I've written a lot about the Hess Toy Truck over the years, and while that remains a Christmas tradition, I don't think I've ever said much about their summer tradition - the Hess Mini Truck. For 17 years, Hess released a mini version of their iconic holiday toy truck - most recently offered for sale in 2014. Funny enough, that's the only Mini we have in our collection here at Rock Father HQ, as we picked one up at a Hess Express in Pennsylvania while in the midst of an epic road trip. In the three years since, fans have been demanding a relaunch of the Mini Hess Toy Truck, and today the Hess Corporation answered the call. Not only is Hess bringing back the Mini Hess Toy Truck, but they’re doing it as a special release on an exclusive basis in a way they never have before.
I do love classic traditions, and one that was previously an East Coast thing first landed firmly on my radar about five years ago, when I started writing about the Hess Toy Truck during the Holiday Season. 2016 marks the 52nd year for the annual toy, and it's the third year (and fourth truck) that the folks at the Hess Corporation have graciously sent to Rock Father HQ for review. As the story goes, Leon Hess wanted to offer an affordable, yet exceptionally high-quality toy for customers of his Hess Gas Stations, and in 1964, the first Hess Toy Truck was released. Over the years, the "truck" wasn't always just a truck, but often a hauler paired with a secondary, complimentary vehicle - sans a few years where the "truck" was actually something totally different - like an oil tanker. Over the past few years, the vehicles have been made to include an impressive array of action features that rival even the biggest of toy makers, packing LED lighting, digital sounds and more into packages with Batteries included. For 2016, it's the Hess Toy Truck and Dragster!
It's November 1, so that means that the arrival of the Hess Toy Truck, a tradition that began back in 1964, is here. Previewed in early October with an image of gleaming pistons alongside the message that the truck "is coming with more power than ever," the 2016 Hess Toy Truck and Dragster retails for $31.99 with free standard shipping and five Energizer® batteries included. The vehicle went on-sale exclusively via its official website at 10am Eastern time, with an immediate queue forming some 20 minutes+ deep in order to meet demand and avoid the crashing that plagued the 2015 launch - the first time that the trucks were offered as an online affair following the sale of the Hess Express Stations the year prior.
'Tis the Season for the annual arrival of the iconic Hess Toy Truck! Hess Corporation today announced that the 2016 Hess Toy Truck will be revealed and available for purchase starting on November 1 at 10:00 am EDT exclusively at www.hesstoytruck.com. This year's holiday truck will retail for $31.99 with free standard shipping and five Energizer® batteries included. The 2016 truck marks the 52nd year for the toy - a tradition that began back in 1964 with the release of the very first Hess Toy Truck. Despite "truck" being in the name, the annual release hasn't always been a truck, with past vehicles including helicopters, boats, RVs, race cars and more joining the fleet.
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!
While the Hess Corporation sold their gas stations to Speedway last year, the tradition of the Hess Toy Truck continues, and the 2015 Edition is about ready to roll. Like last year, the 2015 Hess Toy Truck will be sold online (beginning November 1), and will include five Energizer batteries and free standard shipping. What's different this year is that the trucks will also be sold at 10 select shopping malls in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and 100 lucky fans will unwrap a surprise this holiday season – a Silver Edition 2015 Hess Toy Truck, which will be randomly awarded in place of the 2015 Hess Toy Truck. Sorta like Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket, but with a cool toy instead!