Hess Corporation has been selling toy trucks in their gas stations during the holidays since 1964, but the 1993 Hess Patrol Car is one of the most unique among these collectible toys. Since its inception, Hess has only released five toy vehicles that were not trucks. Now, after 40 years of toy production, these toy trucks have become a nostalgic reminder of childhood for multiple generations, and a fun look at vehicle history even for those who did not grow up with the toys.
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The History of Hess Corporation Toy Trucks
The concept of selling toy trucks was first conceived of by the company’s founder, Leon Hess, in the early 1960s. It was designed both as a marketing tool for the winter holidays season, and as a way to provide affordable toys to kids everywhere. The Hess Corporation produced a highly detailed model of its B Model Mack Tanker and began to sell it at their gas stations in 1964. While many people think of a toy purchased at a gas station as being low-quality and cheap, these trucks only fit one of those characteristics, they were affordably cheap.
The inexpensive toy trucks were finely crafted with an amazing attention to detail. This proved to make it an instantly popular toy for children who loved toy trucks, and the parents who bought them. There was also a special thrill that came with being able to take control of their own model of the gleaming white and green tanker trucks they saw on the roads every day. At just $1.29 for the first model, which could also spray water, and came with batteries included, it was an immediate success.
Hess Special Editions: The Patrol Car
Occasionally, Hess will release a non-tanker toy truck, such as the firetruck in 1986, the 1966 tanker ship, or a few tractor trailer trucks. In 1993 they released their first car, which was only the second time they released a toy that wasn’t a truck of some kind. The patrol car isn’t modeled after any particular real-life vehicle, but is made to reflect the generic look of a typical early-nineties American police vehicle.
The patrol car, like the trucks, includes a number of interactive features, operated by two switches found on the bottom of the vehicle. One is a basic two-way switch which will turn all the lights on and off. The second is a four-way switch that activates flashing lights, and two separate sirens. Although the detail on the patrol car is not as extensive as many other Hess vehicles, the lights and sounds made it one of the most popular models among children.
After releasing the patrol car, Hess has typically only release special edition vehicles in small batches, given to shareholders, or participants at historic events for the company, making them exceptionally rare. As only the second non-truck vehicle released, the 1993 Hess Toy Truck – Hess Patrol Car is one of the most collectible of their product, making it a prized toy for any collector of Hess Toy Trucks at an affordable price.