I received product to facilitate this review but all opinions are 100% mine.
I love toys with a history, and here’s a great one: did you know 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Hess Toy Trucks? This year’s edition is extra awesome, too — it’s a flatbed truck, space cruiser and Scout mini plane, all with working lights and sounds. This is the 50th piece in a stellar lineup of high quality toys, sold ever since Leon Hess came up with a brilliant idea to sell one-of-a-kind toys.
Hess Corporation is a Fortune 100 company and a major leader in the oil industry — which makes it even cooler when you find out the Hess Toy Truck brand is one of the longest running toy brands in the US. For 50 years, their trucks, airplanes, helicopters, police cars and rescue vehicles have been a popular gift tradition as families collect the toys through generations with a new design every year.
In 1964, Leon Hess wanted to offer a fun, high-quality and affordable toy to the customers of his Hess gas stations. The first Hess Toy Truck was a Hess Tanker Trailer, a replica of the company’s Mack gasoline truck. It featured working lights and a gas tank that could be filled and emptied via a funnel and rubber hose!
Can you believe there were no TV or radio ads put out for Hess Toy Trucks until the 1980s? The trucks were sold strictly at Hess gas stations, with nothing but a sign in the window to notify customers. Their TV ads began in the 80s with clever jingles each year. Fast forward to 2014 and you can now buy Hess Toy Trucks on their website — and of course, at your local Hess gas station and retail store — or follow them on Facebook.
The 2014 model is seriously awesome — my boys are obsessed. The toddler loves the button-activated launch ramp on the truck (which also features three different sound effects and 41 lights, wow!), and my preschooler loves to open and close the space cruiser’s cargo door to reveal the mini scout plane with folded wings.
Looks like the 2014 model is sold out online, but you can still track one down at your local Hess station and retail store (click here to find a location). Or, check out the fun Space Cruiser game on the Hess Toy Truck app, available for Android and iPhone. And make sure you sign up to receive Hess updates so you know when the 2015 model goes on sale — your family can join the generations of Hess Toy Truck fans like mine.