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Hess Trucks - A Holiday Tradition For 50 Years

Updated on March 4, 2015

Hess Trucks

The first Hess toy truck was released in 1964, beginning an annual tradition that has continued to this day 50 years later.

Hess trucks are built with an attention to detail and quality that make them fun toys and cherished collectibles. Each year's truck has working lights, movable parts and many recent models include additional vehicles. They're a great value and new ones even come with their own batteries.

A limited quantity of trucks are released each year and sold exclusively through Hess gas stations around the US. The new truck is usually released during November just in time for Christmas.

Hess trucks make excellent gifts for the children and collectors on your list.

2014 Hess Toy Release

The 2014 Hess Toy Truck & Space Cruiser with Scout is now on sale!

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hess trucks, Hess has also released a limited quantify Collector's Edition toy truck!

Hess Truck 50th Anniversary Video

Cool video from Hess showing clips of the Hess truck commercials from 1980 through to 2013.

The 2014 Hess Toy Truck & Space Cruiser with Scout

The 2014 Hess toy features a heavy duty truck with the number "50" embossed on each side of the cab to commemorate the 50th anniversary. The truck bed has a launch pad that elevates and holds the new Space Cruiser vehicle. The Space Cruiser has 3 button activated sounds plus 3 motion activated sounds. It also contains a cargo bay with the removable scout vehicle.

2014 Hess Toy Truck Commercial

The 2014 Hess Toy Truck 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition

The special limited edition 50th anniversary Hess Truck is a modern version of the original Hess tanker toy trucks. It has over 100 working lights, the most of any Hess truck ever! The tanker contains a replica 1964 Hess Toy Truck replica that you can see through a window on the sides of the tank and also take it out through a hinged door at the rear of the tank.

The 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Hess Trucks

The 2010 Hess toy featured a tractor trailer carrying a jet plane on a tilting hydraulic launch ramp. Both vehicles have lots of lights that can be set to flashing mode, including a runway light sequence on the trailer. 2010 was the first year a jet plane has been offered. The jet also has motion activated sounds and retractable landing gear!

The 2011 Hess toy featured a heavy duty utility truck carrying a race car that loads and unloads via a hidden ramp. Both vehicles have lots of lights and electronic sound effects including ignition, horn, engine and backup alert. The race car also features a pullback motor.

The 2012 Hess toy was a helicopter and rescue vehicle. The helicopter has motorized rotors, working lights, a cargo bay door/ramp, 3 sounds (ignition, take off and fly by) and retractable landing gear. The rescue truck has working lights and fits inside the helicopter's cargo bay.

The 2013 Hess toy features a heavy duty truck and custom trailer with retractable loading ramp. It carries a motorized front end loader with backhoe. The front and back buckets are articulated and the front bucket can be locked in position. Both the truck and tractor have all the working lights typical of a Hess truck. The truck also has 4 realistic truck sound effects.

2011 Hess Toy Truck and Race Car Commercial

Hess Trucks from the 1960s

The collection started in 1964 with the Hess Tanker Trailer modeled after an actual tanker trailer. You can even fill the tanker with water which then flows through the delivery hose.

With the exception of 1966, all trucks during this decade were variations of the tanker truck. All had working lights.

The Hess Tanker Ship

The truck for 1966 was actually a replica of the Hess Voyager tanker ship. The toy version has working lights and wheels underneath so that it can roll.

Hess Trucks from the 1970s

The 70s started with a fire truck modeled after the fire engine at a Hess refinery. A box trailer truck was introduced complete with removable oil barrels. There were also additional variations of the original tanker truck.

What do you do with your Hess trucks?

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Hess Trucks from the 1980s

The first truck of this decade was a replica of the Hess training van that traveled to Hess stations across the country. It was the first truck to have a lighted Hess logo on the side.

Another popular model from the 80s is the replica of the 1933 truck that Leon Hess used to deliver fuel oil. This truck was produced in 1982-83 and again in 1985 with the addition of a coin bank in one of the tanks.

1988 marked the first truck that came with another vehicle. The Hess "Toy Truck and Racer" carried a friction powered race car.

Two new fire trucks were also introduced in '86 and '89.

1985 Hess Toy Truck Commercial

Hess Trucks from the 1990s

Several trucks released in the 1990s continued the multiple vehicle packaging theme. The 1995 truck came with a helicopter and the 1997 truck came with two race cars that fit in the trailer.

1999 celebrated the Hess Truck's 35th anniversary with the "Toy Truck and Space Shuttle with Satellite". Several new emergency vehicles were also released during 1993, 1994 and 1996.

Hess Trucks from 2000-2009

Trucks of the last decade include a helicopter carrying a motorcycle and SUV, a truck carrying a bi-plane, a monster truck with motorcycles and race cars.

2008 featured a hauler truck with a motorized front end loader that moves forward and reverse (it's the first Hess vehicle with reverse motion).

What do you think of Hess trucks? Share your favorite Hess truck stories in the comments below.

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    • jimconrad2 profile image

      jimconrad2 4 years ago

      They are a classic.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 4 years ago

      My boys love Hess trucks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I started when I was younger collecting Hess trucks. As I grew up my interest grew and decided to sell them first as a hobby and then my hobby became a business called Ray's Toy Trucks. Before I knew it we were selling Hess toy truck all over the world!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 4 years ago

      My brother used to be totally in love with these! Then my son. Blessed!

    • profile image

      athena2011 5 years ago

      I see these every year at the Hess gas station i usually go to. However, I do not know anyone who has ever bought one. They look very durable so would probably make a lot of little boys very happy. I wonder are they better made than other comparable toys?

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      My grandson has a bunch, he plays with them

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I love these Hess trucks especially when they show old gas and oil companies! Great lens!

    • MacPharlain profile image
      Author

      MacPharlain 9 years ago

      Yes, there are still lots of Hess stations. According to the Hess Store Locator, they're mainly on the East Coast. Closest to MI would be PA or TN.

    • profile image

      AllThingsMichigan 9 years ago

      I LOVE toys and these trucks are too cool. Are there still Hess gas stations, then? I've never seen one. My son would definitely want some of these trucks.