Back in the 1980s, Galoob Toys’ Micro Machines first hit the scene and became a massive success for a number of years, eventually fading a bit before the small, West Coast toymaker was absorbed by the large, East Coast-based Hasbro. Along the way, Hasbro also acquired TONKA, since licensed out to Funrise Toys, current manufacturers of the iconic yellow vehicles and their many spinoffs. The reason why these acquisitions and licensing deals are important to this story is that the newly-released TONKA Tinys seem to carry a lot of DNA from all of these companies’ past endeavors. While there have been plenty of Micro Machines copycats over the past three decades, none have felt as close to the real deal as these new Tinys from TONKA, and that’s a pretty cool thing as nostalgia plays so heavily into what parents of today are introducing to their own kids. One decidedly modern spin, however, is that TONKA Tinys are essentially “Blind Boxed,” and they tap into the very now trend of micro collectibles.
The first two series’ of TONKA Tinys borrow heavily from some of the same models that TONKA already makes in much larger scales, shrinking them down to about an inch and a half, but keeping real working wheels and other play features and moving pieces. Each vehicle comes packed in a “garage” that is both connectable and stackable, allowing kids to make their own layouts. They look a lot like storage units as well, so maybe the kids will be playing “Storage Wars” if they’d like.
My youngest daughter and I cracked into the partial shelf-display that the folks at Funrise sent us for review here at Rock Father HQ, and I don’t know which one of us was more impressed by the little vehicles, which range from classic yellow-and-black construction machines to police, fire and rescue cars, trucks and even helicopters. There’s also garbage and recycling vehicles in the fleet, adding to the great cross section of municipal vehicles that reflect real-life “helpers.”
As we move toward the holiday season, I’m recommending TONKA Tinys as a cool potential stocking stuffer. With their small size, big play value, and low price (around $2.50 each), kids can build a pretty impressive fleet.
Want to see more of what TONKA has to offer? Check out the official site.