Energy company, Hess Corporation, released its first toy truck in time for the 1964 holiday season. The now-annual tradition has grown into a much-anticipated event for collectors and toy enthusiasts.
Hess Toy Truck was established in 1964 when Hess Corporation released a battery-operated model of its B61 Mack fuel truck.
The toy was designed to be given as a corporate gift and was sold at Hess service stations in the United States.
The initial toy truck’s popularity launched an annual tradition and each year, Hess releases a holiday toy. So far, these have included tanker ships, tanker trucks, emergency vehicles, and others over the decades.
Hess Toy Trucks were first promoted in newspaper ads, then in television commercials in 1980.
The company adapted the classic tune of “My Boyfriend’s Back” for the television spots. “The Hess Truck’s back and it’s better than ever!” is still used in company promotions. It is the longest-running jingle in television history.
The company launched Hess Miniature Trucks in 1998, a replica line based on the annual holiday toys. The models include working head and taillights and come with a display base.
Hess sold the retail segment of its business to Speedway in 2014, which continues to sell the Hess Toy Truck line in its stores. The line is also available at HessToyTruck.com.
In 2020, the My First Hess Truck line of plush toys was released.
In 2011, Hess donated 900 toy trucks to the Salvation Army in North Dakota (the location of the company’s US production operation) to be distributed to children in need.
A Hess Toy Truck float was featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 2003 to 2014.
Hess donated more than 6,000 toy trucks to every elementary school in North Dakota in 2018 and 2019.
Hess Toy Truck released the Hess Cargo Plane and Jet in time for the 2021 holiday season.