The 1984 Hess Toy Truck Fuel Tanker with Bank was the brainchild of Leon Hess. At the age of 19, he founded Hess Incorporated with one oil delivery truck. His customers were people who lived in neighborhoods near his home. He made deliveries seven days a week. When he saw that major companies were rapidly changing from coal to oil as their main source of power, he purchased five trucks and began carrying post-refinery oil.
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In 1964, the first Hess toy trucks were manufactured and sold exclusively at Hess gas stations. You could fill the tanker with water and dispense it through the delivery hose and the toys were the first made with working lights and sound. The original cost was $1.39 and included the battery. This was a phenomenal deal at the time! Leon Hess wanted his toys to be affordable for all people.
The 1984 version is a replica of the 1977 Hess fuel tanker, but it has a built-in coin bank. The slot for coins is on the back of the tanker and all of the toy trucks made from 1984 to 1989 had the bank feature. The toy fuel tanker has a green, yellow, and white color scheme with a red switch for the lights.
Hess began offering new trucks annually for the holidays and they instantly became a favorite. Now a collectors’ item, the Hess toy trucks were made to accurately reflect the company trucks during that year; something that Leon Hess insisted on. When Hess merged with Amerada and became the Amerada Hess Corporation, the colors changed from the original to white with green trim.
The value of the toys are based on the following: To be known as MIB, or “Mint in Box”, and have the highest collectible value, both the truck and the box have to be in perfect condition.First, the condition of the actual truck must be immaculate with no dents, scratches, or other imperfections. Second, the box must be in perfect condition with the box flaps completely intact with no wear on them and all inserts inside.
The 1984 Hess Toy Truck Fuel Tanker with Bank is highly collectible because of the rare nature of the toys, the rich history behind them, and the desire to have a little piece of America on the mantle.