Friday, July 10 2015 10:50

Gettin' Dirty with TONKA - A Family Tradition...

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When it comes to iconic, American toys, one of the few brands that immediately springs to mind is TONKA. For me, simply hearing the word conjures images of those five bold letters standing out in the stamped, embossed metal form that I grew up on as a kid in the 80s. My cousins and I had many adventures with our TONKA Trucks and construction vehicles - the original-style metal versions that were built like tanks. From the sandbox to the garden, and even at one point an actual construction site (my aunt and uncle had a property being built that had some cool ditches we used as a "quarry"), we were there with TONKA, getting dirty and having fun. In fact, "Gettin' Dirty Since 1947" is TONKA's tagline in 2015, and all these years later, it's a tradition that The Rock Daughters™ have now been experiencing here at Rock Father HQ...


While the TONKA Classics Steel vehicles are still being made today, as in the 80s, there's some also-tough plastic and diecast counterparts available, like the new series of off-road racing editions based on real-life TONKA Motorsports vehicles driven by Myan Spaccarelli, Eric Baron, Taylor Atchison, Todd Romano and more. They're fun for the whole family, including new generations of kids and grown-up collectors like myself. 

Produced by Funrise Toys under license from Hasbro, the girls have been rocking four new rides that we received for review in our state-of-the-art Toy Testing Facility (our home, yard and sandbox): The TONKA T-Rex and TONKA Pro2, both in their "Replica" (larger, lights and sounds) and Diecast versions. When Addie first started getting into toy vehicles, I thought she was obsessed... but Little Finley has certainly eclipsed her when it comes to the excitement level. It warms my heart to see them outside playing hard - in dresses and in the dirt!


Backyard adventures...

TONKA fun...

Front yard adventures...

 TONKA Tough

Getting outside for some quality imaginative play is what it's all about, and watching my girls create their own adventures is something that will never get old.

TONKA Trucks and Vehicles are available now at retailers everywhere. Check out a full assortment on their official site.

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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