Toyota’s HiLux Tonka Truck: A Sandpit Toy for Grown Ups

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Your childhood truck fantasies have been brought to life.

Not much is certain in life, but we’re pretty sure that everyone reading this has owned or played with at least one Tonka truck in their life. And for many of us, those iconic yellow and black trucks are what stoked the fires of our passion for trucks in the first place. So who wouldn’t want a full size, grown up version of a one?

The Toyota HiLux Tonka Concept is exactly that. Aussie Toyota designer Nic Hogios, who undoubtedly played with Tonka trucks as a kid, sketched the concept out on paper. A mere 5 months later, a new, much larger toy was born. And this isn’t just some specially painted HiLux, either. Virtually every body panel has been altered to give it a truly menacing look.

There are also a ton of cool little details that make the truck even more unique. A simple strap replaces the traditional tailgate handle, an obvious nod to motorsport. There’s a custom fabricated tubular frame which houses a number of off road goodies like the spare tire, toolkit, fire extinguisher, fuel can, jack, and shovel. And a portal axle system gives the Tonka real ground clearance and off road capability.

The truck’s off-road wheels use 3D-printed Tonka logos for centercaps. And the 35-inch tires with custom graphics look pretty incredible wrapped around them. Other goodies include carbon fiber fender flares, rock sliders, integrated lighting and a snorkel.

The HiLux Tonka Concept isn’t the first truck built with a Tonka theme, but it is arguably the coolest. The level of detail is simply incredible, as you can see in the walkaround video below. It’s one toy that we’re pretty sure no grown up would be ashamed to play with.

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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