Baby Boomer Memory Lane: That Tough Tonka Truck
It may be hard to believe, but there was a time before video games. There was a day when Nintendo didn't have any more meaning than Ninninedo or Nineightdo. By the way, did you know that Nintendo began in 1889 as a playing card company? Just a little something to chew on. Pass the chips, please.
Kids didn't know what ipod or ipad meant. Instead of riding in the back of the car and looking down at a little screen filled with little characters fighting each other, they did what good American kids were meant to do, look out the window and whine over and over 'Are we there yet?' and 'I have to go to the bathroom.'
Instead of playing that video game, we'd play 'bounce the wadded up piece of paper on the back of Dad's head.' It was a game that I'm sure Dad loved, too.
Oh, we had our favorite name, too. It wasn't Nintendo or Xbox. Heck, it wasn't even Atari (that was also still off somewhere in the distant future). Nope.
It was Tonka.
Back in those days, every little boy wanted a Tonka truck and every little girl wanted a Barbie doll. Now, if that sounds sexist, sorry. But you have to remember this was in the stone-age!
Why did we want a Tonka truck? Well because the guy on the TV said we wanted them! And they were tough, tough, tough. Just check out this demonstration.
And it was true. Why, you could take that Tonka truck out to the sandbox behind the old farmhouse, play with it all summer, forget about it through the fall and winter, and in the spring dig it out of the sand, mud, snow and gunk and there it was, good as new! (OK, well maybe not good as new but still plenty playable!).
Turns out Tonka was started in the 1940's in Minnesota (as a kid, we had no idea and didn't really care) and are still around. I don't know if they sell as well as they used to. I assume not. After all, they're not computer generated, they're kid-imagination generated.
They may not be as popular as whatever the lasted whizz-bang video game is, but one thing's for sure - you don't want to leave that video game out in the sandbox through the winter (You do know what a sandbox is, right?)!