We are approaching that magic time of the year where the Hess Truck commercials invade the airwaves of your TV and the brains of your small children. For those of you not familar with Hess Trucks take a look at the video below.
Good luck getting that song out of your head! Every Christmas the truck changes as does the jingle that the happy children of the official Hess choir so gleefully sing. As a child it just wasn’t Christmas if there wasn’t a Hess Truck under the tree. There was never much debate with me regarding keeping the truck as collectible or tearing it out of the box as soon as the wrapping paper was removed. I know there a lot of people out there hoard these trucks in the hope that one day they will be worth a small fortune. Honestly, I just don’t see that taking place. Maybe the original series that started off the tradition will command a decent price but any of the later models should be left to the devices of your children. Letting them play with the trucks will see a greater return on your investment than by shoving them in a dark corner of your basement. Alternatively you could always buy two!
Here is my fleet after a few decades of use. As a kid I loved the light up features on these trucks. Not much has changed as an adult.
This trip down memory lane is brought to you by an actual, honest to goodness, real life Hess truck that I spotted the other day at a repair shop.
Seeing this truck caused a question to rise in my brain. Does Hess still run a private fleet? I remember seeing trucks like this Freightliner FLD and Volvos on the road all the time but they seem to have disappeared in recent years. A few mintues on Google lead to a disturbing answer. Hess announced in March of 2013 that they plan to sell the portion of their company responsible for refining and selling gasoline. Following the sale Hess will be solely a petroleum exploration and research company. Retail operations and storage facilities will be sold. What this means for the Hess truck remains to be seen but it doesn’t look good. After all, if you no longer have Hess gas stations where do you sell Hess trucks! Maybe someone will buy the name rights and continue the tradition. I may want to reconsider my previous statement on the value of the modern collectible lineup.
As you can see from the photo and gallery below this truck wears the location of local Hess tank farm. No doubt this Freightliner was at one time an OTR truck now serving a second life as a plow. It still wears NJ plates, the home state of Hess. I’m glad I doubled back to photograph this truck as it soon to be collectible itself!
I have been in contact with representatives of Hess who have assured me that the Hess Toy Truck line will continue despite the operational changes at the retail store level. Hess’ long-standing commitment to competitive prices and high quality customer service to customers will not change. In other words, business as usual. Stay tuned for more!