Tonka Tough


(permanent link) added: 2009-12-19 12:25:20 sponsor: TheStupidExclamationMark (last reply: 2009-12-19 13:18:04)

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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 GameCube. 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.

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replies: 23

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