What are Tonka Mites?

The year these toys hit the market in 1976 their marketing slogan was “fun to play with alone or together, fun to collect as a whole fleet”. There were 10 original Tonka Mites vehicles released that year and manufactured in Japan for Tonka. Cabs were made of press steel and the rest of the vehicle were plastic. Later years the vehicles were switched to die-cast or a combination of metal and die-cast. Measuring in dimensions slightly under 4 inches and smaller than Tiny Tonkas, these were branded Tonka Mites. Sometimes you will see folks referring to them as miniature Tonka Trucks or small Tonka Trucks. They are generally talking about Tonka Mites.

They were produced for a short number of years and then production ceased due to copyright issues. There are of course fakes of these toys out on the market that do not carry the Tonka name on the wheels. This is what defines an original Tonka Mites from a fake one. Also, the other distinction is that the vehicle will say made in Japan. The fakes were often manufactured in an Eastern Block country.

This page features Tonka Mites from my collection and information gathered over the years. This page is a work in progress so kindly check back as I update and modify content, and imagery. If you have information to share I would welcome your input.

The original Tonka Mites were: No. 144 Cherry Picker, No. 142 Crane, No. 143 Aerial Ladder, No. 146 Mixer, No. 141 Van Truck, No. 150 Tanker, No. 149 Sanitary Truck, No. 147 Dump, No. 145 Cargo and No. 148 Wrecker. You can find some of these featured below.