We all grew up with Tonka toys (and Structos) in the sandbox or the bare dirt part of the yard. But the ultimate for me was the bulldozer.
Tonkas were amazingly durable toys that weren’t cheap to buy, but that was all right. You usually inherited a few from your older brothers or cousins. Mom and Dad might make a special gift of a new one that would quickly assume the same battle-worn appearance of the veteran pieces.
I built hundreds of mini-miles of roads with my Tonkas, and my bulldozer was the star of the fleet. I could quickly demolish massive hills of dry humus beneath our tall elm tree in the front yard. There was just something about those mega-cool rubber treads and the patterns they would leave in the dirt.
My Tonkas were long ago sold at yard sales, but maybe someday I’ll start rebuilding my old collection.