Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hess Toy Trucks Survive!

Well, we all heard the rumors that Hess Toy Trucks were not going to be made anymore and that this was the last year for them. To the baby boomers that grew up with the Toy trucks each Christmas this was crushing news! I remember the anticipation of what the new toy truck was going to be and all the hush hush from the station owners not telling us anything until they put up the posters advertising the new truck the day before it was going to be sold.

Hess Corp. finally after all the speculation said Thursday, May 22nd that it is selling its gas stations and convenience stores. One major thing they did so that all the Hess Toy Truck collectors out there could breathe a sigh of relief is announce that it will continue selling the toy trucks it has marketed each holiday season since 1964.

A different version of the truck is sold each year. Models have included fire engines, helicopters and even a space shuttle. The most recent model, a truck with a tractor in the back, went for $27.99. All of the Hess Toy Trucks are available on our website at from 1964 to the present as well replacement parts, signs, buttons, rare Hess collectibles & Mini's.

The toy truck has become a collector's item and tradition for some families. A Hess toy truck float is even included in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The 2014 holiday truck, which has not yet been announced, will be sold at the 1,342 Hess locations along the East Coast. After this year, the company will continue selling the Hess toy trucks online.
Hess sold its retail business to Marathon Petroleum Corp. so that it can focus on exploration and production, according to a statement from the company. The deal was for $2.6 billion.

Hess Sells it's Retail end to Marathon for $2.6B

Well here's the news everyone has been talking about for along time that finally came true! Hess agreed on May 22 to sell its retail business to Marathon Petroleum’s Speedway for $2.6 billion. Hess has long wanted to get away from the retail part of the business and focus more on drilling.
According to Hess, its retail part of the company is the largest chain of company-operated gas stations and convenience stores along the East Coast.
Marathon said its 1,480 Speedway convenience stores, most of them in the Midwest, are part of the nation’s fourth-largest chain, just ahead of Hess. Marathon also sells its gasoline through 5,200 independent retail outlets.
The deal includes all Hess retail locations, as well as the company’s transport operations and shipper history on various pipelines.
Marathon said the combined business will become the largest U.S. chain of convenience stores by revenue. It will include about 2,700 locations and had 2013 pro forma revenue of more than $27 billion.
Marathon will buy Hess Retail Holdings for $2.37 billion in cash, in addition to $230 million of working capital. The transaction also includes $274 million in capital leases, bringing its total value to roughly $2.87 billion.
“This acquisition will be transformative for MPC and Speedway as it will significantly expand our retail presence from nine to 23 states through these premier Hess locations throughout the East Coast and Southeast,” Marathon president and CEO Gary Heminger said in a statement.
The Findlay, Ohio-based refiner plans to rebrand the Hess locations. During a conference call with analysts, Speedway president Tony Kenney said Marathon has a license agreement to use the Hess brand for three years until the gas stations and convenience stores can be converted to Speedway.
“It’s basically by agreement that we have to rebrand,” Kenney explained.
“We saw a lot of value in the Hess brand. But as you can appreciate, Hess is an ongoing, publicly traded company, and the colors and marquee are their brand,” Heminger said in response to an analyst’s question.
Hess has shed more than $10 billion worth of assets as part of an effort to transform itself into a pure-play exploration and production company. With the sale of its convenience stores and gas stations, Hess has largely completed that objective.
CEO John Hess said the deal with Marathon “marks the culmination of our strategic transformation into a pure-play exploration and production company.”
Proceeds from the sale will be used to support an increase in Hess’ share buyback program to $6.5 billion from $4 billion. Since August 2013, Hess has repurchased about $2.8 billion in stock.
Hess also said it will continue to sell its toy trucks, a longtime holiday tradition. Hess plans to sell a 50th anniversary edition this year at the retail outlets and online. Starting next year, the toy trucks will be sold exclusively online.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A look at the old & new style Hess Tanker Trucks through the years!

I thought that it would be a nice idea to post a few of the older style Hess delivery tankers for you to see. Out of all of the many Hess trucks that Hess released I have to say that the tankers are by far the most impressive ones to date. Let's take a look at a few examples below of the tankers starting with the newest and graduating to the original models and see for yourself. Enjoy!

New Hess tanker with Volvo cab.

 New Hess tankers at the oil refinery in New Jersey.

Tankers filling up for their daily deliveries.

 Here is the older style model White 9000 cab.

 Hess tankers in the supply yard in the early years.

Original Hess tanker that has been restored and on display in Woodbridge New Jersey.

Hess tankers in the supply yard in the early years.

Here is the original Hess tanker the Leon Hess drove  for deliveries.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Real Hess Snow Plow & Sander Truck

This trip down memory lane is brought to you by an actual, honest to goodness, real life Hess truck.

