Bottom line: Toys with working parts are so much cooler than ones that just sit there and look pretty. This vintage Tonka ramp hoist truck from 1965 was meticulously restored to superb condition.
The ramp on the 19.5-inch truck is fully functional, too. Vintage collectibles are the most valuable when sold in original mint condition, but for a display piece, a quality restoration piece is still a lucky find.
8. Rare Tonka No. 2140 Outdoor Living Set
Bottom line: If camping is more your thing, this outdoor living set might be your dream collectible. Set No. 2140 came with a camper van, a jeep, and an SUV with a boat trailer. All of the items are a shade of mint green with white and cream accents.
The set was made in 1965, so the box has seen its better days, and some of the white paint is discolored.
Even with minor wear, it sold for close to $1,000.
7. Vintage Tonka Roll-Back Truck No. 640
Bottom line: This vintage, pressed steel Tonka truck might be the best choice for a holiday display piece. Made in 1963, it comes with a working roll back and the original tow hook.
It was discovered at an estate sale with minor wear, but it was resold on eBay for over $1,000. Can't you just see it with a miniature Christmas tree loaded on the bed?
6. Vintage Blue Tonka Pickup Truck
Bottom line: Look at this beauty. Even after decades, the blue paint is still shiny, aside from a couple of minor scuff marks on the roof.
While most vintage Tonka trucks have tons of dents and scratches, this one showed almost no signs of play wear at the time it was sold.
As tempting as it is to play with such a beautiful truck, its price tag definitely makes it a display-only piece.
5. Tonka Toys Wheaton Van Lines Semi
Bottom line: If you have an old Tonka truck that isn't in perfect condition, don't count yourself out.
This 1960s Wheaton Van Lines truck had visible rust spots along the roof, but the rest of the toy was in good condition. No dents, working axles and a scratch-free windshield.
While it would have been worth even more with a perfect coat of paint, it still sold for over $1,000.
4. White Tonka Hydraulic Aerial Ladder Fire Truck Set
Bottom line: The more detailed a collectible toy is, the harder it is to find without missing or damaged parts. Made in 1959, this vintage Tonka fire truck set had a working aerial fire ladder, a hydrant, a wrench, and three different firefighting vehicles included.
The only damaged part was a cracked hose. The box also showed light signs of wear, but on the whole, it was in fantastic condition.
3. Tonka Big Mike State Highway Snow Plow
Bottom line: Even pretend cities need snowplows on winter days. Tonka produced Big Mike, a state highway snowplow, with dual hydraulics.
The solid metal truck was played with gently, but the previous owner restored the paint and replaced missing parts, including a tire, hubcap and front lamp. All the hydraulics work, however, and the sheet metal in front doesn't have a single dent.
It just goes to show that keeping your collectibles in excellent condition is worth the effort. You never know what items collectors value.
2. Tonka 405 Sportsman Toy Pickup Truck
Bottom line: Just by the picture, it's easy to see that this vintage Tonka truck was kept in pristine condition. It still had its original finish without a single scratch, plus its original box and the boat it came with. Pretty impressive considering it was made in the early 1960s.
Even with some slight yellowing in places, we'd gladly take a road trip in it. Maybe not for two grand, though.
1. Tonka B-210 Road Builders Set
Bottom line: Needless to say, an entire set of Tonka toys is more valuable than a single item. What really makes this set valuable, however, is that it was made in 1957. Like most Tonka toys, it's not in brand-new condition. Toys were meant to be played with, right?
This set had some wear and tear when it was sold, including a broken hydraulics system, some black markings on the dump truck and tape on the corners of the box.
That's what buyers expect when it comes to used toys, and the set sold for over $3,000.