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Heralding 50 years of Hess Trucks

2006 Hess Truck
2006 Hess Truck

Hess toy trucks, helicopters, police cars, airplanes, space shuttles and rescue vehicles have been popular Christmas gift traditions since they first appeared at Hess service stations in 1964, making them one of the “longest running toy brands in the United States. They have also become highly prized collectors’ items over the past 50 years with some of the older models (such as the original 1964 truck) selling for anywhere from a $1,400-$2,000 depending on the condition.

Now, to celebrate this milestone, the company is launching a campaign to get its Toy Trucks inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The National Toy Hall of Fame, established in 1988, is housed at the Strong National Museum of Play, based in Rochester, NY. To date, only 53 toys have ever been inducted into its prestigious halls, following a strict nomination and evaluation process that begins in the spring and ends with final selections in November. To accomplish this, Hess is asking for the public’s support by submitting their nomination for the Hess Toy Truck to the Strong Museum of Play by July via letters or petitions. For more information contact the Strong Museum of Play at 1 Manhattan Square, Rochester, NY 14607 585 263-2700.

Criteria for induction include: Icon-status: The toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered; Longevity: The toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations; Discovery: The toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play; and Innovation: The toy profoundly changed play or toy design. A toy may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.

Note: Hess, a company, originally founded by Leon Hess to deliver home heating fuel out of a used tanker truck, eventually acquired/merged with oil and gas energy company Amerada with in the late 1960s / early 1970s to become “Amerada Hess," before changing its name to Hess Corporation in 2006. Hess Corporation ranked 75th on the 2013 Fortune 500 list, as a producer of petroleum products as well as natural gas and electricity to the East Coast. It also runs approximately 1,360 gas stations in Alabama, Arkansas,Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia