For many collectors, Tonka trucks are reminders of childhood. And now new generations are discovering their charm, with vintage trucks often used as decorative pieces.
So just how much might you pay for one?
We’re going to look at 19 of the most valuable Tonka trucks to have come to the market. And we’ll learn more about the models that command the highest prices.
Ready? Let’s find out more!
Most Valuable Tonka Trucks Worth Money
1. 1950 Steel Carrier $149
This lovely truck screams 1950s vintage charm. The cab is a classic mustard yellow, while the container is forest green emblazoned with retro lettering.
It’s 22 inches long overall, with the trailer accounting for 16.25 inches of that. The width at its widest point is 6.25 inches, and its maximum height is 5.4 inches.
It’s in excellent original condition, with no scrapes or repainting. It’s being sold by its original owner, who was able to pinpoint the year it had been played with – 1955!
Since then, it’s been kept covered up, maintaining its pristine appearance. And while the original box has been lost over time, its condition still commands a premium price.
If you want to get your hands on this steel carrier, it will cost you $149.
2. Tow and Plow Truck $180
This smart tow and plow truck got bidders excited when it was listed on an online auction site in February 2022.
Its clean white paintwork with black accents make it a great decorator’s piece. There’s a hydraulic lift at the back and a light on the hood. And it’s in lovely condition for its age – it probably dates from the 1960s.
It’s also quite a rare design. So while it didn’t have its originally box, competition was fierce when the bidding opened. It finally sold for $180.
3. 1956 Ford Cab No. 5 Fire Truck $185
Fire trucks are always sought after, and this one dating from 1956 is particularly attractive. The fiery red paint and yellow embellishments on the cab and at the back look fantastic.
It’s just under 17 inches long and 6 inches tall. The hood bears the three letters “T. F. D.”, standing for Tonka Fire Department. And there are some great details, like pressure gauges and an emergency light.
But while this is a very handsome truck, it’s not without its condition issues. The paint shows some signs of its 60 plus years of life, with chips here and there. And one of the key elements of any fire truck – the ladder – is missing.
Perhaps that’s what’s holding back buyers. If you’re in the market for a Tonka fire truck, this one is still available at the time of writing. It will cost you $185.
4. 1960s Caterpillar U.S Army Road Grader Truck $200
This 1960s model of a U.S. Army Caterpillar truck is quite rare. It measures around 18 inches long, 6.5 inches wide and 6.5 inches tall. It still works just as it should, with the wheel turning and guiding the direction of the truck.
It does show significant signs of wear, however. The paint is chipped and peeling, with discoloration in some areas.
It’s for sale online at a set price of $200. But we’ve seen this model in better condition sell at auction for considerably less.
As always with antiques and collectables, the price depends on what buyers are willing to pay. If you’re patient, you may be able to get a better deal.
5. 1980s Dump Truck No. 58002 $215
This dump truck is model number 58002 and dates from the early 1980s. Just like the earlier Tonka models, it’s made of pressed steel, and it’s a lovely, vibrant shade of yellow.
It stands 3.5 inches high, is 7.5 inches long and 3 inches wide. Turn it over, and you’ll see the stamp “Tonka Corp – Made in USA” on the bottom.
It’s in great condition, with clean, fresh paintwork and decals. That condition is reflected in the price of $215.
6. 1978 Tiny Tonka Ryder Van No. 902 $215
This 1978 Ryder van is a great looking toy. It’s finished in bright yellow, with red, white and black logos.
It measures 5.1 inches long, 3.2 inches tall and 2.3 inches wide. The model number is 902 and it was sold for only one year. That makes it rare – and it’s particularly difficult to find one in this kind of condition. The only flaw here is a scratch on the roof and a missing box.
It sold online for $215.
7. 1970 Tiny Tonka #968 Truck Mounted Excavator $220
This truck mounted excavator dates from 1970 and is another hard-to-find specimen. Model number 968 was built in Japan and exported only to Canada. The production run was small, making this a rare survivor.
This example is also in great condition. There are a few tiny marks to the paintwork, and there’s no box. Other than that, it’s pretty much perfect.
This one came onto the market in 2022 with an asking price of $220.
8. 1955-56 Carnation Milk Truck $235
This Carnation Milk truck is one of three stock Metro van designs produced by Tonka in the 1950s. The other two were Parcel and Rescue – but to our minds, the Carnation design is the best of all.
It has fresh white paintwork with attractive advertising decals. The retro look makes it an attractive centerpiece for any collection. There are, though, some minor losses to the paintwork, and some damage to the decals.
It sold in an online auction in 2022 for $235.
The relatively good condition was key to achieving that price. Another example sold earlier that year was missing one door and a hubcap, and had significant staining, scratches and rust. It made $165.
9. Hydraulic Dump Truck No. 2585 $235
This hydraulic dump truck is Tonka model number 2585. It’s a good-looking truck, with just a few minor marks and signs of wear. The hydraulic ramp hoist at the rear is still in perfect working order. The Tonka decals, however, aren’t perfectly straight.
This one appears to date from the 1960s. And importantly for collectors, it came with its original box.
It sold online in auction for $235 – and this was still a good deal. We’ve seen boxed 1970s examples of the same model on sale for over $500.
10. 1960s Dump Truck with Sand Loader $280
This dump truck with sand loader dates from the 1960s and is made of the typical pressed steel. There are a few signs of wear, with scratches and losses to the paint work. The hub caps show a little rust too.
Nevertheless, it still works as it should. The sand loader moves. The dumping mechanism functions perfectly. And the rubber conveyor belt is in good condition.
The dump truck is 13 inches long, 6 inches wide and 6 inches tall, while the sand loader is a little smaller. The complete toy was sold online in 2022 for the princely sum of $280.
11. 1968 Aerial Ladder Fire Truck No. 2998 $300
This model number 2998 is the second vintage Tonka fire truck to make our list. This one comes complete with an aerial ladder, and it’s in excellent condition.
The red and white paintwork is all original. There are a few scuffs and scratches, but it still looks fresh and bright. And the “T. F. D.” decals – standing for Tonka Fire Department – set it off beautifully.
It’s large – 31 inches long. All the original bits and pieces are still there – the side ladders, fire extinguishers and decals.
The original box is long gone, sadly. But the sellers have made their own wooden shipping crate, complete with replica Tonka artwork. They’ve also added tap-touch, dimmable LED lighting to the inside, allowing you to use the crate as a display stand.
This is a lovely combination of the original toy and reproduction packaging. It went on sale in 2022 for $300.
12. 1959 Pickup Truck No. 02 $310
This 1959 pickup No. 2 is in great original condition, with no repainting. It’s got a few scuffs and scratches, but still looks great.
The original box has gone, but a bespoke wooden crate has been crafted to protect it. It comes with the vintage artwork lithographed onto the lid. And dimmable LED lighting allows it to double as a cool display stand for the truck.
It’s on sale online and can be yours for a cool $310.
13. Wrecker Truck No. 518 $316
The fantastic condition of this 1965 wrecker track saw it attract a bidding frenzy when it was auctioned online.
The model 518 truck came complete with its original box, and the paintwork was immaculate. We spotted a couple of pinpoint marks, but that was all. All the parts were present and correct too.
It was auctioned online in 2022 and made $316.
14. 1960s Hi-Way Department Mobile Dragline Truck $330
We’ve seen several models of this vintage Hi-Way Department truck for sale, but none in such good condition as this one.
It came from the collection of a serious Tonka fan, and it looks as bright and fresh as the day it was made. There’s been no repainting. And the decals too in excellent condition, complete and unpeeling.
All the parts still function as they should. The only thing that’s missing is the original box.
You can pick up one of these trucks with chipped paint for less than $100. But the condition here makes it a rare find. When it came up for auction online in 2022, it made an impressive $330.
15. 1975 Mighty Hydraulic Dump No. 3902 $385
This is another case where mint condition is reflected in a high asking price. This 1975 Mighty Hydraulic Dump had never been removed from its box when it was offered for sale.
The cardboard liner is still in place, and the box itself is in crisp condition. And of course, the truck looks as good as the day it was made.
It’s currently on sale for $385.
16. 1958 WHITE Tonka Fire Department TFD Tanker Truck $500
This 1958 fire truck is an unusual example, painted white rather than the standard red.
This one has been professionally restored, which some collectors don’t like. But it looks amazing. The paintwork is top notch, but if you look closely, some pitting is visible underneath. We actually like that – it’s an authentic sign of age.
It comes with its original grille, but some of the other parts are replacements. It won’t suit purists. But collectors who want a vintage truck that looks as it did when it first rolled off the factory line will love it.
It’s on sale for $500.
17. Vintage Dual Hydraulic Big Mike Dump Truck With V-Plow $700+
This Big Mike dump truck with V-plow is a highly collectable model. It’s in great working order, with the hydraulics operating smoothly.
There are a few signs of wear and tear to this one. The paintwork on the dump bed and the face of the V-plow has been touched up. Most of the back of the plow has been repainted. And one of the lights from the plow bracket is missing.
It’s still a handsome looking toy, with the original “State Hi-Way Dept” decals present and correct.
It’s being sold at an online auction, and bidding at the time of writing was brisk. With 8 days still to go, the price had climbed to $690.
18. 1955 Allied Van Lines $820
This 1955 Allied Van Lines model had been restored when it came to the market in 2022. It was in perfect working order, with new paintwork, decals and other parts.
The result was a vintage truck that looked as good as new. And it came with all its original markings – including the legend “Tonka Toys – USA” on all the tires.
The restoration went down well with collectors. The winning bidder paid $820 to secure this truck.
19. 1983 Mighty Dump Truck Prototype $1,200
The final truck to make our list is something a little special. This Mighty Dump Truck was a prototype, crafted before the model went into production. It was used for the photo shoot for the 1983 Tonka dealer catalog.
The truck had been produced in earlier years, but this year the design was modified. This allowed Tonka to keep production costs down, allowing it to be sold for $9.99.
The prototype has several details that mark it out from production line examples. The Tonka letters on top are cut and glued in place, rather than stamped into the metal. The plexiglass shell of the cab was cut with a saw. And the front end is molded from resin and spray painted black.
All this makes it a very desirable truck for any serious Tonka collector. At the time of writing, it’s for sale with an asking price of $1,200.
Top Trucks for Serious Collectors
We hope you’ve enjoyed our look at 19 of the most valuable Tonka trucks to have come to the market in recent years. Whether you’re looking for original condition, restored vintage models or rare prototypes, they’re out there – for a price!
And if you’ve got your own vintage Tonka truck at home, take care of it! It could be worth serious money.