1956 Tonka Morrell Meats Private Label Semi

I received an email from Ron Johnson in February 2010 that may shed some light on the origin of the Morrell semi. Contributions like Ron's help document history that may be lost to time. Portions of his email are presented below.

"....First I have been a toy collector and dealer since 1968 so I have a fair amount of experience in the field and believe this to be true. I used to set up as a dealer at the February Sioux Falls South Dakota Farm Toy show from the beginning of the show up to maybe ten years ago and was probably the only general toy dealer there for many of those years. This was great because people would bring me toys that were not farm toys to sell to me. I probably bought 5 of the Morrell trucks there over the years and at some point in time an old Morrell employee came through, saw one and related this information.

He said that these trucks were actually made in the Morrell plant in Sioux Falls. The Company bought stock Tonka semi-trucks retail and painted them yellow and silver and applied the Morrell decals. It sounded like they were just for the employee's which may be why they are so rare, I know that they did not seem to turn up even in Minneapolis where I lived at the time. I believe that at the time I looked closely at a Morrell truck and believe th at there was different colored paint under either the semi or tractor part which seemed to confirm the story.

I also remember seeing a different truck than the Tonka with Morrell decals that I believe Morrell made as well but I do not remember if it was a Buddy L or Structo. I may have even asked Lloyd Laumann who was an old Tonka employee and my go to guy for information about Tonka but I can not remember if I did for sure..."


1956 Morrell Meats Semi

Value: A 1956 Morrell semi in excellent, original, unretouched, complete condition, paint excellent plus except for an approximately 1/4 x 1/2 inch area on the cab roof where the paint is totally missing allowing for oxidation of the steel, even the fifth wheel and saddle tank area has very minimal paint loss, very good decals with typical "bubbling, pitting and discoloration" under the trailer decals, no carton, sold on eBay for $1299 USD in early June 2008.

Value: A 1956 Morrell semi in good, original, unretouched, condition, paint good with areas of paint loss on the cab hood allowing oxidation of the steel, typical paint loss on the fifth wheel and saddle tank area, trailer paint scratched all over, good decals with typical "bubbling, pitting and discoloration" under the trailer decals, missing the mud flaps and dolly wheels, no carton, sold on eBay for $307 USD in early June 2008. NOTE: Compared to the semi above, this semi looked "tired".

Value: A 1956 Morrell semi in good, original, unretouched, condition, paint good with typical played with scratches and chips on the cab and trailer, typical paint loss on the fifth wheel and saddle tank area, good decals with typical "bubbling, pitting and discoloration" under the trailer decals, missing the grille, one rear door handle and mud flaps, no carton, sold on eBay for $307 USD in late July 2008.

Value: A 1956 Morrell semi in good, original, unretouched, condition, paint tired and dull with multiple scratches on the cab and trailer, front corner of trailer dented, good decals with typical "bubbling, pitting and discoloration" under the trailer decals, missing the trailer dolly, both mud flaps and both rear door handles, no carton, sold on eBay for $501 USD in early October 2009.

Value: A 1956 Morrell semi in very good, original, unretouched, condition, paint very good with typical played with scratches and chips on the cab and trailer, typical paint loss on the fifth wheel and saddle tank area, good decals with typical "bubbling, pitting and discoloration" under the trailer decals, missing the mud flaps, no carton, sold on eBay for $764 USD in late June 2013.

Value: A clean, almost original, 1956 Morrell Meats semi in very good condition, tired paint with numerous scrapes on the cab and trailer, decals excellent on the cab, poor on the trailer, replacement mud flaps, no box, sold on eBay for $362 USD late November 2015.


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1956 Morrell Meats Semi
Original Morrell cabs are pale yellow. Most restored cabs are a deeper yellow
1956 Morrell Meats Semi
There are no graphics on the trailer doors


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