Why Are Old Toys So Awesome?

Grandma went to a garage sale recently and bought a duffel bag full of toys. One of the items in that bag was this adorable Tonka Dune Buggy:

This toy is about 4" long. It has a metal body, plastic wheels, and a removal plastic top:

The bottom of the toy says TONKA 55340 MADE IN U.S.A.:

This very satisfying toy got me thinking: why are old toys so much better than new ones? This little car is beautifully constructed. It has thick metal axles and wonderful detailing. The use of metal and plastic is appropriate: metal for the body and axles, plastic for the interior and fine details. Look how cute this thing is in my hand:

Now, compare this toy to the current Tonka offerings:

(photo by Jose Camba)

One wonders what lead to the garish colors and disturbing anthropomorphization of 'Chuck the Truck'.

I realize that plastic toys are less expensive and easier to produce (in China) that metal toys made in the USA. We as a society have decided on a path of more is more. But does every child really need 5 'Chuck the Truck' toys? I think every little boy would really enjoy one metal 1960s Tonka Dune Buggy instead, especially if that toy lasted forty years and could be passed down to your children.

Update: this toy first appears in the 1970 Tonka Look Book as the Fun Buggy. I encourage you to spend some time browsing the Neat Old Toys site for more old Tonka goodness.

Update 2: On a related tangent, modern homes burn much more quickly than older homes.


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