1970s Tonka Friction Drive Semi Truck and Trailer Made in Japan


Better known for their bright yellow and orange construction-themed toys, this is a slightly different Tonka product. This is a smaller, stylised truck and trailer which bears some of the obvious Tonka hallmarks – notably its absolutely bomb-proof construction – but some deviations. Most notable is that styling – it’s got an almost futuristic look to it  – and the friction-drive mechanism which is activated by first rolling the tractor unit until the revs build and then either pressing the button on the rear of it with your finger or attaching the trailer to it which engages the drive. And, away it goes…  it many ways it seems to be a precursor or companion to the Clutch Popper style cars which Tonka produced, but it doesn’t appear to have been branded under that label.

The truck and trailer together measure apprximately 20cm (8 in.) in length, with a height of 7.5cm (3 in.) and width of 7cm (2¾ in.)

In very good condition with some minor wear to some of the metal corners, to the plastics, and to the stickers, but overall in very good shape for a 40+ year old toy and a great example for the Tonka collector and the “Big Kid” alike.

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