Two weeks ago I ran a post revolving around Hess trucks of both the real and collector variety. Soon there after I was contacted by the marketing firm responsible for the annual toy Hess Truck collectible. I was asked if I would be interested in receiving the 2013 truck an embargoed basis for review. It was something of silly question but I played it cool and agreed to receive a truck under the condition that I would not share any photographs or details prior to the first of November. By now the images of the truck can be found all over the web so this isn’t an exclusive review but still near the front. You may have even noticed Google ads on this site for 2013 model the past week or so! What an age we live in.
This past Saturday the truck arrived at my doorstep as promised. At the time I was installing a new storm door with my father so I had no time to open the box. The wait to open the box was like Christmas from many years ago. Opening the box I found that the truck was wrapped like a present in Hess Green wrapping paper. Practicing restraint I surgically removed the paper for eventual rewrapping of the box once the Christmas season passes and the truck joins its brothers in storage.
If you haven’t seen the details let me fill you in. The 2013 Hess Truck revisits the familiar idea of a truck hauling a flatbed with a specialized load. In the past we have been treated to race cars, helicopters, jets, and many other vehicles. This year a tracked bucket loader with backhoe is pressed into action. Like the truck the dozer has lights. Unlike the truck the dozer is motorized! Yes, motorized. Very cool.
Even though the bulldozer is fun the main focus of my attention was the truck. For 2013 the truck has all the big rig features you would expect in the way of dual air cleaners and stacks, sun visor, diesel tanks and storage compartments. No DEF tanks on this one so I’m guessing this is a pre-emissions engine? Maybe a glider kit? I kid. Regarding the design the truck doesn’t remind me of any real world model but it still looks enough like a truck and not a cartoon to be enjoyable for all ages. As a child one of the features I always liked was the real rubber tires. I’m not sure if they were actual rubber but they were not hard plastic like so many other toys. You could even take them off the rims if you wanted. This latest Hess truck continues the tradition of rubber with a super singles all around.
It wouldn’t be a Hess truck without the lights and this truck has them in spades. Moving a switch underneath the rig changes the lights from full on to blink. My last Hess truck was in 1992 and back then working lights were high technology. The endless march of progess continues and I discovered that the trucks of today not only come with lights but sound. Three buttons on the top of the cab control sound. For parents who purchase this truck you will be treated to the sounds of a backup alarm, horn and engine start. I enjoyed the engine start sound the most. This truck sounds great at idle the way any good diesel should. The feature that impressed me the most was the loading ramp attached to the back of the trailer. Pulling on the ramp starts a loading sound that continues until the ramp is fully extended. I was blown away by the fact the sound continues as long as the ramp is moving. It does not matter how quickly or slowly the ramp is pulled. It stops when you stop. Amazing. When fully extended you are treated to a satisfying clunk sound. As a child this would have been my favorite feature. Who am I kidding, it’s my favorite now!
As mentioned the load this year is a dozer. It has also has lights and can move under its own power. The bucket in front raises, lowers, and dumps while staying in position. The backhoe attachment digs and rotates as well. It is a practical load for this truck that should calm the nerves of collectors treated to space shuttles and jets in past releases.
Can you believe you get all this and more for just 27.99? Batteries included! Who does that anymore? Even the instructions come in heavy cardstock. As always the display box is well illustrated and colorful with depictions of the truck and dozer in action in front of a festive Hess filling station. If you have age appropriate children have no fears about buying a Hess Truck this year. If you are a collector there is no reason to stop now. If you haven’t preordered the 2013 model from hesstoytruck.com visit your local Hess station on November 8th to grab one.
Here is my video review of the truck. See the lights! Hear the sounds!
Thank you to the fine people at Hess and Goodman Media for sharing this truck with me before the official release date. I truly appreciate their dedication to the tradition that is the Hess Toy Truck. Before this year I was a sleeping fan but I am awake now! I wonder what next year will bring….