Every October, for the past 59 years, gas giant Hess has rolled out a new toy truck. But news that the company was being acquired by Chevron in a $53 billion mega-merger on Monday sent a chill up the collective spine of collectors. Did this mean the end of the Hess Toy Trucks?
Rest easy, toy truck fans. The merger will have no impact on the tradition.
Hess, in a statement, said “we want to reassure all of you, our loyal fans, that the Hess Toy Truck, a long-standing and cherished tradition, will continue for future years” and that it had “exciting things planned to celebrate the Hess Toy Truck’s 60th anniversary” next year.
The company has updated its toy truck line annually since 1964 and, incredibly, has become one of the hottest holiday items each year. The design process for the trucks (and other vehicles that have come out alongside them) starts two or three years in advance, generally, with some designs taking as long as six years to make the journey from concept to physical product.
The idea behind the toy truck came from Leon Hess, the founder of the company (and longtime owner of the New York Jets, who branded them in his toy truck’s colors). That 1964 Hess Tanker Trailer, based on the real ones that delivered gas to Hess stations, has become a collector’s item, and now sells for approximately $1,500—quite an increase from its original price of $1.39.
The 2023 models were announced in the days prior to the merger announcement. This year, Hess is offering a Police Truck and Cruiser (one of which comes with a slide-out battering ram and the other promises ‘wheelie poppin’ action’). The duo will cost fans $42.99.