Just like the old saying, “The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.” This couldn’t be more true about this hobby. We think that one of the best things about collecting Hess Trucks is the constant learning, as well as friendships that you make along the way.
Ever since I was young, I looked forward to what the new Hess truck was going to be each year. For me, it was as exciting as waiting for Santa! I love talking to the many customers that call us with questions ranging from how to fix a certain truck to how to tell what year a truck is. When we were approached by News 12 New Jersey TV station about doing a story on collecting Hess trucks, they were surprised that we were able to make a business out of what started as a hobby. With that in mind, News 12 anchorman, Kurt Siegelin, came to our place of business to start the interview and was amazed at the collection of Hess trucks that he saw. This was especially odd for him since he is from the West Coast and not familiar with Hess trucks. Once he looked around, I could see it in his eyes that he too was catching the Hess truck collecting bug. His main question as he looked around the room was, “You come here every day and look around at all of these toy trucks and say to yourself, this is my job, how great is that?” My response to him was, “If you find a job that you love. you will never work a day in your life.” My thanks to News 12 and Kurt Siegelin for a great interview.
Some of you may have heard about or seen this very rare and low production of the elusive #18 Toy Truck. This truck is a re-issue of the popular 1997 Hess Truck & Racers featuring a big 18-wheeler with not one, but two race cars inside. The cars were powered by friction motors and had working headlights and taillights. Of course, the truck had working headlights, taillights, and running lights, too. This is the largest truck that Hess had released in its collection.
Now the difference between the original 1997 Hess truck and this special edition is the color and side markings. This truck is molded in a silver plastic with a single green stripe and the number 18 on the doors, sides of the truck, rear panel, front grille and top air dam. The race cars are also different as one is done in silver and the other in green and silver. Both have the #18 adorned on them. The box is also unique showing a picture of the truck displaying the race cars inside and reads “18 Dual Racer Transport” one the front portion of the box. Ok, so you are all wondering why this was produced and what’s the story is behind the truck being made. Well here is the exclusive scoop on it. John Hess and Joe Gibbs of Joe Gibbs Racing and better known as the coach of the football Washington Redskins were and still are very good friends. John Hess had these trucks made up for his friend Joe to go along with his NASCAR race team . It was designed with his race car #18 adorning all sides of the truck and racers. There were less than 100 made and were packed in 6 and 12 pack cases, none of which were sold to the public. They were given to Gibbs to do whatever he wanted with them. Although not a true Hess edition this is still a very rare and unique collectible.
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is a group of NASCAR racing teams owned and operated by former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, who first started racing on the NASCAR circuit in 1991, and J. D. Gibbs, his son. Headquartered in Huntersville, North Carolina, near Charlotte, the team has amassed three Sprint Cup championships since the year 2000 and participated in other lower-tier NASCAR series for driver development, winning one championship in the East Division of the NASCAR Camping World. For the team’s first sixteen seasons, JGR ran cars from General Motors. During that period the team won their three championships, two in Pontiac Grand Prixes and one in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Despite this, JGR felt as if they weren’t as important as some of the other GM teams such as Hendricks Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing. Therefore, during the 2007 season Joe Gibbs Racing announced that they would be ending their arrangement with GM at the end of the year and begin running Toyotas the following season. Since then, JGR has become the strongest and has won the most out of any Toyota team.
Well friends, if you have been reading the couple of blogs that I wrote about the Jimson Toy Tanker Truck from Hong Kong you know that one of the big questions is that on the original box it shows a picture of a Shell gas pump. In my last blog I cleared up the confusion about if the gas pump came with the toy or was a mail-in item like the 1966 Hess Voyager stand. For those of you who missed that article the answer is that it did not come with the toy. I thought that I would post a picture for everyone to see the pump itself. The pump is made of plastic and done in the Shell colors of white and orange and stands 3″ tall x 3/4″ wide. At the top of the pump sits the Shell logo. Right below that there is an arm attached to the top of the pump that extends out to the connection for the gas hose. The hose itself is green and at the end of the hose is the nozzle. The nozzle attaches to the side of the pump just like the real pumps and rests there until it is called into use for the next customer. There are some graphics on the body of the pump and at the very bottom it states – Made in Hong Kong. The pump has the graphics on both sides so if it is displayed in the center of an island it looks the same.
Well folks, I have received alot of questions and comments on my last blog about the differences between the 1964 Hess Tanker and 1960s Jimson Shell Tanker so much so that I need to write this followup article and include some additional information and be a little more specific. OK, the first thing that I need to clear up is that I stated that there were 12 Hess tanker tires and what I meant to write and be more specific is that there are 12 Hess tires under the tanker that are double and 2 single on the front for a total of 14 tires all together unlike the 6 that are under the Jimson tanker which are single tires plus the front 2 for a total of 8. I hope that helps clear up any confusion. Now, the other most commented on item is the gas pump that is shown on the front of the box (see pic). The reader went on to say that recently one sold on Ebay and in the picture it showed the gas pump and i didn’t mention that it came with one so lets clear that up as well. Each truck DID NOT come with a gas pump and was an item that you could purchase separately. I know this for a fact as I talked to an older collector who is very knowledgeable on Jimson Toys and he was able to confirm this. He compared this to the 1966 Hess Voyager where you might have also seen some pictures of it sitting on a display stand. Everyone also assumed that when they got a Voyager that would be included, not so. That also was an additional item that you could purchase separately.I also wanted to show you a rare picture of the actual case of trucks as well as the label on the side of the case which you can see below. If you have any other question that you would like me to address on this subject feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer them. We love to hear from you! Enjoy the pictures.
