Created By: TheStupidExclamationMarkDecember 19, 2009
Troped

Tonka Tough

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This is a Trope that applies most specifically to toys:

Whoever did this was strong. This is 340 pounds of Tonka-tough steel.
--Leela (in reference to a mysteriously un-bent metal beam) on Futurama.

Definitely get a 1/55 Bandai VF-1 "chunky monkey". My 4 year old plays with his 1/55 Bandai valk all the time. These are super durable and great fun. It is also a toy that will last and he can have fun with for years or decades as most of us have.
--Macross World user miriya on the Takatoku VF-1.

A toy, usually 1970s or 1980s vintage, that is considered so tough, it could survive a nuclear war (almost). It may suffer for countless years at the hands of a destructive brat, but will only suffer minor scuffs and breakages in the process. It will still look relatively unharmed after a 10-year stay in someone's poo-filled unheated closet located above a very greasy snackbar. Better yet, in the hands of a collector, it will often clean up so well after such an event that it will look almost new. Sometimes it will be reissued, and will then kick the ass of later, more accurate products. Usually, it isn't a very realistic and/or accurate representation of its subject, but this should not distract from its most important quality: its toughness.

May also be applied to other nearly undestructable items, such as certain vintage computer systems (e.g. Game Boy).


Examples:
  • Fischer Technik construction toys are made from super tough nylon, are either so hard or so flexible they can't be broken, and will usually survive 30 years of play and storage with only minor yellowing.
  • Mattel Barbie dolls of humans and animals.
  • Lego and Duplo bricks. Those things are Nigh Invulnerable to your average 10 year old boy.
  • Fisher Price Little People.
  • The Tonka Mighty Dump Truck was advertised as being virtually indestructible through the course of normal play, and damned near impossible to break outside of normal play. In one memorable advertisement for the truck, they had an elephant step on it, as seen at the top of this page. The truck was fine. Think about it... an eight-pound toy truck that could hold several tons of elephant foot and not break. Let's see a game-cube or some toy robot do that.
    • Tonka toys in general.
  • The Nintendo Game Cube. An unit was demonstrated to survive bludgeoning with bats, thrown like a ball and towed on pavement by a moving car. It still worked.
    • People often joke that Nintendo's systems are made out of an indestructible alloy called Nintendium. There is a Game Boy that survived a bombing in the Gulf War. It's still running, and is currently housed in Nintendo's store in NYC for the world to see.
  • The Takatoku VF-1. By extension, all later VF-1 toys based on the same mold qualify: Matsuhiro VF-1J, Bandai's 1980s VF-1's, Bandai's early 2000nds VF-1 reissues, Bandai's late 2000nds VF-1 reissues.
  • Bandai's mid-1990s Macross 7 1/65 VF-17 and VF-19 releases and their 2001 reissues.
  • Bandai/Tonka's earlier Super Gobots.
  • A few of Hasbro's late 1980s Transformers, especially the Headmasters.
  • Most of Bandai's 1990s sentai and Power Rangers toys.

Please comment. A picture that shows off the toughness can be provided. I need more examples, if possible ones that are not of transforming toys.

Indexes:

Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • December 14, 2009
    Nate the Great
    Does "Chunky Monkey" mean a flavor of ice cream to anyone else?
  • December 14, 2009
    Assistant
    A surprisingly modern example, the Gamecube. I don't have a video url handy, but an unit was demonstrated to survive bludgeoning with bats, thrown like a ball and towed on pavement by a moving car. It still worked.
  • December 14, 2009
    Roonstown
    On an unrelated tangent: You just LOVE Potholing, don't ya?
  • December 14, 2009
    JackButler
    The Tonka Mighty Dump Truck was advertised as being virtually indestructible through the course of normal play, and damned near impossible to break outside of normal play. In one memorable add for the truck, they had an elephant step on it. The truck was fine. Think about it... an eight-pound toy truck that could hold several tons of elephant foot and not break. Let's see a game-cube or some toy robot do that.

