45° Good Afternoon
45° Good Afternoon

The story behind the Hess toy trucks

Kidsday reporter Liam Murray with his Hess toy

Kidsday reporter Liam Murray with his Hess toy truck collection. Credit: Murray family

One of my favorite collectibles is the Hess truck. I collect them because my dad had a lot from his childhood. This hobby is good for everybody, especially people who like trucks and vintage vehicles. I have 25 Hess trucks and some of my favorites are the 2004 SUV, 1980 Training Van and the 1997 Truck and Racers. The Hess truck is extremely well made, in fact, I bought a beaten up 1980 Hess Training Van and it still works.

The first Hess toy truck was released a long way back in 1964. The first Hess gas station opened in 1960. The owner, Leon Hess, wanted to make an inexpensive Christmas toy for kids. Hess toy trucks are green and white, like the football team the Jets, which Leon Hess also owned for a while. The first truck was a tanker truck. The second was a tanker ship, which Hess later made into a smaller tanker ship in 2002. Today the new Hess truck costs about $30 but the first Hess truck was just $1.29. On eBay the first Hess truck can cost as much as $2,000. Even though Hess trucks are called Hess trucks, they have made other vehicles such as a patrol car, helicopter and a boat.

If you want to start a collection of Hess toy trucks, go to eBay or a flea market. I have bought Hess trucks at open flea markets. The key is not to accept the sticker price but to negotiate a better one. You may also find old Hess trucks at garage sales. Another resource is


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More Family