In 1964 Hess introduced its line of Hess Toy Trucks at their stations which would end up becoming one of the most popular ideas of its time. They paved the way for all the other oil companies to start coming out with their own toy trucks as well but none were more popular than the Hess toy Truck. Here in this article you will be able to see side by side pictures of the similarity between the Hess and Shell Oil Company promotional toy tanker. The Hess tanker was produced by the Marx Toy Company who already had built up their reputation for the most well built and popular toys that children played with over the years. Hess always insisted in the very best detail and that is why right up to today they are the best quality and most durable plastic toy trucks ever made. The 1960s Shell tanker was produced in Hong Kong by a company called Jimson. Jimson produced many small plastic toys throughout the years one of which was a vintage and rare Shell Tanker Truck which featured a chrome plated front bumper & hubcaps along with friction powered front wheels.
Some of the similarities between the two tankers are:
Both tankers came with a funnel to fill the rear tank
Rear tank holds water
Came with a drain hose and nozzle
Had removable cap to install funnel
Same rear style tank
Both do not have any plastic windshield
Both trucks are the same scale measuring 12″ long by 2.5 wide and 2.5 high
Some of the differences between the two tankers are:
1964 Hess had battery operated lights
Shell tanker does not have a rear bumper
Shell tanker is removable from the cab
Hess removable funnel cap is rear cap
Shell removable funnel cap is in the center
Hess has black plastic hose and Shell is clear
Shell has removable chrome hubcaps
Hess has 12 tanker tires / Shell only has 6
Hess cab has 2 tone paint
The Shell tanker is friction powered
Below are some picture comparison shots so you can judge for yourself how amazingly close they both are in detail. The Shell tanker is available for sale on our website. Click link below to purchase yours today!
Recently, Ray’s Hess Toy Trucks was interviewed by Hagerty Classic Car Insurance Company about an article that they were writing on collecting Hess Toy Trucks. Their writer, Jim Koscs, contacted us simply to ask a few questions, but after a few minutes, we ended up realizing how both hobbies are so closely related. The hobbies I am talking about are the collecting of Hess Toy Trucks and Classic Cars. If you are a collector of either, you know how important detail is, as well as originality of even the smallest part. For Hess Trucks, it is all about the condition of the box and if there are any dings, dents, writings or stains on the box and it must also contain all the original packing such as inserts and battery instruction card. The truck must also be as pristine as possible allowing for natural aging. It is a daunting task to find one in that condition because most of the early model Hess Trucks came with waterslide decals that over time become brittle and fragile.
Jim was amazed how far we have taken the hobby from collecting to making this an actual business offering not only Hess Toy Trucks, but original replacement parts for most of the Hess Trucks. So, just like a Classic Car, you can now restore your Hess Toy Truck by simply going to our site and clicking “Hess Toy Truck Parts!”
Jim does a nice job explaining the hobby of Hess Trucks from how the company started, the Thanksgiving tradition of getting the new truck at the stations to the process of how Hess chooses the new trucks over the years.
We would like to thank Jim Koscs and Hagerty Classic Car Insurance Company for the mention in their article. Remember, as with all great hobbies, it is important to insure your collectibles whether it is a classic car or something as small as a Hess Toy Truck!
Here is a first in a series of “How To” guides on repairing or replacing the batteries in some of the most popular Hess Toy Trucks and minis. First up is the 2001 Hess Mini Truck & Racer This is one of the more difficult ones to do so let’s try to help you tackle this with an easy step by step process using a description and pictures to make it an easy task. Here we go:
Remove the mini from the box
Remover the rubber bands and take the race car off of the ramp and set aside.
Lossen the screw as shown above.
Here are page 1 on the instructions that come with the truck in case you get stuck.
Finally this is page 2 of the instructions.
There you have it! A simple and easy step by step process to replace the battery. Now your truck is ready to go.
Keep an eye on our home page for more step by step instructions on how to replace the batteries on other year Hess Toy Trucks & Minis.
We were recently interviewed by News 12 NJ Anchorman Kurt Siegelin about collecting and selling Hess Toy Trucks. After the article aired, we have received emails & phone calls from so many people who are Hess Truck fans as well. One of the emails we received was from News 12 Anchorman Kurt Siegelin who went on to say that the story has gotten a lot of positive feedback with people emailing pictures and comments about the story. This particular email was very interesting as it told of an avid Hess fan who actually made a Hess Christmas tree and decorated it with Hess mini’s! We wanted to share some of the photo’s with our many members. Enjoy!
EDGEWATER — One of the last vestiges of the borough’s industrial past, the Hess tank farm on River Road, will disappear by the end of the year as the company sells off its 19-acre property and leaves the site open for redevelopment.
Prep work began this month for removing the green and white oil tanks that have stood at 615 River Road since the 1960s and demolition is expected to start “any day now,” said Borough Administrator Greg Franz.
The Hess Corporation, which announced it would exit the retail end of the oil business in 2013 and ceased using its Edgewater terminal last June, is in the process of closing a sale on the property.
The oil tanks on River Road will soon be gone after the Hess Corporation sold the property in August.
A spokesperson for the company declined to disclose the buyer; Franz said it was a New York-based development company.
Hess is also in negotiations to sell two other tank sites in North Jersey: two parcels in Bogota and two more in Secaucus. Edgewater’s waterfront property is considered a premium location for redevelopment.
Borough officials met with the environmental company hired to remove the oil tanks in late August and are satisfied the demolition work will be conducted according to the strictest safety standards, according to Franz.
When the time comes for developing the property, developers could be required to clean up the site before building but the likelihood of severe contamination is minimal, he said. The Hess facility was built with concrete walls and various retaining mechanisms in case of oil spills.
“I’m sure there’s some remediation needed but I don’t think it’s anything substantial,” said Franz.