So Minnesota: History of Tonka Trucks rolls on in a Mound museum

Updated: March 02, 2020 10:56 PM

Growing up, everyone remembers their favorite toy. And for many generations, that toy was a Tonka Truck.

For several decades the toys were made right here in the Twin Cities.


Right after World War II, three men started what became Tonka Toys in Mound. 

"Remember the three guys who started Apple in the garage," Pam Myers, with Westonka Historical Society, which operates the Tonka Toy Museum in Mound, said. "This is three guys who started Tonka Toy Company in an old school building."   

By the 1960's Tonka became the largest builder of toy trucks in the world, producing eight million a year, which exceeded the combined output of the American auto industry.

"We had signs coming into town here, 'Welcome to the trucking capital of the world,' because of course more trucks were made here than in Detroit," Myers said.  

Tonka Toys left Mound in 1983, less than a decade later the company was sold to Hasbro.

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Joe Mazan

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