When I was a kid, I played with realistic Tonka trucks that were actually made of pressed steel. Ads showed them being put under a Volkswagen Beetle and an elephant with no damage.
Today's Tonka Classics re-create the look and feel of those old toys. But that isn't enough for an obsessed Wisconsin man who's showing his love for the brand by cruising around in his life-size Tonka truck.
Brad Doane has faithfully re-created a 1969 Tonka Mighty Wrecker tow truck, right down to the mini cab and hand-cranked winch. And he drives it around.
The 40-year-old had every Tonka truck as a kid, but his job at Irvington Garage Towing is the perfect spot for bringing a toy truck to life, so to speak.
When his mother brought home the Mighty Wrecker from a charity auction, Doane was inspired to build it. He found a 1984 Chevy pickup and began modifying it over a year. Check out pics of the work on his site here.
He added the white superstructure, towing arms, and even the tiny steering wheel for ultimate authenticity. The result is a 16-foot-long, 10-foot-tall Tonka wrecker that weighs 2 tons.
It probably won't be towing many cars because it doesn't have a motorized winch, but maybe Doane can hire a Tonka action figure to help out.
Meanwhile he's going to show off his Wrecker at parades and events, including the Spirit of the Lakes in Mound, Minnesota, where Tonka was born and named after Lake Minnetonka.
Check out the news report below on Doane's glorious obsession.