“Real Sounds, Bright Lights, Drag Racing Through The Night…”
Ever since the first model arrived at service centres back in 1964, the Hess Toy Truck has become an annual tradition. Beginning as an affordable gas station gift idea, this highly collectible brand is now the largest direct-to-consumer toy on the planet and, for 2022, it’s back — and speedier than ever!
Inspired by the second-hand fuel truck driven by company founder Leon Hess in 1933, this year’s offering is an elongated, twin-axle Flatbed modelled after a vintage-style transport carrier. Measuring over 13-inches long and over 4-inches wide, this free-rolling rig sports all the fantastic features that have become synonymous with the toy for close to 60 years.
Designed in solid white with bold green fenders, matching pinstripes and a contrasting bed floor, the truck is accented with an array of gleaming chrome details that stretch from its finely crafted front grille all the way down to the exhaust pipes. The beautifully angular cab features four top-mounted buttons that activate three realistic sounds and transition the LED lights to flashing mode. A switch concealed under the chassis will even allow kids and collectors to decide whether to leave those brilliant bulbs on in either flashing or steady mode. Capping off the carrier, the Flatbed also conceals a handy pull-out ramp with slide-out activated hydraulic sound for easy loading and unloading on race day! Add to that real rubber tires, an illuminated license plate, and plenty of Hess badging and you’ve got a quality collectible that continues to honour its founder’s original vision.
While the 2022 Hess Flatbed Truck remains a gorgeous piece of premium plastic, the classic cars packed alongside take the top prize this year. Decked out in eye-catching colours, this Deuce Coupe duo — one green and one red — is certain to have you humming a certain Beach Boys classic before long! Crafted in scale to the fabulous Flatbed, each Hot Rod features a cutaway front end exposing a chrome-clad V-8 with a big, bad blower nestled atop. Matching exhaust pipes sweep back to flaming side graphics, while white racing stripes run down the roof and wide racing tires sit at the rear. The result is a seriously sizzling pair of street rods so slick you’ll actually believe they could “…walk a Thunderbird like she’s standing still.” But, that’s just the beginning!
Adding even more to the appeal of this already impressive package, each of the included Hot Rods features a mighty pullback friction motor that revs up and sends them speeding down the strip in either flat or wheelie position! Just tilt them back and watch ‘em go! Also included are nine bright lights that operate in steady mode. Both Hot Rods measure over 4-inches long and feature glistening chrome grilles, bumpers, and hubcaps that bring the presentation of these curvaceous coupes together seamlessly.
I’ve no doubt some of you out there are already putting a reminder into your phone to fill your Amazon cart with batteries the next time you log on. Well, I’m pleased to report that the fine folks at Hess will be shouldering that extra step. Yes, the three AA batteries needed to power the Flatbed and enough button cell batteries for both of the included Hot Rods come pre-installed and ready to go right out of the box! Classy move, Hess! No wonder they’ve won both the prestigious Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio’s Platinum Best Toy Award and Toy Insider’s Top Holiday Toy Award. They just get it.
While the Hess gas stations that used to offer these toy trucks have since closed, you can still get your hands on this year’s model through the company’s official website. Priced at a reasonable $41.99 USD, the Flatbed Truck With Hot Rods set is available with free standard shipping and can even be gift-wrapped for an additional $3.99 USD.
Quality construction. Included batteries. Free standard shipping. And, optional gift wrapping? I could very well be putting the proverbial cart before the horse here, but I don’t think there is a more perfect collectible available on the market today! Whether or not that’s true, one thing is for certain…Leon Hess would be proud.
Next year officially marks 90 years of the Hess name. What surprises will they have in store for us come 2023? Only time will tell, but there is no denying it’ll be back and better than ever once more!
This article is dedicated to the memory of David Passfield — a dear uncle and even dearer friend. It was David’s love and child-like enthusiasm for all things Hess that first introduced me to the brand — while at the same time reminding me that sometimes there is nothing more important than slowing down and taking a moment to just… play.