As announced back in April, the iconic Hess Toy Truck will be hitting the road once more, and for 2018 the lineup is expanded. In addition to the traditional holiday Hess Toy Truck, there's also some kind of ultra-limited anniversary vehicle arriving this fall, and the Minis will be back again with their second 3-pack hitting the streets on June 1. For the Mini collection, two of the three have been revealed - the first on April 30 (an original tanker), while the curtain dropped on the second one for Mother's Day - a new fire truck. Take a look at the first two reveals below, then ponder what the third high-octane vehicle will be!
The Hess Toy Truck is a tradition that I've written about many times over the years, and after last year saw the return of the summer Mini Collection (pictured top), news has arrived that the lineup for 2018 will be even bigger! Hess Corporation has announced plans to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the company's founding with three separate toy releases this year, each available exclusively at www.hesstoytruck.com. Of course the annual holiday Hess is always the big one, but this year there's something really special. Take a look...
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!
If you've been checking out the annual lists of 2015's Hottest Holiday Toys, one item that's been consistently appearing is Spin Master's PAW Patroller - the rolling command center from the hit Nickelodeon series, PAW Patrol. The PAW Patroller is making an appearance on my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine as well - and I'm declaring it to be not just one of the hottest toys of the season, but one of the year's best overall. After going hands-on with our review sample for over a month as of this writing, the PAW Patroller has proven itself to be worthy of its acclaim - a perfect mix of vehicle and playset, and while it's scored big with The Rock Daughters, it recently hit me that it's sort of a toy that I've been waiting for... since 1982.
We all know the big, iconic yellow TONKA trucks and vehicles - and while those might be the first thing to come to mind at the mention of TONKA, they also have something a bit smaller that makes for perfect stocking stuffers this holiday season. At roughly 1:55-scale, TONKA METAL Diecast vehicles are ready for adventure with series' that include First Responders, City Defenders, Construction Crew, and even Strike Force (Military). These free-wheeling specialty vehicles are built tough and a lot of fun for kids ages 3+, but they're also great for grownup collectors, too - a neat retro piece. Singles run less than $5, and there's multi-packs out there as well, on pegs at Walmart, Target, Toys "R" Us, Amazon and many other retailers Nationwide. They're a featured pick in my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide here at THE ROCK FATHER Magazine.
Update: Sold the truck, and what a miserable experience it has been. Buyer turned out to be a seller at toy shows, and decided to send me harassing messages since I can't mystically control the USPS shipping process - despite having a tracking number available that showed transit progress.
Last week, the girls and I did something that we rarely do - we stopped at a garage sale. Truth be told, we actually turned around to go back to a garage sale we'd already passed, just because I'd spotted some big, old TONKA Trucks sitting out there. The sale was actually at a construction company, so it was pretty perfect that they'd have toy construction gear, but most of the TONKA stuff (some dating back to the 60s) was in pretty rough shape - except for one. With the sandbox in mind, the girls and I selected a completely working 1991 TONKA Mighty Crane that still has a lot of play left in it. As I put it in the trunk, the guy came over and pointed out the shell of an old Buddy L truck, and something I'd never seen before... a flatbed truck labeled "Johnny Express." I wasn't really interested at first, but when he showed me a box of parts for it, I figured it was worth a shot - again with the sandbox/outdoor play in-mind. I had no idea I was purchasing a legend.