The Hess Toy Truck has been an East Coast holiday tradition since 1964 when Leon Hess first launched the annual series as an affordable, high-quality gift option for customers of his Hess gas stations. A 2014 nominee for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Hess Toy Truck — not always a truck, specifically — has grown to become a sought-after line of toys and collectibles well beyond the East Coast. While Hess sold its gas stations to Speedway some years back, the tradition of holiday collectible toys continues with an annual holiday offering, an annual Hess Mini Collection, and occasional surprise releases all sold exclusively through the Hess Toy Truck website.
This year’s holiday set is the Hess Tow Truck Rescue Team.
The feature-packed set includes a large, heavy-duty tow truck with a smaller, light-duty tow truck riding on its back. The larger truck is a big-rig flatbed carrier that transforms into a heavy-duty wrecker with two different towing options, including a two-tier, extending tow lift with a jointed swing-out tow arm and a pull-out, t-style wheel lift tow bar. Kids can raise or lower the flatbed ramps and hear realistic hydraulic sounds. While the scale isn’t specifically mentioned, the towing action supports many vehicles, and 1:24-scale cars and trucks work great for mix-and-match play.
The free-wheeling, heavy-duty tow truck features 45 bright LED lights, while the friction-powered light-duty two truck features 21 LEDs and a three-tier telescoping tow arm with a swing-out tow hook. Kids can activate realistic sounds, including a running engine, a horn, and a backup alert by pressing buttons located atop the heavy-duty truck’s cab. Switches on the bottom of each truck control the lighting, which operates in two modes: standard and flashing. Overall, both trucks look great with fine details, rubber tires, and plenty of shiny, chrome-look accents on each.
What’s always impressed me about the Hess Toy Trucks in the past is that they’re exceptionally well-made, durable, and packed with more details and features than you’d expect. They’re meant to be played with and passed down through generations, and they rival vehicles from some of the major toymakers.
The 2019 Hess Tow Truck Rescue Team set comes with pre-installed Energizer batteries and is available exclusively from the Hess Toy Truck website. Perfect for gift-giving, each box can be wrapped in signature Hess green gift wrap for an additional $5, and the purchase price includes free standard shipping.
Hess never reveals exactly how many toy trucks are issued each holiday season, but they are limited and sold “while supplies last.” In recent years, the supply has been exhausted weeks before Christmas, so we recommend getting yours while you still can!