The Hess Toy Truck is among the best-selling and longest running toy brands in America. Find out much more about this iconic and timeless toy"s humble beginnings...

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The first Hess Toy Truck

The vision for a Hess Toy Truck ended up being a truth with the 1964 Hess Tanker Trailer. A replica of the company"s first B61 Mack truck and trailer, the toy"s features were rarely for that is time: functioning headlights and also taillights managed by a switch at the back of the cab, and also a cargo tank that could be filled and also emptied with an accompanying funnel and also rubber hose. There to be no TV ads or major radio campaigns for the Hess Tanker Trailer -- just a couple of small newspaper ads because that a well-made toy, battery included, sold at Hess gas stations. The currently iconic holiday legacy fun had just begun.


How It"s Made

It bring away a an extremely long time to end up being a Hess Toy Truck. The very secretive process of emerging the annual toy usually starts between two and three years prior to it in reality goes top top sale. And for some of the more complex toys, it"s to be as lengthy as six years from principle to market.

Inspiration photos are initially reviewed come hone in top top the vast themes that can be considered. Then map out drawings and feature concepts are reviewed. This is the suggest in the procedure where the toys really begin to evolve. Numerous truck principles are arisen but ultimately the optimal two or three designs walk to the following round, where they are reinvented from drawings to 3D rotating photos that have the right to be evaluated because that functionality and playability. The following step is the handcrafting that models that are used for final design and decoration decisions. Eventually, one new holiday Hess Toy van is chosen.

Early models the the Hess Toy van were made up of about 75 small hard-plastic pieces. An ext recent toys generally have in between 200-300 parts. A tooling, or mold, for each individual piece should be cut to specific measurements. As soon as all the toolings room made and tested, the pieces space produced and also meticulously assembled. The playthings undergo rigorous quality experimentation to make certain they room up to the highest possible standards. Then, as anyone who has actually unpacked a Hess Toy truck knows, the final toy is placed - an extremely carefully - in its box.


How It"s Marketed

Until 1980 there to be no TV ads, radio spots, or billboards because that the Hess Toy Trucks—just newspaper ads and also signs in ~ the Hess gas stations because that a well-made toy, battery included, marketed for a an excellent value.

Starting in 1980, Hess started releasing new TV advertising every year. Their range and resourcefulness made every clues a surprise. Marketing jingle background was adjusted forever in 1988 as soon as Hess adapted a song by the ’60s group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back.” The Hess solder was: “The Hess Truck’s back and it’s much better than ever!” that line obtained to the heart of the matter, the excitement roughly the arrival of a new good toy. Each year since, the jingle has actually been rearranged for the newest toy and commercial release.

In usage for end the past 30 years, the Hess Truck’s earlier jingle has become one of the longest to run in TV proclaiming history! For plenty of fans, the very first airing of the TV commercial annually has end up being synonymous through the start of the holiday season. And also for numerous actors, the Hess Toy van commercial has been a rise to your resumes; with well-known actors such as man Goodman and also Hayden Panettiere appearing in the commercials beforehand in your careers.

The Hess Toy van marketing efforts continue to evolve and also keep pace with the an altering media landscape, consisting of Facebook and Instagram pages plus an e-mail newsletter the you deserve to sign up in the footer of this page and an SMS alarm you deserve to subscribe come by text massage “HESS” come 437788.



Where it Began

A builder, visionary, entrepreneur, patriot and leader. Over all, a an excellent father and family man. The remarkable qualities that made Leon Hess so special room at the heart of the Hess Toy Truck. Born in Asbury Park, brand-new Jersey in 1914, agency founder Leon Hess prospered up during the an excellent Depression. In 1933, after finishing high school and also unable come afford college, a then 19-year old Leon Hess bought a second hand 615-gallon oil shipment truck and started a service delivering fuel oil to homes in Asbury Park, new Jersey.



By 1937, recognizing that large power companies were convert from coal to oil, Leon Hess purchase five added trucks and also expanded his company to incorporate post-refinery residual fuel oil. Just a year later on purchasing facilities to discharge barges and also tankers. Through the mid-1940s, Leon Hess increased the agency greatly, using lessons he learned throughout his U.S. Army experience during world War II together a petroleum supply officer, and also his knowledge of the industry.

In 1964, just 4 years after opened the an initial Hess branded gas station Leon Hess made decision to offer households a fun, high quality and also affordable toy because that the holidays as a goodwill gesture to customers. V that decision, he created a toy for children of every ages, the Hess Toy Truck, that has come to be a hallmark the the holiday season. Leon Hess want a toy van made with outstanding craftsmanship and also innovative use of electronics, and also he wanted to sell it at a price families could afford with batteries included— a principle that endures to this day.

By the time he retirement in 1995 after ~ six years of leadership, Leon Hess had grown Hess Corporation into one of the world’s largest power companies and also the Toy truck had become one that the most popular and enduring toys in American history.

Today, Hess Corporation, is led by CEO man B. Hess, together an live independence energy firm which responsibly helps to accomplish the world"s cultivation need for energy. In 2014 Hess copy, group transformed right into a wholly concentrated exploration and production company, offering the tradition gas station service that had actually been the just retail outlet in the 50 year history. In solemn event of the 50th Anniversary that the Hess Toy Truck routine that year, john B. Hess approve a letter to every fans consisting of the emphatic statement the "This heritage will continue". And continue it has - through toys now obtainable exclusively v this website at, the Toy van tradition has grown to become among the biggest selling playthings on the internet.

The Fleet

Take a trip down storage lane and also see every toy van year-by-year -- every the features and also innovations that have carried joy to so many youngsters for the critical 50+ years.

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