My parents run our family sand and gravel mine, which means I grew up around lifesize Tonka's. But... don't kid yourself I also had over a dozen Tonka toys to play with in our huge sandbox in our back yard. I have so many good memories loading our dump trucks and grading fake high ways. Little did I know then that I was playing with toys that were created in Minnesota.

Only in Minnesota put out an article talking about the history of Tonka Toys. The article said the history of Tonka's started back in 1946. The manufacture was located in Mound, Minnesota where they were creating other things. In 1955 the company started manufacturing Tonka Toys. They made everything from bulldozers and dump trucks to snowplows and other pieces of equipment. The reason folks loved these toys... they loved how sturdy they were. The metal ones last forever.

So what does Tonka mean? Well... the article said the company took the Sioux Native American word Tonka which means large. So the name really means large toys. With some of the models that was very true. The company eventually sold to Hasbro and started disbursing them across the world.

My parents still have quite a few from our childhood. I asked them to send me pictures. As you can tell, they are still loved. Now all of my cousin's kids are enjoying them in our oversized sandbox that takes up a large majority of our backyard.

Oh, how I miss the days of spending countless hours outside with my brothers pretending we were at my dad's work running the real ones, but now younger generation get that opportunity to enjoy them as much as we did.

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