Seeing this truck caused a question to rise in my brain. Does Hess still run a private fleet? I remember seeing trucks like this Freight-liner FLD and Volvo's on the road all the time but they seem to have disappeared in recent years. A few minutes on Google lead to a disturbing answer. Hess announced in March of 2013 that they plan to sell the portion of their company responsible for refining and selling gasoline. Following the sale Hess will be solely a petroleum exploration and research company. Retail operations and storage facilities will be sold. What this means for the Hess truck remains to be seen but it doesn’t look good. After all, if you no longer have Hess gas stations where do you sell Hess trucks! Maybe someone will buy the name rights and continue the tradition. I may want to reconsider my previous statement on the value of the modern collectible lineup.

As you can see from all these the photo's this truck wears the location of local Hess tank farm. No doubt this Freightliner was at one time an OTR truck now serving a second life as a plow. It still wears NJ plates, the home state of Hess. I’m glad to share these photograph's of this Hess truck as it soon may be collectible itself!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Canadian Minnitoys - Large & Fun!

If ever there was a name for a toy that just didn’t seem to fit, these trucks are a perfect example. Almost gigantic in comparison to most other toys on the market, these Canadian trucks were called “Minnitoys.” They were made by the Otaco Limited Company located in Orilla, Ontario. Produced from the late 40’s through the early 60’s these beefy toys enjoy a strong following today, both north and south of the border.

Minnitoy trucks were not only large (28” long), they were very sturdy. Most were strong enough to accommodate a small child’s weight with extra reinforcing ribs built into the semi-trailers. As a result many were literally “ridden into the ground” by their lucky owners. Finding well-preserved specimens today is very difficult.

Prior to the introduction of their famous truck line, Otaco manufactured other toys. Their construction equipment (a steam shovel and a 3-piece bulldozer and trailer set) could be considered quaint, if not a little crude. The first trucks produced were also a bit on the primitive side. Most of the fabrication and assembly was done by hand using crimp-over tabs instead of spot-welding.

In the 1940's Otaco marketed a line of five of these early trucks and a ride-on Canadian Flyer train that were of lighter construction and lesser quality than the trucks featured on this site. Later production ride-on trains were larger (30” long) and offered in two different paint schemes; Canadian Pacific and Canadian National. These were advertised along with the truck line in their 1955 catalogs.

The most collectible Minnitoy trucks are those produced from about the early 1950’s through the early 60’s at which point the Otaco plant closed its doors. These trucks truly set the standard for what a quality, big steel truck toy should look like.

An interesting anecdote regarding these trucks is the misspelled name of the company on the rubber tries. It was spelled with only one ‘n.’ This error was never corrected.

Private label trucks (built in cooperation with various commercial businesses) were a Minnitoys specialty. Just how many private label trucks are out there is still a mystery, but there were at least 40. A list was compiled from information gleaned from an April 8, 1998 article in Collecting Toys magazine and also from knowledgeable collectors, Ron McBain and Keith Davis of Canada, and Gary Coghlan at

Perhaps the most prolific advertiser on the Minnitoy semi trucks was Heinz. Their products were responsible for at least 7 different private label trucks, most with English lettering on one side and French on the other.

Trucks can also be found that have been painted over by commercial businesses and which were not actually part of the Minnitoy production line.

This line of toy trucks really has no equal when it comes to size, variety, visual impact, and just plain style. A collection of Minnitoys is certainly one to be desired, enjoyed, and highly valued.

This toy came in  several paint schemes including; Green w/Yellow Trim, Silver w/Maroon trim and Yellow w/Maroon trim. The bucket and arm were detachable so you could use it as a crane.

Today, Texaco advertising products are in great demand by collectors due to their prolific variety, high-quality graphics and colorful and artful lay-outs. This tanker may not have most of those characteristics, but it still has that appealing TEXACO "flavor."

The Hochelaga green/ yellow/red color scheme is much like the colors of the Hess toy trucks that would come years later.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Allstate Sears Semi-Tractor-Trailer Truck by Marx


Allstate trucks were made by Marx as an exclusive line for Sears. This truck is shown in a 1959 Sears ad but may have also been available before and/or after that year. Cab seems out of proportion to trailer.

The cab does not represent any make or model of a real truck but looks like it was intended to portray futuristic styling. Note that the same Marx trailer design is used once again!

Sear's Semi-Tractor-Trailer Truck by Marx

This Sears truck by Marx is almost identical in construction to the Newberry's truck. This same trailer design was used by Marx for many years on many different trucks - a very economical move.

The single-axle trailer was a step down in design.
Duals looked much better.

Rear doors were stiffened by embossing a
distinctive design on them. Hinges were strong.

The deep blue Sears Roebuck And Co. cab was enhanced by gold accents and a red details. Looks like this one might have rear-ended someone at some time.