    And you seriously need to rename this. Chunky Monkey is an ice cream flavor, dude.
  • December 14, 2009
    random surfer
    Tonka toys in general. (Well, not so much now that they've replaced a lot of the metal with plastic.) In fact I'll suggest naming this after their advertising Catch Phrase: Tonka Tough. (cf. Nintendo Hard)
  • December 14, 2009
    CodeMan38
    People often joke that Nintendo's systems are made out of an indestructible alloy called Nintendium.

    There is a Game Boy that survived a bombing in the Gulf War. It's still running, and is currently housed in Nintendo's store in NYC for the world to see.
  • December 14, 2009
    Nate the Great
    That being said, Dave Barry once wrote on the indestructibility of Fisher Price Little People.
  • December 14, 2009
    JackButler
    Tonka Tough is a much, much better name for this trope, if only because it avoids the entire "Wait, isn't that an ice cream flavor?" problem.
  • December 14, 2009
    MajorTom
    I vote Tonka Tough. You can also add LEGOs to this as well. Those things are Nigh Invulnerable to your average 10 year old boy.
  • December 14, 2009
    JackButler
    My younger brother, reading this over my shoulder, has commented "Transformers are indestructible? Since when? I broke all of mine back when I was seven when I ran them over with my tonka truck."
  • December 14, 2009
    Egregious Eric
    Kick Ass links to a work, not a trope.
  • December 14, 2009
    Amphimir
    My daughter's favorite toy nowadays is a Mattel Barbie horse (some kind of yellow-color) that used to belong to my wife. It passed from my wife to a couple of cousins, then nieces and then back to our daughter. It is simply indestructible. It has been stomped by kids and adults alike. Even the hair is still -mostly- there.
  • December 15, 2009
    TheStupidExclamationMark
    I honestly didn't know about the ice cream flavor - it's the first time I hear it. Will make the modifications later today.

    Okay, amendements made. Came up with an additional example too.
  • December 15, 2009
    random surfer
    Here are a bunch of Tonka commercials, including two versions of the one with the elephant - surely someone more tech-savvy than I am could make a screencap?
  • December 16, 2009
    Bonzo the Fifth
    Requisite Futurama quote.

    Leela (in reference to a mysteriously un-bent metal beam): Whoever did this was strong. This is 340 pounds of Tonka-tough steel.

  • December 18, 2009
    TheGunheart
    Damn, I wish I had gotten that VF-19 instead of the Macross Plus one that came apart after a few transformations...
  • December 18, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Do we already have a trope for the exact opposite of this - toys that break almost instantly?

    Because this troper has definitely been there. Curse you, Resaurus!
  • December 18, 2009
    macroscopic
    Please keep the Natter/Troper Tales out of the article, especially before it's even launched. I'm looking at the second example down.
  • December 18, 2009
    JackButler
    Anyone else vaguely offended by that?
  • December 18, 2009
    Vree
    I gotta disagree with the LEGO example, I perfectly managed to break, melt or bend a lot of them. Not to mention that the paint has come off from most of them by now.
  • December 18, 2009
    macroscopic
    I don't mean any offense, I don't have anything against Amphimir, his story or even his example but it needs to be phrased as something other than a personal story if it's going on the article.
  • December 19, 2009
    TheStupidExclamationMark
    Okay, fixed that into a more general Barbie statement. My Little Pony might also be a good example of that, since they use the same kind of materials and the same kind of construction. I thought the LEGO example was mostly about the bricks, so I clarified that.

    Added a screenshot of the Elephant standing on the Tonka truck, but the quality is pretty bad, even after clean-up. I've tried finding a picture of it using Google image search, but 'elephant standing on "tonka truck"' doesn't deliver the right pictures (rather disturbingly, it does deliver porn >_<).

    A trope about the inverse would be a good idea.
  • December 19, 2009
    TheStupidExclamationMark
    I'll launch it now, because I'm going on holiday tomorrow and will only be back in 14 days. Besides, it has enough examples to be viable.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable