Friday, November 20 2015 08:06

Holiday Wish Guide: The 2015 Hess Toy Truck - A Tradition Continues...

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For over 50 years, the Hess Toy Truck has been a tradition for families on the East Coast - one that's spread Nationally, and even Globally as its legendary status has continued to grow. Originally launched in 1964 as an affordable, high-quality toy to be sold at Hess Gas Stations, many worried about the fate of the annual truck when the Hess Corporation sold their Hess Express Gas Station business to Marathon last year - the stations converted to Speedway locations, something we've long-had here in the Midwest. The good news is that the Hess Corporation has made a pledge to keep the tradition alive, and while the trucks will no longer be available at the neighborhood gas station, they're available to families throughout the U.S. on HessToyTruck.com, and at Kiosks at 10 Malls across New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Just how popular is the Hess Toy Truck? The November 1st online launch led to a massive site crash and a virtual queue thousands of people deep... and when the Mall Kiosks first opened for in-person pick-up, lines were lengthy - hours long. The good news is, Hess has plenty available for the next few weeks, and the 2015 Hess Fire Truck and Ladder Rescue is a featured pick in my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine!

Much like last year, we had a very "Christmas Morning" kind of moment when Little Finley opened her Hess Toy Truck - graciously provided for review by the Hess Corporation. 

Finley opening her 2015 Hess Toy Truck

While both of our girls love their Hess Toy Trucks (we have a few now, including a "Mini" that's no longer offered), it's Finn that I tend to think will be looking forward to these in the years to come. The quality is impressive, rivaling many of the major toymakers, and priced at just $30.99 with Free Standard Shipping and Energizer Batteries INCLUDED, it's a great value considering that it comes wrapped - and the truck is actually two trucks.

2015 Hess Toy Truck Review

Fire Truck Features:
  • 3 button-activated sound effects (ignition, horn, emergency siren)
  • Pull out ramp with hydraulic sound effect
  • 50 LED lights plus a pivoting searchlight that work in flash or steady modes
  • 2 moveable fire hose nozzles
  • 3 Energizer ‘AA’ Batteries included

2015 Hess Toy Truck Review

Ladder Rescue Features:
  • 21 LED Lights
  • 4 Tier, 360º rotating extension ladder with fire hose nozzle
  • Friction motor drive (rev-it up and let it go!)
  • 2 Energizer ‘AAA’ Batteries included

2015 Hess Toy Truck Review

The spotlight on the back of the main Fire Truck truly is "high-powered" as advertised, and funny enough - the perfect play space for it was discovered by Finn a few weeks back... the statue of the Nakatomi Plaza from DIE HARD (technically a "collectible" and not a toy) from the recently-released Ultimate DIE HARD Collection Blu-ray set (reviewed here). You can actually move and shine that spotlight wherever you'd like, so kids can pretend that they're helping little John McClane fight International terrorists people out of a dangerous situation, adding an element of imaginative play that helps build an appreciation for real-life heroes - first responders.

Hess Toy Truck - Nakatomi Building

One cool element this year is that there's 100 randomly-packed silver editions of the Hess Toy Truck. As of this writing, just three of those have been confirmed to have been found, which means that some families just might have an extra-special surprise waiting under the tree on Christmas morning.

Order yours (while supplies last) at HessToyTruck.com!

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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