Remember when you were a kid and one of the most prized toys your parents ever bought you was Tonka truck? Well, some of us have never really outgrown those Tonka trucks and have kept a few of them as collector’s items. But Toyota Motors Australia has taken toys to a whole new level by building a concept HiLux styled after the classic Tonka trucks. Toyota Australia’s 150-strong product planning, design, and development division made some modifications on the 2016 SR5 double cab HiLux truck by outfitting the concept vehicle with a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, and it’s been raised an additional six inches because of this.
The general design is for off-roading so they put in heavy-duty suspension and 35-inch tires, along with a snorkel and a light bar. It’s also got an awesome paint job in the official Tonka colors and logo. The division is headed by product design chief Nicolas Hogios who said, “It’s the life-sized toy truck you’ll never have even if you were a millionaire’s kid.” The Australian car manufacturer describes the HiLux concept vehicle as a “full-size dream toy for adults that they could never have, and never will.”
It was actually created to commemorate the Toyota HiLux truck being the best-selling vehicle in 2016 in Australia as well as celebrating Toyota’s global 80th anniversary and Tonka’s 70th anniversary. But whatever is being celebrated, it doesn’t take away the fascination of looking at this inner child’s design process concept vehicle made to look like a toy. It looks like pure fun when it’s running around off road or speeding on sand dunes, a real truck consolidated into Tonka form.
Video Courtesy of Youtube:
Pure childhood delight! If you’re lucky to be an Aussie, or will happen to be in Australia, you may have a chance to check out the concept truck in the coming months, just so you can salivate and wish you were a kid again. Toyota will be touring the concept vehicle with stops at:
- April 21 – 23 – Phillip Island Super Sprint, Phillips Island Racing Circuit, Victoria
- May 4 – 6 – Agfest Field Days, 415 Oaks Road, Carrick, Tasmania
- June 6 – 8 – Farm Fest, Kingsthorpe Park, Toowoomba, Queensland
Sorry for those in New South Wales, they’ve already been there last April 1 at the Valvoline Granville Raceway. Tonka Toys was first founded as Mound Metalcraft in 1946 in Mound, Minnesota by Lynn Everett Baker, Avery F. Crounse, and Alvin F. Tesch. In a funny twist, the three originally got together to manufacture garden implements, but discovered that the building they were going to rent had a former occupant who had patented several metal toys that he was not interested in. After some success with selling metal-crafted toys, Mound changed its name to Tonka Toys Inc. in 1955. In 1987, Tonka purchased Kenner and Palitoy for its expansion, but hard debts forced it to be acquired by Hasbro in 1991. In 2001, Tonka trucks were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.